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It’s Becoming Increasingly Unlikely that We’ll See a Major Shift To Virtual Reality Any Time Soon

Virtual Reality was intended to be a paradigm shift, with companies such as Oculus inventing a completely new experience for non-gamers and gamers alike to experience digital environments. However, this excitement has significantly cooled. The media has been through many cycles of praise and optimism and optimistic forecasts, along with… optimistic thoughts? The media has been fawning for a while; however, despite all the hype, we have only a tiny amount of interest from consumers to prove it. Oculus has been sold to Facebook and is now nothing more than a gimmick that Mark Zuckerberg shows off at every F8 event. Like Ben Thompson recently noted, the bet on Oculus is a poor choice for Facebook that isn’t in line with Zuckerberg’s strengths in many ways.

It’s Becoming Increasingly Unlikely that We’ll See a Major Shift To Virtual Reality Any Time Soon

Oculus creator Palmer Luckey is now tooling around with right-wing defense initiatives, and co-founder Brendan Iribe has just left Oculus amid speculation about future VR headsets getting put on hold. Numerous major studios have either shut down or stopped VR efforts, such as Viacom and AltspaceVR, and Microsoft remains a firm “no” when it comes to diving its toes into the water with the Xbox. Sony has boasted of the sales of PSVR exceeding 3 million units in just two years; however, there are currently 82 million PS4 units that are in the hands of customers (and be aware of the fact that Microsoft has sold over 35 million Kinects and ended the service). With heavy-duty hardware (which, let’s face it, appears incredibly stupid to many) and ridiculous PC requirements, and nothing in the way of AAA games that can lure people who are interested into the realm of VR and AR, it’s increasingly likely that there won’t be a significant shift towards VR anytime soon.

It’s Becoming Increasingly Unlikely that We’ll See a Major Shift To Virtual Reality Any Time Soon

It’s worth noting that if you’re thinking of Magic Leap as a kind of bridge to the future through its AR projects, don’t get too caught up. Brian Merchant’s detailed and insightful article for Gizmodo about the company’s struggle to overcome the same software, hardware, and consumer-adoption problems that face VR makes it clear that there’s no simple answer to this issue. As someone who has witnessed the new age of VR emerge from the beginning and was among the most vocal supporters of the technology, I believe that VR adoption will be possible only if the entry barrier is comparable to wearing glasses (and even then, it is not guaranteed). Most people don’t like wearing heavy headsets, even at home, so there’s no need for a “killer app” for VR, and nobody has created a plug-and-play option that lets an inexperienced user play with their headset casually. Every person I know who has tried a VR headset is amazed by the experience; however, there’s no reason to get into it other than an approximate percentage of those who are interested.

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