Castles Made of Sand: VR, PC Gaming, and Hype

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
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Computer Business Review has an opinion piece up today lamenting what they see as some in the media calling VR in 2016 a flop, after they themselves were responsible for hyping it up the first place. They want to set the record and expectations straight, pointing out that PC VR Gaming is a small but quickly growing market, with year over year sales growth of over a thousand percent.

Personally I am not too far off from being ready to take the plunge. I've got more than adequate hardware for it. I'm just waiting for more AAA titles, and trying to figure out a wife-approved spot in the house for a room-scale setup.

Gabe Newell summarised the situation excellently in the aforementioned interview, stating that VR development is akin to that of the first home PCs in the 1980s: people purchased systems without immediate understanding of their best application, but were very excited by the technology all the same and trusted that it was not a fad nor a poor investment.
 

RogueTadhg

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 14, 2011
Messages
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VR has a lot of good that can come from it. Not having VR will at some point become a burden. Not for only the gaming sector, but also for other avenues of entertainment (porn) such as virtual trips.

Education can also be improved with proper VR. History would be a whole different ball game. I can see history going from "Meh" to "Awesome."
.
(Not really VR, but you should feel the impact of what a proper history in VR could be like with this clip.)


Virtual trips for sciences. Explore the world like akin to a Magic School Bus. There's already the case of a surgeon bringing VR into the operating table, giving students a first hand look into a real operation.

I'm going to wait until I get a full new PC build for it though. I do think the technology needs to be improved. But when it gets there, it'll be an awesome future. Hardware and Software need to be honed.


The future is glorious for the master race. It's an exciting time to be alive.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
31,847
VR has a lot of good that can come from it. Not having VR will at some point become a burden. Not for only the gaming sector, but also for other avenues of entertainment (porn) such as virtual trips.

Education can also be improved with proper VR. History would be a whole different ball game. I can see history going from "Meh" to "Awesome."
.
(Not really VR, but you should feel the impact of what a proper history in VR could be like with this clip.)


Virtual trips for sciences. Explore the world like akin to a Magic School Bus. There's already the case of a surgeon bringing VR into the operating table, giving students a first hand look into a real operation.

I'm going to wait until I get a full new PC build for it though. I do think the technology needs to be improved. But when it gets there, it'll be an awesome future. Hardware and Software need to be honed.


The future is glorious for the master race. It's an exciting time to be alive.


Oh, I'm in full agreement.

Much has been made of the UN's VR film about a a Syrian girl. Apparently the VR technology somehow made it much easier for humans to empathize with their situation.

As you said, lots of uses.
 

thenapalm

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 6, 2001
Messages
413
"with year over year sales growth of over a thousand percent."

I know this is pulled from the article but it's a bit disingenuous. Both the Occulus and Vive came out in 2016 which of course means there was a huge uplift in sales versus the previous year when hardware was scarce. I would like to see the numbers after this year--my prediction is sales numbers won't be anywhere close to those for 2016.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
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"with year over year sales growth of over a thousand percent."

I know this is pulled from the article but it's a bit disingenuous. Both the Occulus and Vive came out in 2016 which of course means there was a huge uplift in sales versus the previous year when hardware was scarce. I would like to see the numbers after this year--my prediction is sales numbers won't be anywhere close to those for 2016.

Sure, It's a number for the industry as a whole, and it is accurate. The industry has grown from something tiny, to something still small, but much larger.
 

Shmee

[H]ard|Gawd
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Once actual games and apps come out, then we will see if it is the next big thing.
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
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Once actual games and apps come out, then we will see if it is the next big thing.
There are already plenty of actual game and apps, and it is the next big thing.
 
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Ducman69

[H]F Junkie
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10,542
VR has a lot of good that can come from it. Not having VR will at some point become a burden. Not for only the gaming sector, but also for other avenues of entertainment (porn) such as virtual trips.

Education can also be improved with proper VR. History would be a whole different ball game.
If its anything like the History Channel, they will learn that in WW2, the Germans were evil zombies that got advanced technology from aliens they discovered entombed in the great pyramid.
 

steakman1971

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
2,433
Damn - I am ready to take the plunge but had to replace a dishwasher, washer, dryer, and car this year. Stupid adult responsibilities!
I'm working on my stealth fund...since Kyle posted about Fallout 4, I've been making plans here.
 

