Augmented & Virtual Reality News Source

Game over for virtual reality?

  • Prices of the headsets, sensors and controllers that let game-players explore the artificial world of virtual reality (VR) have been slashed to levels most families can now afford.
  • The good news is that the Oculus Rift—regarded by many gamers as the best of the VR headsets—can now be had for as little as $400, including two handheld controllers and a pair of desktop tracking sensors.
  • Not to be outdone, Oculus VR recently unveiled a standalone headset called the Oculus Go, which is expected to sell for $200 when launched next year.
  • Entry-level offerings like the Oculus Go and Vive Focus are not to be confused with bargain-basement headsets such as Samsung’s Galaxy Gear VR or Google’s Cardboard and Daydream—which require a smartphone to be inserted in an otherwise empty strap-on box, to serve as screen and processor.
  • Over the past year, Oculus has provided glimpses of its project Santa Cruz, a mobile VR headset that needs neither external sensors nor a tethered PC.

LIKE the rest of the consumer-electronics industry, video-game makers would be lost without the traditional binge buying that happens between mid-November and the late December. This year’s gift-giving season will be as much a treat for makers of video-gaming gadgets as for their happy recipients.

LIKE the rest of the consumer-electronics industry, video-game makers would be lost without the traditional binge buying that happens between mid-November and the late December. This year’s gift-giving season will be as much a treat for makers of video-gaming gadgets as for their happy recipients. Prices of the headsets, sensors and controllers that let game-players explore the artificial world of virtual reality (VR) have been slashed to levels most families can now afford. Stockings could be bulging with VR headsets from Samsung, Dell, Sony, HTC, Oculus (a division of Facebook) and others. For those willing to wait until early 2018, costs could fall still further—as a new, even cheaper generation of VR headsets hits the market.

Despite the merry ho, ho, ho, however, there is a distinct whiff of urgency in the air. Virtual reality has failed to live up to its hype, and mainstream consumers never really bought into the technology. Even ardent gaming fans have been slow to embrace VR. No-one can blame them. The content has been underwhelming, and the gear needed to do the job properly has been too cumbersome and expensive. Apart from a head-mounted display, with its high-resolution OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen, other necessary bits include a pair of handheld controllers (for signalling the user’s intentions) along with a couple of wall-mounted sensors (for tracking the user’s movement).

Then there…

Game over for virtual reality?

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