Where Are All the Games for Google Cardboard VR?

The Google Cardboard is a cheap and easy VR Headset, but where are all the VR inspired games we've been waiting for?

While the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus are still in development, Google surprised many by creating it’s own DIY virtual reality device – the Google Cardboard

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Using cardboard, velcro, magnets, rubber bands, and lenses, you can create your own Google Cardboard for roughly $30. Of course the larger question, and one that even the creators of the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus seem to struggle with this: Now what?

What to do with your Google Cardboard

If you’ve got your Google Cardboard, you’ll also want to download the Cardboard App. With this you can watch animations, take a virtual tour of Versailles or use Street Vu to navigate pretty Paris streets. 

After you’ve explored all the options of the Cardboard app, well, your options for using your cheap VR headset will slowly peter out. You can explore Photosphere, watch 3D videos on YouTube, and visit Tuscany Drive by which point you’ve exhausted all the exploratory options that pair with the device. 

Where are all the games? 

There are games that work with the Google Cardboard, but like many games we’ve seen thus far designed to work with the Oculus Rift, many do not offer the same types of AAA gaming experience players are familiar with. 

For instance, Dive City Rollercoaster will take you on a virtual ride, but expects you to passively sit and watch rather than tactiley engaging with your surroundings. Protect the Planet, a modern day Asteroids remake, adds familiar interactivity by asking players to shoot asteroids with the twist that you must aim with your head. 

Only on apps, Shadowngun VR provides Cardboard adopters with a true hands-on gaming experience, though it requires the additional use of a third-party controller. 

After an overview of the first (and only) level, players are set down in this first-person shooter and can interact, move, and ogle at the intricate scenery with the help of a bluetooth controller and Google Cardboard. 

while this game looks amazing, the fact that Shadowngun VR is currently the only app of its kind raises questions for the future of VR technology. Should we expect the same type of games from a new piece of technology, or should we be content instead with the trodding of new ground? 

Learning Lessons from the Nintendo Wii

If you remember back when the Wii was first released, its motion sensor technology was all the craze as people experienced WiiSports for the first time. New games, like WarioWare, were specifically created to take advantage of this technology which PlayStation and Xbox were quick to recreate. 

However, the most popular games to come out for the Wii were those that were able to incorporate the new technology in innovative ways while still giving gamers familiar experiences and tasks, melding old and new for unique experiences. 

Similarly games that seek to take advantage of VR technology like the Google Cardboard should strive to incorporate the strengths of VR into pre-existing game genres. While there’s no set template for how this should look yet, the Unity based Shadowgun VR sets itself up as a great example of this, catering to fans of the popular FPS genre while creating rich textures and environments to explore. 

Google Cardboard: Beyond Games

One major difference between the Google Cardboard and the Oculus Rift/Project Morpheus is that the latter two projects were designed with video gaming in mind. The Google Cardboard was designed with making VR technology accessible and open to anyone who wanted to partake of the experience. 

What this means is that gaming isn’t first and foremost in the minds of the Cardboard inventors, sharing “immersive experiences” is. This is probably the underlying reason behind the fact that there are far more exploratory applications for the headset than traditional games. 

Of course, the games will come – but by not single-handedly focusing on that aspect of development Google has opened up the Cardboard to a larger array of uses and applications. Ideally gamers will somehow benefit from the expanded uses of the Google Cardboard, but right now you’ll just have to play the waiting game. 


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