Leaderboard: Do the HTC Vive’s and Oculus Rift’s price cuts change your opinion on VR pricing?

When Oculus dropped the price of the Oculus Rift down to $400 earlier this summer, supposedly temporarily (but not its first drop), analysts were torn over the decision, suggesting that Facebook’s rumored cheaper wireless Pacific device might be the impetus.

Now this week, HTC joined in the price-slashing parade, reducing the price of the Vive from $799 to $599, a fee analysts said back in January was still too pricey for the Oculus. However, the president of the Viveport marketplace rejected the idea that the new price was a response to the Rift’s panic-mode. “I think we are the leader in the market, and the plan was always that high-end VR be available to everyone,” he told Polygon. “So of course there are a couple of components that need to fall into place … in order to reach the mass market, you need to have a lower price point. That’s been the plan all along. I think it’s good that other players in the market are making similar moves.”

For this edition of Leaderboard, I thought it would be fun to take stock of our core audience’s view of the price of VR here in 2017 to see whether it differs significantly from the 2014 vs. 2016 report, which suggested that while initial high prices had shifted many gamers’ expectations for a higher price, an even greater number still wouldn’t pay over $300 for a device. To the pollmobile!

What impact do VR device price cuts have on your purchasing?

  • I already purchased a VR device. (10%, 29 Votes)
  • The devices are now cheap enough for me to consider buying one. (10%, 28 Votes)
  • The devices are still not cheap enough for me to consider buying one. (39%, 111 Votes)
  • I will never buy a VR device no matter what the price is. (13%, 37 Votes)
  • I am waiting to buy into VR for a reason other than price (for example, games, space, or safety). (23%, 66 Votes)
  • No response / elf butts / view results (4%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 283

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72 Comments on "Leaderboard: Do the HTC Vive’s and Oculus Rift’s price cuts change your opinion on VR pricing?"

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David Goodman

Right now, all of the games/content on the VR systems do not just justify a higher-than-console price. They do not justify a console price.

I answered “i’m waiting for other reasons”, but it’s a combination of two: It’s still too expensive, and there’s not enough reason in them. There isn’t anything I would consider a “killer app” / must-have game.

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wild-abyss

I’m interested now that I’ve bought PC Overkill and can actually run VR without breaking a sweat but I’d still rather put that money toward a 1440p 144Mz IPS g-sync monitor. Maybe next year.

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Armsbend

did you build it or buy it? My GPU went kaputz last night – but I took the rig apart,. cleaned it and got it all working again – but I know my time is almost up. It’s 6 years old thats a really long life but newer games are starting to struggle a bit.

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Melissa McDonald

1440p is looking a little long-in-the-tooth now. I’d advise 4k. Vizio makes a 4K television that is inexpensive and actually serves are a pretty darn good PC monitor.

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wild-abyss

I’m wary of 4k mostly because… I don’t have any content to display in that resolution anyway. Some games, sure, but I’ve read that even the 1080Ti can struggle at 144Mz at 4K and I’m not down for that. TVs are a cheaper in, for sure, but again, I’d miss all the cool features of gaming monitors.

This decision is turning out to be harder than all the components of the computer!

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Melissa McDonald

surely you mean Hz not Mhz? 60Hz considered good, 120Hz cutting-edge for 4K media.

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wild-abyss

ha, yes that’s what I meant

Reader
Alex Malone

I remain highly sceptical of VR and am unlikely to buy a headset, regardless of the price, until some fundamental issues are solved. Unfortunately, I can’t see how those fundamental issues will get solved so I believe this generation of VR will remain a gimmick.

This is further reinforced by all my friends who did buy in. Out of maybe 15 friends that bought into VR (oculus and vive), only 1 of them still uses their headset, all the others quickly got bored (because it’s a gimmick…) and packed theirs away. The one friend who does still use his headset only uses it for racing and space sim games with full hotas setup, because those are the only experiences where the gaming is superior.

Still, I hope that one day in the future I will be proven wrong. I don’t think I will be, given the limitations of VR headsets, but then I’m not an expert on the technology and I’m perhaps missing the creativity needed to imagine VR improving gaming. As soon as I am proven wrong, I will buy in!

