The Daily Grind: Why are you not into virtual reality?

Massively OP reader and commenter Sally Bowls pointed us to a brief post on Axios in which a VR consultant and former Oculus employee opines on why VR isn’t catching on as well as you’d expect, and the reason isn’t money. In fact, she suggests the reason is that consumers are simply too addicted to other compelling content — specifically, smartphones and social media. While gaming and education are the platform’s chief uses, most people just don’t want to put down their damn phones long enough to become engrossed by something that takes up their full physical and mental attention.

“[VR] has to be a really compelling reason to get you to give up all that,” she explained at the Mobile Future Forward conference last week. “There aren’t just a ton of those reasons just yet.”

MOP’s audience is chiefly MMO gamers who skew toward virtual worlds already, so maybe we’re not a perfect test case, but I still wondered whether the consultant is right. If you’re not into VR, why not, specifically? Is it, as suggested, that you’d just rather be doing something more connected but also more popcorny through lighter-weight technology altogether?

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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238 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Why are you not into virtual reality?"

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Woetoo
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Woetoo

Right now price.

But if it weren’t price, there’d be the general sense that it’s better to wait for the next wave of hardware – than use what’s currently out there.

Having used a friend’s Occulus, my sense is there’s still a learning curve going on both within the hardware and software. Everyone’s finding different solutions to the same problems. It gives a sense that it just isn’t ready yet for mainstream rollout.

What I’ve seen so far left me hugely impressed (and somewhat queasy). But things need to settle down on the hardware/API side a lot more, so developers can settle down on the software side.

As far as games go. Everything it going to be a niche of a niche. It’s just not profitable enough yet to extend much beyond the most die hard developers.

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Malcolm Swoboda

I’m into it. I play it at my friends’ place and I wouldn’t get upset if my boyfriend spent his money on it. I just want to buy the discounted price of the next generation – so ~2020. I want: wireless, bigger worlds for RPG, fully HD video quality, better solutions to the arms and travel issues, better able to just sit down while doing it. The biggest issue ATM is money – I’m not spending more than a few hundred on a headset for anything, and then there’s PC hardware to consider. I have fun with VR, whereas I never would have with the Virtual Boy or whatever would have happened in the 00s, but it hasn’t crossed the threshold to ‘must buy’ for me. However, if they keep up progress, this may happen by 2020 and certainly in the 20s.

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Roger Melly

Price and lack of any really interesting games .

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Rolan Storm

Mind works better than helmet? I don’t like all these things I have to set in my room for device to work properly. And the main reason – I have no idea what I’ll play with it. Why I need it? Show me the games I can use it with. So far I had minor interest in EVE: Valkyrie, but that’s it. Not to mention said game is unVRing.

I guess it will get off later. 2020, maybe 2022. :D

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John Mclain

The one and ONLY reason I don’t own a VR headset yet, is a lack of any genuinely amazing games for it. I already have a PC that laughs at the needed system requirements, and the money to buy both the rift and vive at the same time. I just don’t have a reason to do so yet.

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Robert Mann

1. Games aren’t there.
2. Tech isn’t really great yet, even if it’s a neat start.
3. Too much mobile focus.
4. Too much $, especially given #1.
5. Too much gimmick yet, as it’s only really a change of display systems at this point.
6. Not enough ability to roam without either immersion breaking controls or ginormous rooms (which will take some work to solve.)
7. The games I am playing do not have VR support.
8. I dislike headsets to begin with, they tend to make me want to take them off with an achy ear. So if they can get a full helmet design going, that’s actually a plus to me.
9. Concern over screen distance and health.
10. Price of products compared to value of products (ie, games and the like that are out for VR are rather pricey for what they offer at this time.)

An interesting side note, I actually am VR ready… if I wanted to buy a set. However, I’m loving my big screen TV turned into a monitor still.

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Ben Stone

For games I care about it is just a novelty and not well integrated or essential. When a great game designed entirely with VR in mind is developed I will probably jump on board. Until then it is something I pick up for 10 mins and go, well that’s cool, but not going to keep me engaged.

Estranged
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Estranged

Cost. Lack of mobility. Lack of apps. Motion sickness issues.

Going to borrow the PlayStation VR set from a friend to give it a try, after my PS4 Pro upgrade.

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zeko_rena

Lot of comments about cost, however over here monitors are pretty expensive as well, at least decent ones

$600 for a 1440p IPS 75hz Monitor here and that is the cheapest of the bunch
$750 for a Rift (would be $610 for a Rift but we have a stupid import tax of about $141 since you can only buy them from Rift)

Sadly the monitors I really like which are 27inch 144hz G-Sync IPS are about $1200 – $1400

https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/MONACN92700/Acer-Predator-XB271HU-27-IPS-2K-Gaming-Monitor–25

Its so fluffy… I’m gonna die

Of course you can do a lot more with a monitor, however if you have a monitor and are looking for an upgrade a few games that support VR, Elite, Subnautica, DCS World etc :)

^
My situation

But I am poor so for now I stick to my DK2, which apparently makes me a whale :(

Reader

Simple answer: The price of entry is too high at this time.

Celestia
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Celestia

As I’ve stated before: The idea of VR is more fun than actual VR.

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

Lack of interest

Cadaver
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Cadaver

It’s the overall outlay. As a prerequisite, I’d have to upgrade my ancient phone, buy a PS4 or significantly upgrade my aging PC. Right now, I don’t have any desire to do any of those things. Also, I think I’m becoming something of a neo-luddite. I don’t want any more tech in my life right now.

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Calien McCarthy

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the “VR” headsets we have now are just color versions of the headache inducing Virtual Boy from 30 years ago?

If I wanted to strap 10 pounds of electronics to my head, I’d get some complicated medical procedure done.

Get back to us when you have more to offer than a tiny screen jammed as close to my eyes as physically possible. What we have now is nothing more than a series of terrible first-person games with even worse controls.

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Veldan

I don’t get this. What are you expecting? Of course VR is a tiny screen close to your eyes. Do you want brain implants?

