2016 will bring an avalanche of Virtual Reality products to the market this year. There will be the Oculus Rift, Playstation VR and the HTC Vive just to name a few. Will VR really take off like the makers of these products think it will?
For now I do not think so. Remember a few years ago with the push for 3D. There were 3D glasses at movie theatres, and a number of 3D TVs were available for your home. How did that work out? Not so well. In my opinion, the only reason people bought those TVs was because, in general, they were cheaper than the regular models.
My experience with VR is limited, but I did have a few experiences. When I was about 10 years old, I went to our local amusement park called La Ronde. There was a setup there, where you could play Doom in VR. I believe it was 15 minute instalments because longer than that it could have caused headaches and nausea. Did I like the experience? Yes I did, but I know that I could not play that for hours on end. It would have given me a headache.
When I went to see Avatar in 3D, I had the same issue with the headache. I was unable to watch the full movie in one sitting.
So all that to say that not sure if this will pick up or not. I believe that right now, people do not have the space to work with these devices. If you are in an apartment, you would need a dedicated room just for this. Also, in most cases, to really use the full power of these devices, you need to buy a powerful PC which can cost upwards of 800$. The Playstation VR which uses the Playstation 4 will cost about 400$ (not including the actual Playstation 4 which goes for another $400). I think the cost is slightly better than it was, but it is still a little too expensive for the average consumer for a technology and product that has not been tested for a long period of time.
I will not be one of the ones that will buy these products. I do not think that I will have fun on those. Also, I like to play games for more than half an hour in some cases. This will not be good as after a while they advise that it can cause nausea and other side affects.
One must also remember that these devices, trick your brain in thinking that you are seeing 3D and seeing something imitating realism. There are studies that advise that long term exposure to VR can cause physical illness.
Now that I outlined the negatives, do I think there are positives? Yes there are positives to be said. These technologies are incredible when you think about it. The ability to immerse yourself in a world where you can walk around and explore is just incredible. Done right, VR can give a new dimension to movie watching and game playing. It could also benefit the medical and any other field for training and education. That is how VR originated. One of the first iterations was to simulate an aircraft flying from the cockpit in a flying simulator. However at the present time, I do not think that it will grow in popularity until VR will be avaiable without the headsets. I think that it will really pick up when something similar to the holodeck in Star Trek is created. The equipment is very complex and costly. The average peson does not have that kind of money. Yes it is cheaper than it was 30 years ago, but we have a long way before it becomes mainstream.
I am sure that E3, Tokyo Game Show and PAX will show off new games that will play on these devices. I just do not see it succeeding. Will this sell more PS4's, no it will not. Will this propel the PC market for more PC sales. I do not think so. I honestly think that we are heading in a good direction, but we are not ready to use this as our entertainment just yet. Just like 3D, it will be there, but no one will notice if it is removed from options to view movies or play video games.
What do you think? Let me know at the coordinates below and tell me what you experience is with VR.
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