Virtual Reality in its current state has been around for a few years now at this point, with options like Google Cardboard and Samsung's Gear VR having been delighting customers since 2014. While much of VR is centered around games, there are plenty of other uses for VR headsets and technology and companies like Samsung have been making good use of these functions. For the most part though, VR is centered around games, and with any gaming platform, you need content. Without it, it paints a very bleak picture of a lack of success as consumers might ultimately get bored and move onto something else. So, without content is VR headed for failure?
According to Valve's Gabe Newell who is the CEO of the company that helped HTC put the Vive headset out on the market, VR lacks content and needs more time to mature. If it'snot able to then there is a decent chance that the initial excitement over VR as an entertainment platform could fizzle out which wouldn't bode well for the companies who are pouring tons of money and time into VR technology. Sure, VR is exciting and there are tons of things that can be done with it, but it still remains that users want content to enjoy on the platform and without it there's no reason to stay excited. Take PlayStation VR for. Initially Sony had stated that they would have around 50 games available for the PlayStation VR at launch. They were boasting about the number of titles that they would have available on the platform for gamers by the end of 2016, and here it is towards the end of February and Sony's games list on the PlayStation VR landing page only shows 27 games. That's two more than half of the amount they were promising to consumers, and that number seems even smaller when you consider that Sony mentioned back before the launch of PSVR that there were at least 150 games already in development for the platform.
For a company that makes most of their profit from their wildly successful gaming console, a little over half the games they were promising at launch doesn't make for a very promising VR future. That isn't to say that the content that is available isn't engaging, but what's there will only keep people enthusiastic for so long before they want new content. Other platforms aren't necessarily doing much better either. Google's Daydream platform launched around the same time as PlayStation VR, even if a little bit later. There is still only 47 Daydream compatible apps on the Play Store with maybe half being games and the other half being apps for entertainment. While some of what's available is exciting and fun, it's still not enough and things don't feel like they're at their full potential. Users want more content to enjoy on their VR headsets and things seem to be entering into the market at a slow pace.
Without content, virtual reality headsets won't be worth the money you have to spend to pick them up, this is all the more true for options like the HTC Vive which does have a pretty good sized list of games and apps to choose from on Steam that work with the platform, but it's still seems to be less than what is needed to really drive VR upward. It isn't all on content of course, as Newell himself mentions that the Vive can "barely do a marginally adequate job of delivering VR content," which speaks to the hardware side of things. When it comes down to it, while the hardware part of the technology may need more time to grow into something truly remarkable, there needs to be more and better quality content for the various VR platforms if it's going to really take off. That isn't to say that VR will fail exactly, but without more content and better hardware, it certainly won't b reaching untold heights of success.