And no, what we have today is nothing like that old Virtual Boy. You don’t have to try it out to know that.

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Calien McCarthy

It’s very close, other than the improved visuals and no stand.

And as for brain implants, no, obviously. But don’t call tiny-screened, first oerson gaming VR. It’s no more VR than any other video game. Just call it what it is. A dud.

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Veldan

Sounds like you really don’t know what it is or what it’s like.

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Calien McCarthy

I know exactly what it is and what it’s like. I own a VR head set. And it’s a dud tech that isn’t even close to what its name promises. This “VR” technology has existed for years. It wasn’t readily available to the public, but you could play games that were designed for headsets and control systems like the current VR headsets in arcades even 20 years ago.

All the new “VR” headsets are are versions of this system, shrunk down and with some improved power. There is nothing more virtual about a current VR headset than any other video game system. In fact, I would argue that consoles and PC’s played normally offer more immersion than current VR tech, as there’s nothing strapped to your face, and games aren’t usually a clunky, half-baked waste of time.

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Robert Mann

Yeah, but headset of aching head isn’t much fun. At the least they can get some nice visor based drop screen systems going with lighter weight… because what there is, is just painful to wear for long.

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Wakkander

1: Too expensive to buy in.
2: No killer apps, even if I was wealthy enough that I wouldn’t mind spending the cash, there simply isn’t anything I want to play on them.
3: I don’t believe in VR. Never have bought the hype, it seems too gimmicky and too limited. I have played it mind you, I have enjoyed some of what I played. But short carnival or puzzle games are a far cry from the likes of scope seen in games like Farcry, for example.
4: I am all aboard the AR train. I think AR offers more potential presently, and though we are not technologically where things that I dream of would be possible, even smaller scale AR like Pokemon Go I think illustrates the power of this compared to what I consider a flailing technology in search of a question it can answer. AR also deals with the smartphone argument presented in the article, it doesn’t block it, it enhances it.

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Robert Mann

Great, but that still isn’t anywhere near enough to justify a smart phone to me. Speaking of expensive purchases that don’t offer all that much actual value… (I know, I’m no fun…)

shazanti
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shazanti

1. Money. Hands down, money. I’ve far too many health-related demands on my wallet to dip into it for expensive funsies.
2. Motion sickness worries. I am EXTREMELY susceptible to crippling motion sickness.
3. Bulkiness and awkwardness of the devices.

Sure, I’m interested in VR, but I’m interested in it as a vague ‘sometime in the future it’ll be in a more perfected, less expensive, more expansive and readily available state and I will hopefully be able to really enjoy it then.’ I do, however, look forward to that vague future date.

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ozzie

This might help your motion sickness if you find yourself strapped into VR: bend your knees. I got sick at first, but then I learned to just bend my knees and crouch forward a little. The posture throws your mind into athletic mode I think.

Of course if it’s really bad this might not help, or maybe you need to build up tolerance. I can even play those crazy spiderman climbing games or flying in 360 degree spacesuits, although I need to keep reminding myself to bend at every movement.

shazanti
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shazanti

I appreciate the advice, & I’ll use it if given the chance. I don’t have the typical gamer-related motion sickness issue (first person, head bobbing, tight corridors I believe is often the culprit there), I just have regular easily triggered motion sickness and have never been able to, oh, either go on a roller coaster or watch a video of someone riding one. And then I went and developed a medical condition that makes it worse. But I do hope to be able to work past that for VR experiences some day, and I will remember your advice just in case!

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David Goodman

Too much money for too little content. I’m not early-adopting a technology just so I can beta-test some tech demos off Steam – there’s enough shovelware i have to wade through already that aren’t assaulting my eyeballs.

Yeah, i’m familiar with some of the real gems out there, but none of them are compelling enough to justify an entire console for them by themselves. Not even close.

I’ll wait it out. Prices will come down, and more things will be released.

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Michael18

Not so much price and tech limitations than the content.

I don’t see how the games I’m most interested in can be translated to VR (for example, iso RPGs, MMOs). Even in a genre that seems very suitable for VR, such as 3D RPGs like Skyrim, movement would have to be done awkwardly with short-distance teleporting to avoid nausea, iirc. That does not sound very appealing.

From what I hear and read about VR, it seems more like an entirely new form of media for a new type of content than an alternative form of presentation for games as we know them, at least for now.

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kidwithknife

A few reasons, none of which have anything at all to do with mobile devices. Cost is absolutely one of them, but it isn’t the primary one; when it comes down to it I haven’t seen any compelling reason to believe that virtual reality entertainment will be any more enjoyable than what we have today. It’s very similar to 3d movies and television; in theory it sounds great, but in practice 2d shows and movies are cheaper and more enjoyable. If some company eventually gives me some reason to believe VR will be any different I’ll happily change my mind, but so far every indication seems to me to be that VR is the gaming equivalent of 3d TV.

And really, when did the 2d image become so horrifically unpleasant anyway? I don’t think anyone actually believes there’s anything wrong with it. 2d media is comfortable, pleasant to the eye and easy to understand. It doesn’t need to be “solved”, it’s lovely as it is.

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Michael18

yeah, I prefer 2d cinema over 3d, too. Find it much more immersive.

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Arktouros

I don’t know. I find it hard to be immersed by content in a box on my table. 3D is just more of that same box on my table.

VR content on the other hand is literally there’s a movie in front of you, but what if you turned around and watched it that way? Like one of my favorite experiences is the Total War Warhammer 360 video in VR. I probably watched that thing 10 times because each time you face a new direction you notice something else. One time I’m watching a bunch of dwarves fighting off greenskins attacking a wall. Next time at the same part turned around I’m watching a bunch of Gyrocopters bomb an Anarchnorok Spider.

I like that with 360 video is there’s always a new direction to watch and each time you do it’s a different experience.

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Robert Mann

That’s a potential strong point. There’s a ton of issues to solve still, but I’ll give you props for that one as a pro for this!

