Where does VR fit into the future?
It’s been asked time and time again about what will be the future disruptive technology and some have placed their bets on Virtual Reality. VR has been a known technology for quite some time now. It’s sort of been taken as a tumbling joke for the past few decades. But major competitors that wanted to take the big leap have stepped up in the past few years to challenge this industry.
One of the big players to drive this movement has been Oculus. They were one of the first to step up on the mound to actually have VR be taken serious. As a matter of fact, they were taken so serious that Facebook acquired the whole company for 2 billion dollars.
That is a heavy duty investment by one of the top companies in the world. And with such a large acquirement of a VR company, it started creating ripples. Jumping into the VR race were companies like Google, Playstation, Samsung, HTC, and more with rumors that Apple is quietly working on their VR system as well.
So the burning question that needs to be answer is, will VR actually make an impact in the future or will it flop like some other technologies such as 3D tv’s?
There are many more companies that would like to jump on the VR bandwagon but they just can’t assess the market quite yet. Being that the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are poised to strike first with their headset consoles, Fortune 500 companies will look at them in a glass eye view to determine if they should invest as well. The 2 consoles are set to release later this month in march and April.
If they succeed, Oculus and HTC are aligned to make some serious profit. But if they fail, they will have wasted billions into this technology while other companies move on to the next fairly unscathed.
That is some true risk.
Additionally, there aren’t many big game developers behind the VR movement quite yet. This makes it hard for VR companies to sell these products.
Oculus Rift and HTC Vive don’t come that cheap either. The Rift starts around $600 in addition to needing a strong computer just to use it which should bring the final cost to about $1500 at minimum. The Vive costs around $800. So they are substantially more expensive than the traditional consoles which can deter many from purchasing this fancy technology.
Why would people want to stray away from their comforting PS4’s and Xbox One’s?
If you look at the current timeline of games to come out in 2016 for Xbox and Playstation, it makes it hard for people to simply convert. FFXV (final fantasy 15) is going to release this year on both consoles. Mass Effect Andromeda is suppose to release some time in Q4. Kingdom Hearts 3 is rumored to come out this year. Overwatch is another anticipated game for this year. All of these titles are set to release on the existing consoles.
So if we examine this situation as a gamer, there really isn’t a drive to convert.
The road ahead
So let’s get to it. Game production MUST improve in order for Virtual Reality to be a thing. Games like the ones listed above MUST debut on the VR platforms. Super gaming companies such as EA, Dice, Square Enix, etc. must jump on board to push this industry. Without the backing, you might see a breakdown or collapse of virtual reality.
The biggest game that is currently set to release on the Rift and Vive is probably EVE: Valkyrie. This franchise is pretty big with a large community. But other than that, there really isn’t many household names with skin in the VR game.
There also needs to be a bump or trigger along the not too distant future for VR to stick around. What I mean by this is there needs to be something shocking that allows people to quickly adapt the product. It can’t be something gimmicky as 3D tv was. It needs to create a sense of revelation for people to WANT and CRAVE VR.
Oculus recently announced a social realm and space where people and communities will be able to interact with one another in the cyber world.
People and friends will be able to stream twitch and watch vimeo videos together in this social space. It’s an idea straight out of movies and comics. But at the same time, something we’ve wanted to try.
People theorize that consumers of VR will never leave their beds again. This might be true. But also envision a virtual world of your own creation. You’ll be able to create roller coasters in space, walk on other planets and galaxies, be at a beach, or even climb Mt. Everest. There are some, actually.. many things that are possible within the virtual world which makes it so exciting!
“You just have to be open to new ideas.”
Creating the base community
Without the vision, virtual reality can just become another fad. This is why VR will need a strong community to start with. Many have chosen to support VR, the ones who want to take a risk and gamble. We definitely are one of those people. We believe that VR not only serves as entertainment but can be used in a lot of other ways. It can be a place for imagination, engineering, designing, problem solving (messing with gravity kind of stuff), and maybe even influence fields such as medicine. We know augmented reality is definitely poised to make a movement in that sector but we believe virtual reality can as well.
There are communities outside of the gaming one that can have huge influences to virtual reality. Maybe the architectural community can become the front runners to driving VR by creating new worlds. Imagine something like Inception, but 10x more creative.
To be or not to be
That is the question lying in virtual reality’s path to success. Many situations have to be examined. Many have to risk and put a lot on the line. Many believe VR to be 3D TV 2.0. But be optimistic, we at VR and FUN have bet our chips on virtual reality being the dominant force and disruption in technology. Be sure to join us on our journey to pave a new road in imagination and creativity with virtual reality!