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So we're 1-day ahead of Black Friday and I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the VR displays at three of my largest local Electronics Retailers. Best Buy, WalMart and Target. Absolutely nothing at WalMart and Target. I cornered a couple Sales Associates at Best Buy and asked them where their VR display(s) were. They didn't have any. They said they thought there was one Best Buy store ( about 10-miles away ) that had something on display. But nothing in this store.

IMO this thing is done, cooked and finished. Put a fork in it. If your work'n on something VR, stop. Don't waste your money and energy.

So what's next? Lets go for:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smell-O-Vision

at least you would know it would stink up the place in advance.
 

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So we're 1-day ahead of Black Friday and I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the VR displays at three of my largest local Electronics Retailers. Best Buy, WalMart and Target. Absolutely nothing at WalMart and Target. I cornered a couple Sales Associates at Best Buy and asked them where their VR display(s) were. They didn't have any. They said they thought there was one Best Buy store ( about 10-miles away ) that had something on display. But nothing in this store.

IMO this thing is done, cooked and finished. Put a fork in it. If your work'n on something VR, stop. Don't waste your money and energy.

So what's next? Lets go for:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smell-O-Vision

at least you would know it would stink up the place in advance.
Its not unusual for something that is a brand new technology to be under represented at big box stores. I've done a lot of rep work, and its not really that unusual. I will tell you that in all honesty, VR is very early out of the gates, and there are some things that need to happen for it to catch on. Things that, honestly, the manufacturers don't seem to accept. Like it has to work with all PC apps right out of the box. They don't see it that way. To me, thats the biggest nail in its coffin. BUT I also have a Vive, and I can tell you that for everything about it that pisses me off, I keep finding things that it can do that blow my mind and totally suck me in. There are LOTS of cool experiences, games, and 360 and Volumetric videos that are amazing.


I think the average consumer tends to pick up on things in the third or 4th year, and the first 2 years tend to be "word needs to get around", "word of next gen improvements" need to get around.
 

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I can't speak to Vive and Oculus (other than the fact that the Walmarts and Targets of the world will never sell a high end PC peripheral like that), but as far as Playstation VR is concerned I'm pretty sure nearly all existing stock is sold out and I've read that while demand for more is there there have been some manufacturing problems with the displays that have affected distribution. Whenever some units come on Amazon (excluding the third party mercenaries and their 500% markups) they typically sell out in seconds. I've also read that PSVR has outsold Vive and Oculus combined after only two months. Not terribly shabby for an emerging technology that has been out for only two months without a killer app if you ask me. Given how well they've sold so far, they really don't need to have demo units at this point and I wouldn't expect one until there are some more recognizable titles available to show it off (though the Star Wars VR level would be a good choice).

I can't speak to the longevity of VR or whether it will catch on or not. What I can say is that as an owner of a PSVR headset I absolutely love it. The graphics are lower res but the incredible level of immersion cannot be adequately conveyed thru words and you really need to try one to understand what it brings to the table. It takes gaming to a whole new level and once headsets with better resolution come out it will do the same for watching movies.
 

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No, there are plenty of PSVR units to be had. Was at Walmart today and the shelves were fully stocked.

PSVR has the advantage of being almost half the price, but also has little content, and save the Christmas season sales bump, also started languishing on the shelves shortly after release (basically after the first weekend, there was plenty of stock available - it wasn't moving).

The only reason target and Walmart and others carry PSVR is contractual - Sony paid for a certain amount of shelf space, and if they want to dedicate some of it for PSVR, that's sony's prerogative since Sony controls how much shelf space is used for games, accessories, hardware, etc. Best buy works similarly - if you see Vive for sale, HTC paid for that. Of course, they don't have to pay for every store to carry it, they can pay for just a few stores.
 

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I have a gear vr with a s7 and it gets heavy moving my head around. its a novelty right now and the gear vr and the rift use Fresnel lens which has a sweet spot to look out of, outside of that sweet spot the picture is blurry. and the gear vr ski mask pinches too hard on my face unless I correct the straps perfectly, I don't know about the rift but it uses a ski mask form too.


but 360 videos like petes dragon are fun, really really extraordinary fun.
 

