Over the last few years, reports on the success of virtual reality (VR) seem to have become increasingly extreme. Some claim that VR is the future of gaming, sales and everything in between, while others suggest that the technology is simply a fad that will never really take off. Analysts have predicted that the industry will be worth $117 billion by 2022, and yet there are thousands of articles from experts stating that VR will never become a mainstream thing.
In truth, VR’s level of success depends upon which sector you’re looking at. With that in mind, is virtual reality actually more popular than we think?
Virtual Reality – A Gaming Revolution?
When modern VR headsets first arrived on the market three years ago, they were almost instantly connected to the world of gaming. This is due to a number of reasons, but the most prominent is probably the fact that the two largest VR companies HTC and Oculus were, and continue to be, obsessed with VR gaming.
Gamers are fundamentally consumers, with experts predicting that the gaming market will be worth $180 billion by 2022. Many gamers are also eager to try out new technology and gaming platforms. In fact, one of the most popular and successful gaming sectors is iGaming. Even before VR became a mainstream term, some operators allowing gamers to play casino online offered live versions of their branded blackjack, roulette, baccarat and Texas Hold’em games, featuring live dealers that players can interact with. So, it completely makes sense that VR companies would be more than happy to direct all of their attention towards players if there was even a small chance of their tech becoming as popular as live casinos are.
Alas, while VR gaming headsets such as those by HTC and Oculus are certainly gaining popularity, the only problem is the tech is often expensive. This means that although many gamers would love to own their own VR headsets, purchasing them is a real investment. So we have to ask if gamers aren’t buying up all the VR units, who is?
VR Is No Longer Just for Gamers
In a report published by MarketWatch, experts indicated that it will actually be medical, e-commerce, retail and tech sectors that help towards mass VR adoption.
Already, huge companies such as Walmart and Verizon are using VR to train their employees, while the military uses VR to train soldiers, pilots and operators. Even several American universities including MIT, UNC and Arizona State all provide VR educational programmes.
That isn’t to say that VR isn’t making a huge impact in the entertainment world. STX Entertainment are all set to create VR film and TV, and Robert Rodriquez’s The Limit has been named the first must-watch movie of the VR era. We haven’t even mentioned many of the popular VR headsets such as the Google Cardboard that can be used in conjunction with your smartphone.
Clearly, virtual reality is a lot more popular than the mass public may believe. Sure, it will probably continue to be instantly attached to gaming, and its limited success there will be scrutinised. However, as other sectors continue to adopt the tech, it seems that VR is far from dead.