Virtual Reality headsets for gaming are still finding their feet. We wonder if they’re here to stay or are just a novelty that won’t last the test of time….
Have you ever noticed that there’s this funny pattern with technology? There are gadgets that are with us forever and gadgets that are gone in the blink of an eye. There are developments that are of major significance and form the next step in the evolution of technology and then there are developments that just don’t seem to go anywhere. (Check out this hilarious ad for an electric vehicle from the ‘80s and you’ll see what we mean!)
Take the MiniDisc for example. You might recall that when these came onto the market for the first time everyone got pretty excited about them. They were like a combination of a tape and CD offering the best of both worlds. You had the miniature size of the disc itself, which made it highly portable like a tape, and the ability to record onto it. This was combined with the digital technology, so that marking and labelling tracks was possible, not to mention the storage- you could fit three or four albums on one disc. It seemed a no-brainer to make the transition, but then along came MP3 players and changed everything. Nobody was interested in the MiniDisc anymore, and all that promising technology just turned out to be a dead end.
When trying to assess this sort of area it’s helpful to take a broad perspective. Let’s consider other kinds of gaming for a moment. Will online casinos, for example, look and feel better through a headset? Right now, smart phone apps seem to be a more promising line of development as far as they’re concerned. Unlike VR headsets, which come with a hefty price tag, these apps are hugely accessible. Furthermore they are highly portable, facilitating play from almost anywhere, something that certainly couldn’t be said of a headset.
There’s no doubt that with VR tech still nascent, it has something of the “wow factor”. It certainly seems impressive at the moment, with the games offering a really immersive experience. (If you’re still not clued up about which titles are available then there’s a nice round-up here.)Some might think it beyond question that this technology will become more and more refined over the years and that it will grow and grow in popularity. However, what about the potential rivalry from a technology such as 3D television? Doesn’t a headset make the experience of gaming less sociable and prevent, say, a gaming night with friends because everyone is cocooned in their own little space? A 3D TV doesn’t present this problem.
Of course, in such a fast-moving age it’s hard to make predictions about what will come. Any number of factors can affect what might seem like a logical and straight-forward trajectory for any given branch of technology. For now we can enjoy the intensity of this particular kind of gaming, but should be aware that quite what is in store for this kind of tech is open to debate.