I've tried the Rift, Vive, PS VR and smartphone devices, and i'm totally sold on the concept, just not the price, or quality, because i know it has massive potential. Obviously the devices drastically differ in quality, but the top tier ones, are just steps away from something brilliant.
For those of you that haven't tried it, or aren't sold on the concept, i will try to explain why VR isn't a gimmick, and why i think it's the future of gaming.
When you play a game and it completely changes your senses, you know this is the future. In the same way we went from 2D to 3D. That sense of space you get that with VR, but your mind-space also. You know you are rooted here in your own living space, but your mind is somewhere else. That sense alone can be nauseating and displaced, but you kinda like it, and want to see more, and then more. It's addictive.
First of all the games at the moment aren't really that open, so the sense of space is close and claustrophobic, That's probably to do with early hardware limitations, until they unlock it's potential. But with the Horror genre, that's perfect. That's why we see a line-up of scare games right now.
So the thing that breaks the laws of traditional gaming, is the extra dimension of physical movement, mixed with the "true 3D perspective". The physical movement now makes "You" the "player", and not just controlling a player. Even FPS games feel simulated conventionally, like your'e remote controlling a person/robot.
The phrase "True 3D Perspective" is something i use to describe the sensation of being able to psychically stand still, and still be able to move your head around an object, inspecting it from any angle you wish. This sensation alone feels very real. This is because the VR has two screens that act as two cameras from slightly different angles like eyes. That sense of perspective really tricks your mind in believing your surroundings are really surrounding you, whilst you're in a sense, surrounding an object by circling it with your head.
Obviously VR has a long way to go, to iron out it's little issues. Technical things like frame rates, controls and movement. Then aesthetic qualities like freedom/space, graphic quality and resolution fidelity. They will look almost lifelike eventually. And that's why i'd personally let the rich/careless/fans buy up these early models, so that they can fund the future technology.
Lucky for me, i have some friends with these VR devices, so I've been able to play around and test them in detail. VR isn't just a gimmick, it's the start of a new revolution in gaming.
PS VR is the most affordable, and the quality ins't that much less than the Rift, so if i were to invest early, that would be my choice.
Resident Evil 7 is by far the best game out for any VR device at the moment in my opinion. Very scary/jumpy, and the environments are detailed and graphically beautiful. The resolution of the PS VR could be better though.
Future of VR? I think the next big step for VR is multiplayer Experiences. Imagine games like GTA where you can all stand around talking properly, but you can move your body , face and body language freely. When chatting with friends they actually face you, and feel like they're looking at you and conversing with their body language. And co-op games with VR would also be another amazing way to share game stories with your friends.