Latest Steam survey reveals sales of VR headsets are grinding to a halt

Emexrulsier

Posts: 619   +92
This and btw do we even know the long term effects on the eyes?

The human eye is surprisingly resilient to light changes at any distance. Yes it may hurt your eyes if you slap on a headset after waking up from a deep slumber but no more than when you wake up, check fb and play a round of candy crush.

I recommend you read the book Ready Player One (Simon Pegg currently filming for release in 2018) in this virtually everyone lives in a virtual work.
 
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IAMTHESTIG

Posts: 1,868   +900
Not going to buy until they get better displays and optics. Next gen VR will be much better if they focus on improving quality over lowering price. Good displays and mediocre tv's cost more so nothing wrong with the price. Also eye tracking and other advances after vive's launch make me wan't to wait for vive 2. Not going to spend 800 on something that's going to be obsolete in 1-2 years.

This is it for me... I tried the Oculus and while I really liked the sensation of being in the virtual world the low resolution display just constantly reminded me I was. Objects just didn't have the amount of detail I'm used to seeing even on a 1080p monitor. Now with 4K monitors and gaming, it makes these VR headsets look like the Fisher Price 3D Simulator with their low resolution screens. There needs to be serious improvement in this area, and there is no reason not to considering the technology is already here. I don't understand why it hasn't been done yet. With the low resolution I feel the Vive and Oculus are worth about $150 and $100 respectively. I can pick up a Sony Xperia Z5 Premium with 5.5 inch 4K screen for less money than I can the Oculus, and it isn't just a display.... so why are these VR devices so expensive for such low display resolution?
 

BSim500

Posts: 791   +1,736
Maybe one day when they are close in size to a pair of 3D specs?
I can't see how that level of shrinkage is ever going to work due to the nature of the tech. 3D-TV active shutter glasses operate "open" by design whilst VR has to be closed off, require a light seal, have screens be placed a certain minimum focal distance from the eyes, etc. I can see wearable "augmented" HUD devices being shrunk down, but that's a completely different tech to VR. The "over the eyes" size requirements are ultimately ergonomic. It's like wanting to shrink over-the-ears headphones that blocks outside sound down whilst still needing to be large enough to go over the ears (but there being no "insert into your eyeball" equivalent of IEM's or earplugs as an alternative).
 
Not really surprising. The surge of pre-orders was simply a very small number of enthusiasts jumping in on the "10-20min tech demo to show off to your friends" thing. Once that backlog of orders was cleared, it was pretty obvious $800 "mainstream" isn't happening (for the same reason the average consumer doesn't buy $800 monitors to plug into SLI'd Titan's).

have you ever used vr at all?

I tested a friend's out and while it "technically" worked, it's something I couldn't use for more than 30mins at a time. Compare that to the up to 14hrs I can easily sit in front of my flicker-free 27" IPS with comfy Sennheiser's. Even if they sort out the motion sickness / Vergence-Accommodation Conflict / nausea / spectacle wearer pressure / unit slips if you move too much etc, issues, other discomfort issues remain due to the nature of the technology. ie, if you stick something over your eyes that creates a "seal" that blocks out light, over time it's also going to trap a layer of warm air inside causing hot / dry / tired eyes. A LOT of people are complaining about this without any real resolution, and even the Techspot VR reviewer Kirk wrote "It gets warmer over time, as well, and after playing for an hour or so I’m acutely aware of the fact that I have a heat-radiating piece of electronic gear strapped to my face."

VR ergonomics are nowhere near as natural or relaxed as simply flopping out in front of a 2D TV / monitor, and I doubt they ever will be due to the nature of sticking a heat-radiating, light-tight, heat-trap over your eyeballs...

Your friends system was either under-powered, or not configured correctly (ie drivers, games loaded on ssd). I'll spend 6 hours straight in VR on a Vive/gtx1080 and there is no motion sickness at all. I just had family over this last weekend, my brother in law spent the entire day, like 9 hours playing Elite: Dangerous in VR, no face heat either because there is a vent near your nose. I also have a Rift, and if that's the one you tried then I agree about the face heat, but that's because Rift gen 1 has been a real failure for many reason. They brought about VR, and for that I'm grateful, but the product is so substandard that it's turning people off from VR which is a real shame because I rarely use my 4K monitor anymore now that I have the Vive...
 

Das Pooch

Posts: 10   +15
Not really surprising. The surge of pre-orders was simply a very small number of enthusiasts jumping in on the "10-20min tech demo to show off to your friends" thing. Once that backlog of orders was cleared, it was pretty obvious $800 "mainstream" isn't happening (for the same reason the average consumer doesn't buy $800 monitors to plug into SLI'd Titan's).

have you ever used vr at all?

I tested a friend's out and while it "technically" worked, it's something I couldn't use for more than 30mins at a time. Compare that to the up to 14hrs I can easily sit in front of my flicker-free 27" IPS with comfy Sennheiser's. Even if they sort out the motion sickness / Vergence-Accommodation Conflict / nausea / spectacle wearer pressure / unit slips if you move too much etc, issues, other discomfort issues remain due to the nature of the technology. ie, if you stick something over your eyes that creates a "seal" that blocks out light, over time it's also going to trap a layer of warm air inside causing hot / dry / tired eyes. A LOT of people are complaining about this without any real resolution, and even the Techspot VR reviewer Kirk wrote "It gets warmer over time, as well, and after playing for an hour or so I’m acutely aware of the fact that I have a heat-radiating piece of electronic gear strapped to my face."

