What Happened to the VR Revolution?

Microsoft just announced new motion controllers and partnerships with Acer and HP to make new headsets for Windows 10 at a lower price point than Rift and Vive. For instance the Acer headset bundled with motion controllers ships this holiday season for $400. It’s unclear what the specs are going to be as well as what will run on them (will they support UWP only?) but hopefully a lower barrier to entry means that publishers will fund more/larger VR projects.

1 Like

In certain groups, the VR revolution is happening all around us, right now. Unfortunately, that seems to only be the realm of developers and designers. I work in sound design and there are many people that urge me to get into VR sound. Even if I had the resources to do so, I’m not so sure. But there is a LOT of money floating around in VR right now. The divide between the vibe you get talking to a VR evangelist/dev and talking to consumers is huge.

The ideal VR experience (better visuals, lighter headset, less setup, less strain) may indeed be a way forward for games; I think there are a handful of games that really show what VR can do. However, very few people can afford these headsets and of those that can get them, many seem to have become disinterested rather quickly with the current offerings.

Another thing I’ve always been curious about is how long the VR industry can truck forward without any support from consumers. Did they plan things so that they can get to the important tech advancements before they run out of funding?

I feel the same way for similar reasons. But also I’m blind in one eye? So even if I could afford VR I couldn’t use it.

I’m kinda glad people have stopped talking about VR so much. There was a period of time where it was all anyone talked about and it was exhausting.

probably the same thing that happened to the video game revolution, it took a couple decades to really get rolling.

I think VR was sold as "oh this is it, this is the new NES, I think we are more at a place where it’s the new Atari 2600. I think we’ll get to a place where we have our VR Super Mario Brothers, but right now it’s a lot of lackluster arcade ports and a handful of Pitfalls. [the game Pitfall I mean, not unsuspected difficulties, although some of those too]

I think VR represents the point of diminishing returns when it comes to the notion of graphical immersion–the idea that a) immersion is an end, in of itself, for gaming and b) graphics is the best way to create immersion, as opposed to writing, score, mise en scene, mechanics, etc. You can achieve a high level of immersion with a VR headset, but at the cost of other techniques that have been developed over the years, including being able to turn to another person and receive acknowledgement that they also witnessed what happened in front of you.

I still kinda want a headset to compensate for the fact that I’ll never have an 80-inch TV (unless I win the lottery buy a house built for home theater), but I’ve also been scared off the idea by all that po-mo reading I had to do on simulation and spectacle; I live with enough of that without literally strapping a box to my head, thank you very much.

1 Like

I actually found the opposite to be true. This has been the best use I have found for my PS VR, in a group setting. I am not sure if this is just because of the novelty, which might wear off, but people seem to have a much better time watching others play VR than I ever expected, as long as you have a setup where you can easily see the player as well as the screen, which I admit can be difficult to setup in small environments.

1 Like

For me personally there’s a lot of barriers stopping me from really getting into VR

Like the price is a problem plus the necessity for a lot of space, PLUS it is sometimes difficult for me to stand for prolonged periods – it’s tough enough working my job, I’m not gonna add to that in what is supposed to be leisure time. I know not all games require you to stand but from watching giant bomb streams i understand that it’s not an uncommon assumption

I could probably try it out sometime, I’m not far from london and I know there’s gaming bars and suchlike that have done demos but I just… dunno if I’m that interested in playing a game as An Event like that?

If the price comes down and it’s possible to use VR in more confined spaces and with less of an assumption of an ability to stand then I might look into it but that is a WHOLE LOT of “ifs” aint it

moving around is… pretty important in the video games. all this teleporting nonsense no matter how well implemented is just not as good. feels like a massive problem to me.

short hands-on tech demos were very very impressive for those who could experience them i.e. journalists at trade shows, who almost without exception evangelised about their experience. i kinda kept my eye on the vr chat on the bombcast waiting for any doubt to surface & it took a long old time before they started wondering out loud if there would be anything of more substance when the headsets actually came out. not sure it has.

on a personal level - they’re way too expensive, i don’t care about any of the games i have seen for them, and i simply don’t want to be isolated like that in a headset. i gotta check twitter on my phone my dude


Why does being blind in one eye make it so you can’t use VR?

It means the 3d effect and the lenses don’t work. Which is super duper disorienting and bad.

