For a long time 2016 was touted as the “year of VR”. With three separate VR headsets launching within months of each other, this title definitely fits. However, while thousands of gamers brought VR gaming into their homes, there is still a lot of growth and change necessary before we truly enter the VR age. In a new post from the Oculus Rift team, the group looks back on what is now being seen as “the year of the start of VR,” as Kotaku put it, and looked forward to 2017, which they say should be mind-blowing.
“This year, we went from prototypes and dev kits to shipping consumer VR to the world,” reads the post. “Millions of people stepped into virtual reality for the first time—and this is just the beginning! With more than 700 made-for-VR titles available on the Oculus mobile and PC platform and new experiences launching every week, we expect the community to continue growing hand-in-hand with its robust ecosystem.”
Looking back on 2016, the Oculus team shows off some big achievements, including President Obama experiencing VR and even being featured in a VR experience. “This was the year that the first sitting President starred in a VR experience (after Bill Clinton took us to East Africa in 2015 for the first film in the Inside Impact VR series). Once again, Felix & Paul paired a cultural first—Barack Obama joining the world for a tour of Yosemite—with technical innovation, including a new VR camera, software, and a post-production process to film timelapses in spherical 3D.”
There were a lot of other big moments for Oculus Rift and VR as a whole in 2016, but for such new technology, the important thing is how the future shapes up. Listing off big upcoming games including Robo Recall, Lone Echo, and Arktika.1, the team points out that these games were built from the ground up for motion controls using the recently released Oculus Touch controllers.
“From indigenous peoples and world leaders to celebrities, artists, and more, 2016 has shown us VR’s ability to impact lives on a global scale. Thanks to the entire community for all of your support. If the past 12 months are any indication, 2017 should be mind-blowing,” concludes the post.
Was 2016 the year you jumped into VR gaming? Was it with an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or PlayStation VR headset? Let us know in the comments.