Friday, July 27th 2018

Think VR Is Dying? It's Just Getting Started, Says HTC

Have you heard the news? Analyst reports are in and apparently, it's curtains for Virtual Reality (VR). Pardon us if we're not heeding the alarms. News of the so-called death of VR comes once a year and is greatly exaggerated.

That's not to say analyst VR forecasts don't have valuable information-they most certainly do. But we thought it would be helpful to look more closely and critically about how they came to their conclusions.
Four Things You Should Know About the Analyst Forecasts
1) The start of "consumer VR" was driven primarily by mobile phone viewers like GearVR and Google Cardboard. As these have become less enticing (i.e. the VR experience isn't living up to consumer expectations), those units that were largely used as promotional devices for phone launches have dropped off.

2) Premium VR has solidified and ramped up over time, yet the major players have not released sales figures to substantiate the market momentum (read on for a key figure we are releasing today).

3) The overall VR experience continues to improve with the enhanced resolution and comfort of the HTC VIVE Pro, more titles, more accessories, and soon, less cables. Yet, the analysts aren't predicting a watershed moment based on these improvements.

4) Businesses are ramping up VR investment in a big way, especially in the location-based entertainment and training industries. These numbers don't hit consumer forecasts, and therefore, are not included in the reports.

What About Those VR Sales Numbers?
Ah yes, sales. Digital Trends wrote a report last week which dove into third-party Amazon data to show a steep drop in VIVE sales. This has been the case of most of the dread and panic pervading the internet about VR.

It's also not the whole story. There's a reason for this decline.

VIVE has paced at its highest sales velocity of all time, for weeks on end, and we sold out. For a consumer electronic product in its third calendar year, this continued trajectory is nearly unheard of.

Don't worry, though: we are ramping up production of the original VIVE and units will continue to roll out to online and retail over the coming weeks.

Reminder: These Things Take Time
More and more, as people begin to understand the possibilities for virtual applications, word of mouth will grow, and sales will continue their upward trajectory.

In the VR industry, it's important to not only move units, but to ensure that we have a growth path for customers and our business over time.

That is why we're happy to see intelligence firms like International Data Corporation (IDC) get it right. They analyzed VR revenue share and show VIVE as the leader in the space, which means our investments are paying off for consumers and businesses. It means customers have more to do with their VR headsets and it means businesses see a path toward earning money themselves. It's exactly where we want to be.
We believe VIVE offers the best in premium VR, whether PC-based or Stand-alone (AIOs).

Our stand-alone product, VIVE Focus, is gaining traction rapidly since its China launch. It's the number one stand-alone in China, and our WaveVR platform runs on three of the top four AIOs in China. We'll have much more on Focus soon as we bring that product to additional markets.
Source: VIVE Blog
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87 Comments on Think VR Is Dying? It's Just Getting Started, Says HTC

#1
bug
Yes, any tech with an entry barrier of $1,000+ is just about to become mainstream.
Posted on Reply
#2
Vayra86
I don't regard HTC to be a credible source for this kind of information.

Rather wishful thinking than an honest prediction or fact-based statement. So far its flopping hard even for early adopter tech.

The real facts on VR remain: clumsy, bulky equipment, reduced mobility, increased physical and mental strain, barely useful for competitive gaming, high hardware requirements... None of these problems are in any way close to a solution.

And after all that, there is price.
Posted on Reply
#3
dj-electric
A VR centric company tells us VR is just getting started.
I'm terribly shocked.
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#4
Ubersonic
Have you heard the news? Analyst reports are in and apparently, it's curtains for Virtual Reality (VR)
Thank god, I already had to live through one VR craze in the 90's, the sooner this one dies too the better, maybe it can be nice and take "RGB everything" with it lol.
Posted on Reply
#5
Vayra86
"Ubersonic said:
Thank god, I already had to live through one VR craze in the 90's, the sooner this one dies too the better, maybe it can be nice and take "RGB everything" with it lol.
I think VR in its current form dóes have a niche but that is not in the consumer space, but rather business: providing 'experiences' to customers, short, intense content suits VR well. But also functional in the way of walkthroughs and manipulation of a 3D environment, think architects and other 3D design tasks. But, augmented reality seems more suited to the latter especially when it comes to manipulation.