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Modrain

Already bought one a few months ago, so I don’t really feel concerned by the price cut. However it changed how I talk about VR with people I know. I purchased a headset mostly for development purposes, and that’s where I put its worth at the time, I wouldn’t have buy one just for playing. As great as VR can be, the price tag was a bit hard to swallow. It was a purchase I’d advise against when talking to friends or colleagues, unless they were fully aware of the technological limits. At half the price it seems much more worth for the average technological enthusiast, while still being out of question for the “just curious” people.

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Bryan Gregory

Just wondering how many actually have experienced VR (the current VR sets, not the old devkits and such) that are commenting here. Cause anyone I’ve talked to who owns one swears by it. Obviously the lack of software is a major blow, but I feel like both players and developers are waiting on some fabled middle ground, but where is that middle ground?

Players say their main concern about VR is the lack of games, and good games. But since VR hasn’t hit that breaking point of popularity yet, it’s silly for developers to spend resources developing their games for VR if there aren’t enough players with headsets to purchase the game. Then of course there is the price, which may not be a problem for some, but is definitely a problem for many. It’s hard to convince yourself to invest in something if there’s not a lot reason to invest in it. It makes the price seem higher than it is. If you could experience some of your favorite games in VR, it might make the price feel lower.

What it’s going to take is some big hot shot companies like Blizzard for example, to invest in VR to make people start caring about it. It will get there eventually. Hopefully soon, because I am ready.

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Melissa McDonald

I stand by my profile pic here that attests to my interest in the medium. :) I’m kind of a VR junkie, but I am well aware of its limitations and issues as a result of that, yet my attitude remains extremely positive because I see a great deal of evidence that every issue is being tackled. We give games like Star Citizen what, 4, 5, 6 years to even launch, and consider that OK? Give VR that much time and see how far it leaps ahead. :)

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Utakata

When it something I can buy at a dollar store to throw while playing WoW I might consider it. (And I may even pay even more if it comes in a pair of Elton John star glasses!) But until then, #elfbutts.

Celestia
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Celestia

The idea of VR is more fun that actual VR.

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Melissa McDonald

While I respectfully disagree, that made me smile because it reminded me of a friend who often says, “I like the idea of KISS, but I don’t like KISS.” ;)

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Leviathonlx

VR is still a long ways off from being at the point that I’d want to buy into it. Hell I’m not even sure if full on immersion VR like SAO (without the dying part) is ever going to be feasible.

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Mr Poolaty

Not really wanting to buy 3D goggles to play solitaire…

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Malcolm Swoboda

Not yet, but getting there.

Bigger reason for me is (desktop/TV connected) PC upgrade cost. This isn’t tied to VR though – just something I want to do in the next couple/few years.

Reader
Terren Bruce

I’m not paying $599 just so I can play a bunch of tech demos that marketing has labeled as “games”.

It’s been a couple of years now and still not a single killer app on any of the VR devices. Until there is such a killer app it’s just a very expensive fad.

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zeko_rena

DCS World is just a tech demo? :'(
Damn they tricked me this whole time!

I don’t think some people would like you calling Elite Dangerous a tech demo either

Reader
Roger Melly

Other than the initial wow factor of being in virtual reality is there anything really much to do in that virtual reality yet that is really fun and entertaining ?

I’ve not really been keeping up with it sounds like it could be fun but I suspect I would buy the gear play with it for a couple of weeks or so then get back to the entertaining old fashioned mmos that I play .

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Melissa McDonald

Honestly it’s “just” (irony intended) MMO type gaming that is the final piece of the puzzle, and not really there… yet. There is an astonishing amount – hundreds of hours – of content in the Oculus store that is VR film-based content, and it is meant to put you in the action. You’re able to see the world in some very realistic ways, where you can look all around you just as you would if you were really there. JAUNT’s got some fantastic experiences, their tour of Machu Picchu is amazing, also one where you’re high up in the Himalayas, getting a very good look at what it’s like to climb those mountains, see the sherpas, etc. There are quite a few truly frightening horror experiences that left me feeling extremely unsettled and worried that some folks are going to have heart attacks from such things – devs can detect which way you’re looking as you experience the app, so, the monster can ALWAYS be behind you! There are a lot of news apps and articles and experiences that let you see the world through other people’s lives and eyes – Clouds Over Sidra is a very good one that shows you life in a Syrian refugee camp. You find yourself in a school room and fight the urge to raise your hand to answer the teacher’s questions just like the kids are doing. When you see them walking past you going to school, and they crowd all around you, seemingly right at your waist, the feeling of being their is palpable and quite realistic. There are apps from National Geographic about the Viking battles and festivals held over in Europe, that put you in the middle of some really violent (but not with sharp edges and points, but extremely physical) mock battles they hold between masses of men, where they go ‘off the grid’ and live like the old days in tents and around campfires. Film-based VR has come a long way and gets better ever quarter as newer and better cameras are released to film makers. Games are kind of the last piece of the puzzle, because VR travel is truly already amazing.
Also most AAA movies are releasing short VR experiences that briefly put you in the action, either as an after-production or as a mock up of a movie scene where you’re there. Those can be highly entertaining as well. There ARE some pretty cool games, but MMOs are still a coming thing at this point.

