VR as I see it is finally here. But with that said it is still in its infant stages. PC VR is already getting an increasingly negative rap and justifiably so. With a a slew of shovelware that aren’t much more than tech demos, and the large price point ($800 to $1200) plus the need of a PC rig that can actually run these things and your cost jumps to a minimum $2000…crazy! Console VR is still on the horizon with Playstation VR being released this fall and Xbox VR rumored for a release in the 3rd quarter of 2017. Even still, price point is a factor as PS VR will run you $500 plus the cost a console for a total of around $1000 and we still don’t have any confirmation of bundled games.
Enter Mobile VR. With a multitude of Google Cardboard apps and games, 3rd party support and low price point I firmly believe the future of VR will be cemented by how mobile VR trends with people. PC VR development is held back by a lack of install base for the reasons I listed above. That lack of install bases hinders development by 3rd party developers as no one wants to invest a lot of money in developing for a few thousand people. This is an advantage for both console and Mobile developers. Not everybody has a smartphone, but a tonne of people do. It has become a staple of our modern age that we are always online, always connected with an all-in-one device and now VR functionality has been added to that as well. Last I heard, about a million people or so in North America own the Samsung Gear VR, currently the go to mobile VR device of choice,at least until this fall. Backed by Occulus, with it’s own VR store and an ever increasing amount of cheap content($15 is the highest I’ve seen) this type of VR is where developers are focusing their time on.
Comparing whats available on the Gear vs whats currently available for PC, its a hard sell for PC VR at this time. On top of the fact that the differences that make PC VR better are very quickly being rendered moot by modern developments. Googles new dreamscape VR is making promises of using HTC Vive like controllers in their own VR with many less wires than it’s PC counterpart, as an example. My point being the regardless of the platform, VR has nowhere to go but up and with the automatic mobile device install base, mobile VR, in my opinion, will be where that future is headed. Wireless, portable and powerful…mobile VR is no slouch and will continue to only get better as time progresses and for my bet will become the focus of VR in the future.