VR has been growing slowly and we are going to take a look at why. Virtual reality has always had a question mark over its head when talking about it’s […]
VR has been growing slowly and we are going to take a look at why.
Virtual reality has always had a question mark over its head when talking about it’s future. VR has been around since the 90’s, but never for commercial use. In 2010, the first prototype of the Oculus Rift was created, and in 2012 the Rift was displayed at E3 for the first time. Since then, virtual reality has been quickly taken up by the market. It is clear to see however that this technology is far from mainstream. In this article, we are going to explore what in 2019 is holding the modern VR headset from going truly mainstream.
One of the problems that VR has with going truly mainstream is how much it cuts you off from you the world around you. Yes modern VR headsets have a “look-through” setting that lets you see whats around you. so you can chat to your friends, but when you’re in the moment, VR is very much a solo exercise.
This is the exact reason that it has taken Apple so long to start looking into VR technology. Tim Cook has shared in the past that he isn’t excited by VR because of this isolation. One of the redeeming qualities that could let VR go truly mainstream is online play. This does cut out some of the isolation involved by playing with your friends. It still however makes it difficult to get in on the action with your friends and family at home like you could with a console.
Nintendo has addressed this with the Labo. The Labo is a different style of VR play that mainly focuses on turn based games. This obviously helps VR become more of a family friendly gaming option that is cheap as chips and is easy for younger members to use. The Labo has opened the door for VR styled gaming and widens VR’s demographic
Like I mentioned above, the Labo does address this to a degree but that isn’t the average VR experience. It’s very clear that a lot of work has been done over the years to work on bringing down the cost of VR. Firstly, headsets have started becoming cheaper (kind of) with Oculus clearly working hard to release cheaper headsets. Lets not forget about HTC, they managed to reduce the cost of their headset by roughly $700 AUD ($480 USD). This is a massive reduction in price, it just might not be enough for mainstream use.
The other large cost of using virtual reality extends past the headset however. For almost all headsets, you need a pretty powerful computer to run them. And a powerful computer can be very expensive. Unfortunately HTC don’t have an independent headset yet, however Oculus has started making moves in this avenue. The Oculus Quest reduces this cost significantly letting you use the headset without needing to be hardwired to a PC. Not only this but the headset itself is reasonably well priced compared to other competitive models.
Virtual reality is definitely gaining in popularity, this is clear. The technology has faced some problems during it growth and no doubt it will face some more. At present, the cost and isolation of virtual reality restrict its potential for growth. However, if developers can address these problems, it’s no doubt that VR can become a dominant and widely used technological for all kinds of people.