Newzoo analysts weigh in on virtual reality adoption

    
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Remember last week when SuperData published a report on virtual reality, predicting a “steep rise” in VR adoption as we roll toward 2020? Competing analysis firm Newzoo is a bit more reserved and focuses more on the existing market rather than the future one. In its recent blog piece, it points to mobile VR being the current arena of growth opportunity, echoing SuperData’s point that the Samsung Gear has outsold everything else and dangling the idea that an Apple VR system might disrupt the market and bring in wider adoption.

“There are several factors that will contribute to the mass adoption of mobile VR, including improvement in the quality of the VR experience offered by relatively affordable mobile VR devices such as Google Cardboard, overcoming compatibility issues, and a boost in content that caters to people’s great variety of interests,” Newzoo says. “Additionally, the business model needs to be a good match. An example of this, coming from sports, that could potentially spark the mass market breakthrough for VR: the NBA wraps up its live VR experience in their subscription model. Not offering a single purchase option is a missed opportunity and limits uptake. Another factor at play is the fact that many people have their first VR experience with someone else’s device. The need to own a personal headset is not yet big enough to justify the purchase. ”

Source: Newzoo via [a]listdaily
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MesaSage

Metaverse or go home.

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NeoWolf

I love the idea of VR, however what is available for it and the costs involved are the reason I have not touched it thus far.

This was especially driven home when I saw one VR experience whereby you submerge in a cage and are part of an up close shark experience.. the pleasure of which costs you about three times what would cost to have actual REAL LIFE experience in a shark cage lol

It needs to be WAY more affordable and there needs to be far more worthwhile content for it.

Personally I’m still holding out for Nerve Gear, I want my totally immersive experience where all senses are included lol

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Lights and Music

I love the idea of VR, however what is available for it and the costs involved are the reason I have not touched it thus far.

Agreed. I remember VirtualBoy in the 90’s – to me this is just the same thing decades later. The idea is (and always has been) great, but the tech and the price just isn’t there yet

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Melissa McDonald

Gear VR is definitely the current champ as far as brand recognition and public awareness. Samsung gets a lot of credit for that. I have pointed out that, yes, Gear VR requires a Samsung smart phone. But, PSVR requires a PlayStation 4. And those are the 2 top selling visors. So being a turnkey solution is NOT a hindrance. People like things when they “just work”. The pro visors have priced themselves out of market, simply put. Facebook will have to take a loss on hardware to push the Oculus Rift into prominence.
HP, Lenovo, Acer, and Dell all have $300 visors about to launch that all support not just VR applications through Steam VR, but Windows Holographic (HoloLens) apps through a partnership with Microsoft for Windows 10 (and we now know, Scorpio) compatibility. Early reviews are already starting to come in on these 2nd generation visors, which in some cases have their own sensor array for room presence that require no laser ‘beacons’ or extra pieces placed around the room for real body movement/room presence.

We’re seeing really rapid development here. It’s evolving very quickly. The visors are getting lighter, more comfortable, and the ergonomics are being solved in months, not years. I know there’s going to be a certain amount of scoffing here, but I do not let it bother me. “There’s a storm coming” (Ben Stiller from “Night at the Museum” voice)

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Sally Bowls

Unsurprisingly, I will quibble over a letter: I thought Apple’s iPhone X rumors were about a future something with AR not VR. It may not happen, it may be minor, but it is not inconceivable it could significantly change the playing field. I read Microsoft & Facebook execs talking about AR. Since FB owns Occulus, I think them talking about expanding past VR into AR is significant.

All the fuss and all the hype is about virtual-reality goggles like the Oculus Rift. But the world isn’t making enough fuss over augmented reality.

What’s the difference? VR goggles isolate you. They entomb your eyes and ears in a headset, blocking out the world.

But augmented-reality goggles like the Microsoft Hololens (and the secret but much-hyped Magic Leap project) feature transparent lenses. You’re looking at computer-generated objects in the room with you.

In researching an upcoming “CBS Sunday Morning” story, I visited the medical school of Case Western Reserve Medical School, where a pilot project is under way. The idea is to teach anatomy to medical students not in a cadaver lab, as most med schools do, but instead in an empty room—wearing Hololens.

According to Dr. Mark Griswold, who’s leading this program, the med school’s new building won’t have a cadaver lab at all. When it opens in 2019, med students will learn anatomy exclusively through augmented reality.

— David Pogue

***

As to the idea that the growth for this market, like most others, is in mobile: insert shocked-face-meme here.

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Arktouros

While I wasn’t one of the haters (I generally am interested in new stuff to see how it pans out) every time I read about Augmented Reality I remember Google Glass and how well that went over.

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Oompa Loompa

We’ve been hearing about VR being the “future” since the Virtua Boy came out over a decade ago. And the biggest problem with VR in general is the processing power needed for an enjoyable experience for common use. The Rift and Vive combined have sold fewer than million units with the largest market being smartphones

So all the hype was for the wrong market (and due to ARM processors weakness) and the VR industry is in a catch-22 situation. So these self-appointed VR ‘industry’ experts are just making shit up in order to sell their ‘reports’.

