We've all said at one time or another, "Wow, the graphics in this game are amazing!" But VR has taken a few steps backward when it comes to video game graphics and game quality in general.
There was a lot of skepticism a few years ago around whether or not VR was just a fad, a hardware gimmick, something that wouldn't last.
It's safe to say, it's here to stay. But why?
The hardware is more accessible for one, and the user base is growing, but games are... well... not great.
To compound the problem, VR hardware went from PC to Mobile over the last two years, which meant a huge loss in overall quality. Many games couldn't run on a mobile chipset, yet Mobile VR is still going strong, and growing faster than ever. So does the quality of the game really matter that much, or is there something else going on?
First, compare Mobile VR games to the most popular PC games, like Call of Duty Warzone, Grand Theft Auto 5, Fortnite, or Assassin's Creed, games boasting huge communities, photo realistic graphics, incredible stories, and tremendous gameplay. Mobile VR can't hold a candle to what's out there as far as content and community goes. But it's still growing, and growing fast.
Of course, quality gameplay and amazing graphics matter, but perhaps they don't matter as much as something else, VR's secret weapon, presence.
Call it presence, call it immersion, call it whatever you like; once a gamer experiences the magic of embodiment in VR, the wonder of a more tangible way to play, something changes. It's like their imagination comes alive again, like it did when they were a little kid. All of a sudden, graphics are not as important, perfection and criticism take a back seat when the imagination is set free.
The secret of VR is presence, plain and simple. It's the awakening of the imagination to a limitless world, and a world that is here and now, immediately in front of you, and after you blink, it's still there.
The future of VR is bright, regardless of graphics and gameplay, VR offers something more. What's important now is that we have a foundation upon which to build. We are building the future of being present, of playing in the moment with our full body, and letting our imaginations run free.
One day VR will be synonymous with play.