What is a gimmick? A gimmick is a trick intended to attract attention and that is exactly what motion-controlled gaming was. Last generation came out of the gate with the promise of masterful, inventive motion controls and everyone ate it up. Once the motion controls launched, the words turned to ash in the mouths of gamers across every platform; it didn’t matter if you had a Wii, Xbox or PlayStation, the entire industry was infected. We begin to see history repeat itself once more in the current generation of consoles, but yet we are all still eating up the latest, and yet to be proven as greatest, gimmick in gaming.
Virtual Reality (or VR for short) started to make waves in the industry not too long ago and now its impending release on the market will hit sometime in the first quarter of 2016 along with many VR specific games that have been in development over the past year. There are many gaming YouTube stars who strap on the headgear required to play and act as if they are having a grand old time, but are they really? It’s hard to tell when money is always making exchanges in hands on that front. The real question, though, is how will this impact gaming as it seems that once again everyone is hopping on board with the gimmick train and riding it into the first quarter of the new year.
For starters, Xbox has Hololens in development and already made a deal with the Oculus Rift and every Rift that is to be sold will include an Xbox One Wireless Gamepad as a result. The reason for this is because almost all the games that are in development for VR will require a gamepad as they do not use motion controllers such as the Oculus Touch hardware. Similar to Microsoft, Sony has also made some bold and confident statements about their future with VR as well. “I think VR is on top of everyone’s mind about what the next ten years are going to be about,” said Sony’s Computer Entertainment boss for Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Michael Ephraim. Ten years, Ephraim?
That is mighty bold statement if we ever saw one. If the VR gimmick that is being shoved down the throats of gamers turns out to be anything like last gen’s motion controllers, which have died down to nothing more than an ember, it’s likely we will see VR plaguing out of sight for the same amount of time. The main concern about all this buffing up on how great VR is going to be is that the only one who haven’t made grand announcements or made big investments and partnerships in the concept is Nintendo. Nintendo has been quiet and secretive involving any news about their new game console and they have already announced that they won’t be talking about their new console until sometime in 2016. Could this possibly be because Nintendo has already been in that position with a gimmick and has sailed that ship for far too long?
Nintendo could possibly be keeping their mouths shut in regards to their new console until it’s too late for PlayStation and Xbox to pull out of the VR game and when they do announce the NX, it will most likely have nothing to do with VR and everything to do with games. From the little we know about the NX, the system is apparently going to be running on new hardware that will exceed the PS4 and Xbox One capabilities. Fortunately for Nintendo, the vast majority of their games are first party. If they can land third-party games and play them better than the Xbox and the PlayStation, they will dominate the 2016 market while the latter competitors will be forced to pump out VR gimmicks until their contracts with their new partners are up.