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IMO this thing is done, cooked and finished. Put a fork in it. If your work'n on something VR, stop. Don't waste your money and energy.
I work in VR and what you suggest is completely absurd.

The virtual and augmented reality industry is just starting to take off. According to research from the International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) market is forecast to grow from $5.2 billion in 2016 to more than $162 billion in 2020.


http://vrscout.com/news/forecast-vr-market-162-billion-2020/

That's bigger than Hollywood and Videogame industry in general. Videogames in total are also bigger than film at this point too.

The things one reads on AVS...
 

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I work in VR and what you suggest is completely absurd.

The virtual and augmented reality industry is just starting to take off. According to research from the International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) market is forecast to grow from $5.2 billion in 2016 to more than $162 billion in 2020.


http://vrscout.com/news/forecast-vr-market-162-billion-2020/

That's bigger than Hollywood and Videogame industry in general. Videogames in total are also bigger than film at this point too.

The things one reads on AVS...
We shall see. Here is an article from yesterday on the current state of VR. It's not going well.
http://www.businessinsider.com/what-happened-to-virtual-reality-2017-1
 

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The problem is that these types of things get hyped way too much, then if they don't turn out to be world changers they are labeled as duds.

VR is a pretty cool technology still in its infancy for home use. It has limitations but also some interesting applications beyond entertainment. There may be a bit of a fad boom, but real base usage will grow more slowly if and when those uses emerge. Extrapolating the fab boom line on the chart is, how do I put it nicely, stupid.
 

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Many "experts" here on AVS used to also claim that OLED was doomed, that it would take at least till 2020 for 65 inch 4K HDR OLEDs to come if they ever did, and that they'd cost over 10k and that manufacturers going into that market would probably all go under before that happened. Seriously, look back at posts back then. They were extrapolating OLED tech improvements based on how slowly LCD panels improved, which was a big mistake.

But I agree, it's foolish to make predictions, I just know that VR is the dream of many in the graphics industry since they were wee lads (and lassies) and that we're not giving up, ever. If anything, things are likely to progress faster than linearly, due to unexpected spurts of progress that no one could see in a yearly sales forecast. Let alone that Apple is going to release their AR glasses at some point, and AR + VR overlap in so many ways, both in software and hardware, that things are virtually guaranteed to explode. I mean, people are now making VR games in VR now. Talk about eating your own dog food.

I've mostly been waiting myself for more VR games to come out and resolution / FOV / wireless / eye tracking headsets to come out and get cheaper, and once those things happen, all the pieces will start falling into place and we'll see more rapid uptake. It could be just a question of something that catches on like wildfire, like an Angry Birds type game or even something like an AR app like Google Earth overlays. I mean, do you guys really think people aren't going to wear AR glasses to get driving directions in real time without having to use their hands? There are so many industries where VR is booming now, and all the money going in and R&D will eventually yield experiences which are so good, so compelling, that people will wonder how we ever lived without it, similar to smartphones, TV, cars, airlines, etc.

I think if we compare the era of the boob tube being 70 years or so, compared to the era of flat panels lasting 20-30 years, rapidly being overwhelmed by people watching most of their content on tablets, to the era of wearable displays or even displays projected directly into our retina (Magic Leap) or holography, that result in cost savings and manufacturing savings so large that it will make your head spin.

And none of these displays will even compare to directly projecting images into your mind. I have a friend at Harvard working on brain - computer chip interfaces. And supposedly it's possible for it to be wireless as well. So futurama's joke about them beaming ads into your dreams while you sleep is going to move from science fiction to science fact.

Being bullish about VR and AR is really a safe bet, from my vantage point. You need to think bigger. This is all just child's play so far.
 

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I just read an article today on the Verge, that reported that Apple Sales of the iWatch broke holiday sales expectations. Tim Cook said they couldn't make enough.
 