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Veldan

Well I think we need to see VR as an addition to 2d, not as an alternative or replacement, even in gaming. VR can exist next to “regular” games like mobile gaming can exist next to PC and consoles.

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Rottenrotny

Cost and the size and weight of the goggles.
I don’t want a bulky thing on my face.
Once it comes down in price and the size shrinks to something slightly bigger than sunglasses THEN and ONLY THEN.

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Ben Pielstick

The only thing keeping me personally from being more into VR is content. Lowering the cost and the weight, raising the resolution and FoV, etc. are all great, but until there is more deep and engaging VR content to consume on an ongoing basis, my headsets are going to only get picked up once every few months to check out what’s new, and then left to collect dust the rest of the time.

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Ket Viliano

Just because I have a healthy bank account, does not mean that I have lost all sense of value. I find, the steeper the price, the less the value, the less I really need something, and the stingier I get. Mind y’all, I used to be homeless, and I still hand out petty cash to worthy souls.

Basically, I am pretty skeptical of the value of the headsets. I looked up prices and reviews of Vive and Occulus on Newegg just last night. Seems the Vive is better at whole room VR tracking, but has build quality issues, to include overheating, cheapo controllers, and you still need a decent set of earphones. Occulus is reported to have better build quality, but comparatively worse tracking. I have tried the Occulus demo at a Microsoft store, but not the Vive. The Occulus is interesting, it’s ok, not super amazing but decent.

Perhaps the biggest issue is that the only game I can really think of playing in VR is ED. I would buy a good HOTAS set up first, then consider the VR, if I felt ED was cool enuff for a $1000+ dollar investment.

The motivation to blow a grand on entertainment just is not there.

EDIT: I could see going to the arcade at the mall, and paying for a VR game session. Too bad the local arcade does not have a VR room, I would try it. I think that is a better venue for the technology at this time.

veldara
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veldara

VR has very little going for it besides being a teaching and therapeutic aid, which is where I see the destination for this tech is headed. (At least in the short-term) Once the technology becomes portable and easier to store, and more importantly cheaper, I can see the mass market embracing it. So like many others, I can’t justify spending the money for something so cumbersome and awkward, which also has very limited apps on that utilize it well.

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Schmidt.Capela

VR is also a godsend for some kinds of geological analysis and certain tasks in engineering.

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Cypher

Because the prices are… virtually unreal!

*crickets*

…I’ll see myself out

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RJB

Because the cost of VR doesn’t stop at getting the VR you have to have a PC that can handle the VR if you want it too have it work seemlessly it’s not like buying a console and leaving it alone. the coat of VR is well over 1000+ lol

kjempff
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kjempff

I don’t like to be closed out of the real world to such a high degree that a “bucket over my head” vr does.. would probably help with a transparent screen (like glasses) and sound that allow me to hear a bit outside – aka a chance to sense if something is happening outside of vr.
Second of course is the quality of vr games (movies in 3d doesn’t speak to me in cinemas). And I need some game to really show a vr experience on another level that you can not get without – Not sure what that is, seem like 3d game in vr is not really that big a step – Maybe a special kind of controller, a game that functions really well with gestures or something in the direction.

Holodeck type of VR I am more interested in, and also AR has huge potential for having gamey experiences that cross into real world objects and people.

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Mr Poolaty

I don’t wanna pay 500 to play 3d tech demos

I also don’t want to get 3d sickness

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Sray

Commercial and industrial needs push technological development significantly faster than consumer desires. VR manufacturers are actually slowing development down by focusing on the consumer market, which the tech is not ready for, versus the commercial/industrial market, which the tech is (mostly) ready for. If they stop trying to skip “the baking process” and focus on the business markets, VR will be mainstream ready in under a decade; but if they keep ignoring that sector, it will take a lot longer.

Now, why am I not into VR?
Space requirements. Being cut off from a large degree of immediate environmental awareness. You look stupid wearing the headsets. Lack of compelling content (that isn’t erotica; which is amazing in VR… er… so I’m told).

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Stormwaltz

I’ve said this before, but short version: for me, it’s not family-friendly enough to be worth considering.

Want to play a game with your kids? With a console, you sit on the couch and pass out $30 controllers. VR? Okay, everyone, here’s how to put on the $600 headset without breaking it. Oh, and let’s make sure we each have a good amount of floorspace. Oh, wait, we rent a small apartment..?

Want to play a game alone? Okay, now you’ve got this thing encasing your head that cuts off outside sound and peripheral vision. Hope your spouse never calls for help in the other room, and your kids never sneak out of bed in the middle of the night.

VR, in its current state, is perfectly fine for childless single gearheads with loads of disposable income… but few others. (And that’s setting aside how many are made physically ill by trying to use VR.)

Bring on Augmented Reality, and leave VR in the dustbin of history. It’s been pushed over and over in the last 30 years, and it never takes off.

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Robert Mann

It’s not ready for childless single gearheads with loads of disposable income… at least not per this one! XD

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Rheem Octuris

I’m 75% blind. Why would I pay more to just strap a monitor on my head that I’d only get to use a quarter of anyways.

Even if it becomes cheaper, even if all the great games are on VR, I’ll still prefer mouse and keyboard and monitor.

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Lorgarn

I haven’t picked up VR yet but for very different reasons than ‘smartphones’ and ‘socialmedia’. (lol)

There is a few factors to why; I’m very rarely at the fore-front of using the most recent technology. I feel that often it’s way to expensive being an early adopter. I’d rather wait for said technology to find its place in the market and for the hardware to improve.

While the current-gen VR headsets are pretty decent, I don’t want something decent. Especially not for a ~$600 pricetag, for that kind of money I expect something GREAT. Which is why I have decided to wait for the 2nd generation of VR hardware. I want a bit higher resolution and preferably a wider FOV. I’m super-excited to see what will happen with foveated rendering with eyetracking, etc.

I’m holding my thumbs for the 2nd generation or VR hardware, I’m ready to jump in at that point.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Being against virtual reality now is like being against home computers in 80s, against internet in 90s and against smartphones in 2000s. People can name alot of stupid reasons why they are against it just like naysayers listed stupid reasons against internet and smartphone. But in the end we all will have it and use it eventually.

