What We Can Expect From VR Racing Games
We’re currently at the dawn of the virtual reality age, with VR technology and hardware finally affordable enough to encourage widespread appeal and availability.
There will no doubt be countless uses for VR, but one of the most popular will be gaming. With most new video game consoles and platforms, racing games tend to take center stage early and often, and that should be no different when it comes to VR.
Here is a look at why VR racing games are poised for early takeoff, and what we can expect from this popular gaming segment.
Fits Like a Racing Glove
Driving and racing games appear to be a perfect fit for each other. Just think about it – you’re sitting when you’re driving for real, and that can easily be mimicked while wearing a VR headset.
Put another way, at this stage of VR development, driving and racing games are well-suited because the experience feels more lifelike than it does if you’re playing an action or sports game.
A steering wheel controller only makes the experience that much more realistic, and they’re often used for mixed reality presentations of the current generation of VR racing games.
Also, the sense of motion and speed you can get from VR games is unlike anything most gamers have felt on traditional TV-connected consoles, and that is certainly the case with VR racing. The ability to turn your head and see the interior of your racecar and the racetrack’s outlying scenery adds realism to what has already been one of the most realistic genres of games.
The Starting Line
Since VR technology is still in its early stages, there isn’t an overabundance of games, let alone racing games. That said, there are already racing games available that are impressive.
One of these is “Assetto Corsa,” a driving and racing simulator that focuses more on realism in the vein of the “Gran Turismo” or “Forza” games.
Another good option is “Project Cars,” a game that’s playable on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as in VR through a PC. Another game expected soon is “Gran Turismo Sport,” which will most likely be exclusive to Sony’s upcoming VR offering for PlayStation.
On any platform racing games take many forms, and that will likely be the case with VR. While there’s currently a concentration on ultrarealistic simulators to give players the most lifelike experience possible, there will also likely be more arcadelike family-friendly offerings in the vein of “Mario Kart,” or futuristic space-racing games like “Wipeout.”
Since the world of video games and VR is virtually endless, it’s conceivable – if not likely – there will be other types of racing games such as motorcycle racing, boat racing, or airplane racing.
What Gamers Want From VR Racing
The first thing gamers always want from new platforms is excellent gameplay, and at the moment it appears that’s also the main thing game developers are focusing on.
However, gamers are a notoriously fickle and demanding bunch, and it won’t be long before they’re clamoring for games with long lists of features and options.
For example, driving is actually only one part of top-level racing. Equally important is making modifications to your car, and gamers would no doubt love the ability to tweak, tune, and upgrade their cars to improve their VR experience.
Licensing will also be a desire for VR racing gamers, on two fronts. On one hand, it will be important for VR driving and racing games to include real cars from real manufacturers – gamers will want to feel what it’s really like to be behind the wheel of a McLaren P1. On the other hand, many gamers will want licensing from real racing leagues, including the likes of Formula 1, IndyCar, or NASCAR.
In the end, there are plenty of reasons for fans of racing games to be excited about the dawn of VR. As platforms and hardware become more common in the coming months, racing games will be one genre of games that will excel early in the lifecycle.