The team at Jump announced and released the beta of their new gaming subscription service/platform. Part of the announcement was the tease of 60+ indie titles being available for only $10 a month. One component of that was the indication that Virtual Reality games would be a part of it. I think this is one of the most under-rated potential aspects of Jump. The VR space is in need of a new champion, and Jump is the perfect platform to guide us into the next phase.
The Current State of VR
There is nothing particularly wrong with VR gaming as we enter the second half of 2017. There is not anything particularly interesting either. Resident Evil 7, arguably the biggest VR title available, came out at the beginning of the year. All of the three major hardware manufacturers released their 1.0 last year. The rest of the year is starting to look barren. Smaller developers are still putting out games, but the first and most exciting phase of VR has passed. It is time for someone to shakeup this corner of the industry.
A major factor in the loss of steam in the VR revolution is the price. Occulus Rift is quickly dropping in price, but the overall barrier to entry is still too high. It requires around an $800 PC plus the rest of the VR hardware. Sony is in a better position with a lower overall cost, but a total lack audience around any of the major three systems is problematic. Once you buy into the ecosystem, most people are limited for a while before being able to sample the currently available software.
The team at Jump has already announced that they are going to be adding VR games to their library. With 60+ games being prepared for launch, any decent number of those games being VR specific or compatible will be a huge boost for the industry. It makes the cost of buying a competent PC and the head gear easier to swallow. Spend $1200-$1500 and get all the games you wanted to play for only another $10.
Virtual Reality games need a specialized marketplace to shine. If Jump’s service finds success, it is likely going to be with the VR crowd.