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2019-2020: VR has greatly extended its death

Every single VR prediction is wrong. In 2018 sales of VR devices were predicted to increase by 54 % in 2019. What happened? 20 %. Even short term predictions don't work. VR is a niche and it will stay a niche for the next ten years. Simply because the first impression of VR needs to nail it - and not have issues like SDE, cables, motion sickness. Battery life. Having 120 fps displays eats up battery life. That makes the devices heavy. That makes them uncomfortable. Plus they are isolating. They are perfect for singles, but families are not a good use case for VR. Well, unless you want a divorce. :D
Every single prediction is wrong because analysts are always wrong about emerging markets. This is nothing unique to VR. Instead it should tell you to ignore analysts.

It's highly unlikely to stay a niche for 10 whole years; you're saying this because you haven't looked into the deep D&D hardware advancements. You say that the constant iteration makes it niche? No, I say the lack of true breakthrough advancements is what has kept it niche, just like all other technologies that were niche in the past including PCs, phones, etc.
 

Mista

Banned
This is what people said about 3D graphics, and they were wrong then, just like you could be wrong in the future. (I'm not saying it's either or)
Only time will tell. But there’s no comparison between 3D graphics and VR by the way. 3D graphics ended major and priority. You think VR will be a priority in every house? I don’t think that. Maybe I end up wrong who knows
 
I'm concerned about VR's effect on my eyesight. I'm getting older, and my eyes aren't as strong as they used to be. I can't imagine that having a screen strapped to your face is good for your eyes, long-term. So that's one reason I'd stay away from VR, in addition to the commonly-raised issues (hassle of setup, clunky headset, limited library).
There are no health concerns other than potential eye strain, which you can get from TVs and monitors anyway.

With VR, most headsets have the optical distance set to 2 meters, which means your eyes focus at 2 meters.

In the next 5 years, VR will actually have a comfort advantage over traditional displays, once that optical distance can be adjusted to match what you're looking at. Then there would truly be no eye strain in VR outside of situations where you stare at something for a long time. There will however still be eye strain on monitors and TVs.
 
Only time will tell. But there’s no comparison between 3D graphics and VR by the way. 3D graphics ended major and priority. You think VR will be a priority in every house? I don’t think that. Maybe I end up wrong who knows
I personally believe VR will be many times more popular than the console industry, so yeah. it's akin to the birth of PCs and TV. A new medium and computing platform with lots of everyday use. It just happens to be early so it can't be utilized fully yet.
 
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Mista

Banned
I personally believe VR will be many times more popular than the console industry, so yeah. it's akin to the birth of PCs and TV. A new medium and computing platform with lots of everyday use. It just happens to be early so it can't be utilized fully yet.
While I agree with second half of your post, I still don’t agree that VR will become more popular than the console industry. Its just not logical mate
 

mcjmetroid

Member
It's not possible for people to completely lose interest when the technology is here to stay. It can't fade now because it's too ingrained into enterprise and consumer's lives.

You've put literally no thought behind this argument. It's just a random guess with no reasoning behind it.
And your argument is basically:
"It can't happen because it hasn't happened yet"
 
And your argument is basically:
"It can't happen because it hasn't happened yet"
Actually no, my argument is based on the fact that VR has too much current utilization in society for it to die out. There are too many industries relying on VR as we speak, which will keep it alive on top of the strong commitment of many VR companies that we can clearly see are not going to back down for years to come.

This is especially evident with Oculus, Valve, and Sony.

Facebook have a new building being built to house 4000 VR/AR employees and are spending multiple billions a year. VR/AR is the single greatest focus of Facebook's future.
Valve have Alyx and 2 other AAA games on the way, as well as planned hardware improvements. I mean they're still having hard keeping up with demand so they're in a pretty good spot.
Sony have PSVR2 coming up as a confirmed release with a greater focus, which means they are clearly not backing down but stepping up higher.
 
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Humdinger

Member
There are no health concerns other than potential eye strain, which you can get from TVs and monitors anyway.

With VR, most headsets have the optical distance set to 2 meters, which means your eyes focus at 2 meters.

