Could AR Games be Huge in eSports?
As much as we appreciate the earlier forays into the realm of VR and AR like the Nintendo Virtual Boy, there can be no denying that we are only now reaching a point where these devices are just starting to live up to their promise. Displays that don’t cause immediate eye-strain headaches, graphics which aren’t low-resolution or monochrome, and faster refresh and update rates stand among some of the most important developments here.
With mainstream gaming consoles and PCs alike increasingly adopting these systems, we are still left wondering at the future when it comes to eSports. This is an area ripe for exploration, after all, and could combine traditional sports and eSports in a way never before possible. Before we can cross this bridge, though, there are still a few issues which need solving.
What we need
When looking at active augmented reality, the biggest problem we are yet to solve is that of a comfortable and reliable heavy-duty portable device. The current devices, while still impressive, tend to rely on a tethered connection, and still suffer from the early growing pains which necessitate a less-sturdy design. These are the first real generation and, as such, the primary concern is creating working systems. Diversification and specialization to the likes of self-contained and sturdier designs; that takes a little longer.
At least in terms of self-contained units, we have seen progress with the likes of Microsoft’s HoloLens but even these couldn’t survive what we have in mind.
What stands as the biggest benefit to AR eSports is the level of physical activity combined with virtualization potential which they represent. For example, games could be made over virtual battlefields in a manner similar to paintball, only without the need for all the mess, pain, or limitations of paintball weaponry. In this way, players could even arm themselves with virtual explosives, and take advantage of lightweight equipment to incorporate elements of parkour.
In terms of the more professional levels of the environment, this could similarly open up a whole new world of opportunities. eSports, as it currently stands, already has a scene in the professional gambling market, with websites that offer prospects, like lol bets, having been around for years. AR, though, could raise this popularity and drive engagement to an entirely unprecedented degree.
In this new form of sports, the highly skilled would not just be those who understood the technical requirements of the game, they would also be those who possessed a high level of athletic ability. In effect, this would combine the traditional sports and eSports fields into one, creating an entirely new concept in the world of sports and its surrounding infrastructure.
It’s not Easy to Predict
While we have no doubt these systems will eventually become a reality, the exact form is hardly a settled matter. While open combat games seem likely, we also can’t rule out the potential of straight AR Sports. Whether through the adaption of existing games or the creation of entirely new ones, the potential here is almost unlimited.
What works and what doesn’t will come down to both the imagination of the software developers of the future and the potential audience interest which each of the forms can gather and maintain. We couldn’t guess for sure which will be the first, or which will be the biggest, but we are sure that these represent opportunities far too great to pass by, and we can’t wait to see them in action.