Somebody mentioned eSports to me recently and, whilst I write about smartphones daily, I’ll confess to not knowing a great deal about it.
Last week, in Copenhagen, the Unibet Copenhagen Open gave visitors the chance to play against these eSports stars. VR played a big role, with the evolution of mobile phones involving some sort of accessory, and in this case it’s simply an attachment on your face in which you can place the phone.
It’s simple to try and relatively cheap to get a VR mount, so why hasn’t everyone got onto the VR train?
At the event, a company called Kindred Futures was supporting Lucky VR in trialing virtual reality gaming technology with eSports stars. This then got broadcast via a Twitch stream, showing their VR poker game and the virtual table – all viewed in this case through an Oculus Rift.
Will Mace, Head of Kindred Futures, tells us that VR technology allows the experience to be..
..more engaging and immersive than traditional online poker. Kindred’s partnership with Lucky VR aims to co-create an experience which emulates this social dynamic, keeping poker at the forefront of technical development and even ahead of much of the rest of the entertainment industry.
There’s still some way to go though. The Oculus Rift is an expensive option, so there needs to be a bigger selection of VR games and more VR headsets for your smartphone. Whilst Samsung have previously given away VR headsets with their phones, and Google have their Cardboard creation, there needs to be a big customer base before gaming developers will properly support it. As with wearables, there has to be a decent customer base to make it worthwhile.
Hopefully, if cheaper headsets become more widely available and more popular, virtual reality will emerge out of the smaller clique and into a successful mainstream product which is powered by your smartphone.