The Daily Grind: How much will you pay for a VR headset, and which one will it be?

New analysis published on GamesIndustry.biz last week suggests that the virtual reality headset war is only going to heat up from here on out. Eedar’s Patrick Walker researched “consumer awareness” of different VR headset brands in the wake of the Oculus RIFT preorder announcement, arguing that PlayStation VR, Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, and SteamVR/HTC Vive all trail Oculus considerably when it comes to whether people even know they exist. Oculus is currently considered the luxury brand of the market, too, convincing more than half of those polled that it will provide a headset with the highest quality.

Most intriguing to me is the split between those who think a VR headset should run under $200 vs. over $300 — it shows more than half of the market last year wasn’t willing to pay even a third what the Oculus is asking, and a quarter still isn’t.

So today’s Daily Grind questions are two-fold and aimed at MMORPG players specifically. How much would/will you pay for a VR headset, and which one will it be — which VR system is best for an MMO player?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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191 Comments on "The Daily Grind: How much will you pay for a VR headset, and which one will it be?"

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enamelizer
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enamelizer

Not interested in the current products in the slightest. Not that I think the technology as a whole will fail, as it clearly provides some very immersive experiences. But I am taking a “lets see where it is in a few years” approach.

SwobyJ
Guest
SwobyJ

SallyBowls1 Facebook wants to advance telepresence. Won’t happen immediately but I expect tech in the 2020s and especially 2030s to abound with ways to ‘be with’ others that go beyond a camera and microphone and text, in themselves.

SwobyJ
Guest
SwobyJ

Only $200-300 (leaning $200) tops for the technology currently being focused on. What I envision as future (within 5-10 years from now) VR tech, I may find myself willing to spend up to $400 on. But I won’t care as long as there’s still wires and this size, etc. I don’t see the 2010s as the decade of VR but I’m not actually pessimistic here – it could be the 2020s.

dibstaru
Guest
dibstaru

This is the reality of VR. I’m not down with that.

mosselyn
Guest
mosselyn

Right now? $0. Call me when the technology is matured, the price is in the $100-200 range, and it offers a clearly superior experience in the games I enjoy. I think it’ll be a Big Deal eventually, but we’re several years away from that right now.
TBH, I don’t feel the need for VR in my MMO’s. It strikes me as more of a win for an FPS or even many non-gaming applications. I don’t like to play in 1st person view as it is. I also want to be able to reach for my drink, answer my phone, or otherwise interact with the real world while I’m playing.
A HUD like Google Glass seems more practical for my tastes than a VR rig.

Xijit
Guest
Xijit

BryanCo Wild_Phil Xijit 
there already are …..

JohnD212
Guest
JohnD212

Nothing. I couldn’t care less about VR. I barely have time to play games but when I do I don’t plan to wear a headset. Talk about lonely. No thanks

blackcat7k
Guest
blackcat7k

Zero. The technology needs to actually become more than a gimmick if it’s going to actually be adopted. With the costs of development continually rising many of these companies are really wasting their money if they divide resources to support this technology in its current state. If they make titles exclusively for it, then they’re just shooting themselves in the foot.

RicharddeLeonIII
Guest
RicharddeLeonIII

0$ for until i can be sure I wont be retching while I use one.

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

Quincha ManastuUtakata BryanCo 
My memory and awareness doesn’t pick up everything. /shrug

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

BalsBigBrother 
…actually I think I mentioned before. that is, if it becomes an option with your prescription glasses for a modest fee, then we’re talking.
I should have a discussion about this at some point. As it seems the most successful high tech breakthroughs recently happen with already advancing pre-existing technologies. We started with a phone, let’s make mobile, then let’s make the infrastructure for mobile phones to communicate better, then let’s make them digital, then let’s add some bells and whistles…eventually we ended up with an iPad, for example. So if we’re talking about incorporating VR technology into pair of glasses, I am pretty sure they would become a household thing…as oppose to an expensive novelty item only rich kids really play with.
This is what kinda happened with the Segway. They’re great, but a few people use them currently. But can you imagined if they focused that technology into the common bicycle instead?

ManastuUtakata
Guest
ManastuUtakata

Xijit 
/want <3

NoYou
Guest
NoYou

IMO, reserve judgement until you have a chance to try it. This is some remarkably immersive tech. I personally cannot wait to get a Morpheus. Oh, just plug it into my PS4? Yes, please.

tobascodagama
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tobascodagama

Apollymi Xijit The latest iterations of RealD fit over my glasses just fine, even without asking for clip-ons. Progress!

DeadlyAccurate
Guest
DeadlyAccurate

SallyBowls1 I mean the Vive and Rift. I admit, I haven’t followed the technology close enough to know all the players, so those are the two I know the most about. 
I know one use that would probably make me jump on board with it: Zbrush integration.

