The Big Question: Will Virtual Reality Succeed?

2016 is supposed to be the year of VR, but we're already seeing cracks in the visage. The Oculus Rift price point is way higher than most of us would have expected and we still don't know when PlayStation VR will hit stores.

Do you think VR will succeed? Or is it another in a long line of gaming gimmicks?

I want VR to succeed, but more and more I'm starting to think that mobile might be its best shot at mainstream success. Maybe it'll take Apple getting involved?


Comments

    I need a 'No @#$%ing idea' option there. I'd love to say it will fail and wont ever go past niche but I've been so very wrong in the past about this that I now treat all emerging technology as a success waiting to happen ;)

      Why do you want it to fail?

        I don't want it to fail, I think it will and I want to say as much but I've lost all faith in my ability to predict these things so 'No @#$%ing idea' is still the option I want to pick!

        Last edited 20/01/16 4:29 pm

          Ah. Gotcha. I misunderstood the "I'd love to say it will fail" comment.

          First gen IS expensive and niche, as any new tech is ... like 4K monitors, top of the line Titan video cards and so on. As time goes on and the technology becomes easier to mass produce, it will take off. I've been playing with the whole VR Desktop thing, which effectively lets you display a computer desktop in VR. It's still too blurry with the DK2, but I can see it's potential. As time goes on, I firmly believe you will be able to play even non-VR games on a virtual monitor of any size you want.

    While I think that short-term prospects for the current generation of VR is limited and was unlikely to succeed anyway, I think it might have had a chance to do some brisk trade this year up until the Oculus rift price point was revealed.

    Maybe Sony's Morpheus project could have some appeal, assuming it's cheaper, but I see it going over about as well as Kinect. Short term novelty appeal, a few select titles that suck because they're basically tech demos to test the market, with the tech being pretty much dumped altogether in a few years.

      VR and Kinect are waaaaaaaaaaaay different in terms of gaming applications!!!

        Which one does the following describe/will describe

        A novel means of interacting with a game branching off from the established standard; let down by the hardware and poor application of the technology.

          That sounds like it's also describing the first videogames.

            Or any new tech...

            It's ok Kami you dont have to get one... As someone who is currently using VR and owns an Xbox One, I see so many useful applications in VR and absolutely nothing attractive about kinect apart from voice control... sometimes...

            VR is the shit - Or if you cant afford it i guess VR is just shit... right?

      I think VR is a little different from other gimmicks (motion tracked controllers, stereoscopic 3D), where it can make those other gimmicks actually useful and worth the hassle.

      There is another major difference in developer enthusiasm, unlike the others. They are actually working on VR without the gimmick manufacturer's endorsement most of the time.

      But they still need a huge install base to create the blockbuster titles that can actually take VR to the center stage. Unfortunately that won't happen this year. It takes 3 years minimum for that, and a HUGE (cannot be understated) install base.

      When I think about a huge AAA title I always think of a Mass Effect like RPG. It's technically feasible, if you take the combat to space and have wing-mates instead of crew mates. But it needs to be designed exclusively for VR, not just some VR mode.

      All bets are on PSVR's pricing at the moment, if that's stellar and sells well, we have a great start. We can then hunt for the big investors. PCVR (rich folk) will benefit from these titles. So, it works out for everybody.

      Last edited 20/01/16 12:21 pm

    Not in 2016, no. Going to take longer for the tech to mature, come down in price and become mainstream.
    I don't think the way this first round plays out is going to be that different from the first generation of dedicated graphics cards (voodoo2 anyone?) - purely an enthusiast space for those with money to burn.

      Question is can it stick around long enough to mature?

        Honestly, the modern concept of VR has been around in some form or another since the late 80's but it actually has history going back way further than that (the first motion-tracking head mounted displays were developed in the early 60's). It's not a new concept, and it still hasn't gained any real traction over at least 30 years. If it hasn't really gained any real traction by now, I don't think it's going to.

