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VR is Alive and Well at PAX East 2018

by Kyle Hanson

PlayStation VR, Oculus, Vive: Virtual Reality still getting plenty of marketing at PAX East 2018.

HTC-Vive

The year of VR is back in our rear-view mirror. With over two years of worldwide availability, VR is now a known quantity and many have enjoyed the increased immersion the tech offers. However, the VR revolution that many anticipated hasn’t quite arrived, with many wondering if VR won’t survive these early growing pains. Those skeptics have a lot of solid reasons to think that way, but on the show floor at PAX East 2018 those worries give way to the same excitement we all had in 2016.

Walking the expo hall floor of PAX East 2018 you’ll run into booth after booth that’s showing off VR. Indie games are an integral part of the PAX experience, and a good number of them are developing VR experiences. What’s more surprising is how much Sony is still backing the tech in their PlayStation booth.

Nearly half the booth is dedicated to PSVR and the games it has available now or coming soon. The Last Guardian VR, Rick and Morty VR, and a ton of others are all on display and fans are still lining up for up to an hour to get to play them. Oculus is also still a huge presence, hosting both a show floor booth and their own off-site event. That was where I got to play Vox Machinae, one of the VR titles I’m most anticipating reaching final release.

Has the excitement fallen? Yes. This is 2018 and VR is no longer the bleeding edge of gaming technology. Most gamers have likely tried it out, if they don’t own a Rift, Vive, or PSVR headset of their own. Attendees no longer seek out any indie booth with a VR headset and line up for hours to try it out. But now it’s a more tempered and realistic level of excitement. The kind of excitement that doesn’t lead to disappointment if a few bad games hit in a row.

VR is here to stay, that’s been clear for a while. The question that remains is, how big will it get. Will most of our games be played with a headset strapped to our face? Probably not any time soon. But if PAX East 2018 and its attendees have anything to say about it, we could be on the way to that in the near future.

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