A decade ago, VR tech was the laughingstock of the entertainment industry. There hadn’t been a successful mainstream VR product ever, but there had had been plenty of failed ones. The Virtual Boy from Nintendo is a prime example. It was a rare misstep from a usually surefooted tech giant, and its failure was enough to scare most companies off from messing with VR to any real degree for decades.
But VR was never meant to stay dead, and it only took the right impetus to bring it back to life. That impetus was most likely Avatar and its groundbreaking use of 3-D. When James Cameron’s movie showed everyone that another format that was considered essentially dead could not only work but could also be used to propel the biggest movie of all time, it shook the tech world to its core.
Now, long-abandoned ideas were being reconsidered, and VR was something people started talking about as the next logical step. It made sense to try to one-up 3-D’s resurgence if it were possible to do so. There were a few companies who had been working with VR for a little while at the time, but no one was really putting much energy or money into these projects.
Once that changed, VR started to make some advances. The big one was Oculus Rift. Tech demos from the new device started to be released and they showcased a very promising product. Suddenly, people started to take VR seriously again. As excitement increase over the upcoming release of this new VR product, other companies began to get in on the action and create their own VR experiences. Google, Microsoft and Sony are all working on variations of Oculus Rift and using VR technology.
Will VR just be another 3D short term success?
How successful any of these will be is hard to say. Every one of them have had some failed starts. Google had to revamp and rework its Google Glass product a few times, and there still isn’t a widespread release available yet for something we all figured we would be wearing by now.
VR is taking baby steps, and the reason those steps are still moving forward is because a new target demographic is being singled out this time. In the past, the VR tech was being made for the general public. That meant it was cheap and consumable and made with less than cutting-edge hardware. Now, it’s aimed at an audience with deep pockets- the kinds of people who spend thousands of dollars on a PC rig or who have a massive entertainment setup already. These are the people who are willing and able to invest money into new technology to enhance their entertainment experiences.
Numerous Platform Support
With widespread support from a number of platforms, many movies, video games and visual experiences are being released for the various VR products. Some of them have already been shown to be viable entertainment experiences.
While nothing absolute groundbreaking has been released yet for the VR experiences out there, the potential is what is most exciting of all. Just wait until we can see the release that can do for VR what Avatar did for 3-D.