CCP Games says the number of VR units on the market is ‘amazing’

    
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I sure hope you’re not tired of CCP Games talking about VR because CCP can’t stop won’t stop.

The video game studio known best for EVE Online has been laser-focused on the VR space for the last few years now, launching Gunjack, Gunjack 2, and EVE Valkyrie for VR and just last month announcing VR sports sim Sparc.

Today, CCP CEO Hilmar Pétursson features in a new interview on GamesIndustry.biz, where he basically talks up how well VR is doing. When interviewer James Brightman suggests that only about two million high-end VR devices have sold — numbers that the analysts at SuperData said made VR the “biggest loser” of the holiday gaming sales season — Pétursson argues that two million is actually a much bigger deal that it seems to be by putting the number into national perspective.

“That’s a lot of units! You can make a game for that. I’ve seen worse. We made EVE Online for modems – people are like, ‘Download the game over a modem?’ Maybe it’s small if you have some grand expectations of something bigger, but close to two million that’s a lot. […] I come from Iceland where the entirety of the population is 300,000. We’re talking at least triple that, so that’s a lot. I would call the installed base huge for an Icelander. It’s triple my home country. And people make all sorts of products for Icelanders. We have three TV stations in Icelandic for 300,000 people but we have a million VR players; that’s amazing.”

In 2015, CCP raised $30 million in venture capital specifically for VR development. In September of last year, Petursson told DICE Europe attendees (in what he called his “conservative outlook”) that his company was on track to “break even” in the VR field “in a few months” following the investment of that money. Since then, CCP has taken EVE Online free-to-play and announced its first non-EVE-based property, Sparc.

Source: GI.biz
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Arktouros

VR over all seems to be building solid, good progress. Every company that has talked about the results have all said to be pretty happy with where things are at this stage. They’ve all talked about steady growth and user adoption.

However I think Hilmar there hit on something, and that’s people measure of what success is. A lot of people, simply put, have an unreasonable measure of what success means. VR currently is in it’s infancy. We have low resolution headsets. We aren’t wireless. The tracking we’re using and what we’re tracking can improve still. The cost for all this is way too high. The software we use with it ain’t that great yet.

Real VR (not those shitty strap-a-phone-to-your-face things) is at the “enthusiast” level currently which basically means “for people with too much money.” PCs at one point were the same thing, as I remember one of my first computers costing my family upward of $2500 for a brand spanking new Pentium 90Mhz processor computer. Selling millions of units when your, relatively, new product is out is pretty great even if spread across multiple manufacturers.

All those downsides are already changing. People are already demoing vastly higher resolution headsets where you can’t even see pixels (‘Retina’). Wireless is sorted. Prominent game companies are designing big games for it (Valve, Bethesda) that promise to be full length games. While I don’t think VR will ever fully replace all gaming it’s on track to actually be it’s own separate market which, in my experience, has been a lot of fun as well.

But, ya know, as usual…“trololol 3d TVs BRAH!!!11”

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kgptzac

It is inconceivable for me to see so many people jump onto the hate bandwagon for no apparent reason. Sure, I don’t see myself buying an VR headset soon because I don’t feel they are yet economical, but that won’t be my excuse to shit on other people’s enthusiasm and desiring the industry to fail like it’s some kind of primordial evil that if we let it fester, it would destroy our entire civilization.

So, my genuine question to those who truly want VR market to fail and the technology to cease to exist: Just who the f do you think you are? Are you some kind of prophetical genius that can come up with a more prospective entertainment frontier that I can enjoy in 20 years?

Edit: sorry it looks like a somewhat misplaced rant. I agree with @Arktouros that the hate for new tech is unneeded.

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Arktouros

This has always baffled me as well.

The best answer I can think of is technology fatigue, people just kinda burned on hearing about the next “greatest and latest” technology. That’s not entirely their fault. If you look at VR as an example you certainly have a few companies who are dialing things up pretty loud on their predictions for the future. People latch onto those and kinda go, “Oh I heard this one before…” and kinda shut their brains off. People come to articles like this and think, “This article is for me.” and then complain about the reasons why they won’t get into it even though it’s not really intended for them currently.

However with a modicum of research you can also see many companies are taking a more measured approach to the new technology. Valve is really leading the charge there by rather than lowering the price and trying to create a market prematurely they’re trying to see what really makes a good VR experience. They aren’t speaking in absolutes but rather simply trying to innovate new ways we interact with games. As someone who’s been playing games the same way for nearly 30 years it’s a welcome change and one I hope they end up getting right! :D

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Melissa McDonald

Skepticism is natural, so find out for yourself!
$17.88 at Walmart.com, this very nicely made VR visor has a good strap, face gasket, large lenses with focus corrections, and integrated (included) earbuds. It works with up to 6″ smart phones. Why not gamble $17.88 and see for yourself? the Cardboard app works for Android or iOS. There are over a thousand apps in the Google Play market alone that support cardboard-compatible visors. Check out these essentials:
1) JAUNT – a huge library of AAA-quality VR film experiences across a wide spectrum of content. Streams, not downloads, and if your WiFi is fast, surprisingly good.
2) ORBULUS – a huge library of static 360 photos from around the world. Travel all across the world without leaving your chair. It’s pretty magical.