Mong00se

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 23, 2013
Messages
129
Damn - I am ready to take the plunge but had to replace a dishwasher, washer, dryer, and car this year. Stupid adult responsibilities!
I'm working on my stealth fund...since Kyle posted about Fallout 4, I've been making plans here.

You and me both buddy.
 

Dekoth-E-

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
7,599
I will continue repeating this.

Expecting VR in entertainment to be anything more than a niche product is unrealistic. It will never become mainstream. I was going to actually put my usual modifier of "so long as it requires X" but being realistic it will always require things that 100% bar it from being mainstream. It is a niche peripheral, period.

Where they need to be focusing the hype about it are fields where it is beginning and will continue to completely revolutionize. It is going to completely change the face of Space exploration, Medical, Aerospace and design just to name a few. It is an absolutely amazing technology in what it can do for productivity in certain fields.
 
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Zarathustra[H]

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I will continue repeating this.

Expecting VR in entertainment to be anything more than a niche product is unrealistic. It will never become mainstream. I was going to actually put my usual modifier of "so long as it requires X" but being realistic it will always require things that 100% bar it from being mainstream. It is a niche peripheral, period.

Where they need to be focusing the hype about it are fields where it is beginning and will continue to completely revolutionize. It is going to completely change the face of Space exploration, Medical, Aerospace and design just to name a few. It is an absolutely amazing technology in what it can do for productivity in certain fields.

I'm not certain this is true.

If you recall, we ran a news story a couple of weeks ago, about how nearly 10% of all players of Resident Evil 7 were playing it in VR. This is particularly notable, since the game has a one year VR exclusive for PSVR.

I think that is huge for this early on. As the tech (as well as the hardware needed to drive it) becomes more affordable I think we'll see an explosion in VR.
 

sir-gold

Gawd
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
Messages
931
I will continue repeating this.

Expecting VR in entertainment to be anything more than a niche product is unrealistic. It will never become mainstream. I was going to actually put my usual modifier of "so long as it requires X" but being realistic it will always require things that 100% bar it from being mainstream. It is a niche peripheral, period.

Where they need to be focusing the hype about it are fields where it is beginning and will continue to completely revolutionize. It is going to completely change the face of Space exploration, Medical, Aerospace and design just to name a few. It is an absolutely amazing technology in what it can do for productivity in certain fields.

Nobody will ever buy one of those fancy 3D cards being pushed by 3dfx. There are hardly any games that use 3D, and not everyone wants to mess around with Glide, or tying up the phone for hours downloading a whole new version of Quake. Maybe in Hollywood, or in design studios, they might use 3D, but the average person is just fine with 2D sprites.
 

IdiotInCharge

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14,710
I see it as a big thing, though maybe not 'the next big thing'.

There's a lot of technical details that present issues, ranging from the size and cost of the glasses, the need for content to be tailored for the medium, and performance issues.

Once VR 'glasses' become as light and portable as the glasses used in current 3D video systems and switch to high-bandwidth wireless (and they get the power supply figured), I can see adoption growing, and growing exponentially when price is under control.

Content seems to be budding: but it hasn't yet hit critical mass.

And the performance issue is something that we've recently made ground on on the PC side of things: focusing on frametimes rather than average framerates and forcing GPU vendors and game developers to take this into account has helped, and maintaining steady frametimes is absolutely critical in VR. This will continue to be a challenge, as target framerates for VR need to go up along with resolution, and the hardware necessary to push this experience literally doesn't exist yet. And that's on the PC; to really push adoption, that level of performance needs to be available on consoles!
 

Rahh

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I highly doubt I see VR room setups in the majority of homes any time soon. This is unrealistic! I really don't see VR taking off for home use but I could be wrong. I'm a gamer and love my visual entertainment but at this stage there is no way in hell I'd dedicate a room for this setup currently. It's jsut not worth it and saying you need "wife-approved" area just speaks more volume to this statement as most don't give a crap about this. It will always be a niche and small role in home entertainment in my opinion and that doesn't shape so well for AAA content. That being said i'd love to see the technology advance and have more feasible home and affordable setups. Maybe then it might see more light but as of right now... Nope.
 

Dekoth-E-

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
7,599
I'm not certain this is true.

If you recall, we ran a news story a couple of weeks ago, about how nearly 10% of all players of Resident Evil 7 were playing it in VR. This is particularly notable, since the game has a one year VR exclusive for PSVR.

