Even though the VR market is smaller than its platform and mobile counterparts, it might still be responsible for bringing in a new wave of audiences and revolutionizing the industry.
When we heard that VR was being taken seriously with the release of Oculus in 2014, we knew the future was slowly but surely inching its way towards us. With Facebook’s acquirement of Oculus in 2014, we took a huge sigh of relief. The fact is, Facebook had a hefty budget to get VR off the ground and it doesn’t seem to be paying off as well as other Facebook properties like Instagram and Whatsapp.
This is mainly because the market for VR is drastically smaller compared to the console and PC market. The VR market is stated to be worth only $14.5 billion and is expected to see a 30% increase over the next seven years. Of course, the market isn’t necessarily ready for VR, and a lot of the tech that would make the market more popular hasn’t been perfected yet. Full body suits aren’t that far away, but the lack of proper hardware has left the system to lag behind the older competition.
Despite this, VR is still popular in esports, with many teams going head-to-head over games such as Beat Saber, Echo Arena, and Pistol Whip. Major companies are going to keep an eye out on how well-received these events continue to be. Googleis one of the biggest names in VR, but their interests fall more in the software/hardware category, meaning they won’t be as big of a player on the gaming side as Facebook stands a chance to be. The release of Facebook Gaming could help popularize the devices and completely target the gaming audience as a whole.
Of course, big tech names like Intel and Microsoft have always displayed an interest in VR, and with an extensive commercial history and fatter wallet, they too could help boost VR’s popularity.
VR is a brand new device that hasn’t even begun to reach its full potential, meaning that the esports industry still isn’t the best that it can be. With full body suits becoming more of a reality, so too becomes more a possibility the chance of seeing major sports stars compete in esports. A player with a devastating knee injury that can no longer compete on the field may find an opening to carry their name over to less physically demanding sports-based games in the VR section.
VR’s market is nowhere near its potential, which is to be expected considering its brand new entry into the gaming world. Big-name investors have plans for VR that extend to more than just the commercial and gaming world, and with a focus on software/hardware from the likes of Google, VR is only going to get better as time passes. An entirely new era of gaming could be brought in from the new device, possibly merging over the physical sports with the gaming world. With the huge-financial backing that we are seeing combined with the ever-increasing rate of technological capabilities, VR has the potential to make huge waves in the esports industry.