Tipping Point

Andrew House, Sony Computer Entertainment president, as quoted by IGN:

Then the third one is virtual reality. There’s just a sense that we have that the technology is again reaching that tipping point, it’s on the cusp of being something that really delivers you true presence, of feeling like you’re in another world. When that’s delivered it’s really magical and I think that how far, how large, how quickly that’s going to become a major part of what we do remains to be seen, but we definitely think the magic of that experience leads you wanting to pursue it.

Admittedly, I have not tried Oculus Rift or Project Morpheus. Call me a naysayer but I just don’t see something as isolating as VR taking off. I don’t think the audience will be as small as to call it niche, but I think the mainstream will find that strapping goggles to one’s face in a group setting is a bit sickening. We are already seeing a slight backlash to smartphone usage in group settings.

This statement comes on the heels of a Samsung’s ‘Gear VR’ headset leak. Three major companies are now investing in VR without a crystal clear vision of the future of this tech. At least not a vision we’ve been shown. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think abundant ’80s dreams of wearables and VR are an indication of “where the puck is headed.” At least not in any capacity advertised thus far.

Update: I should point out that I speak solely from the perspective of gaming; though, I have been reminded that PC gaming is primarily enjoyed in solitary environments. This is likely to be the heaviest hitting market for gaming VR. To add, the implications on accessibly experience (be it gaming, simulation, or otherwise) and real world simulations seem promising. Take a look at Chris Kluwe’s TED Talk on augmented reality and empathy.