I wondered why VR gaming hasn’t grown as fast as I thought it would. So, I did a study. Everyone assumed VR gaming to be the next big thing in the gaming and tech industry. This future technology was merchandised as it can change the way of enjoying multimedia and gaming. But unfortunately, VR gaming never really succeeded in the gaming industry.
Why did this revolutionary technology fail to rise, as everyone thought?
VR gaming can be the next big trend in the gaming industry, but it must overcome multiple barriers to hit the mass market. Over the last decade, Virtual Reality technology has been spoken of as the next big gaming platform. But gamers are still waiting for VR gaming to rise in the gaming market.
Is VR gaming Growing, Or Not?
It is also wrong to say that VR gaming hasn’t grown in recent years. New additions to VR gaming headsets make them even more advanced and powerful. For example, Oculus launched Oculus Quest 2 (a wireless headset for VR gaming), and HTC Vive features eye-tracking.
VR technology has many advantages as a gaming platform, but VR is advancing at a low pace. Any gamer can fall in love with VR gaming by just playing it for 5 to 10 minutes. VR gaming has another level of user involvement in gameplay.
Why is VR gaming not in the mainstream yet? Why is VR gaming not growing as everyone thought? Let us discuss ten reasons why VR gaming hasn’t grown as fast as everyone thought.
- Lack of gaming Content
- Bad User Experience
- Lack of customer interest
- High Prices
- VR games are hard to develop
- Unhandy hardware
- VR games are not mobile
- Consumes more space
- Conservative games
- Lack of marketing
Lack of Gaming Content
The lack of gaming content is one of the biggest reasons stopping VR gaming from reaching its peak. VR gaming requires a VR headset to enjoy gaming in VT mode. But the biggest problem is there is no need to pay for a VR headset if there is a lack of worth seeing gaming content available. As VR gaming is considered a small market, gaming companies are hesitant to create and invest in gaming content for VR gaming. Gamers are also not much interested in buying hardware with more limited gaming content.
Creating gaming content for VR requires a lot of effort, time, and money. Creating and launching a high-quality game for VR gaming platforms can be a big deal, but gaming companies are not ready to take such a significant risk.
All the Well known and famous gaming companies are more focused on creating AAA games for PC and consoles. Moreover, there are not many big names in VR gaming. It diverts the crowd from VR gaming to traditional PC and console gaming. There are many popular AAA games on VR platforms for VR gaming. For example, a few AAA games trendy on VR gaming platforms are Microsoft Flight Simulator, star Wars: Squadrons, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, and half-Life: Alyx. But gaming companies have to release more VR games to make VR gaming grow faster.
Bad User Experience
The user experience assumes the success of any technology in the gaming industry. Gamers are complaining about problems in their user experience of VR headsets. This poor user experience is also another reason for the slow growth of VR gaming. There is no doubt that gaming content on VR platforms is ineffective and low quality than high-quality screens. Another problem is that VR headsets are heavy and a little discomforting. The immersive gameplay of VR gaming also has some side effects on gamers, like many gamers face headaches after extended gameplay.
These kinds of side effects are the main reason for the poor user experience of VR gaming. Most importantly, the gameplay during VR gaming can be interrupted easily, which is frustrating sometimes.
Imagine you’re enjoying the immersive gameplay of VR gaming, and suddenly you are interrupted by someone from behind. It spoils the attention, tempo, and enjoyment of the gameplay. These little things are needed to be improved to make VR gaming grow faster.
The developers of VR gaming headsets should consider improving the visual effects and immersion features. It will improve the overall ranking of VR gaming in the gaming industry.
Lack of Customer Interest
Customers’ interest improves the developers’ confidence to progress further in the market. Similarly, VR gaming requires tons of customer interest to rise in the gaming market. But VR gaming lacks customer interest, which is a significant barrier to its rapid growth. In recent years, VR gaming publishers have marketed their gaming content and VR headsets on a large scale.
