In the past years, Virtual Reality (VR) was only seen as a theoretical idea streamed down for revolutionary scenes in the movies and perhaps in the gaming industry. Things have, however, changed today and VR is already generating its reasonable share of buzz after most companies acquired it. For example, in March 2014 Facebook acquired Oculus VR and that’s when the VR ideas were taken seriously in the industry by power users.
Generally, Virtual Reality is a simulated, software-created setting presented to users in such an immersive way that it inspires the senses of sight, touch and sound. With its arrival in the industry already upon us, 2016 marked the year when a lot of concepts about the technology became a reality and were made available for consumers.
Although 2016 was the year that VR products had finally hit store shelves in style, the big challenge was whether consumers would actually still use them after the poor reception.
We took a look at some of the primary strategies that the gaming industry has been put in place to see the market understand more about VR in 2017 and beyond.
VR and Gaming Industry
Although VR has been offering plenty of opportunities to entrepreneurs in several industries such as manufacturing, education, entertainment and healthcare, the gaming industry has continued to stand out as the main industry where we’ve continuously seen every sort of makeovers on account of virtual reality.
In 2016 the virtual reality world in the gaming industry was a whole different from what we had experienced earlier with technology becoming more convincing, seamless and manageable.
According to ShortList:
“Much like the undulating popularity of 3D, Virtual Reality headsets are anything but new. The first was made back in the Eighties, when dreadlocked Silicon Valley rock star/guru Jaron Lanier popularized the phrase ‘virtual reality’. He developed the first virtual worlds and impressed Nasa with his multi-sensory DataGlove and goggles – which failed to catch on.”
There were other attempts to use 3D tech like the TommyTronic3D, with Nintendo also taking a shot at the technology.
“Nintendo had a good stab at the notion as well, releasing the Virtual Boy in Japan and America in 1995. The creation of the original Game Boy designer Gunpei Yokoi, modern VR attempts like the Oculus Rift echo the design of the Virtual Boy with its headset and separate controller unit.”
Things, however, didn’t go well for Nintendo after their attempts were killed off by poor reception, poor technology and high pricing.
The main difference in modern virtual reality is that this year (as compared to 1990’s) it is not only trying to grow on existing platforms, but also it’s offering a completely new gaming experience. Clearly, 2017 will be marking a new chapter for the virtual reality push after an unsuccessful run in 2016
Gaming Industry’s strategy to improve VR
Because of VR’s open-source nature, there are exactly many potential entry points for tech-savvy entrepreneurs in the gaming industry. As you would expect there will be plenty of trials in 2017 as new strategies to improve VR hit the industry.
According to AR VR Magazine, there several upcoming VR related events that will be looking to support and grow the VR industry as whole.
February 27 – March 3
The Game Developers Conference is one of world’s leading and popular professional game industry event bringing together more than 27,000 attendees to discuss on how to develop the industry.
“GDC attracts over 27,000 attendees, and is the primary forum where programmers, artists, producers, game designers, audio professionals, business decision-makers and others involved in the development of interactive games and virtual reality gather to exchange ideas and shape the future of the industry. GDC is produced by UBM Game Network, a division of UBM Americas.”
This an international conference that offers opportunities for software developers, hardware manufacturers, entrepreneurs and studios to work together for improving the AR & VR industry.
“All the AR & VR industry’s most hotly-debated topics will all be discussed and dissected, with practical insights and solutions laid bare.”
March 8 – March 11
This is the first platform for ground-breaking AR & VR products originating from China and it will be taking place at the China Import and Export Fair Complex.
With their main theme focusing on VR and AR, the exhibition space assures to be equally broad on everything to deal with VR and AR’s hardware, software, equipment, accessories, technologies, games, applications and demos.
May 16 – May 17
VR World 2017 is currently in its 2nd years and the 2 day conference will be concentrating on Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality (AR, MR, and VR) and their role in the gaming industry and other sectors.
“With 4 in-depth event tracks and over 150 leading speakers, no other European event covers the market in as much detail.”
June 27 – June 29
“Sensors Expo & Conference, taking place June 27-29, 2017 in San Jose, California, is the only industry event in North America exclusively focused on sensors and sensor-integrated systems.”
Since VR has continued to break far out of the gaming industry, we should expect to have the technologies improved in 2017 to make it better. In 2017, we should start seeing the arrival of Mixed Reality, which is the blend of VR and AR.
Banked on this, here are other VR events that we should prepare to have this year:
CES – January 5 – 8, Las Vegas, USA
CES Unveiled Las Vegas – January 5-8, Las Vegas, USA
VR Connects London 2017 – January 16 – 17, London, UK
The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2017 – January 28 – February 2, Burlingame, USA
Augmented Reality & VR 2017 – March 7 – 8, London, UK
SXSW – March 10- 19, Austin, USA
Experiential Technology Conference & Expo 2017 – March 14 – 15, San Francisco, USA
IEEE Virtual Reality 2017 – March 18 -22, Los Angeles, USA
SVVR 2017 – March 29 – 31, San Jose, USA
EGX Rezzed 2017 – March 30 – 1, London, UK
Virtual Reality Summit New York – TBC, New York, USA
VRWC 17 VR World Congress – April 11 – 13, Bristol, UK
VRLA Expo 2017 – March 14 – 15, Los Angeles, USA
TECHSPO at Sea 2017 – March 16 – 23, Orlando, Florida
Virtual Reality Show 2017 – March 20 – 22, London, UK
NAB Show 2017 – March 22 – 27, Las Vegas, USA
FMX 2017 – May 2 – 5, Stuttgart, Germany
CVR 2017 – May 5 -7, Vancover, Canada
TECHSPO New York 2017 – May 8 – 9, New York, USA
VR World – May 10 – 11, London, UK
WVRF World Virtual Reality Forum – May 11 – 14, Geneva, Switzerland
TECHSPO Toronto 2017 – May 18 -19, Toronto, Canada
AWE Augmented World Expo USA 2017 – June 1 – 2, Santa Clara, USA
VR & AR World – June 13 – 15, London, UK
TECHSPO Los Angeles 2017 – June 14 – 15, Santa Monica, USA
VRTO Virtual & Augmented Reality World Conference & Expo 2017 – June 24 -26, Toronto, Canada
Virtual Reality Summit Seoul – June 28 – 30, Seoul, South Korea
SIGGRAPH 2017 – July 30 – August 3, Los Angeles, USA
Digiday AR/VR Summit – August TBC, USA
VR 2020 Summit – October TBC, New York, USA
VRDC Virtual Reality Developers Conference 2017 – November TBC, San Francisco, USA
2016 was the year when we all expected VR ideas to live up to the hype, but despite several across-the-board initiatives by the world’s leading tech companies, the attempts to keep the technology were somewhat sluggish.
By now it’s already certain to the VR industry that gamers will remain to drive the market. In other words, even though all their strategies are fine, and totally appropriate, the VR industry should understand that gamers and power users will be the ones to define the VR industry, and companies that can successfully reach the gamers will eventually win the VR market.
Gamer will always be at the center of VR’s success or failure and companies should learn to keep the hype around gamers in 2017. This should include considering the affordability of the technology to build a staple foundation for VR to take cause and succeed over the next several years.
So, you can expect that the events will be championing for companies to build VR’s hype around the gaming industry to see the technology rise in other sectors in 2017 and beyond.
CNET exposes how the gaming industry is absorbing the VR technology.