Virtual reality blasted into the video game industry a little over one year ago, transforming the way we look at first person shooter games for good. Or did it? Actually, its entrance to the gaming world is more similar to a crawl. The only headsets with spectacular sales were Samsung's Gear and Google's Cardboard - these are untethered, phone-based devices that offer their users experiences rather than gameplay. And people seem to be more interested in experiences than gameplay, at least this is what the first year of sales data shows us. Or that gamers are reluctant to spend another small fortune on VR gear and an upgraded PC.
VR and games
VR may not fundamentally change the current gaming offer but it might lead to the appearance of new forms of gaming - and the revival of some old ones. The games at All Slots online casino, for example, are best played on a screen - they were built that way - and they wouldn't offer anything extra in the cyberspace. There are games at the All Slots that were played long before the screen was even invented - roulette, blackjack, and their likes - that could make a potential revival in a fully immersive environment.
Microgaming, the software developer behind the All Slots game library, has showcased a "VR Roulette" application at last year's ICE Totally Gaming. Its approach can either be considered innovative or a revival of a classic way to play in a totally immersive environment. While the games at the All Slots are not entirely what you would call "mainstream gaming", the direction they have taken represents an interesting one for the rest of the (casual) gaming world.
Away from home
VR might not revitalize the world of PC and console gaming but it might revive the arcade Today, the vast majority of gamers lack the funds - or the dedication - needed to invest in a complete VR gear. They would, in turn, gladly pay up for the chance to experience VR games every once in a while (it's exactly the case of not buying a cow to drink a glass of milk). This will likely lead to the emergence of a new form of gaming away from home, similar to the arcades, where players will be able to rent VR gear and participate in individual or group games of all kinds - it would be a little like Laser Tag.
The state of VR is currently similar to the state of smartphones before the iPhone. Nokia's Symbian-powered phones were, indeed, smartphones, yet they didn't have the "zing" to make them a big hit with the public - and this is what Apple's iPhone brought to the table. VR might have such an 'iPhone moment' soon - or it might not have any, there's no way to know. What's for sure is that it will not disappear like it did back in the 1990s - it is a technology with so many uses aside from entertainment that it's here to stay.