September 17, 2021

What Happened to Virtual Reality?

3 min read
Virtual reality has been hyped as the next big thing for home entertainment tech for...

Virtual reality has been hyped as the next big thing for home entertainment tech for what feels like decades. But with each passing year, the promised VR revolution fails to materialize. Just a couple of years ago there were plans in the works for everything from job training to gambling, with several best payout online casino Canada, such you can find here, developing virtual reality casino floors. Today, a look at online casinos reveals a distinct lack of VR, despite plenty of investment. So, just what is it about the tech that has failed to live up to its expected potential – and what might the future hold?

Cost and Setup

VR equipment isn’t cheap. The most basic home setup, once you factor in games and gear, can cost more than $500. This is a big financial commitment for even the most dedicated gamer, and that’s just for entry-level kit. A more powerful model can set you back double that price. The high price point prevents VR from being a mass market product, especially when there are so many top quality games consoles available.

Speaking of consoles, an important part of their appeal is that they are easy to install. VR is far from plug-and-play, requiring sensors and specific controllers, even cameras. Anything that requires so much setup is off-putting to the average consumer. The cost of the initial purchase, plus the difficulty of installation, has ensured that VR remains a niche product for individual users.

Content and Comfort

The expense and complexity could be overcome with an incredible user experience, but unfortunately that has not been the case so far. The content itself often proves to be underwhelming. Today’s consumer demands excellence and finds it in the graphics and gameplay of regular console games. The developers are yet to create a product that blows people away, and until they do then interest is likely to remain low.

It’s not just lacklustre content that turns people away from home VR, but the overall experience. The gear can be cumbersome and uncomfortable to wear. Even worse, it can cause physical discomfort when used for any extended period of time. Most users report some level of pain from wearing the headset, and many also experience disorientation and even motion sickness. Players are advised to take frequent breaks for as long as 15 minutes for every 30 minutes played. It’s not hard to see why that is not appealing for gamers.

Shared Experience

Whether you are playing in the same room with friends or online with people from around the world, gaming is most often a social and shared experience. Right now, this is just not possible with VR. Not enough people own the hardware, individuals don’t have all the necessary gear to play with friends, and games are too platform-specific. In a world where connectedness is all-important, VR remains a resolutely solo experience.

Has VR Failed?

It looks like a VR headset may not become a common household item any time soon, but has the technology been consigned to the trash heap of history? The answer is most likely not, because the potential applications reach far beyond home entertainment. Instead of at-home gaming, VR can be best used in an organized group setting such as a VR arcade.

Games are only one way to use VR, so it looks like the future of this tech lies elsewhere. Promising fields include virtual job safety training and various educational applications. Elsewhere healthcare professionals are exploring the therapeutic potential of VR for areas such as pain management and post-traumatic stress.

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