I firmly believe that VR is to gaming as gaming was to movies 20 years ago. Folks who enjoyed movies would look at gaming and think it was childish, or that it wouldn’t stand the test of time. That movies are the superior medium; 20 years ago they were wrong, and today they’re wrong again. In my eyes, VR is far from dying, in fact, it is thriving.
It’s All About Them Games!
VR software sales have already been strong, and profitable for several games on the PCVR market. Since the launch of the Oculus Quest, there have been a new handful of games that grossed over 3 million in Revenue. With the launch of the Quest 2, many developers from games like “Pistol Whip” to “Dreadhalls” have seen an increase between 800 and 1,000% in sales.
It’s no lie that Oculus’s Quest and Quest 2 have been instrumental in the adoption of new, and old software alike at rates that are beginning to rival PC and Console gaming. Like many, I’m not a fan of Facebook in general, but they have been key as of late in keeping VR alive and expanding.
I’ve Bought Too Many VR Headsets…
Due to 2020 being the stone-cold, whip-adorned dominatrix that it is, VR demand was high, and initially, supply was low. Because of this, there has been an increased interest in finding new ways to experience the outside world (or even other worlds) from the comfort of a clutter-free, open area of your home. Once the Valve Index and Quest were back in stock; demand was satisfied, and the number of Steam users that use VR rose from 1% to 1.64% as of July.
This may not sound like a reasonable amount of success, but 1.64% of 90 million active users is almost 1.5 million active VR adopters on Steam alone. This of course, isn’t taking into account the Quest 2, and that it’s launch eclipsed the Quest 1’s preorders by a factor of 5. It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine the total amount of Steam users using VR headsets to have swelled to 2.5%, or even 3%.
Innovation, Is My Favorite Kind Of Vation
Gaming in general has done a good job of being a primary motivator of technology. From processors to OLED screens to creative audio solutions; the video game medium is intrinsically designed to reward innovation in both the hardware and software spaces. Better hardware drives more sales, and in turn sets the stage for game-developers to work their magic in increasingly interesting ways. The Quest, its software, and systems are a prime example of this philosophy.
The Quest 1 for example, did what it could with its hardware limitations; bringing hand-tracking to the table, which then allowed developers to create experiences around that. Then with the Quest 2, better hardware has allowed for visual improvements across the board for all sorts of games and experiences. Sprinkle in the ability to stream your footage to your PC, or most other castable devices wirelessly, and you have a piece of kit that has done its job innovating the genre forward in ways that makes my back sweat in proportion to my excitement.
PCVR headsets are getting into this headspace as well. I mean just look at the newly announced DecaGear; it has the resolution of a Reverb G2, Hip-tracking, Facial-tracking, touch-sensitive controllers, an add-on for wireless play, and only costs $450. Then there’s Samsung researching and developing screens for Virtual and Augmented Reality that have TEN TIMES more pixel density than the current best screens on the market.
As you can see, VR and the technology around it are really going places. There’s no end in sight to the development of the hardware and software surrounding it, so if you haven’t tried VR yet then I highly recommend you do. There is a good chance the experience will change the way you perceive the medium of gaming, just like it did for me.