Next-Gen VR: 4 Things We Hope to See
Virtual Reality, or VR, was once a sci-fi fantasy. People can only imagine what it would be like to pop in a headset and be transported into a different world. Today, it is a reality, though we haven't precisely reached levels that let our headsets connect directly to our brains. Anyway, this is something we can discuss possibly in the not-so-distant future. Today though, we can concern ourselves with the current and next-gen headsets, which are already immersive in their own right.
This generation saw VR becoming mainstream, far from the novelty it once was. Today, people immerse themselves in VR experiences, whether alone or online. We're constantly treated to newer and better headsets and stronger hardware that will let us further immerse ourselves in worlds crafted by the gaming industry's most creative minds. We hope to see and be treated to upgraded experiences in the next generation like the following:
Improved PSVR experiences
Sony confirmed that the PSVR, their VR headset, will be compatible with the successor of the PS4, which is being called PS5 at this point. Though PS4 VR games have been amazing with titles like Astro Bot, Ace Combat 7, and Everybody's Golf VR, it still feels as if this generation was a stepping stone to something greater.
For instance, let's take a look at Ace Combat 7. It has a VR mode that enables you to play three separate missions (though set in the same universe) from the primary campaign. In addition, it also lets you enjoy a free flight. Though it has received rave reviews, it was pretty short. Apart from AC7, there's also No Man's Sky Beyond, No Man's Sky VR experience, and a major update, which is slated to arrive soon.
Note:The PS5 will have backward compatibility, so you'll be able to play PS4 and even PS3 games. With that in mind, we can safely assume this will be the case for existing PSVR titles. This makes it more than worth it to grab a PSVR headset even today.
VRChat on consoles
Available on Steam, VRChat is among one of the gaming world's best places to hang out. In a nutshell, it is made up of several servers and communities and enables you to communicate with people around the world. People can create different places and avatars (whether inspired by pop culture or original creations), which they can upload and share with the community. Here, you can play games, attend events, and, most importantly, make friends.
Nothing has been set in stone regarding VRChat's entry into PSVR and on Xbox at that (it's unknown whether the next-gen Xbox will even have VR), but we hope to see it in the future. The only information we have about this is a rather vague tweet from the game's official Twitter account.
A real VR MMO
Although VRChat is already an MMO, we'd like to have a real one akin to something like Sword Art. Imagine putting on a headset and walking around a vast world with your friends, exploring dungeons and fighting monsters. It will be a totally immersive experience, and just imagine the feeling: you could live the fantasy of being a knight or an archer in VR.
The thing is, this will be a significant challenge. One good example of how hard this would be is Skyrim VR. It's a satisfactory experience, but it's hounded by technical issues like the combat system not translating well to VR and the terrible user interface. Developers will have to face UI and combat design challenges. Anyway, this is something we might not experience in the next-gen, but we'll get a game that will turn out to be a sort of stepping stone.
VR tours of places lost to history
Games can not be just "games." Instead, they can be educational, provide rich learning experiences, and provide virtual tourism experiences. Good examples would be the Assassin's Creed franchise, Total War, and Europa Universalis, all of which are based on history.
It wouldn't be farfetched to suggest games or experiences that let you explore and tour places lost to history. Just imagine exploring a recreated version of Ancient Rome or a tour of Assassin Creed Odyssey's Ancient Greece. You could also see what it's like walking around a medieval town and castle like in Kingdom Come: Deliverance or the wild west in Red Dead Redemption 2. VR can provide immersive tours in different settings, and we hope to see experiences like these in the next-gen.
So, what are some of the things you hope to see for VR in the next generation? Thankfully, it's not stagnating - it's continuously growing and turning into a must-have for anyone who wants an immersive entertainment experience. In any case, we'll likely see and experience brand new worlds and the means to explore them shortly.