Virtual reality has been the “promised land” of gaming for almost three decades, but the technology’s big break still hasn’t come. Despite multiple VR headsets being available commercially, including the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR, virtual reality gaming has still not become a must-have gaming platform. Facebook, the owners of Oculus Rift, recently announced the world’s first wireless VR headset – so will this be the solution to cracking mainstream acceptance?

The problems with existing VR headsets

With VR’s apparent lack of widespread success, a question has to be posed: just why is it that people aren’t embracing virtual reality? Well, there seems to be a few different reasons for VR’s lack of adoption. Here are the main factors:

• All existing VR headsets require in-depth setup processes which involve long cables attached to the back of the headset which connects to a powerful gaming PC or console.
• Enjoying virtual reality gaming to the fullest extent does require significant space. So-called “room scale” VR encourages players to use an entire room – much more than a traditional games console.
• The screens inside existing VR headsets are still quite low-resolution, especially for those powered by consoles like the PlayStation VR.

The promise of wireless virtual reality

In April 2019, Facebook and Oculus Rift announced the new “Oculus Quest” VR headset. At the announcement, the team suggested that this headset will be the game-changer which really puts VR gaming on the map. How will the device achieve this lofty goal? Well, the primary selling point of the Oculus Quest is that it’s totally wireless and doesn’t require connection to an external system (i.e. a PC or console).

Is 2019 the year of VR gaming?

With the new Oculus Quest hitting the shelves, it won’t be long until other manufacturers follow suit and release their own all-in-one VR gaming systems. While the Quest on its own may not be enough to drive an entire gaming market, once consumers have multiple options to choose from, the conditions will be right for a VR takeover. Time will tell, of course, but there’s no doubt that the odds are now more in VR’s favour than ever before.

Virtual Reality Demonstrations by UTKnightCenter licensed under Creative Commons 4.0