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What VR means for Competitive Gaming

If you haven’t heard of the Virtual Reality by now, then that rock must be getting heavy. Crawl outside, breath in the simulated smell of the outside with it’s physics engine replicating your movements with janky guesses. Yes, the future is here, and with it, we have games such as Pavlov – Effectively Counter-Strike Source, with one integral twist. Yes, It’s motion controlled, but not like Wii Sports; This time it’s actually fun.

Okay, Wii sports was one of the best games of all time and if you dispute that, it’s safe to say you’re not a real gamer. Rambling aside, however, Virtual Reality has finally crossed the gap into casual gaming. With some of the most powerful systems going for console prices (¬£399 for the new Oculus gear), more people will be sellotaping gaming monitors to their foreheads and telling everyone they’re probably the best BeatSaber player ever this Christmas.

One of the limitations of VR is that you can only play with other VR users. Sure, you can play VR Chat with your keyboard, but we all know that the experience won’t be the same. However, what if VR players could hop into PC lobbies? We’ve already seen cross platform games such as Rocket League and Call Of Duty: Modern Warefare – Heck, even Grand Theft Auto: Online shows you which players are using a mouse and which are using a controller. How far of a stretch would it be to have a VR option?

Lets look at this objectively. When two people of equal skill are playing a shooter, the one with the keyboard is going to win. They can strafe around the map faster, they can run faster and they can aim faster. However, they are limited in some capacity. A VR player is able to peek around walls in ways no PC player could ever do. Coupled with the fact they can effectively duel wield firearms, Lob grenades differently and combat roll through their french doors because they forgot they’re just wearing a headset, A VR player might be able to take on the Keyboard crowd with this new set of movements.

Sure, VR isn’t quite there yet. Sure, it’s impressive, and playing with the VR games is something you’ll never want to leave alone, but that’s the issue. VR requires titles designed for VR. If a developer was willing to try and capture both markets in a single title, they may be casting their net rather thin, but it would make for some interesting Twitch sessions.