This year’s E3, was an amazing eye opener for me. Companies are truly tuned into what the consumer wants, and when they want it. It seems like only yesterday I was playing Alien Vs Predator on my Atari Jaguar 64, thinking to myself “I can play this game, over and over again. But, for god’s sake, when are they going to release a new game, already!” Little did I know at the time, there was virtually (no pun intended) no 3rd party support for 64-bit technology.
Well, fear not minions. VR has come into existence like the last BOOM at the end of Fourth of July fireworks. The choices of headset come in various flavors and price ranges. Samsung’s Gear VR, a pretty tempting choice at $99.99 USD. Is without a doubt the most logical solution, for anyone not willing to dive in head first now. And considering smartphones, are virtually (there’s that word again!) a necessity in today’s fast paced world, the Gear VR seems more like an extremely cool accessory, than an actual investment.
Now if you’re serious about VR, there’s the Oculus Rift, arguably the midrange model. I’ve been following the Oculus, since its Kickstarter campaign, and I almost felt obligated to invest in, what is now, Mark Zuckerberg’s technology. The hard work, long road and the simple fact, that John Carmack jumped on the bandwagon (of Id fame), sold me hard and fast. However, $599.99 USD is a touch pricy for the average consumer, to say the least. And considering the average person would need to buy a whole new PC, Amazon and BestBuy are, for now, forgoing selling individual units and making available first, only bundles. Which, of course, require you to buy a whole new PC, along with the Oculus, beginning at a staggering $1599.99 USD.
Then there’s the HTC Vive, easily the high end of the spectrum, coming in at $799.99 USD. With this unit, again you will need a PC with enough horse power to produce the frame rates necessary to avoid motion sickness. Balancing out this price tag, albeit a little, is the fact you get two tracking towers, two Steam VR controllers, and 3 titles. Whereas Oculus, comes with a front facing camera, and an Xbox One controller only. Further differentiating itself from the Oculus, the HTC Vive allows for full tracking of movement, via the tracking towers. Remember how consumers complained about the Kinect, tracking everything you do? That seems like an unavoidable cornerstone to this technology.
And with Microsoft & Sony going full steam ahead, with their VR capable offerings, Project Scorpio and PS4.5, respectively. The health of this VR introduction to the mass market looks very, very promising. And don’t even get me started on all the adult content available for these units (pun intended). And let’s be honest, we all know the success of the internet, going from dial up, to an absolute necessity in every household in the modern world, owes itself almost solely to pornography. If that alone, is any indicator of the lifespan, and success of this current generation of VR, then there’s no doubt, Virtual Reality, is here to stay! Viva la revolucion!!!