It's official: Virtual and augmented reality gaming is no longer focused on the future of video games, it's working to become a significant part of gaming's present.
About ten percent of the 274 companies descending on Los Angeles next week for the annual E3 gaming convention will be showing off augmented or virtual reality games or hardware, according to show organizer ESA.
The Entertainment Software Association tells Polygon they have no record of virtual or augmented reality gaming having a presence at E3 in 2013. But in 2014 there were six companies showing off related technology and games. That number jumped to 27 this year.
And that doesn't include just AR/VR-centric companies like Oculus Rift, ANTVR and Merge VR. Big video game companies and publishers are on the list too.
Among the companies that told the ESA they would be showing off AR or VR related games and technology is Microsoft and its HoloLens; Crytek, developer of the CryEngine, Crysis and Ryse: Son of Rome; Ubisoft, the developer behind Assassin's Creed, Prince of Persia and Far Cry; peripheral maker Razer; and PlayStation and its Project Morpheus.
The influx of reality shifting gaming and tech at the show is a reminder that E3, despite a flood of competition, still manages to be an important place to see where gaming is headed.
Not only is AR/VR attendance up at the show, mobile also saw a jump, rising from 60 companies last year to 74 this year. The show saw an across the board increase of exhibitors from 187 last year to 274 this year.
Polygon will be on the floor, in the press conferences, with the developers during next week's show to keep on top of the news, the videos, the conversations and other interesting trends.