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

Great price reduction on Hive now only $999.00 AUD, guess I will pass.

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life_isnt_just_dank_memes

I’ll get one once devs figure out how to create things for it like Nintendo did with the NES and Super Mario Bros. and Zelda. There will be an “aha!” moment for devs and then VR will make sense to own.

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Veldan

Other reason: PC upgrade cost (can’t do VR with this 5 year old thing)

If this PC ever dies and I have to buy a new one anyway, I think I’ll grab a VR device too.

Reader
Hirku

I voted never because no matter the price, any tech that involves strapping something over my face–even if it’s light as a feather–is not happening with me. And when face gear is no longer needed I’ll be even older and less interested than I am now.

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Robert Mann

Waiting for other reasons:

More immersion, better tech, better games, etc.

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Ryuen

VR isn’t above my price bracket for toys as it is but I currently have no interest in the technology.
Now I like immersion as much as the next person but I also don’t want to be cut of from the world around me while I’m playing games.
I guess it’s also why I prefer speakers over headphones.

Reader
A Dad Supreme

$299 or GTFO.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Alex Js.

Still an overpriced gimmick to impress your simple-minded friends with. Wake me up when I will be able to buy a direct neural interface implant which would offer a complete immersion without the need for any bodysuits/omnidirectional treadmills/googles, for an affordable price and for MMORPG games of the same depth and scale as the one described in “Ready Player One” book…

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John Mclain

Price is honestly a non-issue for me, but having a reason to buy one is an issue. I still don’t see any games for one that are all that interesting or grand in scale, it’s mostly mini-games and “meh” full size games at best. Also I really REALLY hate how all the games use teleportation to move around, I’m aware it’s because too many people get motion sickness, but thats just another reason for me to wait for the next generation of VR with better games and actual working physical movement.

Reader
StonerMk2

Honestly have no interest. The tech itself is cool, but i still have not seen any reason to buy into it at this point.

Reader
Sally Bowls

For me, it is mostly waiting for the compelling need. We are a lot of chicken and eggs away from that. And as someone who endured BetaMax/VHS and Blu-Ray/whatever-crap-Microsoft-pushed, even 720/1080, I would prefer to wait until a lot of these have died and we have some clear winners. In five years, will both Oculus & Vive be battling on the PC, or will one win. Even if one is only slightly better, is it a winner-take-all market?

It is well above an impulse purchase. OTOH, it now costs less than a video card, less than half the price of an iPhone/iPad so for those of us with poor impulse control it is not completely disqualified due to price.

I am thinking it will be non-gaming that gets me a VR headset. E.g., I am contemplating a 360-degree camera for my next trip. So the generation of 360 cameras after this one I could see wanting a VR headset to better look at pictures. The same way one bought a slide projector to show your slides. God, I’m old. Ask your grandparents about slides, Simon & Garfunkel, Kodachrome.

I think the xR space will get a large bump of publicity when the iOS with ARKit ships next month. So perhaps someone makes a breakout iDevice compatible headset.

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Melissa McDonald

I’ve got a Samsung Gear 360 VR camera. Even with only 2 cameras with 180-degree views, the effect can be pretty amazing. Still shots look far better than video. The VR video is 4k, but, that’s 4k across the entire 360 bubble. Also, the lenses do not have good distance for VR video, so only things within about 20 feet of the camera look decent. But stills can look pretty amazing. I’m busy taking VR shots and video of my mom & dad. They’re getting old. One day, I will be able to go back in time and see them just as they were. See their house just as it was. In all directions, just as it was when I was standing there in 2017. See them grouse about the government, healthcare, and the news, just as they do right now. I’m getting tears in my eyes typing this, but that will some day be a priceless time capsule for me (and hopefully, my children when I have some…) that goes way beyond simple video and simple 2D pictures. I will be able to put on a visor, and within realistic expectations, it will be like I am back there with them. And this is the cheapest VR camera imaginable, but the only one I can afford. But all that being said, all its drawbacks accounted for, the ‘time capsule’ effect and magic it holds is considerable, not to be underestimated.

edit: 20 feet. way more than 2 feet! sorry to anyone who read it as incorrectly typed.