I think that is huge for this early on. As the tech (as well as the hardware needed to drive it) becomes more affordable I think we'll see an explosion in VR.

1) There aren't that many players playing RE7
2) There aren't many games for VR
3) Due to points 1 and 2 it isn't difficult to imagine most VR owners playing one of the few non crap games and artificially inflating the numbers.

89,000 people isn't impressive in the grand scheme of things.

Nobody will ever buy one of those fancy 3D cards being pushed by 3dfx. There are hardly any games that use 3D, and not everyone wants to mess around with Glide, or tying up the phone for hours downloading a whole new version of Quake. Maybe in Hollywood, or in design studios, they might use 3D, but the average person is just fine with 2D sprites.

Non comparable examples. None of those required users to wear stupid shit on their head, it just worked invisibly. VR does not just work invisibly, it requires wearing crap on your head which people have proven over and over they hate. I'm glad you mentioned 3D because that is a perfect example of something that was "Going to revolutionize mainstream" and didn't. It required wearing crap, people hated it and it died again just as fast as it came. Furthermore most of those technologies actually revolutionized gaming while working invisibly in the background. VR is fun, but it doesn't revolutionize anything. It is a novelty in gaming, just like motion controls, just like 3d, just like every single other peripheral designed to get you fully involved. Sorry but I've used it extensively and yes it is cool but it isn't going to revolutionize gaming. Even if you are lucky enough to be one who it doesn't make sick it gets old wearing a contraption on your head and face extremely quickly. They are going to be huge at places like Dave and Busters and other places where people can get their 30 minutes just actual fun out of it then go back to regular games.
 

Mchart

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Messages
4,311
If its anything like the History Channel, they will learn that in WW2, the Germans were evil zombies that got advanced technology from aliens they discovered entombed in the great pyramid.

I'd pay good money for that
 

sir-gold

Gawd
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
Messages
931
I highly doubt I see VR room setups in the majority of homes any time soon. This is unrealistic! I really don't see VR taking off for home use but I could be wrong. I'm a gamer and love my visual entertainment but at this stage there is no way in hell I'd dedicate a room for this setup currently. It's jsut not worth it and saying you need "wife-approved" area just speaks more volume to this statement as most don't give a crap about this. It will always be a niche and small role in home entertainment in my opinion and that doesn't shape so well for AAA content. That being said i'd love to see the technology advance and have more feasible home and affordable setups. Maybe then it might see more light but as of right now... Nope.

There is no amount of technological advances (short of something like the NerveGear) that will get rid of the requirement of having an open area or dedicated room to play room-scale games. Even with a VR treadmill, you still need some room to swing.

What will happen, though, is that the headsets will become wireless, they will get lighter, the resolution will increase, and the price will go down (sort of*)

*price for a new flagship system will likely stay around the $700-800 mark, but older gen hardware will be cheaper, just like smartphones.
 
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Rahh

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There is no amount of technological advances (short of something like the NerveGear) that will get rid of the requirement of having an open area or dedicated room to play room-scale games. Even with a VR treadmill, you still need some room to swing.

What will happen, though, is that the headsets will become wireless, they will get lighter, the resolution will increase, and the price will go down (sort of*)

*price for a new flagship system will likely stay around the $700-800 mark, but older gen hardware will be cheaper, just like smartphones.

Yeah, wireless is what we're all hoping for I think. Even then It's really hard to envision a room dedicated to this in a home.
 

sir-gold

Gawd
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931
Yeah, wireless is what we're all hoping for I think. Even then It's really hard to envision a room dedicated to this in a home.

You don't need a dedicated room, all you need is a 6.5ftx5ft (minimum) area that can be easily cleared when you want to play VR. It might be as simple as moving a coffee table or something (and moving the PC into the living room)

Many VR games, even the ones that claim to be room-scale, don't actually need that entire 6.5x5 space, so you could probably get away with just enough floor space to stand in, as long as you have room to swing your arms. You will have to lie a bit to the Vive setup program, it won't let you use room-scale unless you can physically move the controller in a 6.5x5 square, so the room itself needs to be that big, even if there isn't that much floor space due to furniture

Basically, VR takes up about as much room as the Nintendo Wii did. (but nobody complained about the space requirements for the Wii)

Notable exceptions to this are the pack-in titles like tilt brush and fantastic contraption. You really do need a dedicated area that is completely furniture-free, or you will end up with bloody knuckles or broken controllers.
 
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