        Having said that, we have three big companies throwing lots of money at the development of three competing VR devices, which we have not seen before (though we did have Sega and Nintendo both trying their hand at it in the mid 90's, and we all know how that turned out: Sega's never saw the light of day and Nintendo's failed miserably after less than a year on the market). That alone MAY allow VR to gain a bit more of a foothold, but I still have my doubts.

        I mostly put this in the realm of 3D movies and TV, and motion controls to an extent too. Was a novel concept for a while but people got over it pretty quickly, and it remains (and will continue to remain) just a niche thing. A "cool" concept that fades out as a fad. I feel like Sony, Oculus and HTC/Valve are wasting their time and money on this tech, but I'd like to be proven wrong.

        Last edited 20/01/16 12:24 pm

          If it hasn't really gained any real traction by now, I don't think it's going to

          How do you figure? The reason VR hasn't gained mainstream traction previously is the technology hasn't been up to the task of providing a compelling VR experience at a reasonable price point. Regardless of how well the current generation of VR devices go, as technology evolves and prices fall, that target should become more acchievable, not less.

          I mostly put this in the realm of 3D movies and TV, and motion controls

          Having tried all of these things along with current gen VR, I can say from a purely objective standpoint that they're not even in the same ballpark in terms of user experience or potential applications.

          Despite its name, Nintendo's "virtual reality" was anything but. More comparable to a 3D TV, actually :P

          Or a 3DS that you can't really take anywhere.

          I mostly put this in the realm of 3D movies and TV, and motion controls to an extent

          Yeah.... Play any cockpit based game in VR and you'll instantly know how wrong that assumption is.

            Motion controls also have a place. So do 3D movies. VR might be good for cockpit based games, that's great. Unfortunately cockpit based games do not make up the majority of games. I said VR will remain a niche thing and I stand by that.

    Depends what you mean by "succeed". I think it'll succeed with its goals for this year in terms of gaining a foothold, but it's not going to totally hit the mainstream yet. That'll still take a while.

    Also as an aside, the last few times these polls go up they don't seem to have shown the results. Mistake? Or if not, where do the numbers go? And now I'm picturing that Simpsons scene with the pneumatic tubes where Homer's suggestion goes off to a beaver dam. Good luck, little guys.

    This year, it'll be early adopters. The keen enthusiasts. 2018 might be the year of VR.

    Eventually VR will have it's place but it wont be this year.

    Yes, but not for a while. I was hoping that 2016 would be the year however since the price release of the oculus I don't think this would be the case anymore :(

    Still peeved about it lol.

    I voted no. I want it to succeed so badly, but if dumb asses like oculus keep trying to price people out of their hardware, then it's not going to take off

      Spoiler: high-end equipment for a niche audience is expensive. Whoda thunk.

        So $1100 is a reasonable price to you? Right....

        I expected expensive, but not for half the cost of building a new PC just to run the damn thing well

          Sure, I'd love it if it were only ~$700 or so. But the state of our economy and a tanked dollar isn't entirely relevant to a product being developed elsewhere, it sucks but that's just something we have to cop here.

            Problem for me is they need to be in the sub-$200 range. Which will only happen AFTER early adopters pay the New Item Tax, so its a catch-22 situation. But while its $1100, or even $700 its just too hard to see it gain enough traction to take off. For once, these might need professionals to drive the adoption and development.

            You also have the fact they are a worn item, which typically dont succeed. I think theres a lot that needs to go right before VR becomes mainstream, and that means theres a lot that can go wrong.

            3D teles should have worked, but didnt. VR comes across as being pretty much the same thing.

              I agree, Oculus' stated goal originally of making it around the USD300 mark would have been a game changer, Palmer himself said that if a product is $600 it doesn't matter how good it is, it may as well not exist, and I think he was right.
              The problem with launching a USD$650 (minimum cost with shipping and taxes in the US) is that there is a real chance that VR won't get enough traction to make it to a second or third iteration that can bring the price down to be more appealing to the public and to developers.

              The stereoscopy of 3D TVs didn't really add anything to the experience though, you were still watching the same movies the exact same way. VR does incorporate stereoscopy too, but it's far down the list of what it adds. Head tracking > wide FOV > stereoscopy. All of them combined though, and they take you somewhere else entirely.