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Sally Bowls

Thank you for some additional great ideas! And P.S. those are so special, make sure you have reliable offsite backups for those priceless memories.

My research uncovered a horrible downside of this when travelling; I may need to acquire a selfie-stick which is, of course, a huge embarrassment.

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Sorenthaz

They don’t have an impact because I’m honestly not interested in buying into the VR stuff yet. Until a game comes out that grabs my interest enough to consider VR, I won’t be bothering with it, especially with how pricey it still is.

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wieland

They could be at 100$ and i would still wait for the second or third generation.

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Ket Viliano

At some point we will be able to wear these things like a pair of sun glasses, instead of a brick strapped on to our faces. Worth the wait, imho.

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Arktouros

I actually own VR and the comments in these articles are always amusing. You have the wholly ignorant guys who make comments on “what VR is” but you can tell they have literally zero factual idea what they’re talking about. Then you got the people who only want this new technology ($$) with a visual display ($$$$) with tracked ($$) motion controllers ($$$) for less than the price that any of those things actually would cost in a 2D setup and you wonder where they’re even remotely pulling those kinds of price quotes from.

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Schmidt.Capela

More like I don’t value VR for entertainment purposes. Not applicable to most games I play, and without some improvements I’m not sure I would like it even for the games it’s supposed to handle well. So, I might purchase a kit on the cheap, just for the heck of it, but I’m unwilling to pay for it even as much as I would pay for a half-decent computer monitor, as I’m fairly sure it would mostly just sit there collecting dust.

But hey, I worked with professional-grade VR for over a decade, including things like full body tracking (down to individual fingers) on an empty, large room to allow full immersion (and unimpeded motion capture). VR would need to advance almost to the Holodeck level to impress me.

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Arktouros

See perfect example what I’m talking about.

You talk a lot (below) about the utility of keyboard and mouse functionality. You also here talk about how it wouldn’t be applicable to most games you play. However as someone with actual experience in VR a lot of those notions are tossed out a few hours after playing games in VR. For example take a simple user interface of an RPG inventory with items in bags and equipped items. While a 2d application will conjure an image of a box like grid with slots for inventory items and equipped items an example VR interface would be literally around your physical person where you can look down, physically grab an item from your “belt pouch” inventory and then keep going.

So drawing a direct comparison of the two or expecting existing traditional gaming experiences to translate over without significant rework is just completely ignorant of what VR is. From basic things like that user interface to concepts like locomotion or world interaction it’s going to be a different (not completely different, but different) way of approaching things that creates a new experience.

But, hey, you “worked with professional-grade VR for over a decade” why am I telling you this….? :thinking:

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Schmidt.Capela

You talk a lot (below) about the utility of keyboard and mouse functionality. You also here talk about how it wouldn’t be applicable to most games you play.

Tell me how you would make a fast-paced, complex RTS game in VR, something like Starcraft or Age of Empires, then. Or a city builder like Simcity. Can you think of something that would allow players to be as effective as with a traditional non-VR interface?

Even games that seemingly should do well in VR can pose problems. The typical character in a FPS game, for example, can run and turn far faster, and jump far higher, than I can. That alone would pose problems even if developers found a way to handle locomotion well, as it would make the game far easier with a traditional mouse+keyboard control scheme than with VR-based controls.

And that doesn’t even get into how tiring it would be to play in VR, with some kind of motion-tracking used for controlling the action. The second thing I did with each and every motion-controlled game I ever got was to figure out how I could minimize how much I had to move in order to properly control the game (the first being to see if there was any way to use traditional controls instead of the blasted motion control scheme devs were so enamored with back then); with VR, I fear the same would apply.

VR has a lot of ground to cover, and for whole game genres it will likely never* match traditional controls in a non-VR setup. The thing is, many of those genres VR is unlikely to do well in are the genres I play the most, which is why I don’t think VR would be worth for me if it cost more than, say, $100; anything over that, and I would be better served by spending that money upgrading my gaming rig or purchasing a few new non-VR games.

* unless VR gets to Holodeck-level immersion, allowing it to flawlessly emulate any non-VR setup.

