VR isn't ready for a "must-play" experience

Reggis Fils-Aimé is right about VR needing "must-play" games, but the sector isn't ready to play host to that kind of cultural phenomenon.

What will it take for VR to grow beyond its niche status and become an important commercial pillar of the games industry? It's quite literally a billion dollar question – many billions, in fact.

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Knushwood Butt96d ago

'What will it take for VR to grow'

More people to try it instead of making out they are not interested in it.

I wasn't an early adopter of PSVR and was pretty sceptical about it before I finally made the plunge. Got PSVR2 day one.

1Victor95d ago

Shusssssh 🤫don’t tell them psvr had a FPS multi player vr game

ApocalypseShadow95d ago (Edited 95d ago )

Knush hit it right on the head. More people to try it.

Reggie isn't entirely wrong. But he's not entirely right either. Must play games are already here and has led many to buy VR to experience these "must play" games TODAY. That must play game depends on the individual. He's looking for that one game where everyone has to play it. Gaming doesn't work that way. Maybe he's thinking of a Mario VR game. But a Mario style VR game already exists with Astrobot. It just costs a lot for many to buy in to try it. When they did get to try it, they found an amazing game filled with fun and innovation that would match any Mario game made. But the VR industry has a long road ahead. It's not on someone's time line. Not even Reggie's.

That's with anything new on the market. Cars. Cellphones. TVs. Etc. None of these things were a breakout hit overnight. People riding horses probably thought cars were a novelty. Niche. Now, cars have replaced horses. Millions are used daily. Did it take a particular horse to ride for everyone to see that cars were great to get around in? No. It was only cost and availability for everyone to try it and find their own use for it.

Cellphones were expensive at one time. A brick in your hand. Once they became cheaper, built with more practical uses, cellphones were in billions of hands. TVs were for only a few consumers. Once it was affordable for everyone to enjoy, billions bought a TV and regularly use it daily.

Consoles didn't arrive to where they are overnight. It took decades. Not everyone had a game console on my street. Just a few of us. Others had to come over to try it. Same with computers. Same damn thing. Cost and availability to try them. Now, millions upon millions use them daily.

Just because Reggie speaks doesn't mean he's right on things. Yeah. Maybe it would take console manufacturers to switch over to a product that has VR built in day one that's affordable that still plays flat games. That day isn't here yet because it would be expensive to buy and try it. But that day of affordability is coming. If Nintendo built a Switch 2 that has built in VR, the days of VR being accepted would shorten from decades to one decade or less. Same if Apple or Google built a phone with VR built in day one. Then, all the developers would have to fall in line and build VR content. VR today is on a natural growth path. It's not leaving anytime soon or dying off like 3D TV.

Raider and Einhander made great points along these lines.

Fiddlerblue95d ago (Edited 95d ago )

People might not be interested in VR for a variety of different reasons.

It might make them motion sick (it does for me), they might not like the idea of strapping a big device to their head that pretty much completely locks them out of the real world, etc.

But the biggest reason is price vs the amount of quality software. You buy a game console on the promise and trust that quality games that you enjoy are going to come to it. This is a trust built of decades of past experience between the consumers and the brand/platform. That trust and past experience vs the asking price will pretty much determine if a consumer will purchase a piece of hardware or not. VR just doesn't have that trust built up yet and the asking price is still high but these things take time. There's no "magic bullet" game that will make everyone go out and buy a headset unless there's already a sizable library of other top-notch games available that they think they will also enjoy.

There's also the distinct possibility that VR tech as it is right now is just destined to be niche and will remain so until some era when VR eyeglasses with touch activated smart glass or or something crazy like that are a possibility. The market will determine it.

SirBruce95d ago

Well... good quality VR has been very expensive for years. To play Half-Life: Alyx in good shape you needed a high end PC and HQ VR set connected to it. But, now, with Quest 2 or Pico 4 and a wireless connection to a sub 1.000$ PC you can experience the game full quality and maintaining 72/90 fps. If laptops and small format PCs continue improving at the rate AMD is going and VR wireless kits maintain their prices with better and better quality, this only can improve and go wider. Remember that consoles from this generation, PS5 and Xbox Series X are at the 500+ dollars level... 3 years after launch. Prices are not really mainstream for gaming these days and PC continues to be an unfriendly platform for many. What PlayStation is doing is one more step in the right direction, before Facebook, Apple and Valve (does Steam Deck sounds familiar?) jump some steps at once.

