VR-ready: are we ready?

OPINION – Virtual reality will be part of the mainstream media this year, because next to the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, the PlayStation VR will also be available from October. Are V Ready for VR?


The PlayStation VR, which will only require a PS4 (and some space), might be technologically behind its rivals, but its price, as well as its system requirements (even though this term isn’t fitting for this particular headset), put it ahead of the RiftVive duo.

Sky has slowly started to give more attention to VR since 2013 - in 2016, they'll make VR content of boxing, Tour De France and even DC Fancast.

A jump in quantity

According to analyst firm IDC, in 2016, nine million virtual reality headsets will be shipped. Meanwhile, another company, Gartner, predicts only 1.4 million, which seems pessimistic. However, in 2015, there were just 350 thousand (!) headsets shipped, we’ll see a significant jump in 2016, and just in a year! Mind you; out of the nine million, the Vive/PSVR/Rift trio takes a smaller cut, because tethered devices, which have no dedicated screens and instead just use our smartphones for this purpose, have way more shipped in IDC’s prediction. (For a tethered example, Google Cardboard.)

IDC doesn’t stop here, though: the headset trio above will only ship two million total. The Oculus Rift headset began shipping on 28 March; HTC Vive headsets are due to start being dispatched this month, and we all know how Sony will launch the PlayStation VR on October 13.

Lee szerint van benne potenciál, de még le van maradva technológiailag.

Motion sensors?

Lewis Ward, director of gaming at IDC, says that customers will get these devices because they want to play VR games, and this kind of titles will pop up this Holiday season. However, he also mentioned an example that he deemed to be more popular than the Vive/PSVR/Rift trio: the Samsung Gear VR, one of those tethered VR devices.

IDC’s research expanded to augmented reality as well, as it mentioned Microsoft’s HoloLens. The research says that there are just a few AR devices ready to be shown to the public. The HoloLens is a headset that has a transparent display, and it is used to display things or information in our vision.

Motion sensors can be an intriguing thing for the tethered VR products: if our mobile phone has motion sensors, then the item (which could be the Samsung Gear VR, too) could give us the feeling that we’re immersed in a computer generated scene – not literally, though.

IDC’s future predictions are massive: by 2020, they believe that 64.8 million headsets can be shipper per year. PER YEAR. (And they only counted products that use actual technology, so nope, Google Cardboard is out of the question here!)

To have virtual reality with the Happy Goggles, you must use a smartphone, just like with Google Cardboard.

Virtual Boy part 2?

Again, I’ve been quoting BBC Technology’s article, but now it’s time to throw in my two cents. I am not impressed by virtual reality, but I’m an old hag. Still, I admit that the PlayStation VR can make the technology more widespread because 43+ million PlayStation 4s mean a huge potential install base for Sony and all you need as extra are the Move controllers, plus the PlayStation Camera. You don’t have to spend a thousand dollars in extra to get yourself ready to enter the VR-world.

Sony prepares for the PSVR-launch with multiple games. You’ll find VR versions of existing games (DriveClub VR), an existing franchise getting a VR-adventure (Batman Arkham VR), or a new IP built up from the ground (I can name multiple of them, but I’ll stick to one here as well: RIGS – Mechanized Combat League).

Virtual Boy’s flop might repeat, although Nintendo did try too early to see what they can do with VR and since then, the big N didn’t even produce a similar product on the same scale. The PlayStation VR has a few obstacles to jump: how much space IS required, how easy it will be on our eyes, and will it end up as the next Kinect?

For me, VR feels too… new, but I’m willing to admit that the change cannot be stopped or avoided, and maybe even I will end up wearing one of those devices on my ugly head, even though I prefer the keyboard+mouse combination (or a controller). I cannot imagine Quake Champions in VR. How dumb would it look that we end up playing a new Quake game in virtual reality? Veterans raise the eyebrows, youngsters imagine it, and I just press an enter.

Will it be worth twenty dollars? Obviously, we cannot answer this question legitimately yet.

Wait until April

We should wait until Sony‘s business year ends in March. Let’s see what the PlayStation VR brings in for the Japanese company. If there’s MORE demand than what they predicted, virtual reality will gain more ground. If the PSVR doesn’t sell as expected, Sony will lose money (they already tend to drop some cash outside the PlayStation brand recently), and we might just look at our friend in a weird manner if he plays Half-Life 2 on a Vive. There will be no 3, don’t even think about it.



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Grabbing controllers since the middle of the nineties. Mostly he has no idea what he does - and he loves Diablo III. (Not.)

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