Is the Oculus VR Headset Going to Overtake Traditional Consoles?
With Oculus Connect 6 wrapped up, we now have a clear vision that VR is heading for the big time, with massive games in the works. But is it enough to take over?
With the annual Oculus Connect conference wrapped up for the sixth time since its incarnation, the future of VR now looks increasingly ready to dominate the gaming and entertainment industries. The conference didn’t feature any announcements about new hardware – there aren’t any new headsets being launched to compete with the PS5 and the new Xbox.
Oculus doesn’t seem to think that it needs them, anyway. There are some revolutionary games and services coming to the Oculus platform that are essentially going to kick start the rise of VR gaming. This is realistically what the platform needs to really take off, anyway.
With the next generation of major gaming consoles right around the corner, Oculus is preparing a new and revolutionary push with VR gaming that will change the winds of the industry forever. But will this be enough to compete with the big dogs like Sony and Microsoft? And with the difference in gaming experiences, is this even a question worth asking, or are they just too different to compare?
The Oculus Story
Oculus was founded in 2012 with the idea of bringing revolutionary new VR headsets into the mainstream. A lot of people watched the do it with keen eyes. One such person was Mark Zuckerberg, and Facebook purchased Oculus in 2014 for a whopping $2.4 billion, seeing massive future potential of having VR technology under their belt.
In short, Oculus was making better progress than anyone else, and Facebook has big plans for VR – a technology which they know will be the future of computing. By getting into a dominant position in the market early on, Facebook, Inc. will have a massive advantage later on down the line when VR gaming hits the big time.
Now that the platform is establishing itself, the question has to be asked: what effect will it have on the gaming industry?
Oculus vs. Everyone Else
Seeing as there isn’t anyone else making serious gains in the space of VR gaming, Oculus is basically a lone actor in a new space with infinite potential for rising up. With the new Medal of Honor title and a new Star Wars title in the making for the Oculus platform, it won’t be long before other developers won’t see any point in making games for other VR platforms when they may as well simply use the Oculus platform so that buyers can get all their games in one place.
With major releases from Sony and Microsoft in the works for next year, the big dogs at Facebook, Inc. don’t seem overly bothered about the competition. As far as they can tell, the Oculus is such a different platform that it simply isn’t worth concerning themselves with what Sony and Microsoft are doing with their more traditional platforms.
That being said, people will have to make the choice now between a more establish platform with hundreds of games, or a new space that has the potential to be the next big thing. The Oculus will be a niche for some time, but it will inevitably rise given the unique and awesome potential of VR gaming.
It’ll be like the Wii – every household will eventually want an Oculus because it represents such a technological overhaul. The idea of gaming in VR has been around for so long and now it’s finally here – it feels like a full-blown revolution.
This is going to be the main slug of competition for Oculus. The PlayStation 5 is going to feature VR compatibility as well. This could mean that developers move over to PSVR, knowing that people will already have a PS5 for the convenience of the existing game variety.
It’s surprising, then, that Facebook isn’t more concerned about this. It’s likely that they think that PSVR won’t take off because Sony will be so focused on so many other areas and they’ll lack the drive and funding to fully execute a VR gaming platform. They might be right – but they might be wrong…
Everyone sees the potential of VR in gaming, so Oculus would do well to further solidify their list of VR games before the PS5 hits the shelves. PSVR will have a massive audience to tap into, whereas Oculus currently doesn’t have enough of an audience to compete directly to an interested PlayStation VR console.
Either way, VR is coming
The big thing to take from all this is that regardless of who wins the competition, VR is coming and it will be here to stay. It’s so obvious that this will be the next big thing and everyone will want to get involved. Who is going to turn down the ability to play in massive multiplayer games against real people in the heart of the action?
So, you’d best get saving your pennies for the next step in the video gaming revolution. Virtual reality is going to bring us some of the greatest gaming experiences imaginable and 2020 is going to be the year that it all kicks off.
There is likely enough room in this market for at least two big players. So, Facebook and Sony could easily share the space. The big advantage that Sony will have is that their console will support it, meaning that it’s essentially a better deal for consumers.
The big advantage that Facebook will have is that the Oculus can specialize and by the time the PS5 comes out it’ll already have launched some major titles. Facebook will have to capitalize on this and push out as much great content as possible to get a real foothold in the VR market.
After years of waiting and speculating, VR is finally here. For all those of us who started out with Mario Kart and games like Medal of Honor: Frontline, this has been a dream for years. For those of you who are younger, it’s still something that you’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Here’s to 2020!