The Approaching VR War

Jan 14, 2016

When I play games, I don’t want to deal with people. Putting on headphones and tuning out the world is just part of the experience for me. Needless to say, I’m very excited about the prospects of VR. I’ve heard people complain about not wanting to be detached from their loved ones. This person is not me. I’m anxiously waiting for the moment when I can dawn my headset of choice and escape into a digital world.  The level of immersion is worth the price of looking like a doofus. All that being said, this is the finally the year where we will get to see VR in action . . . maybe.

The first member to the party is the Oculus Rift. Appearing on the scene as a neat Kickstarter idea several years ago, it’s now a massive company funded by Facebook. Personally, it was my pick for the VR device I was going to use, and then preorder day arrived. Outlets had ball parked the Rift to be around $300-$400 based upon comments made by developers. The Internet collectively moaned when it was announced to be $600. I myself groaned long and hard.  I’m upset about this price point because I want the VR to be a thing. I want it to be adopted universally. I want it to be widely developed for.  I just don’t think this will happen at the current price point. Considering the price of a rig to run recommended specs for the device, I feel the cost is just too prohibitive for mainstream success.

All this is yours for $600. Cool motion controller will be extra and aren't available at the moment

All this is yours for $600. Cool motion controllers will be extra and aren’t available at the moment

Then enters the HTC Vive. Developed by HTC and supported heavily by Valve, the Vive is touted to be a VR device that allows users to walk around their house while using the device. I admit this didn’t excite me as much as the Rift, because I have a small apartment. Vive has safety features to help users navigate, but I still know I’d end up tripping on something or being restricted to two square feet of unhindered movements. The holodeck my apartment is not.  My opinion of the Vive has slightly changed because they have just announced preorders will be available February 29! Part of me thinks there is a chance that the Vive will somehow be cheaper, despite having multiple room sensors and two move controllers. It’s a pipe dream, but Valve is somewhat of a wildcard. Valve does have tons of money and propensity for doing unconventionally things. They could undercut the Rift to excite the consumer base to choose the Vive over the Rift.

The newest Vive Prototype has a build in front camera to help with room navigation. Price TBA

The newest Vive Prototype has a build in front camera to help with room navigation. Price TBA

I really feel that we have the brewing of a VR war, similar to the traditional console battles we’ve become accustomed too. VR is a new platform, and I feel Team Rift and Team Vive are anxious to gobble up the market. As a spectator I’m excited to watch, and I hope to see both devices try to duke it out for my top dollar. I’m hoping competition brings benefits to the consumer and drives VR to become an amazing mainstream experience.

What are your thoughts regarding VR and Teams Rift and Vive? Sound off below!


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