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VR is neither virtual nor real. It was killed when Samsung starting hawking their VR headset for their cellphones--and the invention of the cheap google cardboard earlier. Amazon is crammed with cheap knockoff headsets. The crappy image due to pixilation and poor, out-of-focus 3D in a small 3D window made VR a toy for children and adults who thought they were going to get eyes into a beautiful 3D world, and got much less. Most of these headsets sit in closets or dumpsters. Content is king, and there is very little that is useful. Plus HD and 4K gaming with no-lag computing is now taking over the need for Oculist Rift, which is too expensive anyway. And as my son tells me, once you put on an Oculist headset you feel isolated to the people around you, and it's very disorienting and nauseous. Perhaps the Microsoft and other "holographic" glasses that project a 3D environment mixed with a current real environment will someday be the VR that everyone wants, but it might be too little too late now that 3D is dying.

I always hope I'm wrong when it comes to 3D--prosper and long live ;).
 

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I did not think VR had enough weight to actually make a sound when it crashed.
 

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VR is neither virtual nor real. It was killed when Samsung starting hawking their VR headset for their cellphones--and the invention of the cheap google cardboard earlier. Amazon is crammed with cheap knockoff headsets. The crappy image due to pixilation and poor, out-of-focus 3D in a small 3D window made VR a toy for children and adults who thought they were going to get eyes into a beautiful 3D world, and got much less. Most of these headsets sit in closets or dumpsters. Content is king, and there is very little that is useful. Plus HD and 4K gaming with no-lag computing is now taking over the need for Oculist Rift, which is too expensive anyway. And as my son tells me, once you put on an Oculist headset you feel isolated to the people around you, and it's very disorienting and nauseous. Perhaps the Microsoft and other "holographic" glasses that project a 3D environment mixed with a current real environment will someday be the VR that everyone wants, but it might be too little too late now that 3D is dying.

I always hope I'm wrong when it comes to 3D--prosper and long live ;).
Gear and Cardboard = you get what you pay for. If it's not satisfying enough, there's high-end VR.

I don't know how you can suggest 4K monitors will replace the need for VR headsets. VR puts you inside the virtual world, and motion controls change everything. A 4K monitor is just the same as the upgrade from SD to HD to Full HD. It's a welcome visual enhancement.

VR is only as isolating as you let it be, which is determined by how much time you spend in it, how high you set the volume, how isolating the headphones are, and generally how mindful you are of other people's needs. VR has been very social for me, it's a great conversation piece and also great for group play with games like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.

VR also heightens online social interactions. Virtual encounters feel like you're standing face to face with a real, expressive person who mutually acknowledges you. Even if that person is a floating blue tentacled alien wearing a cowboy hat.

Games are currently a focus due to that audience meeting the minimum specs, but there are also many creative, productive, therapeutic and educational uses to explore.
 

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I'm one the fence about the future of VR... I have a high-end gaming rig (well, it was a few months ago anyways) and purchased the HTC Vive to see what VR is all about... My conclusion is that it has great potential but obviously is not quite there. My impressions:

The bad:
- perceived resolution is poor
- sometimes induces nausea
- limited field of view (horizontally)
- crap VR games (other than Arizona Sunshine and the racing/flight sims) all of the VR games I have tried have been nothing more than a novelty... the fun quickly subsides. Seems to me existing games (non-VR) could be leveraged to use VR and provide an experience way better than these so called dedicated games.

The first three I understand better after reading some technical articles related to the challenge of the hardware and software design... amazed actually that it works as well as it does given all of these challenges.

The good (and potentially great):
- great for racing/flight simulation... can't emphasize how good VR is for these (assuming you have a decent wheel/hotas setup that mitigates the need for a keyboard). The immersion is terrific... racing in an open wheel car you really feel like you are there (especially when you undercut someone ahead and lift 'em up)... or flying down a stage in Dirt Rally... holy crap! Sitting in the plane cockpits (DCS world or WarThunder) is simply a treat. The nausea effect sometimes experienced in flight sims often seems proper! It's hard to use a regular monitor setup for these after using VR.

I think all of the negatives can be addressed in time... the question is whether or not enough people spend enough money on VR hardware/games now and in the near future to ensure that VR development continues to advance.
 

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I tried the Starbreeze and let me tell ya, 210 degrees FOV and 5K res is awesome. So thrilling.
Was the demo in 3D? It looks promising. What is the intended retail price? Can you see the pixels, or do they dissolve into an immersive image?

Here's their website: http://www.starvr.com/news/
 
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