Virtual Reality vs Augmented Reality

Opinion post by
Calvin Wankhede

In 2022, millions of people have experienced VR, thanks to the affordability of wireless and standalone headsets like the Meta Quest 2. And just about anyone that has ever sampled the technology will agree that it has the potential to add a brand new dimension to gaming and entertainment. Even personally, I have to credit VR for creating some of my most memorable digital experiences. From piloting an X-Wing in Star Wars: Squadrons to spending countless hours just walking around real-life cities in Google Earth VR, I’ve spent over a thousand hours in the virtual world since buying an Oculus Rift in 2017. But half a decade later, 2022 was the first year I set down my headset in a drawer and nearly forgot about its existence.

I don’t seem to be alone either — popular VR games like Beat Saber have registered their lowest monthly average player counts (on Steam) since 2018. That’s a stark contrast given that overall VR usage reached an all-time high only twelve months ago. While we don’t have access to retention stats for non-PC VR users, I can’t imagine it looks much different on that front. The average number of new posts and comments per day on the popular r/OculusQuest subreddit has experienced a small, but noticeable, decline.