WILL VR TAKE OFF IN 2016?
Aaron (You know, the RACE THE SUN guys?) asked a question and I’ve been thinking about this for a long while actually. So here is my rant, which I wrote in a couple of minutes and not sure if grammar nazis will come for me. I REGRET NOTHING.
I’m hopeful for VR, however I’m cautioned optimistic as well on the current state of VR. I can’t help but think about how people interact with a computer whether it be an iphone, apple TV (the new one), a PC, a mac, a ps4, a xbox 1…etc. VR being new, I think is going to rely on bundling in the beginning to get it into the hands outside of the indie devs and other tech heads who just got to have it because it’s awesome and cool (which I think it is!).
The problem I see with bundling is consistency. Think about Xbox and Kinect. If you make the Kinect a default part of the package, then you inherently reduce the risk of its failure to a degree due to developer support, and games to go with it. When you take it away and make it a separate purchase then the developer support and games that go with it dry up and no one wants to touch it (not saying it stops 100%, but most of it does). That makes me sad and pissed off at the same time. Apple TV I think made a huge mistake not including a game controller. Fire TV did the same damn thing, made it a separate purchase. If they really cared about games, they would have included it. Instead we have to make games based on some stupid silly apple tv stick remote or amazon fire tv remote thing because that’s the lowest common denominator, and as a developer you want to reach as many people as possible.
When the barrier to entry is low, people try things. When you put a huge freaking wall up that makes you have to think really hard about what you want, most likely most are going to move on to another thing since there are so many choices for entertainment out there. Where does this fit in with VR? Well, VR as a separate purchase is a hard sell (In my opinion of course) considering the price it’s estimated to be at which is somewhere in the $300 range, +/- $200 most likely. It’s like buying a new console. For Sony, I think if they could find a way to bundle Morpheus with PS4 that would go a long way. Not sure about Xb1 or what their deal is. With PC, seeing games like “Climb” and the talks of bundles of games with VR is a great step forward, but I don’t know if that’s enough to keep things alive. I for one REALLY REALLY REALLY want It to live on because it is so damn cool. The first time I tried VR was on the EVE Valkerie demo at GDC a couple years back and holy crap was that the best thing ever.
I’m waiting for VR to get out the door, stumble, then somehow roar to life and become a standard thing. Even if it could become something like a Video Card, which PC people rage/rave about constantly (all about the FPS and texture fill rates, and heat, and speed). If there can become passion about it (which I think there already is) then I’m hopeful that in at least the PC sector it’s going to fly. The console sector, that’s hard to tell. I feel the Kinect situation resurfacing with the Morpheus. I sure hope not.
That’s what I think. So there. -nick