The first promise of virtual reality was born, lived and died in long-gone days of the 90s. This time, things are different. 2016 is the year when VR takes the world by storm. And the world wouldn‘t be complete without one thing: gaming. Yes, videogames are one of the biggest beneficiaries of our VR-revolution. Here‘s why.
For one, this is the year when all the great headsets will hit the market. Oculus Rift is already taking in pre-orders despite its hefty price and system requirements. It will come packaged with several games, and more PC games are adapted for it every day. Buy it here: https://ebay.to/2IKehiF
HTC Vive, a collaboration between HTC and Valve, is an even pricier platform, but one that comes with controllers and sensors that have to be stationed around the room. However, its price didn‘t deter pre-orders, which soared through the roof on the launch of sales. Buy it here: https://ebay.to/2wWmHiz
There‘s also PlayStation VR, which utilizes the humble PlayStation that you have at home and Move controllers, and it will be a little cheaper than the other two. Of course, those aren‘t the only offerings: Razr, Zeiss and others are gunning for their own headsets, too. Buy it here: https://ebay.to/2KwnWqw
And that‘s just for PC and console gaming. Mobile VR gaming has already taken off, probably because everyone has a smartphone or two. Samsung Gear VR is one of the market leaders, despite being a headset that‘s only compatible with a limited amount of top-of-the-line Samsung smartphones. Buy it here: https://ebay.to/2Gq9EVY
Google Cardboard is its more platform-agnostic rival, however, to be that cheap it sacrifices any inbuilt controllers and even some comfort. Some would say that it‘s more of a VR preview than a platform! Get it here: https://ebay.to/2KuO3hj
Regardless of that, Cardboard, Gear VR and others already have a healthy library of games to choose from.
That‘s right, you have talent from all over the world making video games for mobile VR. And how can it not be so? While the big headsets have yet to reach the hands of consumers, mobile sets grow sales every day, and there are predictions that mobile headsets will outnumber big headtsets 4 to 1. So that‘s why there‘s an abundance of games made and in development. You have AAA mobile VR titles such as EVE: Gunjack, the best turret shooter of all time, and accomplished on Unreal Engine 4. You have Schell Games‘ I Expect You To Die, a wonderful James Bond-like adventure puzzle. You can also enjoy more low-key games, like Temple Run VR and Proton Pulse. All in all, there‘s no dearth of mobile VR games.
There‘s no dearth of upcoming PC (and console) virtual reality games either. Wikipedia page for games that support Oculus VR lists more than a hundred titles both old and new. We are expecting such grand games as space fighter simulators Eve: Valkyrie and Star Citizen to knock us off our feet once we get to play them. Hover Junkers, Unearthing Mars, Dead Secret – from shooters to puzzlers, the list of games and genres is growing every day. Give them time, and the developers will come up with VR-specific game genres – Jesse Schell of Schell Games predicts that this will happen before 2020.
And how can it not? The future is in our hands, as the tools of game making have never been more democratic. Unity, Unreal Engine 4, Cryengine – all of them support VR games, visual programming (programming by connecting pre-made blocks instead of writing code) and are completely, 100% free. You don’t even need to have a modeler to jump into game creation – low-poly models, perfect for games, are a growing area of stock 3D model market and online marketplaces like CGTrader are ready to help. Just buy models (or even download free ones), and you’re already on the road to success. Low-poly is extremely important, since it helps mobile VR games keep phones from exploding and all VR games to achieve that important 90 FPS mark.
And there you have it. 2016 will see – is seeing – a veritable VR explosion, with a cornucopia of games and apps present for the ever growing numbers of powerful VR hardware. And with game development tools that have never been this democratic, they will only continue to grow and expand. We’re on the threshold of a new age of gaming and the future is so high definition, you need VR glasses.