For gaming? I'd rather see more resources focused on good content and for VR, good content is much harder to make. Seems wasteful, as you do have to deal with all of VR's drawbacks.
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#6
Xx Tek Tip xX
It's only getting started? Well you better hurry up since the game selection sucks and vr headsets are easily going for around £600 - A waste of money considering there are "exclusives" by each vr headsets which is anti-competitive.
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#7
StrayKAT
I'm a huge TES fanboy, so I wouldn't mind a playthrough of Skyrim VR.. but I'm not gonna pay more than $300 (hopefully even cheaper).
Posted on Reply
#8
bug
"Vayra86 said:
I don't regard HTC to be a credible source for this kind of information.

Rather wishful thinking than an honest prediction or fact-based statement. So far its flopping hard even for early adopter tech.

The real facts on VR remain: clumsy, bulky equipment, reduced mobility, increased physical and mental strain, barely useful for competitive gaming, high hardware requirements... None of these problems are in any way close to a solution.

And after all that, there is price.
HTC is heavily invested (relative to their size) in VR. That makes them an absolutely trustworthy source when it comes to news like this ;)
Posted on Reply
#9
Vayra86
"bug said:
HTC is heavily invested (relative to their size) in VR. That makes them an absolutely trustworthy source when it comes to news like this ;)
I know, its also pretty much their last straw before they can go packing.

Its funny reading the article and all you see is relative numbers and %. Not a single absolute sales number, or revenue, or profit, or units moved.
Posted on Reply
#10
StrayKAT
Tech wise, I'm even more interested in HoloLens.. but I'm sure that's going to be even more expensive.
Posted on Reply
#11
bug
"Vayra86 said:
I know, its also pretty much their last straw before they can go packing.

Its funny reading the article and all you see is relative numbers and %. Not a single absolute sales number, or revenue, or profit, or units moved.
Now, independent of what companies that make products for mass consumption will tell us, VR can actually be put to good use. Something like: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/health-41920544/can-virtual-reality-cure-a-fear-of-heights
Posted on Reply
#12
RejZoR
VR is getting started just about the same as Linux is overtaking Windows next year. This time for real! I swear! There was a VR craze like a year ago when everyone was going bat shit crazy over it, all the streamers were tripping over obstacles in their rooms and falling over their own feet jumping around with VR headsets, forums and social media was filled with VR gibberish and buzzwords on all ends and now everything basically died out. Now it's just bunch of companies who pissed millions on VR development reassuring everyone VR is "just getting started". Not it's not. It's dead just as it was back in the 90's. Back then because it was clumsy and expensive and today because it's a bit less clumsy and still just as expensive. Not to mention the fact they need to make games specifically for it and they are always dumbed down even past dumbing down for consoles because controllers are imprecise and clumsy.

VR would take off if they dropped the walking and moving nonsense and just mass adapted it for the games we already have and with minimal effort for games that are around the corner. Just so you have independent viewport via head tracking and pure immersion since you only see ingame stuff and no room or monitor. You'd still play games with keyboard and mouse. There would still be a cost issue, but everyone would justify it easier if you had gazillion games for it instead of few 10 adapted for the VR or even made for it specifically. Just imagine all the racing, shooting and FRP games using headset for viewing of the ingame world and perfect immersion of VR headset. I know even I'd think about it. But not a chance in form they are trying to sell it to us now.

I mean, just imagine Alien:Isolation where you play it just the same as on monitor, but with VR headset. And you can look around when hiding in closet just by moving head around instead of holding some mouse button and moving mouse around. Or tilting your head to the side for peeking around corners. I never use this in games because I'm lazy and can't be bothered binding keys for it around arrow keys that I use. With headset, it would become a natural thing. I just can't believe companies who piss away millions for R&D didn't think of any of this. It's just baffling to no end.
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#13
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
VR will continue to grow in the business market. Entertainment industry? Costs have to come down and a lot more time is needed. Engines like Unity and Unreal need native support for turning first and third person games into *good* VR experiences. That's not going to happen until at least their next major upgrade.

