A (Potential) Future for Virtual Reality

Rory Galvin Looks Ahead at What’s Coming for VR.

Virtual reality is one of the most exciting trends in gaming today. What may look like a bit of a joke to some people is incredibly fun, engaging and immersive. There have been failures along the way, like Nintendo’s infamous Virtual Boy - but the industry is now here for good. At the moment, things aren’t exactly massive; 9 billion dollars in yearly revenue may sound big, but when put in perspective it’s a very small piece of the gaming industry pie. Total gaming revenue is expected to reach over $200 billion this year. It’s important to see what the current state of VR is like, and look towards what’s coming and how that will improve things for consumers.

The Quest Pro recently had a big leak as someone found an entire unit in its box in a hotel

Out of all current headsets on the market, the biggest success story has been the Meta Quest 2 (formerly known as the Oculus Quest 2). This standalone VR device has sold over 14 million units after almost 2 years of being sold. It makes sense, it’s very easy to use as it has no dependency to a computer or console, and has a strong library of games which are accessible to many. In fact, the device has been doing so well that Meta decided to increase the price - and they will probably get away with it too. For the cutting edge, the Valve Index seems to be doing okay, but is not selling nearly as many units as the competition - though that’s an admittedly hard ask with an over €1,000 price tag, not including how expensive your computer needs to be to use it. Sony’s ageing PlayStation VR has been staying strong since 2016 and has sold about 5 million units. While the technology there isn’t up to snuff anymore, games still get released, and there’s still plenty of reason to use it.

The future looks exciting. If you look past your possible discontent for Mark Zuckerberg and what used to be called Facebook, they are developing multiple headsets at the moment: the Quest 3, the Quest Pro and more that are yet to be announced. The Quest Pro recently had a big leak as someone found an entire unit in its box in a hotel - the leaker showed video of them opening it and everything. This is going to be more on that cutting edge, and will be the predecessor to the Quest 3 until they can reduce production costs. It looks pretty good, but seems to be slightly less focused on gaming and more towards business and social interactions. Sony’s new PlayStation VR2 looks incredible, and will be great for people who own PS5’s. With brand new controllers and impressive tech behind it, this should last quite a while and hopefully have some big games to back it up; the Horizon spin-off announced for it already looks great.

If you haven’t tried VR yet, I highly recommend it. There’s only so much you can read about - you need to try it for yourself and experience the magic (or motion sickness) that can come with it. Beatsaber alone could convince you! Find an arcade or a friend with one, VR is here to stay, and the future looks bright.