The video game industry seems to go through phases: Minecraft brought with it a boom in the indie scene; the push for digital reliance ushered in a host of mandatory Day One patches for a large number of games; and, more recently, gamers are obsessed with counting every pixel in order to prove graphical perfection. After some more reveals from GDC 2015, it looks as though this year’s gaming trend is already set to be Virtual Reality.
Virtual Reality rose to popularity through out 2012 and 2013 with the Oculus Rift proving that Virtual Reality is definitely a viable avenue for games to explore. Since then, the concept has only spread like wildfire, with Sony’s Project Morpheus and Microsoft’s Hololens leading the charge in the gaming realm, given their compatibility with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, respectively. Companies like Valve/HTC, Samsung, AMD and many others have also leapt into the fray by producing their own Virtual or Augmented Reality devices.
Most of these headsets come out this year, in direct competition with one another. While this will mean advancement in the industry – look at how each has tried to improve on the VR/AR formula in their own way already – it may also mean market saturation, forcing it into another ‘trend’ in the gaming industry.
When Left 4 Dead first came out, no one thought that there were too many zombie games – now look where we are. The same goes for Gears of War and third-person-bro-shooters, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and modern war shooters, and so on.
Don’t get me wrong; Virtual Reality is incredibly intriguing, and the possibilities with the technology are incredibly With so many companies vying for space in the gaming market, however, it runs the risk of making the concept ‘just another trend’.
It’s exciting to speculate on what the future of Virtual and Augmented Reality holds, and even more exciting to see the hard work put in by all these companies finally come to fruition. It will be interesting to see just how developers make use of this technology over the coming years.
Let’s just hope it doesn’t become a trend, and instead cements itself as a genuine leap in technology; for video games or otherwise.