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

ApathyCurve  I see little evidence [many] people learn, about wasting money especially.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

Eliot_Lefebvre Loopstah  IMO it is the critical mass, chicken-and-egg, catch-22 problem.

New hardware is worthless without software, preferably compelling, only-available-here software.
Software companies only write for platforms that have a lot of paying customers (Linux says hi)

HW companies need lots of sales to get prices down.  Lots of people won’t buy without compelling software. Software companies won’t write expensive software without lots of VR headsets sold.

Facebook’s recent pricing shows they are interesting in subsidizing the market that much so it may be several years before we know much.

BryanCo
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BryanCo

Wild_Phil Xijit  There will probably be additional…..um…..input devices designed for it as well.

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

DeadlyAccurate melissaheather  My guess is all 4+ VR product (5 if you count AR) will “only work for a handful of products, most of which are half-ass cash grabs.” for the first version or two.  Regardless, there is a real chance that at least one will hit critical mass and be quite impressive in a few years.

P.S. just curious which you meant as the “two big ones”  The Samsung is the only one shipping now and due to price point ill probably remain the best selling for quite some time.  The Sony one is getting a lot of buzz now.  And you can’t count out Valve or Facebook.

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

IDK, conflicted: I am not that interested in VR but I am an early adopter.

The below-the-Titan nVidea card is $609 and, in a better world, you would have a couple of those.  So if VR is a big deal, then the price of a video card does not strike me as unreasonable.

But there is little compelling reason to buy in the next couple of years

The Venturebeat article from Nov 4[q.v.] has a number of quotes[emphasis mine]:
“The first thing that I wanna stress here is that these new platforms take a long time to develop,” Zuckerberg said during a conference call with investors. “We’ve said that VR and AR could be the next big computing platform, but to put that in perspective, the first smartphones came out in 2003. In that first year, Blackberry and Palm Treo both sold around only a few hundreds of thousands of units. And that’s how we think about.

it’s still very much in the development stage,” said Wehner. “So it’s early to be talking about large shipment volumes.”

For Zuckerberg, gaming is the first step.
We think gaming is the most obvious market,” he said. “There are 200 million to 250 million people in the world that have a [game console] … But until there are millions of units in the market, I don’t expect people to invest heavily in producing that content. And once it has reached the level of the next computing platform, we think it’ll be used primarily as a communication platform.

BryanCo
Guest
BryanCo

John Bagnoli  I love that movie.  From the days when the “Wayans” name on a film didn’t mean “avoid at all costs.”

theeknighthood
Guest
theeknighthood

Price is not an issue for me, after what I spent on getting a new PC built for it, don’t get me wrong I am not some millionaire I will just take the time to save up, the issue for me will be which one to get, so I am patiently going to wait for at least the Rift and the Vive to both hit the market and get some really good feedback on both first then make the choice and pick one up :D

MrEllis
Guest
MrEllis

I wonder if these will be used less for gaming and more for work?

playerxx
Guest
playerxx

I’ll stick to normal gaming for now and still happy that VR is step ahead, like it or not.

theeknighthood
Guest
theeknighthood

ApathyCurve That however comes down to each person, you might spend your money on certain things that I would consider a “waste” but you never will, I really hate it when people try to tell me things I choose to spend my money on is a “waste”

tobascodagama
Guest
tobascodagama

Quincha BryanCo This is why most of the “killer app” games for VR so far have been space dogfighters. The sim community is already used to paying a ton of money for a) controllers that can be operated without looking away from the display screen and b) head tracking rigs, plus putting the user inside a vehicle means there’s no need to account for the discrepancy between the character’s and player’s movements.

I’m curious to see if first/third-person shooters ever solve the motion problems, but I think the first generation of VR games will be vehicle-based experiences simply because the tech as it stands is simply a more natural fit to those.

BryanCo
Guest
BryanCo

Quincha BryanCo  I didn’t personally know anything about the vive system other than it being one of incoming VR devices. And I have to say after reading up on “the room” version of things that it looks like something that I’d love to have, but definitely don’t have the resources for.  I can’t see it really being something other than a “look what we can do with VR” thing for conventions and such.  No way are developers going to start producing games specifically for it anytime soon.

Apollymi
Guest
Apollymi

Xijit Every time I see a 3D movie, I annoy my companions by stating they should have clip-ons for folks with glasses.  Next time I’ll ask for the clip ons.  Thanks!

Higgens
Guest
Higgens

Not much, it is not a feature that interests me. I am interested in whats next, not wearing 2 small tvs on my face.

BryanCo
Guest
BryanCo

jsmooth1 ManastuUtakata BryanCo  Non-gaming related, but I also highly recommend their ‘Extra History’ videos for being informative and entertaining.

