Virtual reality: the new 'Resident' in your home?

By Alanna Duffield

24th January 2017

The promise of virtual reality is everywhere. We hear about it, read about it – a lot of us have tried it – but we still haven’t really gripped it. As a medium, VR is still in the very early stages. To many, it hasn’t really proved itself as any more than a tech fad (think back to the hype around 3D) that will eventually dwindle with consumer disinterest.

One of the main issues with VR currently is that there’s this big disconnect between the hardware on offer, and the content available to us. The launch of PlayStation VR has made it far easier to bring this technology over our thresholds, but once we own it, unwrapped and ready to wow us from the comfort of our own homes, you’d be forgiven for asking: “What’s next?”

Nearly all of the talk around VR that we see and hear in the media is about the hardware. We talk about Rifts and Cardboards and costs and motion sickness, but we don’t hear an awful lot about what we can actually view, which is kind of the whole point. If we want VR to live up to consumer expectation, we need the content to catch up with all this hardware we have lying about, itching to immerse us.

Today marks the release of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. It stands to be one of the biggest game launches of 2017, and for many it will act as a test run for PlayStation VR to prove itself as the new way to game. Biohazard has been created with a first-person perspective, allowing for a fully immersive VR experience that is expected to be all the more horrifying.

It is a big promise to live up to, that of virtual reality. It will take only incredible content for users to give over their absolute and undivided attention. As consumers, we are used to second-screening and interacting outside of our tech space. VR, however, is an all-or-nothing environment. We have seen that consumers are willing to step into these virtual environments and allow themselves to be fully immersed, the real challenge will be the creating the content to keep them there.