Is Virtual Reality Still the Next Big Thing in Gaming?

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Investors often look towards technology when looking for the next big investment opportunity. Getting a tech investment right can reap huge rewards, but identifying which technology will go global is not easy.

The benefit of hindsight

With hindsight, everyone would have made an investment in the social media platforms that we all use today, but at the time, there were plenty of other competitors in the marketplace. And the ones that dominated, such as Facebook and Twitter, were latecomers to the party.

But technology trends can disappear as fast as they arrive, a factor that must also be taken into considerations by investors. That is why tech investors like to strike while the iron is hot.

The booming gaming industry

The gaming industry is one of the fastest moving and most popular technology sectors. It is estimated that the industry will generate $174 billion in revenue by 2021, so investors will be keeping their eye out for the next big thing.

Today, gaming covers a large range of activities across multiple platforms. For instance, gamers who play live casino games online and those who play on consoles have always been seen as different. However, the seemingly disparate video game and casino game markets have been edging closer together, with technology and gaming characteristics being shared between the genres.

Besides these core similarities, there are also thematic parallels as well. For instance, licensed properties including Game of Thrones and Family Guy have both spawned slot titles, such as those featured at Magical Vegas, as well as ‘traditional’ video games such as Game of Thrones: A Telltale Series and Family Guy: Another Freakin’ Mobile Game, which are available for console and mobile.

For anyone looking to invest in gaming technology, finding a product or service that can be adopted across all types of gaming on all platforms is the key. And that is where virtual reality comes in.

Virtual reality or total fantasy?

The concept of virtual reality has been kicking around for longer than many might imagine, but it is finally reaching the point where it will be scalable and affordable for home gaming. And there have already been clear suggestions it could have popular appeal across many gaming sectors, including traditional gaming, social gaming, casino gaming and eSports.

Early investments in the technology have produced a few false starts due to prohibitively expensive hardware, but there is still a feeling that the tech is about to take off. This has been reinforced by the success of many virtual reality gaming centres that have popped up in major cities around the world.

Investors were sparked into action when Facebook purchased VR developer Oculus for $2 billion in 2014. But since then, things have slowed down. The main issues have been the comfort, cost and usability of the headsets. This, combined with a customer base that demands a genuine reason to be wowed before swarming to the stores, has caused some investors to hold back.

Timing is everything

There is no doubt that VR will have its day, but there are big questions marks over when that day will come. But with 5G technology about to be rolled out, the technology should get another boost. What’s more, developers are starting to explore how VR can be used in training, education and corporate environments.

It should be remembered that even the internet stalled in its early years as users became frustrated with the speed, fiddling interfaces and lack of practical applications. With this in mind, we certainly should not be dismissive of emerging technology and its potential as an investment.