Monday, January 11, 2016

Quickies: People in VR glass houses shouldn't throw virtual stones....


This one is from My Nintendo News... It's not in full context, and I'm sure I'll be willing to expand on this in a larger post, in the near future, but for now this is my knee-jerk response....

Palmer Lucky, the founder behind upcoming Virtual Reality platform Oculus Rift, has recently taken part in a Reddit Ask Me Anything thread. During the discussion Lucky was asked about his thoughts on the Virtual Boy. He said that it was not really a Virtual Reality device and if anything the association of the Virtual Boy with Virtual Reality actually hurt the VR industry.
Not really a VR device, IMO. No head tracking, low field of view, essentially a monochrome 3DTV.
A real shame, too, because the association of the Virtual Boy with VR hurt the industry in the long run.
It did have the first LED display in a consumer device, though – probably the best contrast of any display up to that point!

Oh sure, it's easy to blame a 20 year old product for an entire market segment that was clearly not ready for VR. Let's not even go into the fact that VR as expensive as it was, was relegated to novelty features and theme parks back in the late 90's. Nor does anyone talk about the motion sickness people got when using the first VR displays.

History teaches us that technology doesn't hit mainstream appeal until it becomes not only less cumbersome and clunky, but fully accessible to the public. We saw this with "Glasses free 3D technology" in the 3DS.

We'll see VR become more mainstream when it's being delivered without a massive barrier of entry, like that lofty 600 dollar price tag and a better interface than full-on helmets. Then again I'm sure having Facebook being heavily invested in this technology has a hand in why this little gadget is pricing itself out of the hands of enthusiasts.

Someone needs to tell Palmer that shitting on Gunpei Yokoi for his failures, doesn't necessarily guarantee success, as much as researching the failures of the VR industry as a whole and attempting to find alternatives.

-I'll see you next Bossfight!

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