2017 is shaping up to be the year when Virtual Reality starts to really enter the big time. Early indicators suggest that while most people are holding back from purchasing VR hardware until the next generation is released, a growing number of households expect to add VR before the close of the decade.
Over the year we have seen VR play an increasingly prominent role at tech conventions across the globe. Back in May, Grand View Research declared it expected the global market to be worth close to $50bn by 2025 (up from just over $3bn in the last quarter of 2017). Is this staggering growth realistic, or is the industry getting ahead of itself?
Why gaming content is crucial
North America is expected to lead the way with Asian and European markets following closely behind. Furthermore, the consensus is that console gaming is going to be crucial.
The current generation of consoles are powerful enough to use VR well, but the next releases expected between 2023-25 are likely to be highly focused upon full VR compatibility.
This kind of fully immersive experience is expected to be the future of interactive gaming, with players literally driving their virtual F1 motors rather than just using the headset to look around the cockpit. Similar developments can be expected in all of the most popular gaming themes such as FPS, adventure, world crafting, and exploration.
Online casino companies and their game production partners have been investing heavily in VR. While not everyone will find the opportunity of an evening in a virtual casino that appealing, it serves as a great example of the way VR promises to develop other gaming sectors.
Is it likely that gamblers can don their headset, then select a safe online gambling destination with unlimited access to fair casino games with Red Flush mobile app compatibility?
You bet it will be, especially if smartphones end up also playing a major role in on-the-go VR play.
Sports and major events to use VR
Remember a decade or so ago when you first explored the early smartphones? Nowadays, of course, they’re pretty much ubiquitous. However, expect a similar surge of interest when VR becomes an increasingly useful tool in our daily lives.
Already many industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and communications are looking into how VR can be effectively used in their daily business.
Hundreds of millions alone are being spent in the defense industry for the likes of combat simulation and training. This knock on will make people appreciate the power of VR and how it is set to soon become a daily necessity.
Companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft are investing billions in how virtual reality can be applied to their myriad of services. A VR kit at home will soon allow people to not just explore Street View but also interact (and crucially – spend).
Sports and major event broadcasting will inevitably be making available the best seats in the house with fully immersive interactive VR. All of these secondary applications are going to be essential in making VR a household necessity for most people.
But will the industry be worth $50bn within seven years?
So many industries have invested so much in VR that it is near unthinkable that it will bomb (again) this time around. Yet the paying public can be a fickle bunch and for VR to become a real mainstream success within this timeframe depends on huge numbers of companies maintaining this level of effort and investment.
VR must follow the smartphone example by offering something which will become a daily essential. Much depends on whether future generations of smartphones have the power and battery capacity to make portable VR using low-cost headsets/glasses a viable budget alternative.
Only time will tell. The worst case scenario is for another major recession/financial disaster that reduces consumer spending, and VR to stagnate as development budgets are slashed. But let’s look on the bright side and cross our fingers for quality VR coming to our households soon.