Great technology in itself is not enough to make a new product successful. 3D TV is a great recent example. An interesting concept with some cool underlying technology if you’re into that sort of thing. It seems however that 3D TV is dying with manufacturers scaling back production and 3D TV owners simply not using them. Why has 3D TV died? There have been plenty of articles written about the reasons but one thing we’ve noticed is a common thread relating to the lack of quality content. What does this mean for VR?
When you see people using VR headsets you often see someone sitting in a chair with a large and apparently cumbersome helmet on. Compare this to just sitting on a couch watching TV – if you’ve never tried VR before it may seem obvious which you would rather do. That is until you try VR for the first time. The experience is like nothing else you’ve tried in entertainment before. I believe the impact of the VR experience will overcome any adverse reaction to having to wear a headset and over time I believe headsets will evolve into better devices in terms of size and comfort (not that they are uncomfortable now).
So if people already like (and many love) using VR how do we ensure that VR doesn’t go the way of 3D TV? Millions of people will buy VR headsets over the coming years especially when device companies such as Oculus and Value start releasing their headsets next year. The first thing people are going to want once they’ve plugged in is content. Those first few experiences will be the thing that keeps that user coming back for more.
As VR developers it is up to us to ensure we create great VR content that inspires this new market of VR users. It is a great time for content developers, for the first time in a long time we have a brand new medium to work in. Questions like how do we create amazing VR experiences? How do we reduce VR sickness? How do we let users interact with our VR apps? are all there waiting to be explored.
We’ve been addressing these questions here at Novus for the past year and a half and are excited with the results and we are keen to release these titles to a new global audience and see what people think.
From our standpoint content is going to be key to ensuring the longevity of VR and keep it from becoming like VR TV – a great idea but with no application. With a new medium it is exciting to think what will emerge – who knows how VR apps may look in five years.