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Utakata

You are conflating the idea that all high tech inventions and ideas will be game changing for the future. While it is true for some, (ie: home computers, cell phones), it’s not true for others, (ie: Segways, LaserDisc’s). It all depends on how useful humans in general find it and if something else better comes along the way. And with that, I don’t see VR in its current form moving beyond the novelty and the hobby.

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kidwithknife

Yeah, people said the same thing about 3d television too. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to take over, either.

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Hirku

If I had to wear my C64 on my head I would have been against computers then, too.

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Oleg Chebeneev

First smartphones werent so light and pretty either. And internet wasnt as big as today. There will be time when you wont even notice you wearing helmet.

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Robert Mann

I’m still anti-smart phone. No reason or need for it. Tablets on the other hand are cool replacements for laptops. (It also helps that I save some ~$70+ a month not to have the latest smartphone status symbol with plan that I can spend on other things!)

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Hirku

There will be time when you wont even notice you wearing helmet.

Got me all figured out, have you? That’s cute.

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thalendor

Or it could end up being the next Segway. I guess we’ll see one way or the other.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

The internet and smartphones provided significant improvement and efficiency. VR at the moment is the same thing we already have, just a monitor is strapped to your head and your head is the right joystick now. It’s just another controller. No one is against it, it just still sucks. Less than it did in the 80s 90s, but still sucks. VR needs to cook another 50 or so years.

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Oleg Chebeneev

You have no idea what VR is and how much it changes perspective. Trust me, you will laugh at your post when you actually try it. And no, you didnt.

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Melissa McDonald

I think you’re wrong, or you’ve never actually tried it. VR is nothing like “strapping a monitor onto your face”. It’s the difference in viewing something in faux 3D on a flatscreen versus actually being in that 3D world where the math, distance, scaling are correct. You can’t take a flatscreen game and view it in a visor and it be true VR.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

I was mostly saying it wasn’t worth it and not that big of a deal. I never sat down at the games I play today and go, “the distance and scaling are so off!” It doesn’t bother me and I’m just as immersed into games with or without. RE7 made me realize that trying VR and regular. Especially once the newness wears off. You just say fuck the gear, ill just play regular.

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Robert Mann

That’s great… for the three minutes that I’m comfortable wearing the headsets. It may not need 50 years, but that is a MUST change. It took cell phones a few years of miniaturization to be worth much of anything to most people too, so maybe at some point in a few years.

That, and content that is worth worrying about to most of us. That’s a big need.

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jay

Not sure what she’s smoking but I want some of it. The big reasons everyone I know hasn’t bought into VR is 1. lack of games for it 2. lack of decent tech & interface in the games that do exist 3. price.

It has nothing to do with phones and social media. Sounds like she’s just trying to claim that her opinion’s are the same as mainstream, without any actual data to back it up.

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Duey Bear

I don’t want stuff on my face.

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Veldan

that’s what she said

(oh come on I could not leave this unsaid)

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NeoWolf

…must resist..obvious…puns…mu…st… :)

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Serrenity

I think I probably echo a lot of people below — equipment is still pricey and bulky. Give it another year or so and we should see some huge gains (or losses as it were) in the form factor of the hardware required. I love the idea of VR, but practically speaking you need a space for it in your house (such as the setup for the HTC Vive where they give you sensors to mount in the corner of the room for better tracking) and just the space to move around a bit. Finally — content. There’s some promising stuff out there, but a lot devs haven’t invested a ton in VR (or really any all truth be told, outside of a few exceptions) largely because the tech is still in it’s infancy — maybe toddler, but definitely not ready for mass consumption yet.

Forward Thinking…
I think we’ll find a light-weight hit game that combines that with advances made in the form factor of the hardware that will then inspire Publishers to turn their respective Eyes of Sauron on VR in their ever present attempt to milk gamers out of as much money as possible. We’ll see games that are released explicitly for VR with premium pricing from the big publisher, while smaller publishers also jack up the prices, just not quite as much to be more palatable.

Approximately 18 months after that, we’ll see an indy scene spring up, ‘disgusted’ over the inability of the big AAA publishers to really produce anything outside of COD VR 45,232,325,122 or NFL/NBA/NHL VR 2020 Special Edition now-costs $50 more because VR is in the name.

I think we’ll also start to see some multi-use devices to cut down on the cost of VR and therefore lower the barrier to entry. Our cellphones are powerhouses, and utilizing them to handle the core processing of VR with the actual VR kits handling the auxiliary bits – much like our desktop PCs do today. Google and Samsung have both already proved the concept with DayDream, Cardboard, and the SamsungVR, just without the next logical step (better tracking, more umph, etc).

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A Dad Supreme

“If you’re not into VR, why not, specifically? “
=========
As someone who lived through (and personally bought some of ) Betamax, LaserDisc, Digital Audio tapes, the Sega Saturn, and Blockbuster, one word… obsolescence.

Kind of worried that the minute I start investing in current VR, it’ll almost immediately be replaced in a very short time, especially if you buy the wrong VR system.

The dust is still swirling around the industry about (1)where it’s actually going and (2) who’s going to lead it (ala WoW did with MMOs or Amazon with online shopping) so I’m reluctant to get involved just yet.

If I knew the answer to those two questions, I’d be on-board without delay.

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NeoWolf

I just covered my Sega Saturns vents..how dare you say she is obsolete! lol

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CthulhuDawg

I bought a brand new sealed in the box yamaha laser disc player off of ebay a few years back when my original crapped out. I’ll be damned if I don’t watch everyone of the movies and concerts I bought on LD until the day their optical tape deteriorates. They were such a step up from VHS in terms of viewability (read: widescreen) and sound quality at the time it was amazing.

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Ket Viliano

Laser Disc is the only way to watch the original, Editor’s Cut of Star Wars. The editor saved that film from the trash heap, and gets nearly no credit and zero dollars. Everything done to it after is junk.