I also love how one of these ‘expert ‘ report predicts VR overtakes the (freaking) VCR by sometime next​ year in terms of household use. So if all goes as plan, VR takes over a nearly four decades old device. [See dark graphic in picture below]

It’s telling when VR industry advocates use that rational to paint a rosy picture on a struggling industry (where several will likely declare bankruptcy or withdraw from the industry is more realistic based on objective data).

superdata-vr-infographic.jpg
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Lights and Music

We’ve been hearing about VR being the “future” since the Virtua Boy

Indeed

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budtoker420

Until there’s a way to do this without wearing a giant goofy thing on your head it’s going to be a fad. 3-D TV is proving to be that, particularly in the home, and you only have to wear glasses.

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Arktouros

The issue with 3D-TVs is they fundamentally don’t change the base experience. At the end of they day you’re still sitting in a chair/couch and watching the same TV only now you have things popping out at you and you have to wear a set of glasses. It’s an debatable upgrade to the same base experience.

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Schmidt.Capela

VR isn’t that much of a game changer either. Or, at least, not until we get devices capable of filling our whole field of vision, and content made for those; until then, it isn’t much better than an ultra-wide 3D monitor or TV coupled with motion controls.

Besides, isolating people from the real world has downsides, some of them quite big for games; it makes using traditional input devices far harder. That, coupled with how tiresome using motion controls can get, and the fact I very much prefer 3rd person point of view for nearly every game genre I play, is why I currently would have little interest in VR even if I got the gear for free.

(Disclaimer: I worked professionally with VR for the best part of a decade. Granted, it was back when a headset with similar capabilities to the Occulus cost about the same as a small car and weighted far more than current headsets.)

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Arktouros

This assertion you keep putting out there doesn’t get any more correct each time we have this conversation. Please show me the standard game where you hold up your hands with a sword/shield and take down enemies. Please show me the standard game where you physically bend over and dig up hidden treasure. It’s. Not. The. Same. Thing.

The good implementations of VR generally match the criteria you set and the fact that you don’t think they do shows your ignorance of the current generation of VR. Things like wider field of vision, higher resolution displays, and wireless tracking are all largely worked out and sorted. None of them will bring the costs down to a mass consumer level any time soon, either. Content to take advantage of the current features of VR are also in development. Some of them are getting rave reviews.

Realistically VR is going to be an alternative entertainment source not everyone can or wants to take advantage of. That’s okay. I still don’t understand why people think it either to has to be this revolutionary new product that changes everything in our lives and anything short of that it’s just another technology fad. Like zero wiggle room with you haters.

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Robert Mann

Given another dozen or so years, including size and weight reductions that come with that, mobile VR could be very cool. VR with mobility is pretty much what people want in VR, but there’s a lot of challenges there (including lacking sight around you, and needing systems to prevent you from needing to walk beyond that wall there to get where you want to go in game while maintaining that feeling of really being there.)

I just don’t believe mobile can compare to non mobile at this point, or that the control systems make it that special.

Of course, people will keep jumping into things like this without much need for promotion by those making the tech. That’s just how our culture currently operates.

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Arktouros

The problem with mobile VR is that it is a pretty forgettable experience despite being at the price point people are willing to buy into. There’s lots of things that simply have gone unanswered at this stage to really take advantage of that market.

For example imagine watching a TV show or movie. Right now you sit infront of a screen and watch it happen. However with 360 video you’re actually there watching it happen but more importantly what happens if you just turn around and watch the whole thing from a different angle. Content has to be fundamentally re-thought because people can simply look a different direction. How do you keep people focused on the direction you want them to be or do you want them to focus there at all?

Gaming wise, however, mobile VR is abysmal. Beyond being able to look around and with future devices click here or there with a controller there’s really not much new there going into the experience. Even an extremely basic 2D with game pad console experience would give you more interaction which makes mobile VR a step backwards.

Unfortunately educating people on this is basically impossible. People are going to try their GearVR or DayDream, be very unimpressed, and then immediately write off all VR despite the completely different experience that more advanced devices like the Vive or Rift offer.

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Melissa McDonald

I LOVE my gear VR. It has higher pixel resolution than the Rift or Vive, people forget that. Yes the tracking is inferior, but for what it is? Magic. Samsung’s Gear 360 camera takes some really nice 360 stills and decent quality VR video for about $300. Got to use one recently and it was fairly seamless and fairly magical, although you need a Gear VR to fully enjoy it as it was meant to be. And the next model supports VR streams in real time :) My Galaxy s8 is on pre-order :)

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Arktouros

Valve talked about the resolution thing as being weird because it’s going to go from vastly lower than what we’re used to right now to being better than anything we’ve seen before.

I will admit that streaming 360 video streams is actually a pretty darned good use for it. Being able to pay for a “virtual seat” at some sort of sport event or convention or something would be pretty awesome of letting you “be” there without having to actually go because there’s not much interaction as part of that experience. That said it’s still what I would consider “sub par” VR experience due to the lack of physical interaction that more advanced VR systems like Vive or Occulus allow.

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Schmidt.Capela

However with 360 video you’re actually there watching it happen but more importantly what happens if you just turn around and watch the whole thing from a different angle.

Not from a different angle; rather, at a different direction. 360° video allows you to look at other things that with a traditional screening would be hidden beyond the screen border, but it doesn’t allow you to look from a different angle at something that piqued your interest.

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Arktouros

That’s pretty nit-picky, but okay.

Here’s a good vid on the topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3xDgONMdlM