Months after Samsung developed the Gear VR to bring the technology and power of the Oculus Rift to the Samsung Note 4, we’re still seeing a sorry lack of games that actually make use of this technology.
But when you get to thinking about it, it really isn’t a surprise that these games have yet to be developed. To this day, many developers still struggle to produce games that take advantage of the Oculus Rift’s features, and the games that are released usually look like they were designed back in the early 90s, with blocky characters and poor texturization. Sure, there are some pretty cool and innovative apps like Don’t Let Go, a simulation game that puts you in front of an office desk with these simple instructions: “Don’t let go.” The game then proceeds to bombard you with realistic audio paired with, unfortunately, sub-par graphics.
This is the case with games designed for desktop computers, which undoubtedly are able to run better games with higher-definition graphics than mobile phones. Some would argue that even though the technology to run VR games is now available on mobile, the platform just isn’t ready for the high definition Oculus games we all want and await.
Plus, let’s not kid ourselves: the Oculus lends itself best to simulation games and first person shooters – games that continue to struggle on mobile devices because of the lack of intuitive controls. Many of the most successful games on mobile still struggle to make use of good controls, and that’s why mobile gaming has become known mostly for its casual games. Make no mistake, there are games on mobile platforms that have been developed to toe the line between casual gaming and more involved gaming. Spin Genie, a mobile-optimized game, weaves together casual slot machine gaming with adventure-RPG elements, while Year Walk, a horror game based out of Swedish folklore, uses the iPad’s multi-touch screen to present a wonderful story to the player. Do either of these games look like they could benefit from some VR treatment? No.
Plus, there’s just a lot more to consider when developing games for the mobile, and even those app developers who have successfully launched great games on mobile platforms are hesitating to dive into VR gaming. This should, however, change in the near future, as this year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) is set to include a talk on designing mobile games for VR, by one of the few firms able to successfully port their hit mobile game for VR.
Until more developers begin to understand the potential of mobile VR, and until mobile devices become equipped with the processing power to run HD games, though, we’ll have to wait patiently for our mobile VR games.