1 Like

I feel VR needs to decide what its going to be. Is it going to be interactive (job simulator) or is going to be a new way to watch passive entertainment (Resident Evil 7?). Is it going to be a screen on my face that I can turn my head and play and get a greater sense of immersion/scale? Or is it going to be a sandbox tool where I wander around my room and interact with objects.

While the sandox idea is great, it is also very expensive. It means you need have a dedicated room (or spend 10 minutes clearing an area each time you play), mounting hardware on walls, paying for sensors, paying for controllers and paying for the headset. It also doesn’t really mesh well with existing games (unless you count shooting galleries) meaning its going to take a while to create new interesting “content” that is worth the upfront investment.

The other approach is it replaces your TV/Monitor. Its a screen strapped to your head that you can move. You still use your standard controller to navigate the environment, the headset replaces your look function. Most first person games fit well into this, even a lot of 3rd person games. Flight sims, driving sims, walking sims will all work great with this too. It only requires a couch or a chair and takes up considerably less space. It also means less hardware (just the headset, no other peripherals) meaning a lot less cost. It potentially means less space than a traditional living room set up as you might not need a TV and TV cabinet anymore, just a headset on a shelf.

I think as long as we try to do both it won’t really succeed. VR needs to find an identity and pursue that. Until then I’m not sure how it will realistically work.

We got the stuff at scenario, I’m unsure when it gets brought out but I know there’s VR In A Bar at one of the loading bars? When I played I was sitting down so it’s doable if you want to!

Man, I honestly wish I hadn’t bought a Rift. I preordered it way back when, then about 2 months after the release date I got an email letting me know that nearly $1000 was coming off my card… have used it twice. It’s cool, but… yeah, not $1000 cool. It’s now back in the box.

I kinda wondered if the motion controls would tip it over for me, but weirdly enough, when the email rolled around letting me know I could grab some, all i could think of was the whole Luckey funding the meme’s thing. Couldn’t bring myself to give that company money, even though I know in reality he likely had very little to do with it anymore.

Such a shame, I was one of those people who tried an off to the side demo at a trade show when it was still the first dev kit and fell head over heels for it. But I dunno… it turned sour for me. Fingers crossed it gets better though!

1 Like

I think, TBH, it’s stalled until Microsoft does its huge Windows 10 VR overhaul and basically makes a case for the average consumer to buy in. That’ll accelerate growth and funding both within hardware and software, and that’ll feed back into gaming.

oh i thought you lot changed it out for the switch?
maybe next time im in town i’ll drop in o:

VR might just be in a similar place to motion controls, some very good specific applications, but not ‘The Future of Interactive Media’ as once thought.

1 Like

We might have? But all the stuff is still there and there are def vr events at times.

1 Like

I remember a producer (I forgot who) who said “no one makes money by being the first to make a game for a new product”.

I believe VR is, so far, still a proof of concept to gauge interest for consumers and companies. The interest has been high but it’s clear it is unable to sustain itself due to the high price and also by the fact that it still remains limited to a specific number of genres (and not especially the most successful kind of genres).

It’s going to get interesting if Sony makes it a flagship of the PS5, and/or re-release a cheaper version. I believe it has been a successful first try, just didn’t pan out for very long.

I still want to try Rez Infinite once in my life…

For me, the greatest joy of VR still comes with showing someone VR for the first time. It’s fun to see how different people react to it and to give people some interesting experiences. I try to cater to whoever I’m showing the device to. Sometimes weird stuff happens, for example, I was showing Job Simulator to my mom and she ended up burning some bacon. She said “smells like something is burning.” She kind of freaked out when I told her that the bacon wasn’t real and there was no built-in smellivision. It’s weird how the brain will fill-in missing stimulus when enough complimentary stimulus is given in the experience.

I have a few games I return to myself that I get a lot of joy out of. McOsu is wonderful. It’s a mod for the popular rhythm game Osu that allows you to play the beatmaps in VR. It’s like a whole new input method for Elite Beat Agents with an endless community tracklist. I love it. The other thing VR is great for is flight sims. I can’t see myself going back to Track-IR after VR. If you love flight sims, VR is a great choice to enhance your flight sim setup.

VR is stupidly expensive and takes up way too much room. The only practical application of it is in arcades, which won’t happen but it should. I’ve played some vr stuff and enjoyed it, but for most people it is the most impractical thing ever.