Benefits and challenges of multiplayer AR/VR experiences

Gaming continues to astound us with how it adjusts to take advantage of the latest technology. Some technology analysts would likely argue that pioneers in gaming have helped both industries succeed, constantly pushing each other and striving for innovation and creativity.

The global success and standing of the gaming industry have led to groundbreaking developments in the industry from around the world. AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) are the two latest developments in a long line of incredible advancements we’ve witnessed in gaming this century.

VR: Is it a fad, or is it here to stay?

It would be fair to say that VR has had a slow start. It hasn’t exploded right out of the gate and thrust into the global spotlight in the way AI has, for example. However, it would be unfair to compare technological development in AI, which could become the most dynamic, dangerous and significant human invention of all time, to other technologies.

There are increasingly practical uses for VR, and perhaps the most relatable one is in casino gaming. While the casino industry is booming, there is a clear distinction between those casino gamers who want to play at a land-based casino and those who prefer to play their blackjack and poker via a digital platform. One main concern among traditional players is that a digital casino can’t replicate the feel and aura of a land-based alternative, especially for those who prefer to receive any prizes they win in person.

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However, this is where VR is now becoming a potential game-changer, with many figures in the land-based casino industry beginning to pay much closer attention to how the technology is embedding itself within the sector. Multiplayer VR is now incorporating digital elements into land-based casino gaming.

VR technology in console gaming

Companies such as Sony and Microsoft are also developing gaming titles that cater to VR players. However, there are some key challenges when it comes to adoption, cost and the quality of virtual depictions.

Some figures within the gaming industry believe that the colossal investment and involvement from companies like Apple and Meta mean that the development of virtual realities will ramp up in sophistication in the years to come.

Ultimately, this would mean the metaverse could soon become far more engaging, immersive and lifelike. If this prediction becomes reality, there could be a serious shift in casino gamers moving to VR casinos, along with a more significant number of home console gamers seeking out VR headsets to take their gaming into a unique, brave new digital world.

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Challenges and positives of AR gaming

There’s a slight but crucial difference between VR and AR. While VR relies on an entirely digitally-designed setting, augmented reality blurs the lines between real life and gaming. AR may begin with the backdrop of real streets or imagery, but then it adds computer graphics to operate within the real world as we know it. VR, in contrast, does this from scratch, although it might take its influence from real-life places.

AR could put the right game developer on the road to riches, and there have been promising pockets of AR games. From 2016 onward, however, countless games have tried to break into the market, and many have not succeeded.

AR and VR must overcome challenges to find a foothold

The same challenges plague AR and VR gaming at the moment. While there might have been more positivity surrounding VR gaming over the last 18 months, there are still issues to address when it comes to cost, overall accessibility, and ultimately, interest.

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Tens of millions of gamers worldwide enjoy console gaming, and there isn’t the drive or demand for VR to take over in a similar way. The technology does not have an edge or a landmark title that is causing the world to pay attention yet, and until it does, AR and VR will sit on the sidelines. This isn’t because the technology is poor; there simply hasn’t been a title yet that has truly grabbed gamers in the same way many landmark console games have.

If the cost drops significantly and the quality of the technology improves dramatically, it could also drive a lot of change. Right now, however, gaming companies are simply too sidetracked by more profitable and popular ideas.