While a 2d application will conjure an image of a box like grid with slots for inventory items and equipped items an example VR interface would be literally around your physical person where you can look down, physically grab an item from your “belt pouch” inventory and then keep going.

Bad example, IMHO.

A grid is more efficient than a jumble of items when it comes to selecting items, regardless of the game being in VR or not. Heck, we often set items in the real world in some kind of organized pattern so we can find what we are looking for faster. Forcing the player to fumble with a pile of items in a pouch, when it would actually be easier for the game to organize the items for the player, is adding hassle for the sake of realism, something I don’t see as a positive development.

My guess is that in the end the typical inventory interface in VR will differ from that in a non-VR game only in how it’s conjured, but not in how it is presented.

BTW, an inventory UI that is there whenever you look down isn’t any different, conceptually, from an inventory UI that you conjure with a key- or button-press. It’s still mapping a specific player action with making an inventory UI appear or disappear.

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Arktouros

I feel like I’m going to regret this…

RTS games practically beg for motion controls and a 360 view of the battlefield. As motion controllers have a variety of inputs you’d have no problem interacting with units or building options. The right controller (swappable in menus of course for the lefties) would be your main go to selector. Using the Vive wand for reference (albeit this is changing soon with the Knuckles controller) the trigger is your standard mouse input (select, drag to select units, etc) the trackpad buttons offer easy access to unit commands (attack move, force move, stop, etc). This leaves your two grips to play around with. Your left controller is your building options, movement and adjustment. Teleport controls to move around battlefield on trigger, directional pad for favorites (IE: Having your home building set to Down left to have you teleport there for easy selection like you can do with Ctrl+1-X in most games), and grip to bring up the building menu. Wonderful part of being in VR is you can create any kinds of contextual menus you want such as virtual menus around your hands such as holding up your left arm in front of you while the right hand selects building menu options.

This largely ignores the main point I was trying to make however is that your problem is you’re trying to take traditional seated computer games and put them into the context of VR. I think this is pretty normal for most people but it’s wrong in that you don’t get motion controllers and a VR headset to recreate StarCraft or Age of Empires. You get it to create new experiences. New strategy games. These new games have a whole other way of interacting with the games. Instead of pressing “E” to interact you actually have to interact. Instead of just looking down in the corner at a minimap you actually pull out a map and look at it in front of you. You’re complaining how hard it’d be to re-create Call of Duty when you should be asking how to create Ender’s Game.

Your comments on inventory, like the rest of your assumptions, are hilariously ignorant. It’s not a big jumbled mess it’s actually incredibly intuitive and easy going. It’s like you look down down and there’s a hammer and a screwdriver and you just select the hammer and it’s now in your hand. You don’t need to conjure anything! LOL man. All you have these theories but have zero practical application on how anything actually works. You’re criticizing your bad, misinformed idea of how things actually work and it’s just silly :)

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zeko_rena

I have given up trying to explain VR to people, these days I just get them to pop over and strap the headset to there head and in the first few seconds they go “Oh wow now I understand” haha

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Melissa McDonald

You’re so right. It’s like when Morpheus tells Neo that nobody can simply be told what the Matrix is, they have to experience it for themselves. Modern VR is like that.

Strangely enough my older relatives have been the most enthusiastic and impressed. They had no idea technology had progressed that far. My tweens and teens relatives like it a lot, but have a less-impressed, more-taking-for-granted kind of attitude, like, “yeah, VR”. But then again, nothing much seems to impress them. Except fireworks. The kind you shoot off yourself. They’re addicted lol. FIREFIREFIRE!

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Arktouros

Yea everyone I’ve talked to usually is skeptical because they’ve seen something like GearVR or similar and were like “neat.” Show it to them and they all say they had no idea.

That’s why I just laugh at these responses. I mean it’s like “I want sci-fi fantasy technology magic…oh and best I can do is $5 for it.” what isn’t there to laugh at these people?

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CasualSlacks

I don’t even raid because of how unavailable it makes me to the rest of the house. VR is a nope.

styopa
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styopa

No, because the industry is suffering from the tech version of a deflationary spiral: if I don’t buy today, and wait, I’m pretty nearly guaranteed to get BETTER tech at a lower price.
So the incentive is to wait, if one possibly can.

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Jake Boller

Until there is a blockbuster MMO released that is designed specifically for VR, I have zero interest.