That should get you started and prove to you that this is no joke. It’s stepping into new worlds. Time to get excited again!

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rafael12104

Hmm. Well given what they have invested what else is he going to say? Lol.

Not that it is a bad investment, but seriously if anyone thought that VR was going to be a quick turn on their money they completely misunderstood how tech works.

It is an evolution. The real keys to success for VR (like any computer tech) is two fold. First, the killer app. That one piece of software that will sell the hardware and show it to be more than viable. Second, hardware mfg stick with the tech until the killer app arrives.

There are no winners or losers in this niche yet. But the clock is ticking and, yup, perception is the better part of reality in the business world.

One more note. Went to Best Buy a few weeks ago and tried it out. Oculus is finished and polished. I enjoyed playing the demos as the Oculus hired hand walked me through it. The awe factor is there. BUT, there is no game or SW, IMO, that is a must have. And, the head gears is just to damn huge. Great nuance, but not worth the money. At least, not yet.

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styopa

And nearly NONE of them are really selling.
What you have is (similar to TV mfgrs pushing 4k after the 3d flop) hardware vendors pushing HARD and subsidizing a not-ready-for-primetime product into the market.

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rafael12104

The 3D TV flop was and is my fave of all time.

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Melissa McDonald

Would love to know where you’re getting your statistics.

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styopa

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/playstation-vr-sales-estimates-downgraded-hugely-b/1100-6445859/

Superdata good enough for you?

Not to mention Best Buy has afaik dispensed with its in store promo stations, suggesting they too don’t see it as a commercial winner.

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Arktouros

No, superdata is terrible guestimates. Here’s an article a few months later:

Also BestBuy dispensed VR stations such as the Oculus Rift stations because stations required a representative there to demo the stations. That representative often times wasn’t employed by Best Buy and sometimes wouldn’t even show up. Other cases the demo could vary greatly as some would show an amazing experience of games while others basically just showed up. The arrangement wasn’t working, so they removed them.

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Robert Mann

VR is the new mobile. AKA, it’s not really ready for primetime yet, but it could be with the right focus.

Bring on solid, well crafted games that push the limits of the technology, and a focus on not making the same mistakes mobile did to ensure that many gamers would avoid it like the plague. With the new computer architecture coming out this year, it’s really a little too early in my opinion… but given a few years for that to drop prices for rigs and compound the ability of systems to provide a really great experience, and it could be something very solid.

The balance there is that, currently, most of VR isn’t very great. Like so many other things, it has potential. Potential that may or may not be fulfilled, and largely is up to those developing the hardware and software to make or break.

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Antheriel

If you want to be convinced of the potential of VR, see if you can try the game “Virtual Virtual Reality” on the Daydream platform. It’s a truly revolutionary experience in gaming/storytelling. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I had sort of casually poked around with my Daydream for months, but VVR sucked me in hard. It felt like the 80’s again, discovering not just a new game, but a whole new way to play.

But beware: I *highly* recommend not reading any reviews or checking out any previews before you play the game. It’s so magical that you definitely don’t want any aspect of it spoiled for you.

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Melissa McDonald

Well, this is simple economics. $599, $799, these are exclusive price points. Meanwhile, Gear VR is killing it (and everyone who preorders a Galaxy S8/Plus gets a free one until April 20), PSVR is close to 1m sold, Daydream has only begun, Cardboard has millions of units shipped, plus an uncounted and unreckoned entirely new generation of well-made ‘dumb’ visor sold at all major retailers. I’ve seen 2 different ‘dumb’ visors made to Cardboard standards, but they are as nice, as cushioned, as comfortable, as either the Rift or Vive. One at Walmart, one at Costco. Big lenses, focus, and one of them even had integrated earbuds. For $19.99. It is now entering the public zeitgeist in a big way, and this is a freight train going downhill.

People who dismiss VR or declare it already a failure will eat those words.

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Armsbend

I wouldn’t get anywhere near a Samsung product ever again. All they make is junk. Dangerous junk at that.

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Dug From The Earth

dont know much about samsung VR, but ive owned an S5, and S7 phone, have a 60 inch tv from them, and a 24 and 27 inch monitor from them. Quite happy with all of it.

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silverlock

Very happy with my Samsung fridge, washer dryer, and TV as well, all of which are seven years old now and haven’t giving me any issues at all.

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BalsBigBrother

Certainly makes doing the laundry or getting milk from the fridge a little more exciting, is today the day it goes boom hehe :p

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Armsbend

I have a smart tv that is anything but smart. The connection is like a modem circa 1997 and it allows zero customibility – except for the worst apps ever. And if you read the news – it is the easiest to compromise. Junk, if it didnt cost so much when i bought it I would toss it.

Their phones blow up.

Anyway, glad y’all like your samsung stuff – I think they are worst.

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Estranged

I’ve been fortunate and my products from them seem to have escaped their facepalm design moments. However, I can’t trust them now.

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Arktouros

I’ve had similar positive experiences as well with various Samsung products (TV, Phones, etc).