There’s been a drought over the past forty-something years and the tech industry is quite thirsty. Virtual reality has been around for decades through different forms, but it hasn’t stuck on a commercial level until just a couple years ago. Why now? You ask? As the number of millennials and GEN X/Y gamers increase, so has the need for an evolution in the gaming industry. Dynamics have rapidly immersed a conundrum for game developers. They’ve caught on that they need to propel beyond the dimensions of basic gaming. Not only for the gaming population, multiple industries have tested the waters using VR hardware in their fields as well- to include real estate and the medical industry. But what’s more—the availability of the hardware is easier to come by than previous failed launches in past since the joke of a console Virtual Boy or the hard to acquire NASA headsets in the 80’s.
For the unaware, there are two key components for virtual reality—mobile and extreme gaming and both are responsible for the technology’s usage wow factor. Recently, Samsung has been able to market their Gear headsets at a reasonably fair price of $99 due to the rise of smart phone users in the market. Not for complex gaming, but these headsets are where other aspects of the virtual reality industry can be implemented, such as real estate where home buyers can travel through virtual tours of homes without the need to leave their current residence, or medical field and training purposes. Commercially, the entertainment industry has released short videos and fun exploratory worlds where the consumer can immerse themselves into a different environment with complete 360 degree manipulation.
Since the technology has evolved, so have the pricing points. For an Oculus Rift touch bundle coming in at less than $600 on Amazon, it’s fair to say that the competitiveness in pricing has improved since a couple years ago when virtual reality really made a bang in the world. Its competitor, the HTC Vive comes in at $800 on Amazon.
Another main important factor that virtual reality is making a stick this time is that of money. With capital venturists seeking new scopes of the tech industry, some are game enthusiasts by nature and want to help broaden the research/development of the field. Big juggernauts have backed the major platform developers such as Mark Zuckerberg, in the hopes of widening the virtual reality gap between hardware manufacturers and game developers.
With all the advancements, enthusiasm and hype, the virtual reality world is here to stay. There’s no telling to how far it can go from here.