To most, virtual reality is the next frontier in gaming, as it allows us to travel to places we may never go and experience things we may never feel. However, since the release of the PlayStation VR in 2016, many experiences have either been lackluster – like Salary Man Escape, which we gave a 5.5/10 in our review – or ports of older games – like the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, which we gave a 9/10 in our review. Though virtual reality has yet to really take off, SIE London Studios’ lead designer believes even bigger VR advances are on the horizon. Michael Hampden sat down at the Develop: Brighton conference to discuss his predictions of the platform for the next five, 10, and 25 years, saying that VR will soon become more compelling – and then ubiquitous.
According to VentureBeat, “Hampden said to expect a handful of developments, most notably that ‘one new genre of game will be born, one that will only be possible in VR.’ ” He suggests that if designers are going to create games for virtual reality, they should be designed from the ground up for that platform. “[Hampden] advised developers to start by understanding why they selected VR as a medium and then differentiate their experiences using VR ‘presence,’ surround audio, distinctive input methods, and head tracking. Part of the five-year process will include creating both consistent and user-customizable interfaces for VR games. Hampden expects that a consistent design language will be established for VR, and that developers will learn how to use customization — including controller and movement options — to reduce motion sickness and improve experiences for sensitive players. As a result, the next five years will see VR gain true killer apps, and become more popular in both the mobile and medical sectors.”
Expect VR Games to Create a New Genre in the Coming Years
Though Michael Hampden didn’t explicitly comment on what the “new genre” that virtual reality will birth is, he does seem adamant that it could be the future, not just of games, but of medicine as well. With Hampden’s studio working diligently on the highly anticipated VR shooter Blood & Truth, we’ll see if he words hold any water in the coming years. Head over to VentureBeat to check out the rest of Hampden’s VR predictions.