Ready player one ——VR gaming

So I recently watched a movie called Ready Player One, which is the coolest movie I have ever seen. The story of the movie is based on the technology of VR gaming. In the year of 2045,  there is an expansive virtual reality universe called OASIS, people immerse into this OASIS world by spending so much time and money. In the movie, you can do anything in the virtual world, and the technology will let your body physically feel the pain and joy of the virtual world. This level of virtual reality makes everyone plays the game all the time and spend their money on it.

This makes a lot of people thinking: will our world become like this after 30 years? Will VR games impair our society and reduce overall productivity in the future? 000269657hr.jpg

Predicting the future is always a tough question, but as VR gaming become more popular and many people begin to realize such game have big potential, it’s important for us to understand what is VR game and its current industry.

What is VR Gaming?

It gives the player an entirely new way to experience a game. The user will have a 3-dimensional space to interact with the virtual environment and to manipulate different objects. It also lets the user immerse to the game by producing the realistic representation of different human senses. Such senses include3-dimensional visual and sound, tactile feedback, smell and even taste.

Freedom of body movement is also an important attribute of VR gaming. Your walking, running and body motions can be imitated to the game. Using the freedom of movement in VR just makes the game feel much more realistic. Even though some of the features are still in the experimental stage, for example, Oculus VR Company is still developing a better hand controller to make the game feel more like nature life. Those amazing features will be available shortly in the future.

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The industry: The entire VR industry is still in a very early stage, many industry giants such as Samsung, Sony, and HTC released their headset in 2016. The chart below shows the sales of their headset.

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The most sales in 2016 were the google CardBoard, which you can only insert your phone into the cardboard and you have access to virtual reality, this product is also very cheap. The second is Samsung Gear VR, where it has the most marketing campaign. We can see that many people are not willing to spend money on buying such devices at its early stage. Currently, VR has only about 1% market share in the gaming market. and according to Tractica, global virtual reality gaming sales were at about 5.1 million dollars in 2016. Any of these numbers are not impressive, however, according to the report of Grand View Research, Inc, under date of March 2017, VR in gaming market revenue will run at 45 billion dollars in 2025. And the revenue forecast looks like this:

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Why there is potential?

Such drastic increase in forecasted sales is impressive and there are some reasons to support this forecast.

1: VR gaming currently is in an unmatured stage, and many gamers and users are either not aware or not confident in the technology. The key producers such as Samsung, Sony, Oculus VR, and Google, will increase such awareness in VR Gaming.

2: As the VR game market move forward, the content of VR games available for users will increase.

3: Industry Giants such as Nintendo and Sony will compete strongly, consequently reduce the prices of the devices.

4:  Virtual reality game consoles and Mobile games will become more common in the future, therefore boost the sales of the industry.

last but not least: the idea of VR Gaming is cool and attractive for users. Whats impossible in the reality is possible in Virtual reality, and our social behavior also will be different when we meet people in the VR world.

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Currently, there are many VR games available on different platforms such as PlayStation and steam. The majority of the games are action game, and if you play it on your PC, it has high requirement on your PC’s hardware.

problem: cost and content 

In the start-up stage of the entire industry, the major problems are the cost of devices and the content of games.

If you want to have a VR game experience, you may first buy a VR device. The price range from $400 to $800. And because VR games have high requirement on the hardware of PC, you can choose to buy a Virtual-Reality Ready Computers, this cost about $900 to $4000 and up.  The total price range from $1300 to $4800. You may also choose the PS4 VR bundle that cost $960 which is a cheaper option, but the content is more limited. The overall cost for VR games is quite expensive, especially in this earlier stage. In addition, the content of VR Games is also limited, currently, there are not many innovative games available for users.

As the analytics forecasted, those problems will be solved in the future, and I personally agree that there is big potential in the industry. It will be interesting to see how the society and government react to it if it can be as big as the movie ” Ready Player One”.

 

Source: https://www.innovecs.com/ideas-portfolio/future-virtual-reality-gaming-industry/

https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/virtual-reality-in-gaming-market

7 comments

  1. I was really interested by this post as I still have not tried VR gaming yet. It seems like such an interesting industry particularly with the rise of eSports in the modern era as well as the viewing of eSports on platforms like Twitch. As you said, I think this biggest barrier to VR catching on is the price and content. I think VR will most likely catch on if it is adaptable to the console platforms such as Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo’s gaming services. This could reduce the price of the VR attachments as well as open the content world wide open by adapting the games that are already available on the platform to a VR platform. Solid post!

  2. Thanks for the great post, Henry. I actually just saw RP1 last night, and thought it wonderfully showcased what could happen if we became too invested, both emotionally and financially, in virtual reality. I agree that the possibilities are endless and mesmerizing when worlds can be rendered entirely using computing power. But escaping for too long may lead to detrimental effects on ourselves and our surroundings. VR, as it exists today, definitely can’t hold a candle to the amazing spectacles shown in the movie. But I considering the rate of hardware and software advancement today, I believe we will have something comparable within 30-40 years.

