Virtual reality was hinted at in 2014 and ’15, emerged mostly in early 2016, and has been developing for the last two years. It’s now a recognizable consumer technology to much of the world, and while it appears unlikely to supplant any existing method of gaming, it is carving out its place in the video game industry. The most interesting question now is where it’s heading from this point on. And looking to the future, the following are some of the trends and developments we might expect for virtual reality gaming in 2019.
More Accessible Games
It may well be that the most important trend in virtual reality gaming in 2019 actually has nothing to do with a specific game. This year already we’ve begun to see what are called standalone VR headsets, which are those that don’t need to be hooked up to PCs or consoles in order to work properly. These naturally make games more accessible to those who don’t want to spend on the console/PC part of the equation, so they could effectively help to spread VR gaming to the masses. We expect standalone headsets to expand and improve in 2019 largely because Oculus is planning its Santa Cruz VR – a high-end wireless headset – for Q1.
Star Wars Games
Some tabbed Star Wars quite a while ago for potential success in VR, for two reasons. One is that piloting from the cockpit of a ship works in VR without any sort of leg movement or lateral movement required. The other is that lightsaber fights – something a lot of fans have fantasized about engaging in for years if not decades – can be brought to life in VR. Up until now there have mostly just been hints of Star Wars content in this arena, but a series called Vader Immortal is launching in 2019, and seems likely to become one of the most popular gaming experiences in the whole world of VR.
Digital casinos have gone in all kinds of exciting directions since first becoming popular roughly 20 years ago. We now have live card tournaments and animated slot machines. There are games with video feeds to dealers, and there are different kinds of bonuses and perks that make the environment that much more enjoyable for players. All of this is available on websites and in mobile apps. The next natural step is virtual reality, and while it’s been slow to unfold that way, there have been a couple of games to make the leap, and 2019 is almost certain to see more.
Now that VR is on its feet as a legitimate gaming medium, it’s likely that established series are going to start producing spinoffs in the VR arena. Marvel is getting into the game; there’s a Wolfenstein game on the way; there are rumored titles for Titanfall and LA Noire; and some favorite racing franchises are also getting more involved. The bigger VR gets the more we’ll see popular names like these, and it’s certainly going to happen throughout 2019.