Things to Worry About
Just because things are different today doesn’t mean VR is guaranteed to succeed. My biggest concern at this point is the cost of entry. These systems are expensive and rely on underlying technology. For example, the Oculus retails for $599 but requires a beefy video card and computer – the card alone retails for about $300. When all is said and done, a complete Oculus set up may be upwards of $1500. The Vive is even more expensive. Sony definitely has the advantage here, but if you don’t have any Sony products you are looking at the PS VR bundle and PS4 for about $850.
Another item to worry about is motion sickness. Although over the last three years the technology has improved and developers are trying hard to avoid motion sickness, there will be a set of people who will feel ill playing VR – especially after long periods. With the technology being tried by many for the first time, this will be an important aspect to keep an eye on.
In some respects, it feels like VR is being over hyped like it was in the 1990s. Lots of money, buzzwords and demos are being given, but it’s going to take a while to see how everything plays out. Will the content stream be deep enough to keep people busy for years to come, or will content dry up? Will people have long term affects to VR such as sickness? How long will it take for costs to come down?
At this point I’m cautiously optimistic. This time really is different and with the money and technology behind VR, 2016 may go down in the books as the start of a new technology paradigm.