Virtual Reality is here but it's not ready to be judged

With the Release of the Oculus Rift, most of us are getting our first glimpse at what these headsets are capable of, after hearing how incredible it looks and how amazing it is to occupy these spaces i think we were all excited to see how it actually worked once you got it out of the box. I think for some of us that excitement led to a bit of forgetfulness about how new this technology is, and what kind of experiences should be expected.

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I think a lot of us were disappointed when we tuned in, or the few who actually got kits, plugged in and saw what was on offer. Shallow experiences that don't have lasting appeal, simple games that don't explore what this headset is capable of, or ports that simply replace the cursor with head tracking. This gamut i understand and want everyone to understand, is not meant to be watched, these are meant to be seen in the headset and i think thats important, but something Sony gets, that i hope Oculus and the Vive get, is that you have to be able to see something of these games before dropping the money they are asking. In any case, by all accounts there are very few experiences that are even good in the Rift, and none that anyone is willing to say clinches the purchase for them.

Having said that, i think they know. Oculus knows that this is the first step in a long and difficult road. I think you need only to look at the fact that a small developer has 2 fairly full size games games for the Rift, the iteration on VR development is rapid, as new things tend to be.

“We’re on the first step of what should be a long journey of exploration for the industry,” says Price. “Most of us who have been developing in VR right now, have been developing in VR for a very short time, and the rate of discovery that’s occurring right now is pretty incredible, as we figure out some solutions to problems that, in some cases, we didn’t even know existed.”-Ted Price,Pres of Insomniac games in an interview with IGN.

So yes, the Rift store is filled with a bunch of slightly overpriced tech demos right now, and its not looking that much better for the Vive, or even PSVR, but im not making a decision on the tech as a whole based on that, and i don't think you should either. I know, if your like me you felt like obligated in some way to buy in, that if you want this to be a thing, you should vote with your wallet, but i don't think we need to this least not yet. Oculus is taking orders, but even if you order right now you wont get your kit for a full 4 months. They clearly sold every unit they made. I don't think Oculus or Valve, or HTC is thinking this first wave will make them a profit. Maybe they are hoping the games will sell enough to make them a bit while they work on the next (hopefully cheaper) version of these headsets.

Sony, who is making a profit on each headset is a different matter. A week ago i thought i would grab a PSVR at some point this holiday, but after seeing how EVE Valkyrie runs on a PC with a GTX 970, a GPU that is considerably more powerful than the one in the current PS4, i am much less secure in that thought. I now believe that any VR game that is a port will be severely hampered on the PS4, and that is one of the main motivators behind this PS4K/PS4.5 move.

The point is, wait and see, on all this stuff, and i see a lot of people making decisions on the future of VR based on the tiny amount we have seen so far. We have a long way to go before we even see the games that could make this thing big, and even longer to see how small games could be in this things future.