I think that Pokemon Go has proven the strength of the Augmented Reality technology for gaming. I think that many investors didn’t think that the technology will become so popular in the gaming industry until Pokemon Go came out and proven that AR is a superb technology for mobile VR.
###2016 was the year of VR, Until Pokemon Go camera along
The whole focus in 2015/2016 was on virtual reality. Many VR headsets and accessories have been released since then, as well as thousands of games have been released to fulfill the gamer’s demand.
The great thing about Augmented Reality, at least in the mobile category, is that players don’t need any proprietary accessory to use it. Everyone with a modern smartphone can play Pokémon Go on both iOS and Android. In fact, Pokémon Go is one of the most popular mobile apps of all time.
###A parallel virtual world on mixed with our world
Ingress is also an augmented reality game from the same developer Niantic, and this game was downloaded more than 11M times. You know, yesterday I went down with my phone searching for some creatures outside my hours, and then it hits me. I felt that there is a whole new world around me, a world that I can’t see, but I can see it only when I launch the Pokémon Go game. There can be living creatures right next to me, and I just can’t walk a few meters without checking whether I am missing one. It’s like a parallel world living on top of our world, the real world. I know that the chances for me to see aliens in my lifetime is close to zero, but with Pokémon Go, I can actually see and interact with alien creatures and even capture them and keep them all to myself.
Of course, Pokémon Go is more than that, but it allows me to enjoy explore my surrounding and motivated me to walk many kilometers each day just to find a rare Pokémon creature, even later at night when I suppose to be asleep.
###What makes Augmented Reality so great for games?
This is what makes Augmented Reality so immersive and fun. It tickles our curiosity, it elevates our interest in the outside world and makes all of us more social again. I’ve seen many people playing the game and we went on a walk together to find some Pokémons together - it was so much fun. I don’t need to way go on a long trip to taste the essence of an adventure, I can take on an adventure each day, by just launching a mobile app. Being outside is never boring, I always have something to do.
###Expect a rain of AR Games in 2017
OK, Pokémon Go aside, there are tons of opportunities for developers to realize using this technology. I think that we are going to see many AR games from now on.
VR days are not over. In fact, it’s just getting started. 2016 is going to be a big year for VR, especially when Sony releases its VR headset, the PlayStation VR. I think that there is also a great possibility that we see a game that utilizes both technologies, AR and VR. VR is more immersive in my opinion because it replaces your real world with a virtual one. The real world is not longer there, and all the sounds and visuals are digitally generated all around you.
One of the negative aspects of VR is that it requires a VR headset. This means that when you are not at home, you won’t be playing VR games, compared to mobile AR, which you can play everywhere you go. I remember an article that mentioned that mobile VR is going to grow and be a very popular medium in the gaming industry, but I have a feeling that AR is going to win big time due to its mobility.
###The World has Gone Crazy!
Judging by the amount of views of Pokemon Go videos on YouTube. you can see how much buzz the game has around it. Millions of people are interested to see what made so many people go nuts over this game. It’s a game that unites people from whole around the world with one mission, to catch Pokemons and fight against other factions. When PvP comes, it’s going to be even more intense. The world has gone crazy or maybe it’s just what humanity needed to make people start socializing and getting out of their houses.
I eager to see what developers will come up next and what innovations are waiting for us down the road. OK, I have to go to catch some Pokemon and take on some gyms… see ya later guys!