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Greaterdivinity

Software is still very basic/crude. Price for proper VR is too much given the software and quality of VR available. More affordable options like PSVR are pretty awful, and stuff like Gear VR is a joke. Don’t have any interest in it until the form of the unit can get down to the size/weight of a pair of glasses, more or less.

The tech, hardware and software, is still in the “too early” stages for me. I’m impressed at the strides they’re continuing to make and I’m overall optimistic at the direction it’s going (like I am with AR), but I’ll probably be interested in actually purchasing midway/late next decade. The tech should be in a pretty good spot by then, assuming humanity hasn’t managed to mostly kill ourselves by that point : P

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Rees Racer

Short answer: Waiting for something more like a holodeck.

I realise we are years away from something in “reality” approaching what’s seen on Star Trek, but technology will soon enough make VR headsets as obsolete at Betamax…and much, much less clumsy and cumbersome.

holodeck.jpg
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GamingSF

This. VR isn’t enough of a leap ahead for me to bother. I loved ST:TNG, I love Shadowrun, what we have at the moment doesn’t come close.

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Greaterdivinity

Oh shit, 13th Floor! I enjoyed that movie, thanks for reminding me it exists and making me want to re-watch it.

Also, yes holodeck please.

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Schmidt.Capela

Actually, even with holodeck-quality VR I would still be unlikely to spend much gaming time with it. When gaming I don’t quite go for immersion; I instead go for awareness, more awareness than one could ever have if limited to just seeing things from a single character’s point of view, which is part of the reason I play mostly 3rd person PoV games and games where I don’t control just a single character.

Even when limited to just a single character I tend to do things like pulling the camera as far from it as I can and using a top-down view if given the choice.

Monsoon
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Monsoon

For me, it’s mostly cost and the lack of killer apps available. I’ve had to ask myself if I really need to spend the money on a PSVR kit just so I can look at anime boobies in DOAX3, since there isn’t really anything else on PS4 that grabs me and says “look at this awesome VR support!”

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

Price first, applications and game second, and i will not put that device on my face, i prefer normal glasses, mix reality or augmented reality.

When prices go down, and there is an exciting application or enough learning material then maybe i’ll give it a try.

And no .. my phone have nothing to do with it, no smartphone, my dumbphone collecting dust, i use it as alarm clock mostly.

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Sally Bowls

In less than a hundred minutes, AR is going to get a huge amount of press with iOS 11 giving consumers a billion AR ready devices

Unity CEO John Riccitiello on Apple’s big event, privacy and the AR apps we’ll see within the year

TC: Okay then, let’s talk about the future of VR, which is seemingly further out than people had earlier imagined.

JR: Commercial applications are taking off like crazy, but sure, generally speaking, the consumer side of VR is off to a slow start. The hardware is too expensive; it’s not that functional. Those problems will solve themselves by the 2018-2019 time frame, which is what I’ve been saying since 2015.

Now, if you take this new thing, using your phone for AR — [including via] ARKit and [Google’s recently introduced challenger to ARKit] ARCore, the future is coming fast. The biggest app in history was Niantic’s Pokémon GO, powered by Unity. Tens of millions of people played Pokémon GO. That was just the start.

TC: What will we be doing with our phones a year from now?

JR: You’ll point a camera at a friend’s shoes and be told where to get them and at what price. In a year, a friend will be able to use an app that scans your body and comes up with a millimeter accurate picture, so you’ll know what you’d look like inside that particular shirt or dress, based on the dimensions of the garment. You’ll also be able to point your phone at an acquaintance and pull up their LinkedIn profile, or point at a restaurant and a menu will pop up, along with information perhaps about which friends have been there and who the architect is of the building.

We’ve been constrained by what we can type with our thumbs until now. But our [phone] cameras are infinitely more powerful for many, many cases.

TC: What are the some the demands that are made of an engine in a mobile or compact capacity? Presumably you don’t need the graphical fidelity that people expect on their PC or console, but it can’t be terrible either.

JR: On a smaller screen, you’re right that you need less resolution — fewer pixels. But that’s changing fast. All the hardware makers are providing high-resolution screens; they’re going bezel-less to give you more real estate. We’re three to four years behind leading consoles and PCs in terms of overall performance, but as CPUs and GPUs become more efficient and less energy-dependent — processors are capable right now of 30 frames per second and it will be 60 — we’ll be able to do more and more.

Basically, today’s mobile phones are akin to PlayStation 2s. By next year, they’ll be PlayStation 3s. By 2020, they’ll be at the PlayStation 4 level in terms of processing capability.

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Ket Viliano

Riccitiello is such a corporate whore, all he thinks of is how to market your friends new shoes to you, or to sell you some junk you don’t need. If he made a game by himself in Unity, it would be Adware galore, nothing but 3D billboards, price tags, and product positioning.

Artless, that guy is. Unless you want to buy art, then he will hook you up for a cut, for sure.

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Schmidt.Capela

In a year, a friend will be able to use an app that scans your body and comes up with a millimeter accurate picture, so you’ll know what you’d look like inside that particular shirt or dress, based on the dimensions of the garment.

This one really creeps me out. Reminds me of the DS9 episode “Meridian”, where Quark keeps trying to get good enough biometric data of Kira to make an erotic holodeck program of her; what the Unity CEO is saying here is, in short, that in a year the technology to do that will be available to everyone (sans holodeck, but even with plain VR or just a plain old monitor it’s still creepy).

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Alex Malone

I wouldn’t worry too much, this technology has been around for many years and we’re not there yet.

In 2009/2010, the company I was working for developed an augmented reality app for architects, allowing them to upload their designs along with GPS co-ordinates and orientation. This then allowed them to go to the actual site, load their model and then physically walk around their new houses / extensions.

So, we’ve already had AR for 8 years. Then think about things like QR codes and the like. We’ve had recognition software in various forms for decades. So, the capabilities for everything mentioned in this interview already exist and have existed for many years. But, we don’t have the apps he’s talking about.

