If you were in any way concerned about how close we are to leaving reality behind before approaching a virtual world, it might be a good idea to look away now. Or, alternatively, if the next step in technology thrills you, be my guest and read on. 2016 has finally seen the release of virtual reality giving consumers what they were promised years ago. Will it be a success? Who can say, there are no certainties. What we do know now is that virtual reality should have an impressive looking future.

Lowering prices of equipment

Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, Sony’s PlayStation VR, Samsung’s Gear and HTC’s Vive have all launched in 2016, with expectations of doing really rather well over the coming few years. Things have been slow upon release and in truth were always likely to be given the price of the headsets and the devices that they need connecting to. However, there are a number of factors that should appease this.

Namely, prices of new technology always lower over time, particularly if sales are slow. Plus, given the need for a powerful computer that can handle the software, there will need to be a lowering of cost for both as there will plenty of willing consumers that cannot afford one, let alone the other.

Demand is on the up

The desire in the market place is most certainly there. From watching movies and feeling immersed in the experience to being able to shop online and seeing a physical version of that product — the possible applications for VR are growing and so is the demand.

Gaming with VR

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Photo courtesy of Konami

How good could games become? Shoot ‘em ups, gangster movies, racing games, football management games and football playing games — on and on the list goes. All of your favourites, but now you are in them shooting, driving and showing off your mad skills in front of adoring crowds.

Online casino games are going to be another area to benefit. In October, live streamer ‘tonkaaaap’ test drove a new poker game using the previously mentioned Oculus Rift headset. This gave a clear demonstration as to how very close online and live poker games have come to virtual reality casinos — it looked just as if he was at the table handling chip, holding cards and smoking cigars.

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Holidays & travelling

Imagine being able to take a room tour at the hotel you’re thinking of visiting? With VR it won’t be long before you’re able to walk through the Junior Suite of a hotel, jump off a cliff or experience a jungle safari through a VR headset.

What the future holds for VR

Between starting upfront alongside Leo Messi for Barcelona in the latest FIFA or PES release, blasting zombies, robbing banks, racing through the streets of Tokyo or playing slots in an online casino, the future is extremely bright for virtual reality gaming. And if there is anything we can learn from the success of smartphones, it is that if games do well, so too does the technology. If virtual reality wants to succeed and, once it becomes mainstream, it will, it should focus on gaming and the revenues will follow.