VR gaming is still relatively in its infancy but some of the emerging trends we’re seeing are heartening for the future of the niche. The PlayStation VR unit, an accompaniment to the PlayStation 4, is one of the most well-known and best-selling devices in the industry. And with Sony’s branding on it, that’s hardly a surprise.
What is surprising is what kind of role the device is serving in helping to transition gamers to a new paradigm for gaming.
Building a lot of its sales success on the back of mainline games translated to virtual reality rather than bespoke VR experiences themselves, PSVR is a nexus of change for the industry and is showing a whole new generation of gamers how much VR can change well-known titles. Chief among the most popular games for the device are The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Fallout 4 VR, and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, all of which are translations from standard games to virtual reality.
But only one game among such an illustrious cast takes the crown, and that is Skyrim VR, the most popular game by far on Sony’s VR device.
Originally coming out for the PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360 all the way back in 2013, Skyrim is the game that never gives up the ghost and only continues to build sales momentum.
Todd Howard is famously quoted as saying Bethesda will stop releasing the game when consumers stop buying it, and if the VR outing is any indication, that’s not any time soon. As Venture Beat points out, a lot of the sales of Skyrim were buoyed last year with the bundle package that included the PSVR unit and the game. Of course, the game is an all-time-classic on its own but this is a useful fact to note.
Interestingly, the most popular game on Sony’s list of the most popular titles for PlayStation VR includes one game that is not part of a bundle – Rec Room. This free-to-play title is insanely popular and built for VR for the ground up. But, even at the awesome price of free, it cannot overcome the titans of the games industry that have transitioned over to VR.
For example, Batman: Arkham VR takes the familiar conceit of being the caped crusader and puts that in a game with levels of immersion not seen in a Arkham game.
Resident Evil 7, relying upon visceral reactions and upclose interaction with the in-game world, also transforms into a new experience on VR so it isn’t like these games are rehashes of old concepts. In many ways, some gamers think VR is a more appropriate space for titles like Skyrim and the above.
The only question remains is to whether or not devs will agree with them. Imagine how game changing it would be for Bethesda to announce a core series Elder Scrolls title built from the ground up for VR. That would probably catapult the niche to even greater heights.
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- October 12, 2018