Is virtual reality really the future of gaming?

There has been a lot of excitement around virtual reality within the PC industry for some time now, but until the first consumer headsets launch, it’s hard to tell if they will be a true success.

But according to the latest IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) survey, 51 per cent of respondents say that virtual reality and augmented reality is the future of gaming.

Open-source gaming (21 per cent), which allows the user to customize their game play and formatting because the game’s source codes are publically available, and second-screen gaming/smart glasses (18 per cent) rounded out the top three “next big innovation for gaming” responses from participants.

“There is no doubt that VR/AR will be the most important innovation of the next gaming generation” said Dr Todd Richmond, member of the IEEE and Director of advanced prototypes at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies.

“Game developers are already starting to embrace AR/VR and blended reality. There is no doubt that these immersive technologies will be the most important innovation of the next gaming generation, and will also impact every other aspect of our lives.

"The gaming industry will be an early adopter and help figure out how the technology is viable. By 2017, AR/VR/blended reality technologies will be easily and affordably brought into consumer homes thanks largely to video games.”

With several products in development by major developers like Sony’s Project Morpheus, and the Oculus Rift VR headset scheduled for release as early as 2016, the technology is on its way. 

Dixons Carphone has already told PCR it plans to stock VR devices, while analysts expect 14 million units to be sold next year.

However, some industry experts have labelled virtual reality a fad, while other retailers have told PCR they are cautious and hopeful that it doesn’t spark another huge online price war. 

Time will tell if virtual reality will truly take off, but there’s no doubting there’s a special kind of excitement and expectation around this particular technology that arguably wasn’t the case with the likes of wearables and 3D TVs.

Read more about the market for virtual reality in the upcoming September issue of PCR

Image source: Shutterstock

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