H995d ago

The vast majority of people have better things to do than buy a expansive product to try something that they don't find interest in already, the job of marketing is to make it appealing to you so you make the decision without needing to be 100% sure about it and most of the times, it's that big game that pushes peoe for such decisions, buying something to see if it will be interesting or not is absurd 99% of the times

S2Killinit95d ago

I’ve already found 3 games like that just in the launch window of PSVR2.

H995d ago

@S2Killinit power to you, most people can't say the same

Knushwood Butt94d ago (Edited 94d ago )

How can you not have interest in something you've never tried?

Do you live your life without trying anything new?

I tried a new restaurant for lunch the other day. It was somewhat hit and miss, but at least now I know, and can use that experience to make a judgement on whether I want to give it another shot or not.

H994d ago

@Knushwoodbutt sorry it's a bit hard to understand your point since each of us Haven't tried most things out there, does that mean you are interested about everything there is in the world and never see something you haven't tried and think I don't like this sort of stuff? When i look at something i get an idea whether or not it may be to my liking, surprises exist but in if you know yourself you can be correct a lot of the times, and most importantly like I said, nobody in the whole world have time and money to do what you are saying, you are telling me to try VR to see if I am interested or not, when I say I am not interested in horizon they tell me to play it to see, FF VII Remake 2, basically every fandom of every game, and that's just gaming, go to every activity there is, I think you can see that your method of thinking is impossible, you yourself must have ignored tons of things for no reason other than not being interested or else you will not have time to even play VR

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kingnick95d ago

Sorry I have no interest in VR. I prefer most genres with a traditional controller and some genres with KB&M.

Many people simply don't have the money for VR and the money they do have they'd rather spend on traditional games. Other people are not obligated to follow and validate your choices.

TheEroica95d ago

No thanks. I'll game the way I choose.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 94d ago
bunt-custardly96d ago (Edited 96d ago )

The onus is on the developers themselves. Take PC VR, did you guys know there is a chap called LukeRoss who does flatscreen to VR conversions using a gamepad not motion controls. Yeh, some circles might scoff and say gamepad is not proper VR, but many others would disagree. Giving some examples you can play Elden Ring in VR, Cyberpunk 2077 even Spider-Man. These are all AAA titles that the developers decided not to invest in VR for whatever reason. Yet a single person has managed to do it.

Total madness and the reason we see these sorts of articles.

I'll tell you what guys. If they port Half-Life: Alyx to PSvR 2 then you will see a paradigm shift in attitude towards VR.

crazyCoconuts96d ago

Alyx is good, but it's still just one game. Even with the custom level creation (which is great) I wouldn't say it's going to transform the industry. It certainly didn't for PCVR.
I don't know what it will take to become mainstream. I'm pretty sure it will just don't know when and how. I think it would help if it was integrated into some of the hot flat screen social games like official Minecraft, Fortnite, Apex, COD? Dunno if you could effectively cross play VR and flat in those games but it would help imo

bunt-custardly96d ago

I think the reception of HL:Alyx is more than just "good" is has been widely regarded and credited as one of the best VR games to-date. You are right though, it is one game and perhaps I was being somewhat melodramatic.

Crows9095d ago

Only because of a lack of VR adoption. Most issues with VR stem from it's price of entry.

EvertonFC95d ago

There is loads of great VR games, not just one

JackBNimble95d ago

It's going to remain niche until they start developing AAA games or at least have an option for VR in mainstream games.

If more people are going to buy into it, then you need the software.

Knushwood Butt95d ago

GT7 and RE8 have those options.

After the Fall isn't AAA but I can't wait to dive back into it. In fact, that's what I'm going to do now.

S2Killinit95d ago (Edited 95d ago )

We already have AAA games in VR though. And they are much better than the flat versions.

derek95d ago

@bunt No it will not, ALyx has the same issue in that you can't see how great it is unless you put the headset on and try. But for anyone who actually has played on vr and enjoys it, these meta discussions are always so weird. I played gt7 vr for a solid 5 hours yesterday and it has been the best game I've played this generation because of vr.

S2Killinit95d ago (Edited 95d ago )

Horizon is on par with Half-Life Alyx

But I would love that as well.

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Einhander197195d ago

The ones who say they aren't bothered haven't probably played VR. If they did they would realise how amazing and immersive it is. The likes of Moss, Rez, Turismo, Thumper, Astrobot, are seriously incredible experiences you won't ever get on a TV. Dont get me wrong VR isn't the be all and end all. It's just another way of enjoying Videogaming.