But there is a problem that is limiting their sales in the gaming market. The new games of 2021 have high-quality graphics along with performance optimization. So gamers think that there is no need to invest in highly costly hardware like VR gaming headsets. The second reason for the lack of customer interest in VR gaming is the weight of VR headsets. These gaming headsets are ok for short-term use. But they are tiring during long gameplays. So this is a big problem for game streamers as they have to play games for 10 to 12 hours daily.
VR headset developers are constantly trying to improve the graphics quality and reduce the weight of their hardware. It can be proved as a boost for VR gaming and attracts customers’ interest.
Most gamers are not entering VR gaming because they cannot afford the costly hardware required for a VR experience. The High prices of VR gaming hardware are also a significant issue stopping VR gaming from growing in the gaming market. Most gamers cannot afford to buy high-priced hardware or PC for gaming. For example, the Oculus Rift VR headset cost about $600 on its first release. It means the gamers have to build a high-end gaming PC (costing more than $1000) to meet the graphics requirements of VR headsets.
In 2021 the price of Oculus Rift will be down to $400, but gamers still have to buy a high-end gaming PC to enjoy VR gaming. After this, Oculus Go was released in the market and cost about $199. This VR headset is cheaper but has fewer features than Oculus Rift. Such as low graphic quality and hand tracing feature missing. Now Oculus Quest 2 has been released to fill the gaps of Oculus Go, but its cost is about $400.
Oculus Quest 2 is an excellent VR headset for VR gaming, but they have to lower its prices to gain more popularity among the gaming community in the market. Vr gaming is far behind the console market. Because Oculus Quest 2 price is almost equal to the cost of Sony PS 4 Plus and Xbox One, the VR gaming market has to lower its prices alongside maintaining hardware quality to compete with the PC and console market.
VR Games are Hard to Develop
VR gaming is losing its consumers because of the lack of gaming content. At the same time, game developers are not interested in creating quality games for VR platforms due to limited gamers. The VR gaming market still demands a legendary game to draw a large community of gamers to VR gaming. There are many exciting games available on VR gaming platforms, but they don’t have the potential to be the next big thing for gamers.
The big names of the Gaming industry, like Rockstar Games and Ubisoft, have to create a masterpiece to give a shoulder to the weak VR gaming industry. There are not enough AAA games on VR platforms because VR games are hard to develop. It takes a lot of time, effort, skill, and budget to create a masterpiece game for a VR gaming platform.
Developing VR games is very expensive for gaming companies as compared to other PC and console games. It is a new platform for game developers and creators, so they must spend extra time and money learning new skills for developing VR games. The mass market of VR gaming is small, so gaming developers are concerned about how much they can get from VR gaming. Game developers are still experimenting with VR games instead of heavily investing in them.
VR headset is like a dream becoming true for gamers, but it is still not at their full potential yet. VR technology is fascinating, without any question. Which gamer does not want to enjoy Vr in gaming? The beauty of VR gaming is becoming dull because of the current VR hardware that we use. The VR gaming headsets are too weighty and sometimes annoying for long-term use. Moreover, the flagship VR headsets are still not supporting wireless connections and require a wired connection.
VR headset developers are fixing the weight issue of VR headsets by launching new designs and shifting some weight to the back of the hardware for better handling. The new VR gaming headsets are switching top wireless connections. These controllers are user-friendly and can solve the handling issue during VR gaming.
But the problem is still there because the hand controllers used in VR gaming are still not very handy. These hand controllers have a working mechanism similar to that our hands use in the real world. Usually, there is no need for hand controllers in a VR environment, but the VR gaming industry is developing more user-friendly hardware. This innovation can draw more mass attraction to VR gaming, and it will grow faster in the market.
VR Games Are Not Mobile.
