For virtual reality to have its freedom day – that is, to have more standalone VR like the Oculus Quest but with even better tech and immersion – we’re going to need better networks. And I’m not talking about getting a small boost from buying a Wi-Fi router at home.
Of course, when it comes to playing most VR games, bandwidth over a network isn’t a big deal – yet. You download your game, and you play it. The cool VR experiences on the Quest, so far, don’t require streaming.
But it’s the future we’re concerned about, one where you’re streaming shows and movies, sports events, and mucking around in big online worlds. And I’m not worried about headset tech holding it back. I’m more concerned about the companies behind 5G cellular being a problem. Imagine how a data cap or poor coverage could hamstring the use of streaming VR, regardless of how good the tech is. Say you’re using VR to watch Game 6 of the 2022 World Series between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Dodgers (hey – it’s my example! Let me dream, alright!), and just as A’s slugger Khris Davis connects on a mighty swing, you lose the signal because … the 5G in your area has a tendency to drop out from time-to-time (as my LTE network does multiple times every dang day).
– Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor