VR – two simple letters conquering the world of entertainment. Virtual Reality are the next big thing both for the movie and for the video game industry. While 3D movies are becoming more and more the cinema standard they are still rather far away from most homes. And with the rather quick rise of VR, I intend to bet that this fact won’t change.
VR has what 3D lacked: Major industry “player” investing hefty sums to kickstart this “revolution”. Valve, the company behind PC’s largest video game distributor Steam, Facebook, who bought VR “pioneer” Oculus, and of course Sony with their PlayStation VR. They are all involved and already gear up for the mass retailing of their respective systems. And people are lining up as if Christmas came early.
What both have in common are the significant investment costs. Even now, prices for a 3D television start at around 700€. And those don’t even include the glasses – another 15 – 30€ each. On the other side, to run both Oculus Rift and the Steam VR, you need a rather modern, that is powerful PC and those also don’t come cheap. A quick Google search “guesstimated” (meaning a rough guess rather than a valid estimation) a price point around 1.000€ just for the PC – plus the VR set for an additional 600 – 800€.
At least future PlayStation VR users seem to luck out in this discussion as they current PS4 may even be enough to at least watch movies or play certain games in VR. So “only” about 350€ for the console and 400€ for the VR headet plus Move controllers and PS4 camera (another ~100€ alltogether), amounting to not even half the cost of the PC-based variants.
Rumours are, though, that Sony plans the release of a more powerful version of the PS4, dubbed “Neo” by some and PS4.5 by others. If and when this version will come out is everyone’s guess – and maybe the upcoming E3 will tell us more – but chances are that this new console won’t cost as much as a high-end PC.
So, 3D will likely be around for a couple of years still – in cinemas that is – and the odd number of early adopters in some households. VR, though, if done correctly and not only with enough marketing but also – and more importantly – with enough software and well-done games. Gear VR, Samsung’s smartphone-based, headset is already in lots of people’s hand and a cheap go-to start for the upcoming “VR-evolution”. It’s only a matter of time before most if not all entertainment companies will hop on the same train.
I hardly can wait. (For the money to buy one or the other system, I wouldn’t hesitate to order one NOW if I could afford them 😉 )