There are many people who say that VR is the future of gaming. It’s easy to see why; VR is a fully immersive platform that removes the distance between you and the screen, putting you front and centre amongst the action. However, still others say that there’s a long way to go for VR before it can be considered to have fulfilled its potential. Gamers en masse still haven’t adopted VR in the way that they might have done, but we think that 2022 is going to be the year this changes. Here’s why we think 2022 is the year for VR.
The gaming lineup is great
First and foremost, the most important thing that sells any gaming platform is the games available for it. While it’s true that hardware like the PS5 or the Switch generates headlines by itself, it’s nothing without games. Happily, VR is going to have an incredibly solid year when it comes to software. This Gamerbolt.com list tells you everything you need to know; there are so many excellent VR titles on the way across PC and consoles that VR is going to become much more worth your time and money this year. From Horizon: Call of the Mountain to Among Us VR, if you don’t have a VR set in 2022, you’ll be missing out.
PSVR 2 is on the way
Recently, Sony showed off a first glimpse of its upcoming PSVR 2 headset. Naturally, the design echoes that of the PS5; it’s got the same white finish, the same space-age curves and edges, and the same face button design. The set iterates on the original PSVR in several ways; it has a sharper OLED display, better controller tracking, and a single-cord setup so that it doesn’t take up quite as much room in your environment. The original PSVR proved to be a great gateway into the world of VR for sceptical gamers, and since the PS5 has proven so popular, we’re expecting the PSVR 2 set to do a similar thing for the current generation.
VR is becoming more affordable
Thanks to sets like the Oculus Quest 2 (now the Meta Quest 2), VR is becoming more of a realistic investment for many gamers. Prior to the arrival of this set, VR was prohibitively expensive, with many sets running into the thousands. The Valve Index, in particular, while being an excellent piece of kit, is far more expensive than many gamers can afford. A low price point is a critical part of widespread tech adoption, and we think that as VR becomes more affordable in 2022, it will convince more gamers to adopt it. Here’s hoping the PSVR 2 set is priced reasonably!
The health industry is looking into VR
At CES 2022, HTC announced that the company would be creating a wireless wrist tracking device for its VIVE Focus 3 headset. When you strap the Wrist Tracker (it doesn’t have the most imaginative name, admittedly) onto your wrist, it will provide real-time information that synchronises with your VIVE. Doctors and medical professionals can then use this information in a virtual treatment room environment, potentially diagnosing a wide range of problems and providing real-time health recommendations without the need for a physical visit.
Smart glasses are becoming more prominent
Another takeaway from the CES 2022 presentation was the advent of smart glasses. Despite the relative failure of Google Glass, it seems that many companies aren’t giving up on the sci-fi dream of VR or AR-enabled spectacles and are making alternatives as we speak. The Panasonic MeganeX glasses use the same chip as the Meta Quest 2 and feature built-in speakers, as well as a nifty bit of tech that lets near-sighted users use them without glasses. There’s also TCL’s Leiniao, which is in its prototype stage at the moment, and Kura’s Gallium.
Apple could be working on a VR headset
There’s a general perception in the tech world that once Apple does something, it can be considered truly legitimate. Obviously, that’s a false perception, but what Apple does definitely matters. Rumours still persist that Apple is currently working on a VR headset or some form of AR device. We still haven’t heard much from Apple on this front, so we’re hoping for a 2022 reveal. Of course, this is more of a wish list item than a genuine reason 2022 will be a good year for VR, but if Apple does reveal its headset, then this will drive consumer interest in VR through the roof.
Microsoft could look into VR in 2022
With Sony set to release its own VR headset in 2022, this could be the year Microsoft walks back on its no-VR stance and releases a headset of its own. Thanks to a series of high-profile acquisitions, including the shock purchase of Activision Blizzard earlier in 2022, Microsoft has poised itself as the industry leader in gaming. As such, the company almost can’t afford not to have a strong VR option in its arsenal for much longer. Hopefully, 2022 will be the year that we see Microsoft finally launch its own Xbox VR project.
VR demand is back on track after COVID-19
While the world is certainly still living in the grip of COVID-19, the worst of the pandemic appears to have passed in many countries, and demand for VR is again increasing. Financial worries and emotional exhaustion may have prevented consumers from opting for VR devices before, but now, demand is steadily growing again, and by 2024, VR revenues are expected to pass $12 billion. As such, 2022 is going to be the year in which we start to see that growth taking effect, with more and more consumers picking up VR devices.