The question indicated in the heading often arises, and we doubt before answering users to it.
The truth is that we do not know whether VR will get to the point where it should be, before the largest players abandon all attempts to develop this industry to the proper level. No matter how much we want all these attempts to be crowned with success, we would not like to mislead our readers. But all we can do in this situation is to tell you all the reasons for and against the possible success of the industry. However, the final decision on whether the virtual reality industry is dead or alive remains only for our readers.
VR is dead?
The main arguments are: VR is too expensive, complex and not a good enough product for the consumer.
It would be fair to describe an existing VR fan as an enthusiast. This is because you really need to be passionate about this technology to justify it. Oculus Rift and HTC Vive cost quite reasonable money, namely $ 349 and $ 499 respectively, but this is not all that you need to use them. You should buy a gaming PC powerful enough to run VR games on it, which probably will cost about twice as much as the headset itself. In addition, you must find a place in your house / apartment to play comfortably enough and spend time in virtual reality. Then you need to set up external sensors to track in the room and make a VR setup, which can be another headache.
But that’s not all. Then you have to take the time to connect all of this and make sure that the system is working before you start enjoying the VR experience. And this is not as easy as it may seem. You can do all this and then discover that it’s just impossible to play in VR due to the effect of seasickness.
Even if it’s not, modern VR is not perfect. This is surprising, of course, but there are many factors working against you. The pressure of the display on a person made in 2016-2019, which also has a very pronounced pixelation, and also distorts the image.
The lack of tactile feedback means that there is nothing to stop you when you are trying to get through the wall. Limited tracking means that there is no warning if a pet, child or piece of furniture suddenly enters your playing area. In addition, it is necessary to accidentally push the sensor during the game, and the world will turn over. These are all problems that destroy the immersion, and until they are solved in research laboratories around the world, it will take some time before they completely disappear.
VR is probably not very popular right now.
In March this year marks three years since the launch of the Oculus Rift. In April, HTC Vive will celebrate the same birthday. For three years on the market, neither (which owns Oculus), nor HTC shared data on sales of headsets. None of the companies is obliged to disclose such data, but their silence speaks louder than words. This allowed analytical companies and others to form the view that VR did not meet the astronomical expectations that were assigned to this technology. Numerous problems in the previous paragraph also do not help it develop further.
Meanwhile, the Sony PlayStation division reported on every million PSVR headsets sold. Now the total is three million. Given the silence of and HTC, this headset is considered the most successful device for immersion in virtual reality of the three above-mentioned headsets. Three million is a fairly large number of units sold. But this is only part of a wider 9.1+ million PS4 console base owners. Why would anyone make a game or application for an audience, which basically is 1 / 100th of the size of the entire audience of the console on which the virtual reality device is running.
Large companies are already leaving the industry
It is also not encouraging that some of the biggest, early VR supporters are already leaving the industry. CCP Games, creator of EVE Online, was one of the largest supporters of VR in the early days of Rift. Closer to launching the device into the mass market, they made EVE: Valkyrie the first global headset VR project, and also created several new studios to work on the technology. However, less than two years after the launch of Rift and Vive, CCP closed its VR units.
This is just one of many stories. The movie giant IMAX had big plans for VR arcades, which closed after a year of existence. Day-Z RocketWerkz developer Dina Hall made two VR games that never paid for themselves. The fact is that the current VR market is not large enough to support many multi-million dollar production. But, if the developers can not get enough income from the game, it turns out that VR violates the “chicken and egg” cycle?
VR has no key application
If there is one question that we are usually asked to complete with “is VR dead?” Is “is there a killer app for VR?”. The rude truth is that it does not exist, at least for now. There are glimpses of something special: Superhot, Astro Bot, Google Earth, Tilt Brush, but a unique killer app just doesn’t exist. All of the above games and applications offer amazing experiences, unlike everything you’ve seen.
But something that is so striking and immediately striking, forcing millions to rush and buy a headset? This content just does not exist.
For the three years of consumer VR, these facts are a bit disappointing. However, what can we say in defense of virtual reality? VRcue will talk about this in the next block under the heading “Useful” tomorrow.