The shape of the gaming industry has come a long way since kids were playing games like Alex the Kid on the Sega Master System. Innovations in technology have turned gaming into a more interactive and immersive experience. Although TV graphics allow for extreme realism in games, the real technology changing the face of immersion and interaction is VR (Virtual Reality).
The Rise of VR Gaming
Data compiled by SuperData Research shows that the VR market value in 2018 was around $3.6 billion. By contrast, VR in 2022 ended with a whopping value of around 27.23 billion, which is expected to grow by 29.5% by the end of 2028.
Although VR isn’t new technology, it has only gained more popularity over the last few years because it has become more accessible to the mainstream market, and tech giants are starting to advance it. In 2020, there were around 92.7 million VR users around the world, and it’s expected to surpass 171.5 million before 2025 arrives.
Traditional gaming has evolved significantly over the last couple of decades, with current-gen consoles putting out 4K displays and crisp sound mechanics. One of the best genres to see this in is casino games, which started out with a simple “MiniClip” style UI and now focuses on close-to-real social experiences by utilizing video, chat rooms, and VR. If you want to find out more about social casino platforms, this page has more info.
Even though immersion is being implemented across all platforms, average consoles and gaming PCs are bound by the controller-to-screen dynamic, meaning the real world is constantly in peripheral vision.
VR doesn’t have this issue because it blocks the outside world using a well-adjusted headset. If fooling the mind and eyes into existing in a fantasy world wasn’t enough, the controllers track movements to allow full interaction and immersion.
As gaming giants like Sony and Meta (Oculus) continue to push the boundaries of VR, developers are searching for unique ways to turn VR gaming into a more inclusive space. When VR first emerged, it was widely associated with FPS (First-Person Shooter) and racing games, but now it pulls together an enormous catalog of themes and genres that are designed to satisfy the needs of different markets.
To see this in action, we recommend checking out titles like “The Curious Tale of Stolen Pets” or “Moss”, which both include adventures fit for the entire family. Alternatively, you’ve got entries like “BoxVR” and “Beat Saber” which encourage people to get active. Even education is getting in on the action, with the likes of “Google Earth VR” and “Mission: ISS” letting players learn about the world while experiencing real destinations – all from the safety of their own homes.
VR can get pretty tiring because of how much body movement there is, and this is what leads many to believe that disabled people wouldn’t be able to enjoy the tech. This simply isn’t true, especially considering more developers are creating VR games with accessibility built into them including control customizations and audio cues.
VR isn’t going anywhere, and it’s only going to continue getting stronger and more immersive and interactive. The next logical advancements for the space are eye-tracking mechanics and haptic feedback, which would allow users to feel the world they’re in and interact with NPCs and other players.
Interaction and immersion are at the center of everything to do with VR, and it’s spreading to every corner of the gaming universe. If you can’t play your favorite genre on VR yet, just watch this space.