                Yeah, I dont disagree, but its just something else VR needs to overcome. I have a 3D tele, think I use it maybe once every 6 months. Not because of the glasses (I've worn glasses my whole life), but because it just doesnt add enough to make it worth it.

                While VR does more than just add depth, its still a factor, and the whole nature of them comes across in a similar way to 3D glasses. No need to convince me they arent, I agree, but to the general public, they are too similar to what they universally ignored 5 years ago, and $1000 to boot.

                Tough to sell enough to get traction.

                FYI, I got the 3D tele for everything else it offered, not the 3D. At the time, it was a VERY simple filter for what I really wanted, which was multiple HDMI inputs, Smart TV, etc. Every 3D tele had them, and the price difference wasnt massive, so I was able to just narrow down to 20 or so 3D teles rather than 300.

                Plus the extras were worth it. 23" HD tele, extra glasses, and a couple of 3D movies.

                Yes. Stereoscopy is way down the list of what's important for VR. Some people don't even realize it's OFF unless they've been told.

              Sub 200? It's never going to happen. Not when cheap VR shell only product that needs your phone to work costs $100-$150 already.

                Not sure what you mean by this, when Google Cardboard can be had for well under ten dollars.

                Admittedly the actual hardware (the phone) costs a lot more - but you can even buy a reasonable tablet with motion sensing and a good (if not great) CPU for around $200. Add $20 of plastic to that and you have a functional VR headset.

                Personally I think VR will make itself a moderate niche (~10-20% of the market) in the next few years but the lack of real life situational awareness and the limitations on movement will block it from dominating the market.

                On the other hand, I can see non-gaming applications where it could easily dominate. Business meetings. House previews. Education. Remote exploration and sensing.

            It does suck and it may not have anything to do with the product's appreciation, but it has everything to do with it being successful or not.

            If you stretch this logic a bit further, they could have made an even higher quality product, maybe with an additional camera for room scale tracking, occlusion camera and include the touch controllers, state that this is the baseline for VR and price it accordingly.

            IMO, the price already cuts out a percentage of the normal distribution of wealth, then add the skill requirement and all you have left are the actual enthusiasts, YouTubers and testers, same as they did with the Dev Kits.

            I think you'll agree that the install base they are targeting is also a hidden part of the product, it's weaker if the install base is smaller. When Sony released the PS1, they ate the cost because they knew they were going into a new market and had to shake things up. I think it would have been a huge mistake if they didn't.

            Another very dangerous thing is the competition between VIVE and OR. I have no doubt they will both be expensive, which makes people choose between one or the other. I think this will happen at the end of February.

            It's really interesting to see this play out.

            Last edited 20/01/16 12:49 pm

              Well the headset already has room-scale tracking out of the box, thanks to its rear-mounted emitters. The sensor's supposed to have something like 70º vertical and 100º horizontal FOV with a range of 18' or so, stick that up in the corner and you've got your whole area covered. It'll be interesting how much the Touch controllers end up being though. Extra sensors too, if you want to get more for occlusion protection.

              Skill though? I know the devkits were a pain in the arse to set up, with extra displays and getting it to output to the right screen and mashing up your desktop etc etc (and it was definitely a factor in me not using my DK1 all that often), but Oculus is keen to get it as plug-and-play as possible with Home, so I doubt that'll be much of a problem. Remains to be seen, of course.

              They are eating a lot of the cost though. Both in terms of the headset, and funding games to go with it. Hatching the chicken and laying the egg at the same time, to help jump-start everything.

                I agree. But I highly doubt anyone's eating cost. We'll have to wait for the first tear-downs for that. It is more likely Oculus wants to force VR technology forwards by introducing a higher baseline set of features. Admirable, only if the larger part of that investment is coming from them, not us.

                R&D, Marketing, Software, online infrastructure costs shouldn't count as much, but I think they somewhat do with Oculus. Why? because unlike SONY and Valve who had some basis to build upon, they had to create all those from the ground up. Not to mention manufacturing, distribution, staffing and support.

