We're reading a lot about VR tech with Oculus Rift, and now Sony are looking to get in with their own version at GDC. But is this going to have any mainstream success? Or are we seeing another motion control fiasco with high price and poor support? Do we need it?
I think we most definitely do need it. Sure there have been some technological developments made in the last two decades that are best left in the past (and this is from someone who still likes to use 3D googles on his PC from time to time), but without innovations like Oculus Rift and Sony's rumoured VR tech, we're not going to move forward and we'll forever be inputting controls through a pad in our hands, for an experience that's tethered to a monitor.
As for price and value, the jury's still out on this one. Oculus are promising that their headset will be affordable, but what that means is still yet to be clarified. A full VR rig, with foot paddles and Razer Hydra, is going to cost a lot of money, there's no way around that. But that's the top price bracket, and nobody criticises driving simulators even though you can spend thousands on creating the perfect driving setup. I think there'll be prices to suit most wallets - if it's too expensive it won't pick up, it's a simple as that.
It's always difficult to judge whether new technology will be widely adopted, but I've got a feeling that Oculus Rift might just be one of those that finds a place in market and stays around. There's something incredibly enticing about experiencing that level of immersion, and if they can get enough developers to support the tech, I reckon VR will be around for years to come.
Now... where did I put my 3D glasses...?