In the next 5 years, VR will actually have a comfort advantage over traditional displays, once that optical distance can be adjusted to match what you're looking at. Then there would truly be no eye strain in VR outside of situations where you stare at something for a long time. There will however still be eye strain on monitors and TVs.

I don't understand how your eyes focus at 2 meters, when the screen is just a few centimeters away? I'm not saying I disbelieve you. You wouldn't say it, I assume, if it wasn't true. I just can't comprehend it.

I also don't understand how eye strain would be less, compared with TVs or computer screens, since the VR screen is literally right in your face. I also don't understand why eye strain is related to the distance you're focusing at. I assumed eye strain was related to the light beaming off the screen itself, not the distance of focus.

As you see, there are many things about VR I do not understand, lol.
 

Romulus

Member
I don't agree. I think the improvements are what is actually keeping VR from being able to reach anything close to mass market. There's a bunch of enthusiasts that buy every new VR headset if it offers improvements. But the majority of people tries VR exactly once. If that device is made redundant after two years, they won't buy a new one. Same way that the average user doesn't buy a new TV every two years. It's still very early days for VR in the consumer market and anything you buy today will be old fast. There are basically 1 million additional VR headsets sold each year, with 6 million in 2019, 5 million in 2018, 3.8 million in 2017. That's not exponential growth. That's as linear as it gets and it's mostly based on pricing. It hovers around 1 % of all Steam users, up around 0.6 % since 2017.

Every single VR prediction is wrong. In 2018 sales of VR devices were predicted to increase by 54 % in 2019. What happened? 20 %. Even short term predictions don't work. VR is a niche and it will stay a niche for the next ten years. Simply because the first impression of VR needs to nail it - and not have issues like SDE, cables, motion sickness. Battery life. Having 120 fps displays eats up battery life. That makes the devices heavy. That makes them uncomfortable. Plus they are isolating. They are perfect for singles, but families are not a good use case for VR. Well, unless you want a divorce. :D

Exact opposite of my situation. VR is my wife's main gaming jam. Even her friends play it, which doesn't happen in gaming.

Also where are you getting your numbers? Where did you get the stat that people try VR once? Thats conpletely made up. And I've never heard that 6 million number before either. I've seen a conflicting number that the Quest sold 400k in only a few months. It just came out and you can't find it now.


Let me ask you, when were 3 mainline headsets ever sold out for months on end?
 
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I don't understand how your eyes focus at 2 meters, when the screen is just a few centimeters away? I'm not saying I disbelieve you. You wouldn't say it, I assume, if it wasn't true. I just can't comprehend it.

I also don't understand how eye strain would be less, compared with TVs or computer screens, since the VR screen is literally right in your face. I also don't understand why eye strain is related to the distance you're focusing at. I assumed eye strain was related to the light beaming off the screen itself, not the distance of focus.

As you see, there are many things about VR I do not understand, lol.
Because the lenses magnify the image so that it appears as if it's 2 meters away. This video explains:


As for your second question, why do you not get eye strain in real life until you stare at something for far too long? Because your eyes properly accommodate to what you're looking at, constantly shifting focus This doesn't happen with screens because your eye just sees one object and can't tell the difference in depth between the objects on the screen because there is no depth. This same problem occurs with VR even when there is depth because the light is still coming in from one distance, which is why VR headsets will need to optically shift the focus and fill in the natural blur that you get in real life.

This is a working prototype that does this, thus removing eye strain entirely:


VR can eventually use light-field displays or holographic displays which will naturally do this without any hardware/software magic as they are real 3D representations of light from different angles. You'll get roughly the same effect with the above though.
 
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Wonko_C

Member
VR won't REALLY take off until Microsoft adopt VR for the NextBox.

Once that happens more big publishers will jump onto VR development with big name franchises. As things are at the moment publishers only have 2 platforms to develop VR games for, once the NextBox (whether it's this one coming or the one after that) has a VR headset you'll see everyone jumping in with VR titles.
3 platforms, actually: PC, PlayStation and Oculus Quest.

I tried a VR set in 1995 at a video game expo. It was set to play the original Doom.
My cousin had some VR set somewhere between that and 2000 too.
Both on PC.

They were not very good.

There absolutely has been VR sets way before the past decade and I'm not talking about Virtual Boy.

