Valve and HTC have partnered up to recently release Vive, a virtual reality headset designed mainly to promote a new kind of gaming experience. I can’t tell you all the technical details, but you can read more into the phenomenon yourself. My concern at this point is that, while it has grown since its infancy, this idea of virtual reality in terms of video games is still too young to be worthwhile.
The most obvious issue right out of the gate is the high price. This headset costs 800 dollars. Sure, it comes with some controllers and a few other accessories, but these things would be required in some form or another to play. You also can get a number of games along with it as somewhat of starter pack and there are also a number of free VR games on Steam already. This is also helped by the fact that most Steam games with VR support will most likely be supporting this specific device so that you’ll get the most out of it as a Steam user. However, you also have to consider that not all of these games will be free. Many of the games will also be adding VR as a feature later on, making this device more useful the longer you wait. Not to mention that the price of the device could go down over time. And then there’s of course the need for a computer powerful enough to run the device. Is this experience really worth the high price of entry?
Well, if you’re looking for this kind of experience, then you might be able to stomach the price tag. The thing is… is this really the experience you were expecting? Admittedly, I have not used a VR headset so my opinion probably doesn’t mean much. From what I’ve seen, it doesn’t look like there’s much beyond walking simulators and simplified mini games that try to sell themselves more on the experience than the games themselves. The novelty of feeling like you’re in the world is definitely enticing, but that novelty will wear off quickly and leave you with just the gameplay. Remember back in the Atari days when it was amazing to simply play a video game in your own home? And how many of those games do we still play? There are definitely some classics that hold up, but things virtual chess and 3D tic tac toe don’t exactly carry the same weight they used to. I believe this to be the fate of these early VR games. They’ll be amazing at first simply because they exist, but only a small handful will be worth playing beyond the wow factor. We probably won’t get those masterpieces of the device until it has been out for years and developers truly understand how to program for it. Plus, it will be much more commercially available and affordable at that point. That is… if it gets to that point.
Virtual reality could easily die before it has a chance to get that far. If people don’t start supporting the devices financially as well as developmentally with the games… this could stay a niche product that’s prohibitively expense and limited in scope. So if you truly love the idea, then definitely take that risk to help it become what you want it to be. If you’re on the fence, then wait it out. I personally don’t think I’ll be getting one regardless. I can’t imagine they work too well with glasses and I do tend to prefer using a normal controller to play my games. I also prefer gameplay over visuals. I don’t have money… And I think the only thing I’d use it for is porn. I’m sure there are other things you could use it for besides gaming anyway, but if I’m honest I’d really only want it for that and porn.
So those are my thoughts and opinions. Sorry for the lack of details, but you can go check out where VR is headed for yourself. And I look forward to any comments you have down below on your own thoughts and opinions about it. I’ll just keep using my imagination to get immersed in the experience and save myself a LOT of money. Oh, and I realize that there are plenty of other companies working on VR headsets so feel free to browse the market. I just found news of this one today. But hey, thanks for reading. Keep it real.