                The problem I'm seeing with this model is the dependency it has on a very strong adoption rate from enthusiasts.

                The end product that we as customers are going to appreciate is content, the HMD will disappear when you put it on. The strongest feature you have in your VR system (if you ask me) will be adoption rate (after you reach that threshold of presence). It will make or break them.

                Those are my thoughts anyway. It'll still be a great headset with very high quality and since there is no content lock, I don't think it will collect dust if I bought it.

                These guys also did something that really messed up my good will I had going towards them by just dumping the price on us, knowing full well what that's going to cause (completely intentional). It was very underhanded and felt manipulative and intentional.

                I think they've stuck to this price, not to accrue personal wealth, but with a forceful intention of covering said costs expecting the early adopters to bite the bullet for a brand new company entering a brand new market.

                Last edited 20/01/16 3:08 pm

                  I agree, they have stated that 'they are not making any money on the hardware' which is very different to 'eating the cost'. If you factor in all the wages, marketing, R&D then sure, you ar not making any money on the hardware. The implication was when the facebook takeover happened that it would allow them to drastically reduce the cost of the product, and this was when they publicly had a $300 target for it.

                  I think they could have had a much, much better chance at making VR a success had they stuck to that strategy...

                  Responding in Reddit’s Oculus section to the question, “How is this what’s best for VR technology?”, Luckey said that, “This deal specifically lets us greatly lower the price of the Rift.”
                  Oculus has stated previously that their target price for a consumer virtual reality headset would be around $300. With the Oculus Rift DK2 going on sale last week for $350, it can be assumed that Luckey’s comment applies to the forthcoming consumer version of the Oculus Rift. If the company could bring the cost down to $100 per headset, it would surely go a long way toward widespread adoption of VR.

                  @poita Man, I can't reply to you. It's grayed out.
                  There is another huge strategy change that took place that I don't see anyone discussing. They went into game publishing and distribution. In time they might offer standard games as well.

                  The initial Kick Starter was for a peripheral electronic device. Different ball game, all the players left standing in this new league are well aware of the pitfalls unique to this market. The goal of the game here, is to get the most practicable technology into as many homes as possible as quickly as possible. Hope to GOD you make the money back off of content distribution.

                  The first pre-order stage is where they needed to shine the most, they needed a huge start, they needed to take the market by storm. They needed to milk that enthusiast base for what it's worth. You want people to be exited about the games, not the platform itself.

                  I think Luckey would have approached FB regarding the pricing. But, Zuckerberg is a very cunning and shrewd man, I think he believes he can do better than anyone else ever before, by having the cake and eating it too.

                @manu Regarding the price, they'd been prepping everyone for something more expensive in the weeks leading up to it all. And the whole US$300/"ballpark" thing has been covered plenty of times, I 100% believe Palmer when he says it was a context thing and he admits that it wasn't explained clearly enough. But they did say months upon months ago that all in all it'll cost US$1500 to get yourself a Rift and Rift-capable PC, and that's still the case now. Even translating across to local currency. Atm that comes to about AU$2200, leaving about $1100 for the PC. And I just quickly threw this together, which comes to basically that price. Everyone knew what to expect, they just latched onto the parts they wanted to believe instead.

          I spent $1200+ on a sweet drone, so yep.

          VR has to succeed in order to succeed. If it induces sickness, isn't immersive or just makes you wish you were looking at a monitor, it doesn't succeed. If it is perceived by the masses to not be more than a cheap gimmick, there will be no hype, and far less uptake from developers.

          So to be seen as a success, it HAS to be good. Even if a large number of consumers can't afford it, if they try it in store or a show room (like the car show demos) and are blown away and leave wishing they could afford it, it will succeed.

          The same happened with dedicated graphics cards, Testlas's electric cars and any number of new innovations that need to build a market before they're accepted. You need to prove your new tech has value and that there's a strong future with it for people to invest.

