The death of controllers, virtual reality, is this really the future of video games?

It is far, this time, when we blew the rebel cartridges, that the game finally starts. In those years we made sand Super Mario Kart Where Street Fighter II in a good old TV cathodic, with handle (wired!). Since the year Video game changed. There was only to walk around Paris Games Week, last week, to see it. Dematerialized games replace boxed editions, there is no longer, or rarely, a wire between the console and the controller, and we no longer play alone, or with friends, in the living room, but with players from all over the world. all. And tomorrow?

There is no doubt that video games, in ten or twenty years, will not have the same face. There will probably no longer be a controller that connects the player to the interface. Gen1us, Game One’s famous esports commentator and animator, is a “passionate” and even “controller creator,” he confesses 20 minutes. “But, logically, in ten years, peripheral devices such as keyboard, mouse or controller will definitely be archaic. At first, there may be small gloves, like those used in virtual reality games. But eventually, we probably won’t need it anymore. The game will have evolved so much that there will be detectors, we’ll just have to move. Much to the chagrin of “controller lovers, like me,” smiles Gen1us, but “we’ll get used to it!” “.

“What’s missing are the real games”

And maybe the end of controllers will open up video games to an even wider audience. “There are a lot of people today who can’t use controllers, keyboards or mice,” Gen1us continues. People new to video games who didn’t grow up with a controller in their hands will be able to discover this universe more easily. »

Undoubtedly, by this time, virtual reality will have penetrated and more gamers will be playing with headsets. Because today, despite the denial of some giants in the market, such as Sony, it really does not take. “We know it’s great, it works pretty well,” Gen1us continues. There are helmets, and graphics, more and more improved. But what is missing are the actual games. At the moment, no one has managed to convince me and make me say “Oh la la, I have to play it in virtual reality!” Right now, there are almost only games … not cheats, but almost. »

Being “inside the picture”

Virtual reality, Jean-Bernard Grasset, founder of the Monochrome agency, believes in it “deeply”. “My daughter is 20 years old, she was born with a mobile phone, he says. I tell myself that she will not continue to look at the world on a 7 cm diameter screen for the rest of her life. This young man will not take himself in front of the TV. The next step is to make it inside the image. “It is still necessary for virtual reality to succeed in attracting the general public. Right now, it’s shaking, but it’s still a place.

In 2015, Jean-Bernard Grasset opened a gallery in Beaubourg to make art with this technology. “But we didn’t make a penny,” he smiles. The company has even created games where you are immersed in luxurious universes. “Every time we had people, from 7 to 77 years old, test virtual reality, everyone was amazed. I thought it would be a hit. But unfortunately, very few helmets were bought. “So much less from the “hard players”, most of whom laugh at this new tool. Even today, virtual reality attracts more Sunday players than the big ones. Because it’s a different way to play. ” Defeat Saber [un jeu de rythme développé par Beat Games], everyone can play it, continues Jean-Bernard Grasset. Immediately, we understand, and it is easy to get hold of. My mom can play it! While a keyboard and mouse game, you still need to have a lot of control. »

Virtual reality, “a new medium” for games

Today, if the enthusiasts are not there, it is undoubtedly also a graphics issue, which is not yet at the level of the new generation consoles. But perhaps that could change, with the release of PS VR 2, Playstation’s virtual reality headset. “Already, PS VR had worked quite well, notes Jean-Bernard Grasset. With PS VR 2, the image quality, if not yet up to Playstation 5, but the difference is much smaller than between PS VR and Playstation 4. We are starting to get closer. It’s getting pretty crazy. »

A young player tests Papaye Bang, at the Yobiké stand, at Paris Games Week. – N. Bonzom / Maxele Presse

But for Monochrome’s founder, there is no doubt: virtual reality will remain a game mode among others. It will not take up all the space. This is also the opinion of Rodolphe Lang, who designs virtual reality games with the studio Yobiké. his game, papaya bang, lured young and old to Paris Games Week. In an ultra-colorful world, you have to reach small pinata-shaped characters with a slingshot. “Virtual reality will be a new medium for video games, as arcade terminals were, consoles, then computers,” he says. Some will have a Nintendo console, a Sony console, a Microsoft console, and others a headset. »

Today, “people are curious, it’s really starting to take off,” he says. Especially since the headache-inducing virtual reality is over. “For Oculus Quest 2 [l’un des casques les plus populaires], the resolution of the lens is increased. “Motion sickness,” the seasickness that can be felt because of the inner ear, no longer exists. Virtual reality, however, has one major hurdle to overcome: the lack of diversity, in terms of gameplay. Games that use this technology are, for the most part, shooters or rhythm games. That doesn’t stop the youngsters from having fun. “Virtual reality, I like it a lot, notes Etienne, who emerges from a part of it Defeat Saber. Being immersed in another world is wonderful. I think this is the future of video games. »

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