Virtual Reality Coming Back Soon To A Screen Strapped To Your Face
Sony’s virtual reality headset, the PlayStation VR launch announcement recently, began the battle of must-have Christmas gifts for 2016. Sony has an advantage of the pricing as it costs about $490 while Oculus costs $599 and HTC $799, although it has already lost the race to be first in the market.
The problems that overwhelmed previous generations have faded due to the advancement of technology. HTC, Sony and Oculus are both very confident that they have what it takes to make VR a booming business regardless of who wins.
Virtual Boy, a large headset that let gamers play simple games in stereoscopic 3D, was released by Nintendo in 1995. It was too large and gamers had to sit down while leaning forward to use it. It failed. Virtual reality’s revival this year is attributed to two things; a product and a person. Palmer Luckey is the person, the 23- year-old founder of Oculus VR. When he started playing with PC games he became bored with the six monitor setup at his parents’ home. At 19 years old, he built himself a VR headset, which attracted attention from investors and Kickstarter crowding campaign netting $2.5 million. The building success was enabled by the dominance of the product: the smartphone.
A number of technologies which are crucial for VR headsets have been improved due to the increased growth of touchscreen smartphones. The challenge now in the market is convincing people to try on the headsets rather than what will happen when they put them on. So Sony, Oculus and HTC should all settle in for the long haul as getting mass amounts of users to accept the technology could take a few years.