I honestly don't know of any VR game that actually made money. Without engines supporting both styles interchangeably, VR isn't going to gain traction in gaming just because of the costs associated with it.
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#14
TheDeeGee
Just like 3D, VR has never taken off for me.
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#15
StrayKAT
"TheDeeGee said:
Just like 3D, VR has never taken off for me.
3D? Still prefer playing with sprites? :P
Posted on Reply
#16
hyp36rmax
The thing with VR there are advocates on both sides of the fence. A lot of people against VR simply haven't tried it with assumptions about price or what others have said about it. And there are those that have tried it but their body and minds just can't take the possible nauseating locomotion. The later being a much more fair assessment. When it comes down to it, VR is not and never will be for everyone, at least for today. Comments here suggesting VR headsets used as glorified monitors without the motion sensing simply tell me they lack experience with the tech.

VR Tech still has opportunities with the displays, refresh rates, and wireless. Not to mention GPU power to keep up with it. We'll get there soon enough. But still delivers an experience when you're actually playing albeit on a basic level.

Currently VR is more of a complimentary accessory and not a main component just like having a Fully decked out racing rig for your PC. Not required but enhances the experience with supporting apps and games.
Posted on Reply
#17
Lobolawn
People should focus less on eco systems within vr and stores and all that.
Its great for sims racing flying etc.
Ive never bought any apps or "turret games" I don't want to kick and punch the air or my TV on accident.
I think most of the marketing is wrong too.
VR is here it doesn't have to "take off"
Its just not for "everything"
Posted on Reply
#18
CrAsHnBuRnXp
"Ubersonic said:
Thank god, I already had to live through one VR craze in the 90's, the sooner this one dies too the better, maybe it can be nice and take "RGB everything" with it lol.
I still dont get the hate of RGB. Im glad I dont have to buy new fans and lights everytime I wanna chance the color of my computer. I can just go into the software and change it on the fly.

Hating on it is just dumb.
Posted on Reply
#19
hyp36rmax
"CrAsHnBuRnXp said:
I still dont get the hate of RGB. Im glad I dont have to buy new fans and lights everytime I wanna chance the color of my computer. I can just go into the software and change it on the fly.

Hating on it is just dumb.
This is exactly how RGB was intended to be used, but I guess some where along the lines people started to like or hate the rainbow wave.
Posted on Reply
#20
Totally
"Lobolawn said:
People should focus less on eco systems within vr and stores and all that.
Its great for sims racing flying etc.
Ive never bought any apps or "turret games" I don't want to kick and punch the air or my TV on accident.
I think most of the marketing is wrong too.
VR is here it doesn't have to "take off"
Its just not for "everything"
Is the reason it was doomed before the real problems began to affect adoption.

"CrAsHnBuRnXp said:
I still dont get the hate of RGB. Im glad I dont have to buy new fans and lights everytime I wanna chance the color of my computer. I can just go into the software and change it on the fly.

Hating on it is just dumb.
Not to mentioned they can always be turned off.
Posted on Reply
#21
Paganstomp
Yep. More PR saying you NEED and MUST have this. Your life will be incomplete without it. :D
Posted on Reply
#22
StrayKAT
"Paganstomp said:
Yep. More PR saying you NEED and MUST have this. Your life will be incomplete without it. :D
That sums up all of these recent gaming "innovations". Trying to address a need only they created. Although I'm sure some grannies probably asked for motion controls and VR too, but ask me if I give a ___.
Posted on Reply
#23
bug
"StrayKAT said:
That sums up all of these recent gaming "innovations". Trying to address a need only they created. Although I'm sure some grannies probably asked for motion controls and VR too, but ask me if I give a ___.
Tbh I don't think there's a nerd out there that wouldn't love VR. Just not in the form we can make it at the moment.
The need for more realism is why we fall for the 3D/VR fads every 10-20 years. We hope we're there. Every time.
Posted on Reply
#24
StrayKAT
"bug said:
Tbh I don't think there's a nerd out there that wouldn't love VR. Just not in the form we can make it at the moment.
The need for more realism is why we fall for the 3D/VR fads every 10-20 years. We hope we're there. Every time.
I admit it's not as forced as motion (the failure of Kinect compared to PS4 showed how little actual gamers wanted it... integrated at least), and I'd welcome VR sooner or later.
Posted on Reply
#25
Kinestron
I'm waiting for the cost of entry to come down just a little bit more but most of all, I'm just waiting for a gaming experience that justifies buying into this new tech. Re-doing Skyrim is great and all but there is no Fortnite application that specifically benefits from VR that everyone must experience.
Posted on Reply
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