Consumer versions have been released, the hype train has been set rolling, and 2016 is already almost half over.
2016 is the year of VR
The media has been repeating this phrase over and over, getting consumers ready for upcoming releases of Vive, Rift, and multiple other headsets. Now that we have the technology, companies want to get their software off the ground and into the hands of consumers. But exactly how ready is VR?
Besides Oculus’ development kits released a few years ago, there was really nothing developers could do to prepare for the upcoming explosion of excitement stemming from virtual reality. Full fledged games take multiple years to develop, and without effective hardware to develop on, it’s really impossible to know exactly what consumers will be experiencing, or demanding for that matter.
John Riccitiello agrees. As the CEO of game engine Unity, he understands just how quickly developers are transitioning to virtual reality development. In his eyes, the acceptance of the platform will be a slow process, but will eventually work it’s way into our lives in ways no one had previously imagined.
Industry growth is going to start slow. 2016 is a duct tape…year. We’ve set up so much hype, the gap of disappointment will be real in 2016 and 2017.
While that’s a bit disappointing to hear, it’s certainly understandable. In its current form, VR is expensive, and though there are seemingly endless use cases for the platform, the industry just hasn’t transformed it into a tool that anyone can use. Launch versions of products seem to always behave like this, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Rift 2 or Vive 2 be priced much more reasonably once they launch.
While we can’t say exactly what the most popular applications of the platform will be, we do know that it will be deeply rooted into our daily lives. It’s still too early to tell exactly how deep these roots will run, but a consulting firm called Analysis Group have estimated that virtual reality will generate between $2.8 Billion and $126 Billion through 2020. That’s a huge range, but it makes sense, as it is indicative of how little we can predict about the future of the platform. Even if it doesn’t take off for a while, Riccitiello firmly believes that it will truly be the next big thing.
It’s a once-in-a-generation technology that’s so compelling it literally changes everything. VR is here. It’s real and we’re waiting for folks like you to innovate.
Innovation is absolutely key to a new technology such as this, and it’s really up to developers to say just how quickly the tech takes off. So if you’re a developer thinking about making the jump into the space, go ahead and do it. You won’t regret it.