Since the debut of the Magnavox Odyssey half-a-century ago in the U.S., gamers have constantly been waiting eagerly on the next big console or game release from their favorite developers.

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Even prior to the release of the first console and looking back to the radar-based games of the 1950s, it’s clear to see the appeal games offer.

Video games allow a person to imagine themselves in another world. They give them the chance to challenge their mind and take on the task of fighting bad guys, speeding around a racetrack, or building their skills up to reach the next level – all from the comfort and safety of home.

Since games are all about letting a person imagine themselves in another reality, it should come as no surprise that virtual reality games are becoming more popular. With the technology now sharper, faster, and more promising than ever before, gamers are enjoying a degree of digital immersion previous generations could only dream of.

But with so many games gaining VR functionality and more peripherals hitting the market than ever, will the trend of VR gaming continue or fall out of public favor?

The History of VR in Gaming

Virtual reality is something game companies have often tried to emulate even before the technology was truly capable of producing such an effect.

history of VR

Image via AllThingsVR

In the days of 2D side-scrollers and simple graphical presentations, any game that could even get close to showing off a 3D polygon or half-show a first-person perspective was championed as a pioneer or innovator of virtual reality.

While these efforts of previous decades are understandably primitive compared to the options available today, it does show the concept of a more immersive gaming experience is something developers have been working on for years. They know their market, and they know how much gamers like feeling as if they’re truly in the world on the screen.

The Virtual Boy was a console released by Nintendo shortly before they made the jump to the 3D era with their Nintendo 64 console. The Virtual Boy was essentially a pair of goggles on a stand, showing some similarities to the Occulus Rifts and HTC Vives of today.

While it did try to create a virtual world, the limited graphics and strict red/black color scheme made the results underwhelming at best. Now, upcoming VR games look just as good as upcoming PC games or console games. But whether it’s upcoming PlayStation VR games, upcoming Xbox VR games, or upcoming PC games, gamers have a lot to keep a look out for if they’re into virtual gaming.

Which Upcoming VR Games Look Promising?

Many popular VR games have already taken the world by storm, showing how the industry has finally cracked the code for creating a virtual environment where gamers can play.

While there are still bugs to work out and updates to be made, as with any technology, there are a number of big-ticket releases set to make their way to VR peripherals throughout the coming year.

Lovers of upcoming PlayStation VR games will be excited to know about the release of Transference in June. Hitting stores right at the beginning of the summer season, the game is advertised as a psychological thriller, and even non-VR gamers will get to enjoy it when it comes out on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The game’s details are scarce, but the story reportedly involves a world where memories can be saved digitally and recreated.

Beat Saber is headed to both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, offering gamers the chance to swing a pair of lightsabers to an in-game beat. The mix of colorful laser swords and music elicited the help of a uniquely qualified individual – developers are reportedly working with a musician who performed on the Star Wars soundtrack!

The Walking Dead VR is another hot prospect for virtual gaming. Though it is set to be released in 2018, the game doesn’t seem to have a lot of details in place as of yet. However, capitalizing off the macabre open-world environment from the hit TV show will undoubtedly make great use of VR technology.

What Are the Common Themes of Upcoming VR Games?

Those certainly aren’t the only VR games being released this year. However, some common trends are emerging among the new releases.

Consider Lila’s Tale and Toran. Though the former is a side-scroller and the latter a detailed adventure game, both have unique traits. Lila’s Tale will allow the player to control the character just by looking, whereas Toran will let them explore multiple worlds.

The similarities are clear – both games are using VR technology to push the limits of how the common person thinks of video games. VR is here to stay, and it’s likely only going to get better moving forward.

 

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