“When virtual reality gets cheaper than dating, society is doomed.”
(Just want to say that if you get that title, we should be friends!)
Enjoying A New Niche
Quick side note, I do not use the term “gimmick” to be insulting.
We’ve had a few gimmicks come and go during gaming’s history. We’ve had motion controls, interactive/electronic toys of various shapes, memory cards that act as their own portable game thing, light guns, the Game Boy had a weird little printer thing. The list is truly endless.
The latest in gimmick that you might have found it hard to not heard about is VR (Virtual Reality) gaming. The biggest piece of news from this recently you may have heard of is Half Life: Alyx, Valve’s latest attempt at a killer app for VR.
I have recently become lucky enough to find myself in possession of a VR headset, specifically the Oculus Quest. Personally I think I ended up with the best one because while Valve’s new headset (the Index) is a lot more powerful the Quest has something over the competition, it’s completely wireless.
Me, my partner and housemate have been really enjoying it so far, Beat Saber in particular is a house favourite. If you don’t know what Beat Saber is then imagine Guitar Hero but with lighsabers.
A question on a lot of people’s minds is will VR ever become mainstream? I think the answer is no.
While the technology will only get better the simple fact is that it’s just to damn expensive for now. The new Valve Index will set you back £1000 for the full set up. Even with the “massive” surge that the new Half Life game has caused, only 1.9% of Steam users actually have a VR headset.
Maybe if a headset is ever bundled with a console or the price becomes much more affordable, I think that VR will forever remain a niche. Not that that’s a bad thing. Niches have always been around and do pretty well.
Think of your flight simulators and the complicated set up that some people have. I have a flight stick and thruster to play Elite Dangerous (which I can now also play in VR! SQUEEEE). Not exactly “mainstream” of me is it?
The point is, there’s nothing wrong with a niche. If you are lucky enough to be able to afford (or get for free like I did) a VR headset then my recommendation would be to do your research. Find out if the games available are your thing, which headset is best for you and most importantly: can you justify the cost? Don’t put yourself in financial trouble for what is ultimately a niche that you will likely not use everyday.
I wholeheartedly recommend the Quest as a great headset, especially if you’re worried about tripping over wires or want a bit more freedom in your movement.
So I can add a VR section to my Extra Lives page for now and hopefully you’ll hear more about this escapade soon 🙂 . For now, thanks for reading and remember to take care of yourselves. Peace!
A demonstration of just how insane Beat Saber can be.