          How expensive is a top of the line, cutting edge, high refresh rate, gsync monitor? Yes.. VR is expensive, but it's cutting edge technology.

            Yes, but the monitor doesn't require developers to succeed.

    Not in 2016. Once all the contenders are out in the wild and there are games/experiences to consume and reviews to read then maybe VR will begin to get real traction.
    But that will be early 17 realistically.

    Did it succeed last time? What's different this time?

      Everything. The technology, the capabilities, the cost, the potential footprint. It was nowhere near ready before.

        Actually, a lot of the reasons it failed the first time around are still in place this time.
        All of what you stated is true, but many of the core problems that existed back in the 80s are still there in the current crop of VR HMDs.

          many of the core problems that existed back in the 80s are still there in the current crop of VR HMDs

          Such as? By far the largest obstacles in my mind were input latency, graphical sophistication, the physical size and weight of the tech, and entry pricepoint.

          Last edited 20/01/16 1:33 pm

            1) Isolating experience
            2) Headgear is hot, somewhat uncomfortable, and cabled
            3) Low market penetration = not enough market for AAA developers = lack of software that really makes it worth playing in VR
            4) Cost is prohibitive for mass market adoption which leads back to point 3
            5) Gamers are generally creatures of convenience in the long run, it is a commitment to game in VR, and it is easier to just play on a big screen, and still have a great experience.
            6) Market segmentation, again, makes it hard for developers as an already small install base is made smaller by multiple platforms.
            7) The VR experience is the most fun in small doses, it can really feel almost life changing, but longer experiences are less fun, and it wears off after a few goes for most people.

              1. Subjective
              2. I can't speak for the vive but the rift dk2 is both cool and comfortable to wear. anchored cables is a legitimate con
              3. far too early to make this call, the main contenders aren't even on the shelves yet
              4. first gen tech is always expensive. this traditionally doesn't determine the success of consumer tech
              5. Subjective
              6. any harder than any other type of multiplatform release? As a developer, I would have to say it's trivial by comparison to releasing on both Xbone and PS4 for example
              7. Subjective (I've spent several 8 hours at a stretch in Elite:Dangerous, my life remains disappointingly unaltered).

                I don't see point one as subjective, the Rift is much more isolating than normal gaming in a physical sense. For online gaming not as much, but in a family environment, definitely.

                The DK2 is anything but cool and comfortable for extended use, every person I have show it to that has sat through a few longer demos takes it off and it is sweaty as.

                When first gen tech is really expensive it really does affect the success, especially when it is an add-on product, not a complete product in itself.
                The rift is not like a television or a game console, it requires other high-end equipment to work at-all. Most other tech going into people's homes work with what you already own, and works very well. The rift requires a high-end PC to work as it should, it works 'okay' on a 970 card, but really only shines on something better. The PSVR will require a PS4 etc. It is expensive and requires something that already only a smaller portion of the PC own, and in the rift's case, many would also want th controllers for the full experience, which is more money again.

                5) Maybe subjective, but point me to a gaming add-on that has been a real success. Maybe graphics cards, but everything else has stayed in a niche.

                6) Yes, it is harder, much harder than releasing on XB1 and PS4. The install bases of each VR platform are going to be really small in all likelihood, making it hard for a developer to commit to multi platform. You will have PS4, and at least two competing platforms on the PC. Oculus is demanding that you us their SDK to sell through their store, it is hard to commit resources to a small, fragmented install base. It is hard when the customers number in the tens of millions.

                7) Again, flight/space-sim and driving games are a niche, and the people who will pony up for VR are a niche within the niche. You have spent several 8 hour sessions in Elite whilst using the DK2, or just in the game? I've spent hours with the DK2 on, but have drifted back to not using it again.
                I struggle to see that the payback for most games will be worth strapping on the gear, outside of the genres that people already are willing to setup gear for (racers and sims)

      Hahahahahahahahahahhahahaha, nice troll.

    I think it'll go the way of the Kinect. It's a cool technology that we'll see some amazing mods for and people using it in really creative ways, but its impact on gaming will be minor and it'll never enter into mainstream use.

