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2020 Immersive Reality Trends – Ninjawards

Each year, Cubicle Ninjas’ reviews the industry’s creative highs and lows to publish a curated list of notable efforts in each specialty. Think of it as a highlights reel of the years’ best and brightest, along with some cautionary tales.

One of the core ninja principles is to always question the status quo. The Ninjawards provides a platform for inspiration, constructive criticism, and ultimately, recognition of bright new areas of design or technology. We hope our thinking unlocks new perspectives about the future of immersive reality!

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Fully Immersive 6DOF VR with No Wires Attached

Getting into VR with no cords will make the experience much more enjoyable and believable – one step closer to fully immersive VR. Thank you Oculus Quest! Now let’s keep the no cords ball rolling as the tech evolves.

Full length AAA Games

With the announcement of “Half Life: Alyx”, “Star Wars”, “Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond”, major publishers have embraced VR technology and started to produce full-length AAA quality games that are specially designed for the platform.

Streaming Desktop VR Experiences to Standalone Devices

The choice between purchasing a desktop VR headset and a standalone VR headset just got easier with the announcement of streaming desktop Oculus VR experiences to the Oculus Quest standalone headset. Virtual Desktop allows you to access your computer wirelessly, while the link cable lets you run full-featured VR games on your portable headset.

The Oculus Quest

The new Oculus Quest is an all-in-one portable headset that makes VR accessible and affordable to all. In addition to having a full suite of VR features, it also has exciting new technology, such as hand tracking using the headset’s onboard cameras. Now, instead of needing separate controllers, you can navigate VR apps by pointing and tapping with your hands!

Adding VR as a Last-minute Feature

The most acclaimed VR experiences are those that were built from the ground up for VR, and not those that simply added a VR mode at the end of the development cycle to cash in on the hype. Games like Fallout and Borderlands are great examples of well-designed VR adaptations that feel like a custom experience designed specifically for this technology.

Trying to Make a 3DoF Experience Play like a 6DoF Experience (and vice versa!)

Some games or apps just work better as a 3DoF or 6DoF game or app. The key is to figure out what type of game or app you have and make it for that so you can concentrate of what matters most which is the best experience possible for that headset. If you try to split the middle, you’ll end up making an inferior project for both platforms.

HTC Vive Cosmos

While all-in-one portable headsets are a great idea, the HTC Vive Cosmos was a flop because it couldn’t deliver on core features. Combined with a hefty price tag, poor performance in low light, and inability to detect spaces the way its competitors can, this new product launch came up flat.

Using VR for “Soft Skills” Training

VR training isn’t new, but up until now it has been largely focused on hard, mechanical skills. Push this button, pull that lever, move this object there. But now, Fortune 500 companies are starting to unlock the capabilities of immersive reality as a way to augment training in “soft skills” like customer service and interpersonal interactions.

Realistic Expectations

With most the VR hype starting to be transferred over to AR, the VR space finally has the room to breathe and delivery quality experiences without fighting extremely inflated user expectations.


5G is being touted as a major boost for virtual reality that will unlock new experiences. While there is a nugget of truth in this, it is mostly a marketing tactic to promote what is simply an increase in mobile bandwidth.

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