Why? The biggest barrier to the kind of AR he’s talking about is cooperation. For an AR app to scan your shoes and then show you local places to buy would require some sort of agreed upon web standard so that all businesses could post their goods in a standardised way, allowing it to be looked up the apps and then that data be used. That will never happen. There is no driving force behind the effort required to get there.

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Dreema

I have pretty much zero interest in VR. It seems like a marketing gimmick to me to make me buy some expensive gear I’ll hardly ever use and which will probably gather dust on a shelf once the novelty has worn off.

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David Harrison

That’s complete and utter bullshit. This is just another example of someone who is completely unplugged from the real world.

We aren’t in to VR because of 2 reasons.

1. They cost too God damned much to purchase. When a VR set gets down to $150, it will be purchased in mass by the gaming market.

2. There are no good games for the VR yet. There are nice mini games, but no REAL GAMES. Make a full featured MMORPG based on VR, and it will sell like mad.

“People are too glued to their phone to play on VR…” Give me a fucking break. That’s the most stupid thing I have ever read. I can’t name one single friend of mine that has even tried a current gen VR headset because no one owns one BECAUSE THEIR $500+ FUCKING DOLLARS!!! Only the wealthy own them. Jesus… dumb ass.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Consoles cost more then Oculus Rift (which is 300$ now) and look how many people buy them. And there are many games made exclusively for VR.

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NeoWolf

Cost and lack of the kinds of VR games I would want to play. Once they start pumping more VR RPGs out or a VR MMO then i’ll get one.

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nobleeinherjar

Cost and space.

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Witches

They’re doing it wrong, non VR games are far more imaginative than anything in real life, dodging a fire attack is fun but not realistic at all, the only games VR is going to add anything to are the real life based ones, where the game restricts you to a somewhat realistic setting, and that kind of defeats the purpose.

VR has nothing to add to gaming, it’s not going to make games evolve, FP/POV is not a cutting edge new tech, many find it boring and will never care for it.

If people are willing to spend extra to play an uncomfortable version of CS or Myst, good for them, but i don’t see how anyone thought this was the way of the future.

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Veldan

You are partially right, but the thing is, those “realistic” games already make up 99% of the gaming world. Yes there are people who enjoy RTS, or puzzle games, or small indie artsy games, but the vast majority of people spends their time controlling a character. Whether it’s first person, third person or top down, all those games can benefit from VR.

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Arktouros

I’ve been gaming for over 20 years and a good VR experience is a clear evolution of the standard gaming experience. It adds a lot to gaming as a whole but unlikely will replace traditional gaming due to the number of hurdles to make a good VR experience.

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Witches

No, the VR headset tech is a clear evolution, the gaming experience isn’t.

Not one thing from any VR game will be adapted to games in general because all the VR games are subpar, this is actually inferior to the Wii because the motion sensor tech became mainstream, and yet i don’t play any games that use motion sensor tech and the Wii is dead and buried.

People want the holodeck not Geordie’s glasses, even Geordie ditched his glasses eventually.

Apparently some people still don’t get that it’s about the gameplay not the tech, no one cares what’s under the hood as long as the car runs.

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Arktouros

Actually the VR gaming experience is a clear evolution.

Take for example your traditional RPG. I go into a spooky crypt. I press F to loot the tomb casket. I collect some gold and a sword from a menu. I move on. No second thoughts. Opening a tomb casket is the same as a chest as a bag as a backpack as a corpse etc.

One of my first runs through the VR title Vanishing Realms I descended into a crypt. One of the first things I found were caskets I had to bash open with my sword. So I had to physically raise my hand and bring it down to smash open the caskets. Then I had to bend over and physically loot the gold coins off the dead man’s eyes and sides of his coffin and holy shit I just became an actual grave robber.

Physicality opens up a whole new level of immersion that just isn’t there when it’s in a box on a table. There was a point in that same game where I was surrounded by 3 skeletons and I felt trapped. That’s an actual physical feeling where despite being in a completely empty room I felt like my back was up against a wall and I was pinned unable to get out because that’s what my senses were telling me. That kind of physical immersion and presence doesn’t translate back to a boxed screen on your table where out of the corner of my eye I see my other monitor with gif of a baby doing cartwheels before vomiting a rainbow.

So telling me it’s about the game play on a standard 2D experience is a load of horseshit because as someone who’s played games for 20 years the game play on traditional seated experiences is stale as a shit. It’s boring. It’s all variations of the same standard nonsense we’ve done 100 different times over 100 different games over the years.

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Schmidt.Capela

That, of course, assumes you want immersion. Which isn’t always the case. I will sacrifice immersion in the name of enhanced spatial awareness every single time.

(Which, incidentally, is why I will only consider playing a VR game when I can have peripheral vision. Playing a conventional game in third person PoV gives me far more spatial awareness than current consumer-grade VR can; the current crop of VR gear makes me feel like I’m using blinders.)

And, ironically, working professionally with VR for maintenance applications is part of the reason I got over immersion. Part of my job was to crawl through virtual access ports and other cramped spaces to make sure a real technician would be able to properly execute a given maintenance procedure, and there’s only so many times you can immerse yourself into a virtual world like that before the wonder is lost. Like I said elsewhere, I lost all wonder I could experience with VR over a decade ago.

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Arktouros

Frankly every time you talk about your professional VR experience then open your mouth in sheer ignorance of how VR actually works, operates and is capable of the two just don’t match. So you’re either lying about your experience or your information you’re basing your arguments off is outdated. Either way you just end up flat out wrong.

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Witches

And we go right back to my argument that you are limited to normal types of actions and movements, how do you cast flames, how do you defend from a flame attack, how do you throw lightning, skinning mobs goes from being a 1 second grind to a few minutes of grind, because there’s no way you are actually going to spend the time skinning the mob, games aren’t realistic because reality is boring, i could be surfing but i’m decorating my virtual home, one of the many i own, i can only surf one wave at a time and i get tired, it gets dark, there’s only so long you can stay in cold water before it starts being bad for your health and many other downsides of HEALTHY real world physical activity, but if you make those virtual and realistic you have a guy swaying and sweating indoors.

