The need to keep people entertained is what drives video game console makers to keep pushing the bounds of what is possible in the gaming arena. Games that are more realistic and that provide a deeper, more expansive environment for the player to partake in will be more popular than games which do not offer this kind of experience. Today you can choose between a variety of different consoles, such as the Xbox One, which has incredible graphics and even stylish Xbox One skins. With graphics as realistic as they are today, what’s the next step in the gaming experience? Virtual and augmented reality takes this a step further by adding a new layer onto the video gaming experience, shutting out all other distractions, and completely enveloping a player in the game world.
There are a few things that can be said for sure about the way that a total immersion experience will affect gaming, mostly:
- Games and systems will cost more
- Older style games and systems will fall out of favor
- The boundaries for what is considered “good” will continue to be pushed
Developing games that take advantage of virtual reality technology is not cheap by any means. What this means you as a consumer is that there will be a rise in prices at the store level for both games and systems. For games that have monthly fees, you can also expect to see them rise as well, particularly because of the fact that bandwidth requirements will rise substantially compared to what you see from even the biggest online multi-player games now.
The price rise will be reflected the most in the games themselves. Even though there is a very good chance that physical games will be a thing of the past, system makers will try to keep their game systems at a fairly low price in order to encourage people to buy them over a competitor. The difference will be made up through game purchases, which are likely to run quite a bit more than the $60 average you see these days.
Old Games Falling Out of Favor
The kind of games you see now, even though the graphics are far and away better than what has been seen even in the recent past, will probably start to fall out of favor within the next generation of video game consoles. Even now, everything is starting to move to an online or virtual copy format. This is good for consumers in a way because it allows you to just pick and choose very easily what game you want to play, but it also prevents you from selling a physical copy of the game used.
Non-virtual reality games are also going to start to go by the wayside as soon as virtual and augmented reality games become commonplace. Why would someone want to buy an older game that isn’t nearly as immersive when you have the option of buying a game where you can literally be in the world instead of just seeing it on a screen? There will definitely still be a niche market for games that you can play on a TV without wearing a headset or sensors of any kind, but games like that will be looked upon more as “classics”, similar to the way we look at the 1970s version of Pong.
Once virtual reality games hit the mainstream, most people will be pretty impressed with what they see, at first. As time goes on the public will demand better games, better graphics, and a better immersion experience. The companies that can deliver this kind of content to users will be the ones who will gain quite a bit of market share, and depending on how many major players there are in both the game-making industry, and the console industry, we may see games getting better with each new one released, or only with every generation.
How fast virtual reality and augmented reality games and systems come out depends a lot on what the major console makers want to do. While there are some smaller manufacturers that are already working on VR, for the most part, the big three console makers look to be content to just sit back and keep reaping the benefits of their current system. The road to the virtual reality change may still be a few years away, but you can already see some of what we have to look forward to.
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