So it’s increasingly seeming like Sony will be focusing on hardware and not software at the upcoming E3 conference. Many press sites are hyping up Morpheus already because it’s VR. They’ve been impressed with demos but do VR really work? I’m sceptical.
How much is this hardware going to cost? I don’t think it’ll cost as little as a controller or as much as a console. It’s at an odd price point and will need a lot to justify a purchase. If it was the price of a controller – £20-40 then I can see many people buying one. Except it will probably cost a lot more to build just one unit. On the other end of the spectrum, if it costs as much as a console, there will be a lower number of adoption but it makes sure production costs are covered. The danger with low adoption rate is it’s not very attractive to a developer. For example, people develop mobile apps with OSX and Android in mind and not any other operating system simply because more people use a mobile device powered by one of those two systems. But then it seems the PS4 followers are used to blindly follow empty promises for their system (only kidding 😉 ).
The main problem I think Sony’s morpheus headset faces is application. I don’t see many games applicable for VR. Since you’re forced to immerse yourself into a world, you’re not aware of your surroundings so you’ll need to be seated in most cases. I also think the heavy headset looks really dumb and stupid. If they can make it discreet somehow then it would have a better chance with me. It just doesn’t spell future tech to me. Looks more like a clunky tech demo at best. You’d basically only be playing first person games only.
What would make me shell out? Something like the game in the movie called “Her”. This movie is about a guy dating his own operating system – voiced by Scarlett Johansson. He often plays a game where a hologram is projected in his living room and he interacts with it using his voice and hands. That looks amazing and very futuristic but actually, Hololens could do something similar – there just needs to be some sort of projection of the in game world. This is why I think Augmented Reality has better potential than VR just because it has that wow factor and isn’t restricted to just the one genre.
The task of trying to impress someone by making a very good first person experience is challenging and niche. While if you had the choice of doing something similar but with less restrictions, you’d have much better chance of bringing that great experience just because you’re not shackled by physical and natural restrictions. So I’m actually going to predict that project morpheus will fall flat on it’s face like Google Glasses did. The bad thing is this will set back other technologies in the similar field. Occulus comes to mind.