VR technology has grown considerably over the last few years and experts predict that the virtual and augmented reality market will grow from $9 million in 2018 to $215 billion by 2021. Many companies have begun investing in the emerging technology, leading it to be used for gaming, but does VR actually have a future with gaming?
Console VR Gaming
Over the last few years, companies have been releasing their own VR headsets such as the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift, the PlayStation VR and several others. These headsets can all be used for gaming and have proven to be hugely popular. The games available vary, however, from short experiences designed to show off what virtual reality is capable of to fully-fledged VR games such as Resident Evil 7, Half-Life: Alyx, No Man’s Sky VR, and Vader Immortal. The VR gaming market has been steadily growing and it’s likely that more developers will turn towards developing VR games or video games that can be played both with and without VR headsets, like Resident Evil 7.
Microsoft Vs Sony
PlayStation has been investing significantly in its VR headset and may potentially be releasing a new version of its headset with the upcoming PlayStation 5 console. The tech giant has been selling the headsets gradually as it becomes more affordable and interesting to the general public. Sony has lots of plans for their VR tech and games but Microsoft’s Xbox has a different idea.
Late last year, Xbox boss Phil Spencer stirred outrage online after claiming that “nobody” is asking for VR and that “nobody’s selling millions and millions” of units in the VR industry. Despite his claim, PSVR had sold more than 4.2 million headsets at the time of his comment and Beat Saber, one of the biggest VR games on the market, had sold over one million copies too. Earlier this year, Spencer confirmed that Vbox would not be supporting VR with its upcoming generation, leaving Sony to dominate the home console VR market.
Casino VR Gaming
Virtual reality isn’t only being used for console and PC games. Online gambling companies have been working towards VR support over the last few years, and some have even achieved it. Leading game developer NetEnt has released two real-money VR video slots; Gonzo’s Quest and Jack’s World. The games allow you to play fully-functioning slot games in VR, throwing you into the middle of the game with giant reels that spin and land directly in front of you.
However, online casino SlotsMillion took this even further when they launched their VR casino developed by Lucky VR. The SlotsMillion casino is a fully-functional brick-and-mortar casino available in VR which is set on the 80th floor of a high-rise building in a futuristic city. Players can walk around the casino, sit on couches, and play a selection of more than 40 slots and earn real money while doing so. However, both NetEnt’s VR slots and SlotsMillion’s virtual casino are not compatible with all devices and headsets, marking one of the biggest drawbacks of VR technology.
It’s one of many reasons why some experts do not believe that VR is the future of online gambling but rather mobile-optimised casino sites with fully-flexed live dealer games, as listed on websites like CasinosToPlay.
Since the VR industry is set to experience exponential growth within the coming years, we’ll likely see new and stronger headsets to support additional VR activities. As it grows in popularity, more companies will also turn to the technology and many believe that the future of gaming will depend entirely on virtual reality. Is that true? Only time will tell.