Forecasting The Near Future In VR Gaming

Forecasting The Near Future In VR Gaming

Gaming VR gaming emerged so quickly that we almost can’t track its development. One day we were talking about the Oculus Rift as if it were a semi-futuristic concept, and the next day we were seeing demos of early games as several VR headsets were made available for retail. It happened in the blink of an eye, and new games have been rolling out ever since.

Some of those games have been terrific. But for the most part, they feel like something of a sweeping rough draft. Developers are still getting used to working with VR devices, and gaming concepts haven’t been thoroughly ironed out just yet. A lot of the games we’ve seen look like early versions of near-future games that will be spectacular. Given the general state of things, let’s look at a few concepts that should begin to look awfully impressive in the next wave of (hopefully) more sophisticated virtual reality gaming experiences.

Console Series Continued

We’ve certainly seen continuations of a few popular console franchises on VR already, but for the most part we’ve seen new experiences designed to test the medium. A look ahead at some of the most promising upcoming VR games shows that now that the way has been paved, developers are focused on moving major console titles over to VR headsets. The likes of Skyrim VR, Fallout 4 VR, and Doom VR are all on the way, and it’s likely that they only represent the beginning. Games like Call Of Duty and Star Wars: Battlefront have put out individual missions that feel like demos on VR, and larger games would seem to be coming down the pipe.

More Emphasis On Piloting

Some of the best early VR games have been those that ask players to drive or pilot vehicles. A cockpit setup works very naturally with virtual reality, and so these games have a leg up on many of their counterparts in other genres. It only stands to reason that they’ll keep getting better, and we may even see piloting-focused versions of existing franchises and games. Not long ago we wrote about Skull & Bones, a new pirate game coming from Ubisoft, and it’s not too hard to imagine an extension or spinoff focused on handling a pirate ship.

Casino Expansion

CasinoVR was one of the most interesting early virtual reality experiences, though it wasn’t actually our first hint that this genre could be primed for VR expansion. Even before the introduction of devices like the Oculus and Gear VR, online casinos were using cutting edge technology to combine games with video feeds and thereby simulate live virtual environments. It’s a way of making players feel like they’re in casinos or sitting at poker tables, and this is something that VR can take even further. CasinoVR did so in a relatively bare bones manner, but we can easily see more complete and refined VR casino gaming just around the corner.

More Innovative Shooters

There’s a new game called Guardian Arena that, when in development, was described as a new take on VR shooters. It wasn’t the first game to be described that way, nor will it be the last, but it did offer a new take on motion within a shooter, presumably designed to cut down on speed, jerkiness, and motion sickness that can occur with a more traditional shooting or adventure game translated to VR. Developers are already proving to be creative in bringing this genre—arguably the most popular in gaming—along to the new medium. But we’re not quite at a point where people know what to expect yet in a VR shooter, so expect to see more innovation in this category as well.

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