For those of you who’ve been enjoying a life of gaming since the 1980s will probably have witnessed new technological innovations hit the scene. For example the transitions from cassette media to optical media and floppy disks to various forms of flash media (eg. SD Cards, Key-Drives aka USB Thumbdrives, etc.) and the internet for the general public. But! There have also been technological flops, that been nothing more than passing fads.
I could talk about three dimensional entertainment, but that has come and gone so many times it really isn’t funny. However, I will give credit to Nintendo for there clever use of the medium as experienced from the 3DS systems.
Virtual Reality, technology that has existed since the late 1930s. Initially it was used for art and entertainment, but has gained deeper meaningful appreciation from industrial applications of the technology.
VR Entertainment something I saw in the old laser tag arenas setup with the arcade games back when I first saw it in action during the mid-1990s. Back then, VR gaming was primarily an experience for PC. With the new wave of VR, I cannot say I am overly excited for it as the technology only caters toward a certain niche of gamers and those marketing fail to understand that.
First off, lets talk numbers here – You’re looking at anywhere between AU$500 – AU$1000+ for a VR rig alone, and that’s not including any compatible software or hardware to be “VR Ready”!
Next up, is the niche – In a gaming capacity, VR is most ideal for some taking a hardcore simulation to next level offering some deep immersion for the enthusiasts who use and/or play them. Having said that, you’re looking at a peripheral that in the same league as other simulator apparatuses (eg. HOTAS, driving wheels, simulator cockpits, etc.). So looking at VR rigs that way you can appreciate the asking price as you would expect to outlay a fair chuck of change to build a simulator.
And Finally, the marketing is all wrong! – I appreciate having technology that offers an intimate viewing experience for a mainstream gaming audience, but I can think of better practical ways. But when the bulk your initial software lineup is nothing more than shovelware (eg. Glorified Tech-Demos, On-Rails Interactive Movies, sloppy implementations, etc.), you’re practically advertising your VR Experience as nothing more than a gimmick! Intimate viewing experience for gamers are why portable CES units (eg. 3DS, Vita, iPhone, etc.) exist!
Outside of interactive entertainment, Virtual Reality offers greater potential for industrial applications (eg. Education, Training, Tourism, Therapy, Remote Control, etc.) of the technology and comes across as “Wasted” when offered to mainstream gaming in comparison.
Do the words “There is nothing new under the sun” mean anything to you?