    Depends how you define success. I think it will find a nich audience, but I can't see it getting much mainstream traction in its current form. Give it a few years to get cheaper, more powerful and, most importantly, small, lighter, more comfortable and less ridiculous-looking and maybe then it will become more widely popular.

    I thought the $1b that Facebook injected into Oculus would help the price stay low. Maybe it did, maybe it was going to be $2k per unit. With that price it isn't going anywhere, not this year. Very disappointing. Maybe next year. I just want to play driving games and space ship games in VR. For $1100 I could probably get one of those cockpit simulator things with hydrolics and stuff.

    I thought Star Citizen would be great but in VR it's going to be weird unless you're actually sitting in your cockpit. FPS mechanics in VR will be weird, and in an online world I can't exactly pause the game every time i sit down in a cockpit to put my headset on.

    Will it succeed? Probably - there's a lot of hype around it, and the technology looks really promising. Will it succeed because of Gaming? Hell no - if anything, it'll succeed because of porn. :P

    Will is succeed this year? I sincerely doubt it - it'll be niche until it gains enough of a following for mass production and consumerism to allow a price drop - it's still in its infancy, and is far too expensive for the average consumer, imo.

    Why are we just talking about implications for games though.

    I'm reminded of the blue ocean way of thinking that pushed the Wii away from the insular gamer crowd and towards the Everybody Else demographic.

    Kinect arguably had some small sort of success with the market which sites like this derided as ' f****n casuals' for YEARS. Wasn't it applied to other situations?

    VR, through Facebook's voodoo, will probably have a greater and longer-lasting effect in other industries than gaming.

    Everybody's got that 'mate with the Sony' or whatever (ie you) who can thrill/bore people at the watercooler when asked about 'that VR mask' and that will cover word of mouth. Maybe it'll just turn out that it works best in the medical trade (say) than the Scared Youtuber set.

    Depends what you define as success really. If the goal for 2016 is to start developing a market, get it into homes then yes it'll succeed.

    If the goal is to make it popular and turn it into a common household entertainment device then no. It'll take years to get enough market share and be as widely distributed as consoles etc. The console market didn't expand to what it is in one year, why would you expect VR to?

    Not in it's upcoming form I think. Way too bulky and it still looks like something from the 80's. I think maybe in about 10 years time when they've got the technology down to something that look like sunglasses then people will embrace it but I don't think people will really go for it in the mainstream in it's current form when it looks like you're wearing a giant pair of novelty goggles that are really expensive!

      This is one thing I don't really get. I mean, you can't see yourself when you're wearing it, so why does it matter how it looks?

      I'm super keen to see how the Rift feels though. The latest version is said to just completely disappear once you slip it on, they've ergonomics'd the shit out of it.

        It is more that it looks (and is) uncomfortable for long-term use, and looks dated and doofy, which makes it a harder sell.
        I have worn the 'retail' version that they sent out to some developers that looks identical to the one they are now pre-selling, and whilst it is a big step up in comfort from the DK2, it is still uncomfortable after about 10 minutes, and I had problems with it fogging up (I get the same issue with large sunglasses).

          Dang, the whole cloth surface thing was supposed to help alleviate heat and fogging. Excessively moist eyes? :P

          I never really had a problem using the DK1 for longer periods than that, though I did find that exhaling through my nose seemed to somehow direct air up into the headset and cause lens fogging actually. Always found that weird. In through the nose, out through the mouth :P

    I would lump VR with my 3d tv and playstation move. Not to mention my vita. I love the tech and will buy, but apparently no one else does.

    I was involved the first time around in the late 80s, and though things are amazingly better now than then, the core problems still remain.

    1) Isolating experience
    2) Headgear is hot, somewhat uncomfortable, and cabled
    3) Low market penetration = not enough market for AAA developers = lack of software that really makes it worth playing in VR
    4) Cost is prohibitive for mass market adoption which leads back to point 3
    5) Gamers are generally creatures of convenience in the long run, it is a commitment to game in VR, and it is easier to just play on a big screen, and still have a great experience.
    6) Market segmentation, again, makes it hard for developers as an already small install base is made smaller by multiple platforms.
    7) The VR experience is the most fun in small doses, it can really feel almost life changing, but longer experiences are less fun, and it wears off after a few goes for most people.