    Regarding the best possible VR implementation, I think it will most likely have to overcome two major hurdles: acceptable cost and implementation. Acceptable cost, to me, means the lowest you could possible spend while still enjoying the game you’re playing. Just like gaming peripherals today, you can spend either next to nothing or thousands of dollars finding the perfect accessories to complement your gaming habits.

    Acceptable implementation translates to the lowest level of immersion that would still entice players to keep coming back for more. Just like how online games today, VR games will occasionally experience glitches and bugs during normal gameplay. However, the key difference in VR is that seamless immersion is literally the entire draw of the format. I believe that there will have to exist a nearly-flawless VR experience in order for the general public to begin adopting VR as a viable gaming medium.

    SPOILER(?)

    I also thought it was very interesting that they briefly mentioned ad-space implementation in the movie. The last remaining creator of OASIS believed that it was wrong to over-monetize the virtual gaming space by selling player’s field of vision to companies so that players would be constantly viewing ads as they played. I think this brought attention to a very crucial balance between profiting off of VR in the future and still keeping VR immersive. No one wants to see dozens of ads in their FOV while driving a virtual car or playing an immersive shooter. I think the nature of VR will force companies to become more innovative in their pursuit of money – it’s no longer sufficient to simply plaster a company logo/product everywhere online and expect a positive consumer sentiment.

  3. I begrudgingly admit to being a pretty avid gamer as the owner of a Nintendo Switch, PS4, and gaming PC. As a kid the idea of VR was always the absolute pinnacle of gaming and has seemed like the natural next step since the 90’s. We had a few attempts back in those days, but they were always a little too cheesy or clunky to make it to the big time. Here, check out some examples: https://www.pcmag.com/feature/343351/the-wacky-world-of-vr-in-the-80s-and-90s.

    That being said, today I am on the fence about VR. I have become pretty jaded about what technology does to people in terms of isolation (see my last blog post) and the idea of people tuning out their senses completely to go into a virtual world sounds too dystopian. On the other hand, this stuff looks really cool and I totally want to try it, particularly the Omni.

    I would look to Nintendo when they decided to enter this space fully as they have always been on the forefront of innovation in the gaming space. The N64, Wii, Gameboy, and now the Switch have all surprised customers and competitors and I am willing to bet Nintendo’s first big foray into VR will do the same.

  4. I was hesitant to read your blog because I was afraid of getting spoiled, though I have a great interests in VR gaming. Your very last gif-image, I believe, is from the game VR Chat. It’s very similar to the movie that many people, wearing VR headset, can interact with each other in a virtual world, in which objects will “follow” the same physics in the real world, plus that people could walk around. As I have heard that many people would buy into the VR gaming entirely because of this game. That’s one thing that kept me away from VR is that there is no associate great product with VR, except for many roller-coaster-, running- , driving-simulators. I think in order for VR to be great, or in other word to be an attractive product/technology, the associated products play a greater functionality than VR technology itself. Similarly to what makes iPhone so great were not too much about its touch-screen, the camera, the design, but due to the thousands and thousands of apps you could run on it. If there is going to be a compelling product on VR, the technology’s popularity would skyrocket.

  5. Really Interesting Post! I have yet to see ready player one but have seen many advertisements for it and I am very intrigued. I have also not yet been able to try a VR headset yet but have seen a few videos of people trying them for the first time which is actually quite funny to see. I think one thing you touched on that is really important is pricing. Since VR models are very expensive between the headset and the console software this is going to be a huge barrier to entry when it comes to the average gamer. I don’t think the average gamer is going to want to shell out that much money for this kind of experience and I can’t imagine parents are going to want to for their younger kids. I also worry that the games will be more expensive than the average ~60$ price tag for an Xbox or Ps4 game. If VR is only accessible to the wealthiest of gamers, then it will be much harder to build a large following, and as we have seen, the social aspect of games is very important. If not enough people adapt to the new games there won’t be very many people to play with. I hope to see the prices become more manageable so that younger gamers can enter the VR realm.

  6. I’m really happy you covered this post, I just saw the movie and found it both fascinating and creepy. Just for your own knowledge there are also quite a few “VR Arcades/Bars” popping up, at least around NY, that allow users to play more high-tech VR games for an hourly fee.
    VR is certainly interesting and while currently the technology is a bit rough I personally believe we will have more than respectable VR gameplay for almost all games within the next 15 years. The cost of such technology will be mainly upfront, and once jumping this hurdle the price will fall exponentially as is the case with almost all other technologies. That being said I also wonder about the potential health risks associated with this kind of gaming – both physically and psychologically. Do we really want to reach a point where we don’t want to be in our own world, but one to run away to?
    Thought provoking post – well done.

  7. Nice post. I loved Ready Player ONe (the book even more than the movie). I too am awaiting VR gaming, but Ive been hearing about it so long that I’m skeptical.

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