EDIT:
This PDF file has a good list of different VR projects throughout the past 4 decades:

I would have loved to see that VR version of Doom, curious about the framerate, FOV, head tracking (or lack thereof), etc.

 
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Wonko_C

Member
I don't understand how your eyes focus at 2 meters, when the screen is just a few centimeters away? I'm not saying I disbelieve you. You wouldn't say it, I assume, if it wasn't true. I just can't comprehend it.

I also don't understand how eye strain would be less, compared with TVs or computer screens, since the VR screen is literally right in your face. I also don't understand why eye strain is related to the distance you're focusing at. I assumed eye strain was related to the light beaming off the screen itself, not the distance of focus.

As you see, there are many things about VR I do not understand, lol.

You can get eye strain from reading too. Avid readers tend to develop eye conditions at an earlier age than others. Eye strain comes from focusing too long on a single point.

In VR your eyes actually change focus based on distance, like in real life. That's not to say there aren't any worrying factors, like an excess of blue light for long periods of time, just like with any other type of screen. Distance from the screen is hardly a factor.

There is work being done with the technology that promises to make people able to regain the vision they lose as they age.

 
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There is work being done with the technology that promises to make people able to regain the vision they lose as they age.

It's worth noting that VR can also treat or even cure eye conditions like amblyopia, strabismus, diplopia, nystagmus, macular degeneration, achromatopsia.

It's really amazing that someone can put on a VR headset and see in 3D for the first time, with prolonged usage making real life permanently 3D for them.

Ultimately VR is probably one of the most versatile forms of medication humans have, curing countless neurological conditions and easing impacts of various physical conditions.
 
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Humdinger

Member
As for your second question, why do you not get eye strain in real life until you stare at something for far too long? Because your eyes properly accommodate to what you're looking at, constantly shifting focus This doesn't happen with screens because your eye just sees one object and can't tell the difference in depth between the objects on the screen because there is no depth. This same problem occurs with VR even when there is depth because the light is still coming in from one distance, which is why VR headsets will need to optically shift the focus and fill in the natural blur that you get in real life.

You can get eye strain from reading too. Avid readers tend to develop eye conditions at an earlier age than others. Eye strain comes from focusing too long on a single point.

In VR your eyes actually change focus based on distance, like in real life. That's not to say there aren't any worrying factors, like an excess of blue light for long periods of time, just like with any other type of screen. Distance from the screen is hardly a factor.

Thank you, gentlemen, for explaining that. Appreciate it.

And I'm an avid reader, so it's interesting to hear that same explanation (fixed distance) applied to books and the deterioration of eyesight. Makes sense.

I did notice a discrepancy between your statements about VR on this issue of fixed distance/eye strain. DarthBuzzer says, "this same problem occurs with VR ... because the light is still coming in from one distance," whereas Wonko says that "In VR, your eyes actually change focus based on distance, like in real life."
 
Thank you, gentlemen, for explaining that. Appreciate it.

And I'm an avid reader, so it's interesting to hear that same explanation (fixed distance) applied to books and the deterioration of eyesight. Makes sense.

I did notice a discrepancy between your statements about VR on this issue of fixed distance/eye strain. DarthBuzzer says, "this same problem occurs with VR ... because the light is still coming in from one distance," whereas Wonko says that "In VR, your eyes actually change focus based on distance, like in real life."
Maybe Wonko means in the future, because VR right now is definitely locked to a single fixed focal distance. We have prototype headsets that have a variable distance but they still remain lab prototypes. In 5 years, that should be the norm.
 

Wonko_C

Member
Thank you, gentlemen, for explaining that. Appreciate it.

And I'm an avid reader, so it's interesting to hear that same explanation (fixed distance) applied to books and the deterioration of eyesight. Makes sense.

I did notice a discrepancy between your statements about VR on this issue of fixed distance/eye strain. DarthBuzzer says, "this same problem occurs with VR ... because the light is still coming in from one distance," whereas Wonko says that "In VR, your eyes actually change focus based on distance, like in real life."
My bad. DarthBuzzer does actual work in VR so he's a lot more knowledgeable than me, I on the other hand just like to read about how it all works because I find it fascinating.

