The world of virtual reality technology was something that seemed all too surreal perhaps just a few years ago, but now that the first crop of VR headsets is out and has been available for the better part of a year, at least for a few of them, it seems fitting to take a look back at what VR has done for the tech industry and what it's done for other industries like film and video games. Has VR excited you in its current state? Did it convince you to jump in with both feet and pick up a unit for yourself? Whether or not you decided to invest in virtual reality there is no doubt that the companies behind the headsets have done something amazing and are continuing to push forward and improving VR in as many ways as possible.
If consumers weren't too excited about the current gen. versions of VR headsets, then perhaps at the very least it's gotten them excited about what's to come. For many consumers this could very well be a true statement, as headsets like the HTC Vive, PSVR, and Oculus Rift, even the mobile options like the Gear VR and Daydream View, have all offered something compelling and they're certainly a good first attempt, but VR still hasn't really reached mainstream adoption. This leaves a chance for companies like HTC, Samsung, Facebook, and others to really drive it home with whatever they have coming for the next series of headset options.
As is the case with most technology that offers digital content, VR's content is what will essentially make the technology a success. This isn't the first time we've said this and we wouldn't be the first to make that judgement, but it's also still just as true now as it was months ago. VR content needs to grow and that will only come with time, but VR will also need to evolve along with the content so as to keep things at a somewhat even pace. In addition to all this though the cost of VR headsets have to come down as this is an obvious barrier for many consumers. Sure, mobile options like Daydream View and Gear VR are making entry into the technology a lot easier for the majority, but even as good as they are they're still shy of offering what some of the more expensive options have. Even with HTC's anniversary sale for the Vive the setup is still much more than most consumers are willing to pay. As the technology for VR advances the prices could continue to drop but that might still be a ways into the future. This might be more of an issue if the culture around virtual reality wasn't spreading out to other industries to give consumers a taste of VR in different ways. Film studios for example have collaborated with VR development companies to provide unique experiences that tie into the films, the most recent being Paramount with their Ghost In The Shell VR experience for the Gear VR (the video can also be watched on Facebook as a 360-degree video).
Companies like HTC are opening up Vive arcades to allow people the ability to see what VR is all about yet without actually having to buy the headset and an accompanying rig to power it. So while the cost to buy into VR is still expensive, there are at least some experiences that are being made available to consumers that allow them to have a taste of what VR offers, and perhaps in due time the technology will come down a bit making it easier for a majority of consumers to obtain. Once that happens, it's likely that more people will jump on board with the VR movement. Until then though, virtual reality might remain a niche product that caters mostly to gamers and tech enthusiasts. This isn't to say that VR's first major year of availability hasn't been a good one, but there is still plenty of room to grow.