VR Virtual reality has been touted as a game-changing technology for some time. It is viewed by many as the next step after the internet, and the likes of Mark Zuckerberg believe that people will be spending most of their waking hours within VR metaverses by 2030.
There’s no doubt that the spread of VR has been slow, though. Now, with the upcoming release of Apple’s Vision Pro, the wheels of this potential steam train could start moving gradually. This could lead to a major shift in the world of online gaming.
A video about the evolution of VR.
Predictions for VR
When thinking about how VR could affect the gaming industry, it’s always wise to look to industries that have successfully adapted to other technological trends in the past.
Online casino games have changed drastically since the internet, and now there are titles like Mega Fire Blaze Roulette Live and Crazy Time that make use of live streaming technology.
Indeed, online casinos were ahead of the game with the platform and preempted the boom that came with Facebook Live in 2017. The same could happen with VR when that juggernaut starts to get going.
The online gambling market was worth $15 billion in 2009 and shot up to more than $60 billion in 2022. By 3030, it’s expected to reach $153.57 billion, highlighting how the introduction of new technology like live streaming and VR could lead to exponential growth.
Some of the online casino industry’s leading developers have teams of developers working on VR products so that they are ready to flood the market with content when the technology becomes mainstream.
Microgaming came up with its VR Roulette offering and showcased it way back in 2016, so it’s likely that there have been some massive developments since then. NetEnt has also highlighted the potential of slot games on the new platform with Jack’s World VR.
Online casinos have always strived to recreate the experience of the land-based gambling house, and live streaming is the closest they’ve come to achieving that so far.
VR could take this to the next level and give players the chance to walk around fully virtual casino metaverses where they can approach the games they want to play as they would on a brick-and-mortar casino floor.
Mobile Gaming on the Backburner?
If VR does boom, it could completely change the face of the mobile gaming industry as well. Throughout the rise of smartphone play, MMOs like Clash of Clans have become hugely popular. They allow online players from all over the world the chance to team up or play against one another in fantasy settings.
These could be enhanced greatly by VR, as it would allow players to enter these worlds themselves. Mobile gaming will most likely still exist, but VR could lead to a new branch of the gaming industry with possibilities that hadn’t existed before.
VR in the Next Five Years
Some analysts believe that the release of Apple’s mixed reality headset will be the catalyst that VR needs to go mainstream. The American tech company has been slow to join the VR race, but it has been working diligently for years behind the scenes.
Traditionally, the brand has never released anything until they were sure it was fully ready and would have a huge impact on the markets. Not many details have been released about the Apple Vision Pro yet, but it’s sure to have some unexpected features that could push the progression of the technology forward.
The iPhone had a similar effect on the smartphone market, which only started to take off after the original model was released in 2007.
The VR industry could potentially mirror the smartphone sector over the next five years. It could begin slowly with a few sales in the first year but speed up after the third or fourth year of the device’s release.
A video about the Apple Vision Pro.
Price Could Deter Many People
The major stumbling block for Apple’s headset is the price. The device will start at $3,499, and that’s just for the basic model. Apple has a history of upping the prices of its products with various add-ons and additional features.
That means that in the first year, most end users will be priced out. However, as newer generations are released over the next five years, the original product will become more affordable.
At that point, there will be much more content available as well, such as Apple’s own metaverse. This could lead to more mainstream uptake of the devices.
New Styles of Entertainment
VR will bring about new styles of entertainment that nobody has ever conceived of before, just as the internet has done. Along with online casinos, online streaming services have been a major success in the internet era.
Services like Netflix adapted and innovated using technology like artificial intelligence to their advantage. There’s no doubt that these platforms are also seeking ways to incorporate VR.
Netflix has already brought about an introduction to interactivity with some of its titles. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch showed a glimpse of what could come, as the 2018 Primetime Emmy Award winner gave viewers control over the story.
VR could drop viewers further into the action and give them new ways to experience entertainment. They may not be watching the shows anymore but could become active participants in them. Viewer actions could impact the outcome of the narrative, effectively creating hybrid television and gaming content.
Metaverse-based entertainment may be a distant vision away from what exists today as well. VR universes could act as giant theme parks, with countless different attractions for users to choose between. This idea was already put forth in Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, in which players existed within the Oasis.
VR could well be the future of online gaming because it promises to achieve great things. The industry could start to snowball over the next few years after the release of the Apple Vision Pro.