I assumed it was that way because it feels that way when I use VR, (focusing on far objects makes nearby objects look like double and viceversa), but I see there is more to it than that.
 
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While I agree with second half of your post, I still don’t agree that VR will become more popular than the console industry. Its just not logical mate
It's actually very logical. Consoles are just entertainment devices that focus on gaming, which means they are limited in scope. You may at times seen them being used in education but these are pretty small uses.

VR on the other hand is far wider in scope, which gives it versatile general purpose usecases, at least as much as the personal computer, but realistically much more because it can already simulate all the functions of a PC.

Lots of industries have a use for VR and it could form an important backbone of society in it's communication, telepresence, and computing potential - which are very important for consumers and not just enterprise.

I expect we'll see VR peak at the mid hundreds of millions to high hundreds of millions for a while until it reaches billions the day that MR glasses becomes possible. (AR glasses that can switch from transparent to opaque)
 
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fred

Member
While I agree with second half of your post, I still don’t agree that VR will become more popular than the console industry. Its just not logical mate

That's because you're thinking too small. Zuckerberg didn't spend ~$3bn on Oculus for gaming. In the long term VR will go mainstream and we'll see TV, films, sports events as well as gaming being filmed and viewed in VR. Every home will have at least one VR headset.

Gaming is just a small part of the equation, and at some time in the future you'll be hard pushed to find a flat game available to buy.

It'll take a few years but it will happen.
 

fred

Member
Never tried it, though I would like to at some point. Seems like the headsets might be uncomfortable for a glasses wearer?

Depends on the headset. Not sure about other headsets but the Vive and Rift S have what they call 'eye relief', where you can physically move the lenses away from your eyes, leaving plenty of room for glasses.

There are also companies that sell prescription lenses, lenses that slot into the headset.

And if you can see clearly something that's 1.5m-2m away in real life without a problem then you won't need to wear glasses at all. So if you only wear glasses for reading you'll be fine without them.
 
That's because you're thinking too small. Zuckerberg didn't spend ~$3bn on Oculus for gaming. In the long term VR will go mainstream and we'll see TV, films, sports events as well as gaming being filmed and viewed in VR. Every home will have at least one VR headset.

Gaming is just a small part of the equation, and at some time in the future you'll be hard pushed to find a flat game available to buy.

It'll take a few years but it will happen.
Spot on. Also, don’t forget the possible VR applications in the medical sector for various procedures. And there’s a lot of possible military uses for this technology. There’s a fuckton of promising stuff that VR can/will do.
 

fred

Member
The porn industry has also started to ramp up its VR content too. Apparently. So a friend has told me.

Why is this so important? Because the porn industry was partly behind the successes of VHS over Betamax and Blu-Ray over HD-DVD.

The thing that's REALLY going to explode sales of VR headsets though is big sporting events filmed in VR being made available to the public. Things like the Superbowl, the World Series and the World Cup.

I've always seen the journey to mainstream adoption being in three stages:

1) Enthusiast Gamer Adoption. This is the stage we're in the middle of right now. People buying into VR don't think twice about spending 600-odd quid on a new GPU and either have plenty of disposable income or are willing to save up to get into VR. The sweet spot price for entry was $600/£600.

2) Mainstream Gamer Adoption. This is the type of gamer who only tend to upgrade their machines when the latest GTA/Assassin's Creed/CoD means they have to upgrade to play the latest version. They tend to have less disposable income and are less likely to upgrade unless they really have to. The sweet spot price for this demographic is $300/£300.

3) Mainstream Consumer Adoption. This demographic won't play games regularly if at all. It's basically your average household that probably only plays mobile games. Games won't be the attraction for them but other entertainment in VR such as films, TV series and especially sports events will attract them to VR. The sweet spot price for this demographic is under $100/£100.

For the second demographic to jump into VR we need significant game support of big name game franchises, and we won't see that happening until at least 2 consoles have VR headset options. We're halfway there, once Microsoft jump in we'll see more publishers bringing big name games into VR.

VR won't fail if Microsoft don't jump in, but things will go A LOT slower because the likes of Facebook and Sony will have to continue funding big titles for their platforms.
 
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