    I think it could still 'succeed', there are so many people out there that it could get just enough traction to become a niche product, in the way that iRacing, Flight Simulators and HOTAS sticks and FFB Steering wheels are, but apart from perhaps the PS4VR, I can't see it going the distance, especially if the Rift truly is over a grand at 'cost price', without controllers - most people can't justify that, and many will be worried about it being obsolete in a year etc. It would also mean that the Vive and others are not going to be cheaper.
    I would love it to succeed, I am a massive VR fan, but I think it will have a big initial uptake, then falter and maybe die.

    I think the experience would be well suited to big events, arcades and theme parks, but in the home it is kind of like having a full size jumping castle for the kids in your back yard. Sure they would love to have one, but it is a bit of a pain, and the fun wears off a bit, and after a while they would be just as happy with a standard trampoline to play on.

    For the mainstream, perhaps the Gear-VR/Google Cardboard will end up being what succeeds.

      I agree with most of your doubts, but gaming will only be a portion of where VR can thrive.
      Housing developments / Personal Experiences (hanging out in chat rooms/lobbys / Buying tickets to a concert/PPV/sporting event / Exercise simulations / Shopping / Simulations for various scenarios...... Porn.....

      So whilst I agree with all of the bullet points, I think when paired with the right circumstances the experience will be compelling enough for its use. People sitting at home all day playing games on occulus isn't part of that setup, so I don't think there'll be too much of that going on.

        Oh absolutely, I think it can survive for event based use, and industry use, as I mentioned I think it can go well in those environments, but I can't see it being a success in the home.

        Oh absolutely, I think it can survive for event based use, and industry use, as I mentioned I think it can go well in those environments, but I can't see it being a success in the home.
        Exercise in particular doesn't work (gets far too hot, and the HMD ends up shifting/falling off), but I can see it working in other arenas. At home though, I would be really surprised.

        I agree with what you are saying but all the experiences you described can be achieved on mobile VR. They often don't require Occulus or Vive and a powerful rig and they are mostly just VR video experiences not 3D. I think PSVR and its middle ground and mobile is where VR will succeed for home VR. Occulus will still be there for enthusiasts, engineering, theme parks etc. When more mobile companies start designing their phones for VR and have dedicated headsets (like the Gear) then this will be when mass adoption happens as the only barrier will be buying a headset for your phone. Still if people want a better game experience then PS and PC will be where they have to go which is already the case.

        The problem with all those things is using a VR headset takes a far amount of effort to setup. It's not something you casually use. You would only bother for something that gives you the kind of immerse experience that nothing else will.
        So I think games and VR "movies" and porn is where it will be anything more than a 10 minute gimmick.

          Well, the porn might only be used in a couple minute spurts :)

            At first I wondered "is that like 'minnit' or 'my newt'?"

            Then I realised I don't want to know.

    Define "success" in this context.

    For most, because most don't have anywhere close to the rig required, VR in 2016 is enthusiast level niche. I don't know what quantifies success in this context.

    For me all that I need is a newer video card, I meet the rest of the specs, just. Even then I have to acknowledge the fact that my rig just hits the min specs. From that I can expect any high fidelity gaming (AAA) would be beyond my rigs capabilities. 4790, 16gb ddr3 currently with a 4gb gigabyte 770. I can probably comfortably play some of the lower end games, if I bought a 970. But as soon as I moved up to any higher fidelity games (that I prefer over most of my experience with "indie" games) frame rates would suffer and nausea would make gaming uncomfortable. So in all honesty VR is far beyond my budget for gaming this year. I plan on building a new rig so my partner and I have our own seperate rigs and can play together, but not on buying this first entry level consumer product/s and running them on an under powered rig. Especially the kinds of games I prefer.