Now let’s talk about the biggest reason why VR gaming is not growing fast. VR gaming is not mobile, and a gamer cannot enjoy VR gaming on the go. Imagine waiting in a long line or traveling in a vehicle, and you want to play a VR game. Unfortunately, you cannot play VR games or any other daily activity. VR technology is not designed to be used as mobile or during other activities. You have to cut off from the real world to enjoy VR gaming.
VR gaming is excellent if you are playing at home but not while you are outside. At the same time, you can play games on smartphones anywhere and anytime without any restrictions. This immobility is damaging the raking of VR gaming in the gaming market. For example, Android phones, laptops, iPads e.t.c are world-famous devices because you can take and use them anywhere. The mobility factor plays a vital role in the popularity of any new technology in the gaming market.
VR gaming uses a different mechanism, losing the player in the VR environment. The mobility feature does not seem to come in VR gaming any time soon. This barrier is not allowing VR gaming to surpass traditional mobile gaming.
Consumes More Space
Another reason for the slow growth of VR gaming is it consumes more space. Unlike traditional PC or console gaming, you can’t play VR games while sitting at a desk. A gamer cannot enjoy VR gaming in a room with people unless there is a lot of space. You can play stationary VR games in a room requiring little to no movement. But you cannot correctly enjoy other VR games in a limited space. If you want to enjoy VR games in a room, you need a minimum free space of 6.5 ft x 5 ft, and the max distance among base stations is about 16 ft.
Oculus Quest 2 is the latest VR gaming headset on the market, and the recommended free space by Facebook to use it properly is 6.5 ft x 6.5ft. It is a lot of space compared to other traditional gaming platforms like PCs and consoles. This new Quest 2 VR headset uses TMC (Touch Motion Controllers) to help you create your boundaries, known as Guardian Boundry System. You can adjust your guardian boundary to any size but follow the recommended settings to enjoy VR gaming without any interruption. This vast space requirement distracts gamers from VR gaming to PC and console gaming.
Another reason for the slow growth of VR gaming is that VR games are still conservative and do not correctly utilize VR technology. VR technology provides an extensive range of motion, 360-degree view, and accurate hand-like tangible controls. But most VR games are conservative and do not use VR technology at its full potential.
For example, in Robo Recall, you must look straight instead of enjoying the 360-degree view. Other VR games, including the Assembly and Edge Of Nowhere, failed to utilize VR tech. It is damaging the reputation of VR gaming as there is no innovation in VR games.
VR gaming developers have to take advantage of the features of VR tech and develop games that use VR features. It will not only improve the VR gaming content but also raise the overall value of VR gaming.
Lack of Advertisement
Most of the market sales depend on how the product is advertised among its users. Looking into the VR gaming market, we do not see any high-class marketing of a new VR game. PC, consoles, and smartphones are popular gaming platforms because they advertise their gaming content on a large scale. Whereas we rarely see an advertisement or promotion of a VR game in the gaming market.
If VR game developers want to gain more mass market, they must put some extra effort into the publicity of their games on VR platforms. This low-scale advertisement and publicity of VR games are affecting the growth of the VR gaming industry.
Does VR Gaming Have a Future?
Yes, VR gaming has a bright future in the gaming market. VR technology has all the tools and potential to revolutionize how we enjoy gaming. The overall worth and mass market of VR gaming is rising yearly but at a slow growth rate. There are a few issues with this slow growth rate of VR gaming. If they can remove these issues efficiently, hopefully, VR gaming will rise in the gaming market with time.
Undoubtedly, VR is still an under-developing technology and is gaining success in many other markets. But it will take some time to be the next big thing for the gaming community. Moreover, game development companies still have some hope left for VR gaming, so they are still creating new gaming titles for the VR gaming market.
Many big names and international gaming brands like Sony (Playstation) and Facebook are interested in expanding the VR gaming market. These two companies heavily invest in VR gaming by developing their own gaming hardware. We can expect famous game development companies like Rockstar Games and Ubisoft to create new gaming content for VR gaming. So VR gaming has a bright future, but it must go a long way before dominating the gaming market.