The age of virtual reality is truly upon us.
In the year 2021, we currently have the ability to walk into a gaming store, and, provided we have enough money, are fully able to purchase our very own VR headset.
Many years ago, this concept would have been completely alien to us. Today, it is hardly an unfamiliar notion.
Long gone are the days in which we would watch movies such as The Matrix, Tron, or even Spy Kids 3-D, dreaming of the day that we could fully escape from the real world and fully emerge into our own virtual reality.
If you are reading this article right now, it is safe to assume that you do not own your own VR headset. Perhaps you are considering investing in one.
Strangely, despite the initial excitement when VR headsets were first widely introduced to the masses, the apparatus just isn’t that popular these days, especially when compared to other newer released consoles such as the PS5, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch.
What do these three consoles have in common? They all require handheld controllers. Yes, VR headsets can be connected to these consoles, but they are not mandatory. In fact, they’re hardly even recommended these days.
So, what’s the deal? Is VR even worth it anymore?
There are pros and cons to everything in this life, VR headsets included. Many people will swear that purchasing a VR headset is the greatest decision they ever made, while others will claim that they’re not that special.
Everyone has their own opinion, and no one is right or wrong.
By reading through this article, you can come to your own conclusion. Let’s find out if VR is worth it these days, or if you are better off investing your money in something a little more beneficial.
Let’s get into it.
Pro: VR Options And Games Are Improving
VR was still battling for high-quality titles a few years ago, relying on VR versions of big games like Doom and Skyrim to attract attention.
Dedicated VR games like Beat Saber, Tetris Effect, and Moss, on the other hand, have done exciting things with the medium recently, successfully converting established genres like the 3D platformer and rhythm-action game into a realistic VR framework.
Oculus and HTC have released inexpensive standalone versions of their VR headsets in the shape of the Oculus Go and HTC Vive Focus, in addition to continued price cuts and newer versions of headsets made for the PC.
In the PC realm, there are now costly but strong alternatives, as well as a slew of amazingly affordable VR headsets suitable for smartphones.
Con: The Graphics And Gameplay Still Aren’t That Great
To avoid simulator sickness, VR must run at 90 frames per second or higher, which is a far higher threshold than regular video games. You can typically play a regular game at 30 frames per second, but VR makes it impossible.
The low frame-rate of VR headsets indicates that the system is unable to monitor the motion of your head quickly enough, meaning the image takes too long to catch up to what you are meant to view when you move your head.
Some VR players may experience motion sickness if their visual system does not correspond to their sensory system.
Pro: VR Headsets Are Easy To Use
This point is pretty straightforward: most VR headsets are so easy to use that anyone could use one, even if they are not pro gamers with a lot of experience.
Most consoles require a gaming controller to navigate through each game, making it difficult to know which buttons to press for each action if you haven’t played a lot of games throughout your life.
With a VR, the controls are a lot easier to get used to.
Con: VR Headsets And Upgrades Are Pretty Expensive
Usually, when purchasing a standard gaming console, you just have to pay for the games and the console itself. Virtual reality is an altogether separate and more costly beast, especially when you are using your PC to use it.
After spending upwards of $400 on a headset, you will need to ensure your computer has the necessary hardware to operate it. Plus, upgrading your graphics card and processor is far from easily affordable for the average person.
If you do not have all of the required supplies already, you could end up spending close to $1,000.
The less expensive Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Go may appear suitable on the surface, but overall, they are generally designed for watching films and playing lighter games.
Pro: VR Gaming Can Relieve Stress
We have all felt the pressure of surviving in the real world far more often than we would like to admit. Life can be exhausting. As we mentioned previously, we have all dreamt, at one point or another, of escaping reality and entering a newer, virtual one.
With VR, you can do that! There have been many studies that engaging with video games can relieve stress, and virtual reality gaming takes it one step further by fully emerging you within its fictional realms, making it seem that you really are inside the game itself.
The body produces an atmosphere that opens to the sense of surprise and escapes its real world when using a VR headset as an interactive simulation, transforming into a virtual environment known as “predictive coding,” as the name suggests.
Con: There Aren’t Many Big VR Games
There are some fantastic VR games out, but there simply aren’t enough of them. It’s frustrating that there aren’t more games available for this platform, given what a VR world may be capable of if game developers concentrated more on making these types of games.
What’s more upsetting is that some of the games that have been made available in virtual reality aren’t adequately tailored for specific headsets, making controlling your movement and weaponry much more difficult than it needs to be.
Although AAA games such as Fallout 4 and Skyrim have VR adaptations, no new AAA games have been produced exclusively for VR.
So… Is VR really Worth It?
Ultimately, this is your decision! Now is the time to sift through every point made in this article, weighing up the pros and cons to decide whether purchasing your own VR headset is the best decision for you.
At the end of the day, you are likely to enjoy immersing yourself within a virtual world, no matter the quality of the game overall. It is definitely something that you should experience at some point in your life, whether it is by using your own headset or borrowing a friend’s.
Good luck with your decision!