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Melissa McDonald

I second that emotion. We’re close, but not yet. ARK park and Conan Exiles and Elite are first-steps.

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Arktouros

Neither are remotely close.

OrbusVR is probably the first closest one.

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Melissa McDonald

as an MMO, sure, but those other games are far more graphically advanced at least. VR doesn’t “have” to look like it’s made of Legos.

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Arktouros

I mean that’s what Jake Boller was talking about, a MMO. One of the games you mentioned is a amusement park ride slash waveshooter and the other is a gankbox survival game I haven’t heard anything regarding it’s VR yet.

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Schmidt.Capela

Well…

– First, without the field of view growing to at least 180°, I would rather play in 3rd person view with a monitor. The tech is simply not there yet, at least not for the consumer models.

– Second, given how it makes using keyboard+mouse a pain — and how superior keyboard+mouse is in a wide array of genres compared with just about every other control scheme — even with a 180° FoV I would still only be using VR for a few genres I don’t play much anyway. Thanks to that, the most I would pay for such a device is about $100.

Now, if you give me an android-enabled AR system light enough (and with long enough autonomy) to be used for practical applications, my answer would be quite different. Something like an improved version of Google Glasses. That is what I really want out of this tech, and what I would be willing to purchase at a high price point. Heck, the only reason I didn’t get a Google Glass is because they weren’t available where I live.

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Melissa McDonald

the Oculus controllers are actually amazingly intuitive and you rapidly learn to use them not only as “hands” in the VR space, but their buttons give you all you need from any gamepad. A mouse isn’t needed because this isn’t a cursor-driven world, it’s more about see-and-do. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised when the time comes that you get to try out a quality rig. And such controllers will be useful (and used) even in an mixed-reality environment.

Criticizing VR’s lack of support for keyboard/mouse is kind of like saying that Excel isn’t a good program because it doesn’t interface with an abacus…

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Schmidt.Capela

but their buttons give you all you need from any gamepad

Despite having gamepads from most conceivable console generations (half a dozen different ones lying around my gaming computer right now), I tend to only use gamepads for games specifically made for them. Too few buttons, and besides I’ve been gaming on keyboards since the time where 64K was considered ample RAM for a computer.

It’s not that I don’t think VR controls can match a gamepad; it’s more like no controller scheme I’ve ever seen that is, or can be, used in VR — including gamepads, as well as every kind of VR-focused control scheme I’ve used or seen in the couple decades I’ve worked with VR — comes even close to the versatility and efficacy of a keyboard in most of the games I like to play. Show me an input device that is at least as good as the keyboard+mouse at navigating menus, quickly selecting multiple elements on screen (units, targets, etc), and precisely and quickly sending complex orders, and I might be sold*; otherwise, I’m going to keep using keyboard+mouse for the genres I like the best, even if this means never trying them in VR.

* Sold on the control scheme, not necessarily VR. Most of the games I play are not a good match for a first-person viewpoint, and VR is crappy for anything that isn’t first person.

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Melissa McDonald

We can at least agree that VR is by necessity a First-person endeavour. I’ve played a few that weren’t and it’s just a “god view” kind of thing, and not what i’d call immersive – why even do VR like this?

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Schmidt.Capela

Which creates one of the most noticeable limitations of VR gaming: if you can’t make a game work in 1st person point of view nearly as well as it would work in 3rd person, you can’t make it work well with VR.

That is part of the reason why I’m not willing to spend money on a VR device. Between control scheme and point of view, too many of the games I play would end as worse experiences in VR.

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Melissa McDonald

Said with love to you… quit looking in the rear view mirror and using that as your excuse for why the windshielf view is unsatisfactory. Look ahead. Think ahead. What’s past is past. What’s coming is new, and awesome.

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Melissa McDonald

Price is a problem. The other problem is that we are seeing essentially 1.0 version of hardware for consumers. Not too much longer – wireless headsets will be offered by Oculus and several other vendors. Tethering is an anathema to good VR. It requires freedom of movement, and especially for room presence.

The experiences right now are compelling. Impressive. Magical, even, but, too expensive. Too bulky. Tethered. Even a little sweaty. Too low-resolution.

All of these problems are being rapidly solved. We’re only a couple years into this new generation of virtual reality, something miles ahead of what most people think it is who haven’t actually experienced it yet. In that short time it’s gotten exponentially better. Those who regularly delve into it realize how much better VR experiences have gotten as better and higher-resolution VR cameras, with more and more lenses, are creating more seamless, better-looking experiences. The Oculus platform has evolved to where its apps and experiences can stream in real time at a very agreeable bit rate, and it is no longer necessary to download them first, chewing up valuable space on your device.