Loopstah
Guest
Loopstah

BryanCo And this is how you present arguments for your point of view without being absolutely dismissive of the technology. Yes – there are definite hurdles that need to be jumped, and there have been missteps in terms of bring this technology appropriately to the market, but this doesn’t mean that the concept is flawed, nor that it should be overlooked.

Xijit
Guest
Xijit

The PS4 is easier because it has a headphone jack on the controller that is compatible with normal cellphone headsets, but I think there are a few cheap ps3 headset models that are only one ear.

Pandalulz
Guest
Pandalulz

Xijit Yuuuuup.  I play on my PC or PS3 right behind the couch where the wife watches TV, so I either play with headset, one side hanging off (which is super uncomfortable with glasses), or just don’t bother to put them on at all.  I now have it setup where I use earbuds for the PC, but haven’t come up with a good way to play PS3 like that.

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

corey1 Thanks, I tweaked the line to mention both years for clarity. ;)

Pandalulz
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Pandalulz

Quincha Wild_Phil Pandalulz jsmooth1 Just a funny comparison.  To be honest, I could see these, depending on how exactly they are set up, totally taking over internet cafes, with just a basic controller and whatnot to start;  Probably not so much in the US, but somewhere maybe like Korea or China.

Wild_Phil
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Wild_Phil

Quincha Wild_Phil Pandalulz jsmooth1 No, it simply shows how overhyped VR has been for nearly a quarter decade.

Xijit
Guest
Xijit

I have a hard time playing MMO’s with the sound on because my EX would complain about the music if I used speakers & get pissed that I wasn’t listening to her when I wore a headset …. Just became a compulsive habit to have the sound off … Course, the only time she ever felt the need to try to hold a conversation was when I put on my headset while getting mad at me for disturbing her concentration on Facebook whenever I tried to talk yo her, so *eye roll*

Wild_Phil
Guest
Wild_Phil

Pandalulz jsmooth1 Quincha Wild_Phil lol…since 1993!

John Bagnoli
Guest
John Bagnoli

They got change for a hundred?

jsmooth1
Guest
jsmooth1

Belcross Send pics plz ;)

Rozyn
Guest
Rozyn

Zero dollas! I hated 3D movies and tv’s (wearing 3D glasses while watching 3D movies makes them look normal to me. My vision is weird.) and I don’t even like wearing my headset and mic.
I’m not “afraid of change” or any of the ridiculous bullshit I’ve seen about people who aren’t interested in VR lol, I have very practical reasons. If I were interested I’d probably be willing to pay decent money although not much more than an upper tier graphics card.

Pandalulz
Guest
Pandalulz

jsmooth1 Pandalulz Quincha Wild_Phil I had to prove to myself that these things really existed.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtuality_(gaming)

jsmooth1
Guest
jsmooth1

Pandalulz Quincha Wild_Phil
Dave&Busters +1

corey1
Guest
corey1

“Most intriguing to me is the split between those who think a VR headset should run under $200 vs. over $300 — it’s not a perfectly even split, but it shows more than half of the market isn’t willing to pay http://massivelyop.com/2016/01/06/the-oculus-rift-costs-599-bucks/.”

Based on 2014 polling. The more interesting nugget from that, I believe, is how the general willingness to pay more has gone up. People only willing to pay 200 or less is less than half of what it was in 2014. Similarly, people willing to pay above $300 nearly tripled in that same timeline.

Pandalulz
Guest
Pandalulz

Quincha Wild_Phil Amusingly I remember around the Lawnmower Man days that Dave&Busters had a half dozen of those really old VR machines, helmets, treadmills and all that.  You could see what the person was seeing on a screen above.  Sadly, that sortof points out how long people have been trying to make this work.

Pandalulz
Guest
Pandalulz

Loopstah Damonvile And mine as well.  I realized the other day that I played through the entirety of Tales of Symphonia and its sequel without ever hearing any audio at all, since it’s all written text, even when there’s spoken audio over it.

CthulhuDawg
Guest
CthulhuDawg

None. I don’t like the idea of gaming with something strapped to my face.

Wild_Phil
Guest
Wild_Phil

Quincha Arcade halls to video games = Blocksbuster to movies
Having said that, there is a local bar that doubles as an arcade hall. Now that is some stupid fun (but they obviously make far more on the booze).

Xijit
Guest
Xijit

I have a Knox Labs V2 and it kinda sucks … Go for a higher quality one than that, and phones with curved screens (I have a LG G4) do not work well with them on general principal.

Wild_Phil
Guest
Wild_Phil

Xijit No, the first ‘killer app’ for VR headsets will be porn.

wpDiscuz