I can go play football with my friends or play a FIFA tournament, but these aren’t similar even though it’s the same sport, in one i’m realistically a regular guy playing against other regular guys, in the other i’m the manager/superstarplayer of a world top team/nation, making it more realistic would not add anything to either the real world experience or the virtual one.

How does WWF Smashdown work on VR do you actually have to body slam the floor?

Remember that game where you have virtual pets that you have to care for? How does VR add to it?

VR only works with a small segment of games, or are you excited to play VR tetris or VR sudoku?

I have nothing against the tech, but tech alone is not going to make games better, that’s not how things work, you create new tech so you are able to make the vision you have for a certain game come true, VR games are stuff that was done many years ago but not from a different POV, creatively this is the equivalent of changing the default camera angle on your usual game.

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Arktouros

This is where things get inventive!

How do you cast flames? Why not draw a symbol in the air and push it to cast? Why not press a trigger button? Why not whip out a spell book to you got as your left hand and select the spell you want with your right hand? How about the combination of these? You’re not limited to a keyboard to button mash #1 or do a key combination like S+LMB but rather any kind of interface you want to design and go with.

Your argument that things get repetitive is ridiculous and basically boils down to, “I’m lazy and want to stay lazy.” I have some really great news for you, chances are pretty high lazy gaming isn’t going to go anywhere regardless if VR succeeds or fails. Not everyone who works for a living is going to want to come home and strap into a VR headset and romp around for hours on end. Many are just going to want to come home, plop on the couch, and play some “videya games.”

However that doesn’t diminish nor take away from unique and fun experience that VR can be. Again, I’ve already established what VR adds to gaming and it’s physicality. Maybe you are uninterested in physicality, and that’s fine, but physical immersion is what it’s all about and it creates all sorts of new experiences. As someone who isn’t physically taxed all day it’s fun to hop into VR for an hour or two and get up, move around, hack and slash and have a good time.

You can keep harping on it that’s nothing but changing your POV but that’s just flat out wrong and shows your ignorance on the kinds of games and experiences that are out there. It’s an oversimplification that gives no value (presumably due to lack of experience) to the kinds of new ways of playing games that motion controls (that are tracked 1:1) in a 3D space offers.

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Witches

You see it’s not the consumer interest to know about the products that interest him, at the end of the day i will always spend money on something, no it’s the game makers interest to make me aware of games i might like, if there are amazing VR games that aren’t just your standard POV game then they are doing a terrible job marketing those games.

We already have reality for physical immersion, that’s just an absurd sales pitch. If anything at times we could use a little less immersion, i’d love to tab through a day of work

More physicality in games was already tried, and it worked until the quality of games stopped being enough to keep up with the competition, and the novelty factor of the first hit games wore off

No one is contesting that VR can be fun and unique for some people, the problem is it obviously lacks the type of mass appeal their makers wish it had.

And success isn’t exactly eternal, technology is not going to stop once people adhere to VR, people fanboing over VR now will be doing it about something else sooner or later.

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Alex Malone

That physicality is a short-lived enjoyment though. Having to physically pick something up with your arms is a novelty the first few times, but after that it gets just as boring as pressing “F” to pick something up, except it takes longer and more effort, making it less enjoyable in the long run.

The benefit to the physicality comes when it opens up new gameplay options. So, take a game like skyrim – I can attack, power attack, or move directionally and attack. The combat is very basic. If they allowed you to move your arms freely, this opens up a world of new gameplay that isn’t possible via any other means. I could block with my left arm whilst attacking with my right. I can choose to block high / mid / low to match attacks. Maybe I could use my axe to hook their shield and attempt to rip it out of their hands.

Unfortunately, we’re not there yet. In addition, the problem with promoting physicality is that it is only one-directional: input. Without it being two directional (i.e. input and feedback) the experience is very jarring, disconnected and unpleasant.

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Arktouros

It hasn’t gotten old yet and I’ve owned mine for over a year. It’s very natural and intuitive to the point you rarely think about what you’re doing unless it’s something really out of the ordinary (such as breaking into coffins haha). It’d be like saying getting clothes out of a dresser is repetitive. I mean, kinda? But not really, you just kinda do it and don’t think about it.

Many of those options vary game to game, but I think everyone kinda agrees we’re not there with the games yet. Even then there’s a few titles with what you describe :)

The one directional input has never been an issue for me in my time owning my Vive. The only downside to physicality I’ve found is sometimes there’s a disconnect and that can be jarring. For example lets say you held up your shield to block an arrow, but the arrow still registers as a “hit” even though it was up. Same thing if you physically dodge something, but still get “hit.” Greater level of control with new controllers like the new Valve Knuckles will help as well.

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Davide Moriello

so you want some real life experience in vr? mhm… Well, about bullets you have onward, that is pretty real.

I don’t see how a real life experience in vr should be better. I prefer go and explore fantastic places that I know I will never see. Not something real.

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Witches

No, i want to fly around in my 5 person flying whale, or jump around in my Kangaroo mount, how does VR add to that?

VR isn’t good for anything too unrealistic, i’m talking about something like the world of Avatar, on VR that’s basically a puking simulator.

The reason games usually boast about superior new tech is because the previous existing tech wasn’t powerful enough to make those games possible, that’s not the case with VR the only tech is that on the headsets, the games themselves are pretty basic.

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Davide Moriello

ok, yes you can’t move without moving. Many people will not like it as “puking simulator”.

And yes, games in vr are pretty basic, but these basic things with vr is fantastic. You are litterally in another world with vr, your brain cannot feel the difference. You explore these world (walking) and watch around, shooting, hiding or just take some innatural things with your hands and feel it like they are there for real.

I have 60 games VR on steam, I say 20 of them are fantastic experience with hundreds on hour on them.