VR ergonomics are nowhere near as natural or relaxed as simply flopping out in front of a 2D TV / monitor, and I doubt they ever will be due to the nature of sticking a heat-radiating, light-tight, heat-trap over your eyeballs...

Your friends system was either under-powered, or not configured correctly (ie drivers, games loaded on ssd). I'll spend 6 hours straight in VR on a Vive/gtx1080 and there is no motion sickness at all. I just had family over this last weekend, my brother in law spent the entire day, like 9 hours playing Elite: Dangerous in VR, no face heat either because there is a vent near your nose. I also have a Rift, and if that's the one you tried then I agree about the face heat, but that's because Rift gen 1 has been a real failure for many reason. They brought about VR, and for that I'm grateful, but the product is so substandard that it's turning people off from VR which is a real shame because I rarely use my 4K monitor anymore now that I have the Vive...

Which goes back to the point of low sales numbers due to needing a high-end machine. Most PC gamers don't have high-end rigs to begin with, let alone a high-end rig and BOTH vr sets like you have. Until they come up with a solution that provides a good experience on mid-range rigs (and costs $500 or less for the vr hardware) these sales numbers won't go up. They have no choice.
 

amstech

Posts: 2,643   +1,807
My work colleague got a new S7 and with the promo is came with a Samsung VR headset.
I was not a believer but now my world has changed, BLEW MY MIND!
The Jurassic World Apatosaurus demo was UUUUUUUNNNNNNNBBBBEEEELIABLE!!

But the main issue still remains. Content.
 
I picked up both headsets during the pre-order phases and it was an awesome experience. I ended up using the Vive more than the Rift as it had the controllers and camera that in my mind are must haves for room scale VR. Most early adopters love new tech and knew sales would drop if the games didn't follow. Well the games didn't follow. At the moment it's all about tech demos and early access (I really hate this trend). The wow factor is huge and people still come over for a go in VR but for the true gamer there is not a whole lot of big tittles yet. They are slowly coming out but we all knew 2016 would be a launch year and 2017 would be the game year. They have reached the end of the early adopter player pool on PC. Consoles are coming up and they will see the same trend. Big sales and a huge drop off. When more big AAA games drop and patches for other non VR games come out sales will pick up a bit. More VR units from others will drop next year and the price will follow. So far VR has reemerged as I thought it would. There are a handful of big tittles out for it now and it's just enough to keep it going. I still play in VR regularly but it's not tech that will make regular gaming obsolete. It will remain side by side and I believe it is here to stay. Currently Vive is the overall winner in my book.
 

gingerbill

Posts: 233   +59
Lowering the price would obviously help but I think as many others have said a killer game is needed and the most important thing. I haven't tried one so they might be great or mediocre I don't know but I wont even bother trying one till there's a great game and then I would decide to buy one depending on how impressive it is.
 

Bubbajim

Posts: 720   +694
The price and lack of software are definite sticking points, but there's no way those factors won't change over time.

I've had mine since launch and still play with it almost every day. It hasn't replaced traditional gaming, but it's definitely slot into my life. And now that games like Onward! are coming out (a realistic military sim which is freaking amazing) I'm sure more people will want to jump on the bandwagon. It's so cool!
 
For me, there is nothing realistic about wearing a box in front of your face.

Thats the thing, when you are wearing it, you soon forget it is even there, because the experience seems so real. So much so, that while in VR you forget the real world. When I was running setup, the rift took me to a demo and I actually went to set my controllers on the virtual desk lol. It takes you to see it, to realise just how amazing it really is. And in Batman VR while going down the elevator to the bat cave, you actually feel like you are moving. It doesn't just feel like you are standing there with a box in front of your face, and if you get a decent game like the one I mentioned, the characters in the game are like the real thing standing right in front of you, just as if it was another person irl.
 

Emexrulsier

Posts: 619   +92
Thats the thing, when you are wearing it, you soon forget it is even there, because the experience seems so real. So much so, that while in VR you forget the real world. When I was running setup, the rift took me to a demo and I actually went to set my controllers on the virtual desk lol. It takes you to see it, to realise just how amazing it really is. And in Batman VR while going down the elevator to the bat cave, you actually feel like you are moving. It doesn't just feel like you are standing there with a box in front of your face, and if you get a decent game like the one I mentioned, the characters in the game are like the real thing standing right in front of you, just as if it was another person irl.

I agree, I have reached out to touch items on desks, I played a game in a haunted asylum and I sh*t my pants cause I felt like I was walking down the corridors, I would peer through doors and it was like I was really looking into the room. I played the matrix demo where you have to perform the leap, I actually felt high up and when I fell I felt like I was falling. Yes I know its all a game, and for now just like other games they aren't realistic you always know you are in a game but it does still put you better into the environment than a monitor or 3D does. What I want now is some super advanced light weight gloves to enable me to "feel" the virtual environment.

Also I can only see it getting better and better has time goes on, with better ways to give VR haptic style feedback feedback, and the amazing 3D sound you can get from binaural audio. Soon it wont be a case of putting on a headset, it will be a case of putting on a full jumpsuit loaded with sensors and other gadgetry. Sure VR isn't for everyone but neither is a million other things people do all around the world on a daily basis.