    So to me, VR in 2016 is not relevant, but that doesn't mean it can't or won't be successful, I just won't be buying it.

    Given that I can't afford it until 2017-2018 (both the device and the hardware upgrade), I'm skeptical. I mean, I'm a gamer/gaming enthusiast. I earn decent money and fucking self-identify by my level of investment in this hobby. And I'm not getting on board in 2016. Who the hell IS getting on-board?

      We are doomed to do this dance forever, you and I :P

      I have a frigging X99 and a Titan and own a DK1 and a DK2, and I can't justify getting a Rift, especially since the controllers will be even more money.
      So yeah, I don't know who will be getting on board in 2016, I should really be their target demographic and I just can't pull the trigger.

      I am getting on-board. Been watching on VR scene for a long time and I already have enough hardware to run it. Just needed the VR and all done.

      Placed an order for Oculus but waiting for Vive to jump ship.

        When is the Vive pre-order opening?

          Feb 29. Apparently ETA shipping date is April.

            Is that a dev kit or a consumer release?

              Consumer

                That's pretty awesome... hopefully it'll be cheaper. Not sure of the ins and outs but if it's magically cheaper and needs less performance on the tower, can see it taking a decent chunk of the market.

                  The required 90fps at nearly 4K effective resolution is going to make it difficult for it to work on lower performance machines.

      Who the hell IS getting on-board?

      HELL YES! The first 20 seconds flying the Elite:Dangerous tutorial sold me. Nothing has changed my mind 16 months later.

        I guess I should've asked 'how many'. I have serious doubts that the true believers are going to be enough to make this a 'success' in 2016 when die-hard enthusiasts like myself aren't getting on-board and the majority of the population is even less enthusiastic than me.

          Wait for reviews. Try it. Whatever. Just don't for a minute right VR off.

          Yes it's going to be very expensive to begin with. All cutting edge technology is. I'm already borrowing from my tax refund (yeah... this year it'll be a decent one) to get the headset and a mid range Pascal based video card to buy it. I normally don't do that kind of thing, and usually I wait for the next gen, but this is seriously worth it.

          I'll put it out there with a caveat though. Cockpit based games rule VR. With regard to other games, I'll probably just be using the headset as a giant monitor with VR Desktop. And I'll probably only use my actual monitor for precise work (like photoshop and 3D modelling).

            After experiencing the retail version of the rift, and seeing the still-too-low resolution, I'd agree that it is rally only cockpit games that will be the real experience. VR desktop is still awful in the consumer version, the screen door and edge distortion is still very visible. Better than the DK2, but still grainy and blurry round the edges.

    Until they fix the issue where 40% of people get nausea it will fail. Especially at it's price point. No one is going to pay for an expensive machine that makes you sick.

    Last edited 20/01/16 12:05 pm

    How are you measuring success? Overall the only place it might get good adoption this year is on PSVR (and mobile) if the price is right. But mark my words people will want VR in the next few years! Two of the biggest theme parks in the UK (Alton Towers and Thorpe) will be opening their big VR rides this year. One on Occulus, the other on the Vive. When people get to go on these premium experiences (and others like it) they will want VR in there homes. I honestly think that no one investing really believes VR will sell big in the first year.

    As other people have asked, what defines "success" for VR? Personally, I don't see an immediate future for VR beyond a niche enthusiast gaming experience (like Flight Sticks and steering wheel peripherals) and entertainment you go out for (There are already places where you can don a VR headset and it creates a reality based on obstacles and props set up around the place).

    I see less game related use for VR that it would be good for like full body video conferencing and being able to present business concepts without resorting to scale models and pie charts but again it's still very niche uses and not for the average consumer. Plus there needs to be supporting technology that just doesn't exist yet for a lot of the non-gaming applications.

    Eventually VR will find its success I think but that highly depends on these formative years. In truth, 2016 is going to be the year that decides whether VR lives or dies and the success will come in later years.

    Last edited 20/01/16 12:12 pm

    It will become a niche within already niche communities like flight sims and racing. Fine by me as I've not been convinced by its use for anything else.

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