I don’t need to fly around wiyh a flying whale but if you stomach can handle it there are games like that.
Search on steam “to the top” for example and many more

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Witches

And that is fine, but not enough to satisfy the people investing on the tech, otherwise there wouldn’t be this much whining about VR not taking off, VR is popular, i would be shacked if it was losing money, it just isn’t making large sums of money, which is the objective, and i don’t think it ever will because it has a limited market.

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Davide Moriello

VR is not taking off because you need a top end computer (at last 1070 gtx and last i5) and for the price.
Games are coming, full fallout 4 is coming in 2 months, DOOM VFR is coming too in 2 months. Ubisoft is making games in VR and now rockstar too with La Noire.
The next generation of VR will be cheaper.
And in 2 pc hardware generation a 1070 like graphic card will be entry price.

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Witches

Just look at what you are saying, Fallout 4 is just a couple of years old, but how old is LA Noire? Doom is even older, I’m surprised there isn’t a Duke Nukem VR on the works…

There were versions of popular games for the Wii U, didn’t really help.

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Davide Moriello

Doom is not oldier. It’s baed on the new doom and they are making a completely new one.
Same with La Noire, they are making a game just for VR based on La Noire. It will be not the old one.

Yes, Fallout4 is pretty old but the experience is completely new. It’s not like a game that came out on console and then it came out on PC. THe experience on console and PC is pretty similar (60fps masterace). But having the same game in VR is not the same experience, you are litterally in the game. I think you can not understand how is it.

Version for the Wii U? I don’t understand this. There is no Virtual reality with WII U.

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Witches

No, you are not in the game, you can’t even talk, because these are just old games adapted to a new platform, so no talking PC like in modern games, it’s just a POV game with loud sound since headphones are inferior to a good set of speakers, so you can’t go for high quality sound and i guess some think loud is the next best thing.

For example when you have to pick up something, if you do it with your fist closed you will still pick it up.

VR isn’t even up to the level of motion detection used in movies, and some games, literally the only high tech thing about VR are the headsets, good if you are a tech enthusiast but as far as gaming there’s a reason no VR game that has a non VR counterpart is more popular or why no VR game really stands out, it’s just a mass of Z grade horror and generation before last FPS.

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Davide Moriello

HTC vive has MILLIMETRICAL precision of every movement.
You can talk.. you have a microhpone over your nose.
You can put whatever headphone you want with VR (with cable too, there is an plugin on the VR for sound)

For picking up things you have litterally to open your hand and close it. Search on google “steamvr knuckles”. If you do it with your hand closed you will just punch it.

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mistressbrazen

I like the real world and don’t want to be isolated from it when I game. Don’t want to wear equipment on my face and don’t want to be required to dedicate space for safe gaming. The comments on smart phones were interesting. I use my phone to make calls, check news when I am in the airport (far too frequently), and to check my fake gmail accounts from work since Google won’t allow me to check in on my work computer (sigh). Did she indicate which age group was too engrossed in their phones in her opinion?

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Davide Moriello

I was on your same idea. But when you try Vive or Rift that is real world. Your brain don’t understand the difference

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ozzie

I got a Vive and I think it’s undoubtedly the future of gaming. Still, I do find myself wanting to play more RPG/strategy type games. And forget MMOs so far, I have to go outside VR for my preferred games right now. The compelling content argument is really strong…should have kicked off VR with Half-Life 3 :)

The phone thing is weird because Vive connects to your phone through bluetooth for calls and such, plus the Steam overlay to socialize. There could be improvements for using your phone while in VR but the groundwork is there.

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Arktouros

Again this all comes back to the two perceptions of what Virtual Reality is going to be.

A lot of people, and some companies, really seem to have this idea that VR is going to be this absurd explosive growth product that’s going to replace everything we do with computers. Anything less than iPhone sales level numbers and mass market penetration is just a complete and total failure to them. They’re trying to look at VR through the lens of their existing computer experiences and they just can’t see it. They can’t see how a MMO would be enjoyed in VR or how an RTS is better without a mouse/keyboard.

Where as more measured heads realize that this is the just the beginning and you’re not going to see this massive level adoption because there’s really nothing compelling enough yet for mass adoption. VR is at it’s best when it has new experiences that are designed for it and not just existing experiences ported over. That’s going to take time. We’re going to get a lot of garbage games just like we did when PC gaming was starting out. Most of the growth companies have seen, and they have seen it, are in line (and exceed) with their realistic expectations. Even then most of the level headed people are aware this generation of VR can fail and that’s okay.

But realistically asking consumers why they don’t get into something is usually a fruitless task. Their answers are usually so contradictory that they make little to no sense. They want something completely immersive, but not too immersive so they can watch the kids. They want 4k/8k resolution realistic screen with massive FOV but best they can do is $3.50 for it. They won’t be happy till they have a holodec but it can’t take up any room in their house. Every VR article on this website is always a kick to read the comments :)

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Veldan

“We’re going to get a lot of garbage games just like we did when PC gaming was starting out.”

I’d actually say that the percentage of garbage is far higher now than when PC gaming was just starting out…

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Arktouros

Oh man, preach it! Almost impossible to browse Steam anymore. I’d also argue the accessibility to produce games is far easier now than when PC gaming was starting out which is why we see it this way. That said mass quantities of shovelware isn’t an exactly new concept to PCs :)

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Veldan

Yeah every Steam game I purchase these days comes from some external recommendation or review. Browsing Steam for interesting games is horrible. The discovery queue they have nowadays does help, but not much.

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Jeremy Barnes

Controls. You can’t make a compelling VR game with a controller. In order to get the full effect of VR, we need the control systems to catch up.

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Davide Moriello

So…. VR controllers are about using your hands… what realy do you want as controller? I don’t see a controller different from your hands…

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Arktouros

I’m really looking forward the Valve’s Knuckle controllers!

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Melissa McDonald

I have to disagree with that. My GearVR controller works well for the purpose. If I don’t want to use that, I have a classic gamepad that works well too. Rift and Vive’s controllers become virtual “hands” and their buttons and sticks allow for far more intricate movements in the VR space.

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