Not only that, we have identified the chief problems. But those problems have to be solved before it becomes ubiquitous. But they will be solved, and it will become a category of entertainment all its own, far beyond what we see right now. It’s possible that some people simply won’t take to VR that well due to nausea or motion sickness, any more than would enjoy an actual rollercoaster or jet plane ride or race car experience in the real world. It’s possible it will never be for everybody.

Some of the brightest minds in the tech world and Hollywood are deeply invested into VR technology. What we call VR in the next 2 or 3 years is going to be the child of thousands of parents, and we’ll hit a point where there will be hardware that’s good enough, and finally, an experience / game / world that’s must-have. I sincerely believe that. It will probably require a smaller, lighter visor, first and foremost. One with much higher resolution, like the recently announced 70-megapixel Varjo VR visor, dubbed “20/20” as it approximates the resolution of human eyesight. Today’s visors like the Rift, Vive, Gear VR, Daydream? They’re a paltry 1.5 megapixel. 70MP is enough to knock socks off, because these 1.5MP experiences are actually pretty compelling. I’m not buying a Rift or Vive simply because I’ve already read about better visors coming out within a year’s time.

I’ve seen the future.

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Sray

Even at $300 USD, you still need a $700 to 800 USD computer to run the titles. Beyond that, there is also the need for a ridiculous amount of free space that North American suburbanites tend to forget is exceedingly rare for pretty much the entire rest of the world.

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Phubarrh

I might give in to impulse at $300, but $200 is pretty much my price point.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

HTC-ya later.gif
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BalsBigBrother

I am tempted to say I would never buy a VR device but well never say never and you never know someone may come up with something that will be a fit for me at some point before I shuffle off. So I decided to go with the ” I am waiting to buy into VR for a reason other than price” option.

The headsets are still too bulky for me personally and non of the games are standing out as a must have or must play. Basically I see no good reason to jump onto the VR bandwagon early and can only see benefits by waiting for further iteration.

Even at the reduced price I think I would be better of and get more mileage out of spending that on a new graphics card and or a third monitor.

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thalendor

The price isn’t the issue for me. The fact that there’s not one single thing out there that says “I need this in VR” is an issue. Until there’s multiple games out that I want that can either only be played in VR or manage to convince me that it’s that much better in VR, I’ll continue to sit on the sidelines and wait for better, cheaper VR tech to come out in the mean time.

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Danny Smith

Its honestly never been the price. Its current incarnation is just better suited to the service or construction industry. The joke about ‘falling for the vr meme’ is paying the price of a console for a niche that has like 1% of the studios around the world focussing on it as a core gaming medium. Until that changes its going to be strapping a monitor to your face only for bow and arrow/gun turret games in some capacity and without the numbers this is a snake eating its own tail. Devs dont develop for it. So audience doesnt buy it. So developers see no audience so dont develop for it.
Until there is some massive breakthrough in touch feedback its only ever going to be what it is now and the above issue is why the price isn’t why i’m not buying. Its just better suited for anything other than videogames.

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Greaterdivinity

Nope. Hardware and software aren’t anywhere near ready yet, and the price point is still too high considering you still need a pretty beefy PC (well, for normal folks, gamers are more likely to have PC’s close to/above specs) as well.

I’m still saying VR is 5-10 years off, both on the software and hardware front.

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Armsbend

Almost. But not because of price but because REZ was just released as a VR game. REZ is one of my favorite games of all time and I’m dangerously close to pulling the trigger on VR because of it.

We’ve all said, VR just needs the killer app. REZ is probably mine.

miol
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miol

You mean this jewel of a game? o.O
Thank you for making me aware of it!

With VR, who needs LSD anymore?! ;P

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Armsbend

It will be the third time I get it. The game is timeless. If you’ve never played it before please do. Videos don’t do it justice.

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Ket Viliano

Where to buy? Searched online, only found Rez for PS2, via Amazon.

Stupid Gamestop keeps ‘correcting’ my search to ‘red’, in an arrogant fit of classic corporate incompetence.

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Armsbend

It’s on Steam I know. It came out very recently. A week old I think.

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Ket Viliano

Ty, I looked everywhere else :P

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