RaiderNation95d ago (Edited 95d ago )

What will truly usher VR into the mainstream is all the NON gaming applications that can potentially be used with VR. Imagine the NFL offering an NFL Sunday VR ticket where you could sit virtually at the 50 yard line in every stadium! Or what about courtside in every NBA arena? Or ringside at a UFC or boxing pay per view! What about travel? Id love to virtually tour the pyramids of Giza or the Sistine Chapel! Or what about Mars? Imagine they fit the next rover we send to mars with a VR camera that anyone with a VR headset can discover whatever the rover discovers! What about classrooms being taught in VR? Or concerts? The possibilities are endless! VR gaming is cool and all but im looking way beyond that!

After10Ben95d ago (Edited 95d ago )

You bring up an excellent point. I saw some VR footage of an NBA game and it was incredible. I was right under the basket and seeing a professional basketball player's footwork in VR is nothing like watching it from the stands or the TV. Imagine watching the Super Bowl in VR? I also saw a boxing match in VR once and it was equally incredible. I personally loved the Hulu app in VR, because it gave me a peaceful, beautiful virtual living room to escape to for a few hours. After a workout, I would chill out on the virtual beach and watch movies on a giant screen--there's nothing like it. Great point RaiderNation.

EvertonFC95d ago

NASA and SpaceX are looking into VR for the first mars landing, no doubt we will have a live VR feed for the first landing.

shinoff218395d ago

My buddy brought his vr to work one day to show the couple nba fans there that you could do the Courtside thing. It was really dope. I can't remember what headset though. The nba is always ahead of the curve compared to alot of sports leagues(in the us atleast , I can't tell you about over seas)

z2g95d ago (Edited 95d ago )

Here is my honest take having just bought a psvr2 and living with it for a little bit now and all but abandoning my Quest 2. Just my own truth and my own objective option as someone who just shelled out over $650 to get the latest and arguably best vr experience in my hands.

I regrettably agree with the article. Don’t get me wrong, VR and even specifically in my case PSVR2 Is awesome… but I’m not suddenly wishing MS would now release a headset for my Series X or thinking they are idiots for not doing so. I don’t think it will significantly disrupt or change the majority of my gaming habits. The Quest 2 didn’t either and PSVR2 is SIGNIFICANTLY better.

GT7 and Call of the Mountain are well beyond what my expectations would be in the best possible way, but beyond that, there just aren’t many must have games or mind blowing AAA game experiences (at least for a little while). there’s also the fact that most vr games and even the process of playing them just don’t flow as naturally as just plopping down, grabbing a controller and going for it. There’s work and setup involved and the gameplay is usually a bit different and sometimes more complicated (even if it is cool). There’s a mental tax there.

I am really impressed with psvr2 and it’s exceeded my expectations,but I can already tell that it’s going to be an occasional thing and not my go to thing. That’s not a knock on it, that’s just reality that will result. A majority of times I’m gonna plop down on the couch and get into some COD or GTA online or God of War or whatever the hit game at the time is. Even gran turismo (the whole reason I even got the headset), I can already tell I’m not gonna get that headset out every time I play gt7 (regardless of how amazing it is. eventually I will become numb to that experience and convenience will start to outweigh the desire of vr. I’m not gonna go thru all that to play vr Tetris because I already finished the 2 big vr hit that’s year. It’s too much, and on top of that it’s a very isolated experience most of the time. That’s just reality. At least for me.

RaiderNation95d ago

I mostly agree with you with the exception of GT7. I CANNOT go back to playing that in standard mode after experiencing playing it in VR! That IS the defacto way of playing that game for me now! I feel similarly to RE8, only that game scares the shit out me in VR and I cant play it for long periods of time because my anxiety goes through the roof! Lol.

camel_toad95d ago (Edited 95d ago )

"there’s also the fact that most vr games and even the process of playing them just don’t flow as naturally as just plopping down, grabbing a controller and going for it. There’s work and setup involved and the gameplay is usually a bit different and sometimes more complicated (even if it is cool). There’s a mental tax there."

This is exactly why my psvr1, quest and quest 2 get very little playtime from me compared to just playing regular games. It feels lazy of me because there are great vr experiences and full games but there's the "well I gotta do this and this and this to start playing". Versus sitting with a controller/keyboard mouse.

derek95d ago

@z2g, gt7 has renewed life because of vr. For me its not an either/or situation vr is decisively the way to play that game it's not even close. Reading that comment makes me doubt you even have psvr2. Vr has survived so long and will continue to grow because it offers immersive experiences that a flat screen can't get close to.

Knushwood Butt95d ago

Just came off a GT7 session. One of the end game cafe menus, Toyota WEC Hyper Car at St Croix with a 20 car grid.

Just wow.