The Future of Gaming: How Virtual Reality is Changing the PC Game World
Virtual reality is no longer a thing of the past! It seems as if VR technology has finally come of age, having advanced to the point where we now have immersive headsets, intuitive peripherals, and a diverse catalogue of games. There’s no doubt about it: VR is changing the PC gaming landscape.
Just how much has VR changed the game? And how will VR redefine PC gaming and what it’s capable of? Here’s what the future has in store for VR-based PC gaming.
A New Level of Immersion
This might seem like an obvious bullet point, but it’s important to talk about. VR has already set a new standard for how immersive video games can be. Unlike traditional PC games, VR games encompass your entire field of vision through use of a screen-equipped headset. When you’re playing video games in the traditional manner, your eyes will always absorb more than just the PC monitor—you’ll also see your keyboard and any elements of the room that you’re gaming in. VR games eliminate anything that can distract you from the game world—namely, anything that’s not your screen.
There’s still some work to be done. VR games are immersive primarily because the game encompasses your whole vision—not necessarily because the graphics look photorealistic. We’re not saying that all VR games have subpar graphics. Some games, like “Google Earth VR” and “Everest VR,” look absolutely stunning. But for many other titles, there’s work to do. But VR graphics get better each year, so expect there to continue to be graphical boundary-breaking in VR game development.
VR will likely eliminate the need for a keyboard altogether when you’re gaming. The most popular VR headsets, like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, use handheld peripherals instead of keyboard inputs. Many console gamers don’t want to play PC games because the keyboard can be intimidating, and so it’s possible that VR could draw more console gamers into the PC gaming realm if it does away with the keyboard requirement.
But what won’t change significantly is how the mouse is used. PC gamers love how accurately they can aim with a mouse. The VR peripherals work in pretty much the same way, and they should provide an even greater degree of accuracy when it comes to aiming. The first-person shooter is bound to get even better thanks to VR.
One advantage that VR for PC has over VR for consoles is that you’re able to play VR games on-the-go so long as you have a good gaming laptop. If you’re on a train or sitting backseat on a road trip, you can fire up your laptop, don your VR headset, and get immersed into the VR world.
A New Age of “Realism” in Gaming
What’s most exciting about VR is that it could launch a whole new kind of “realistic” game. One of the best examples of this is “Everest VR.” “Everest VR” is a game in which you hike to the summit of the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. There’s no combat involved, no legions of bad guys to have to destroy. It’s all about maneuvering and basic platforming, supplemented by awe-inspiring and terrifying views. This concept might be a tough sell for a traditional video game, but it works on VR because the heavy immersion in the game world amplifies the death-defying heights—which is fun and thrilling, even if you’re not fighting bad guys. Other “realistic simulation” games include “NoLimits 2” and “Lone Echo.”
Easier for Developers
Virtual reality is a relatively complicated technology, and there aren’t a whole lot of game developers who are making goliath-sized games with it. Many of the games are shorter and simpler—which isn’t a bad thing. But you should expect VR to catch on with more developers, from indie developers to large, established ones. As VR gets more popular, and as the technology improves, and as the game quality gets better and better, more developers will undoubtedly want to try their hand at designing a VR game. As fun as VR already is, it’s bound to get even better.