We speculate on the future of VR, undeterred by the fact that we know almost nothing about it
There’s just some things the human race does not need.
“…and it was weird.” Yes, that does sound weird. The bit where he was talking about taking pictures of dinosaurs was kind of interesting, though. And even the part where he was kind of freaking out because of the sensation of another person being too close–if it weren’t a porn setting, I could see that being effective in a game.
Hmm. I’m still taking a wait-until-this-tech-is-REALLY-mainstream approach.
And THAT’S still a long way off.
See, people think gamers are all up in tech, but they’re not (look at yourself). The vast majority just want to plug the thing in, put in a disc and do what’s familiar. Shit, we STILL haven’t truly accepted touch screens. We only really tried when we had smartphones for years and got used to them there. People took a shit when they thought the X1 didn’t have a disc drive (and, really, disc drives are outdated. No one installs software off discs. Office? It’s all digital. M’s new computer has no disc drive and the world turns). So the idea that we’re going to be the first ones to adopt VR is absurd. We’ll be the last.
Hmm, yeah…so you think they’ll have to prove that it’s good for games by making it familiar in other contexts? I could see that.
On the other hand, developers might argue that people accepted the idea of a dedicated machine for games starting way back with…well, Pong I suppose or whatever its precursors were. Granted, I bet Pong was not exactly a common household purchase, but it was sold and someone bought it. (OK, I’m going to learn some history: “Pong was an adaptation of the company’s [Atari’s] popular arcade game of the same name, and it became the most popular game of the 1975 holiday season, with sales of $40,000,000 for the year.” So it was kind of a common household purchase.)
Maybe their approach will be more to just say “nope, we’re making this thing which is a new kind of dedicated machine for games, someone will buy it, eventually word will spread and the tech will get better and people will make better games for it and we’ll go mainstream in games through sheer persistence.” My bit of history-learnin’ also suggests that one initial approach could be the arcade–maybe people won’t want to buy VR technology for their houses right away, but would be willing to try it out in an arcade setting?
But I could also see your argument panning out. People got used to having computers (and now smart phones, etc.) around for other things, and then it was easy to also make games for them. Certainly if the companies can come up with another use for VR (education? porn?) that will make it something that people have around already, it will be easy at that point to also make games for it. I mean, IF I had the technology anyway, I’d probably want to play games with it, because if I’m already doing my taxes on it or whatever, I might as well also do something fun.
But what is that other purpose, that’s the question.
But see, again, it was an adaptation of arcades, which themselves were adaptations of penny arcades, which had been around for decades.
I have a feeling that IF VR is going to be a thing it’s going to have to catch on in other places (not just porn) like, say, being able to have business meetings with people all over the globe without having to fly there, or having a doctor be able to do a long distance consult, which’ll lead to using it to Skype in 3d, which’ll lead to games. That sort of thing.
IF it’s going to be a thing, which I’m not at all convinced it is.
Whoa, that would be some weird shit. Arcades are weird enough. I’d worry about pickpockets and shit. No way.
Plus, gamers, especially those who would try VR, are older. Arcades are of 14 year olds, and they’re not going to do VR unless they have crazy parents or trust funds. 40 year olds do not frequent arcades.
Ooo! Education though! Nice one! Wouldn’t it have been better to do your online degree in VR than on a screen?
So, plenty of purposes. That, by the way, are simpler than games. Far easier to write the code that would allow you to see a classroom than it is to make you see Skyrim, say.
Yes, remote meetings and classroom situations–one could definitely see VR being adopted for this. It will have to incorporate cameras to capture the image of the user, where it sounds like the current versions only display content to the user, but that’s surely just details.
I also agree that I’d feel weird about doing it in a public setting like an arcade, but maybe you could rent a lockable private VR booth or something? (Which would also work great for porn! Just throwing money-making ideas out there, industry.) As you say, it seems initially doubtful that 14-year-olds could afford this, but if the technology becomes cheap enough to be competitive with other arcade games…I dunno. Win over the 14-year-olds, and there’s your market for the in-home model later.
I think the conclusion is, we’ll both watch this field with interest, even if neither of us is exactly clamoring to own the technology for ourselves.
Meetings are easier than a game. Cameras are easy. Look at Skype. Little camera, done. Can’t get that kind of picture from a game. Think of all the calculations you need for NPC intelligence, damage, real time rendering, etc. Cameras don’t need to do that. Cameras are easy.
Lockable booths? Eww.
But see, by the time it’s cheap enough, it’s mainstream. Cheap=older. Older=it’s done something else.
I’m not clamoring for it at all. I’ll stay with my TV and headphones, thank you.
Hmm…one camera is easy, but multiple cameras (presumably a requirement for VR since you’d need several angles to create a 3D image…a ‘VR’ meeting with a bunch of 2-dimensional figures sounds creepy) seem more challenging. You might almost need that closed VR booth, where the lighting and camera angles would be carefully controlled, and people would go into it and sign into their meetings or whatever.
Or maybe there will just be a setup where you sit in a chair in an open space and the cameras are arrayed on a frame around you or something? Eventually every meeting space is just automatically equipped with surrounding cameras the way conference rooms are currently equipped with speaker phones?
I guess if they made it work for porn, it must work fine in an open space, but that would be something that was rehearsed and recorded and could be edited before viewing, where live-streaming VR meetings would have to be done on the fly. I suppose the issues would be similar to comparing Skype calls to carefully recorded and edited TV…the picture quality isn’t as good, but it serves its purpose.
You know, after all this conversation, I kind of DO want VR! But not necessarily because I see it meeting any pressing needs I have, just because the possibilities are interesting.
Of course, they’ve still got to work around the fact that apparently VR technology makes a sizable percentage of people feel violently ill. That’s not good for business meetings.
So, Leliana, you said you heard from those spies you sent out…hold on [vomit]
Hmm. True, multiple cameras would complicate things. But that’s really just image melding. Hell, I saw this thing on Outrageous Acts of Science (a show on the cable that D loves) where this dude managed to set up a video system that could do “bullet time” effects (you know, dudes freezing mid air while the camera “pans” around them, a la the matrix) using an array he build out of a bike wheel and 12 go pro cameras he got at best buy. Shit I have a 1080p video camera on a phone I got for free. Camera tech is cheap.
No reason why you couldn’t do it VR-equipped meeting rooms. Tech exists now, and it’s not that expensive.
Hmm. I wonder if editing VR is a thing. I mean, film editing, you’re saying display this still picture, now this one, now this one in a series. A very fast series, but a series all the same. VR, you’re not, because you don’t know which way the dude with the visor’s gonna look next. That means traditional “editing” can’t be done. I mean, they’d have to do something to make the content “happen,” but who knows how?
Ok, you get it, and tell me all about it.
Valve claims, quoting, “Zero percent of the people that use [our device] get motion sick.” Would Valve lie? Would Gabe Newell LIE?
It’s true, editing VR must be a whole weird level above editing straight video. You’d have to perfectly match up any cuts/tweaks on multiple streams or else…whoa. Still, if we’re talking about cameras, it presumably would involve a lot of stills in a line the way video usually does, and even if you have to adjust the same frame from 80 different angles or whatever, you still COULD do that.
Surely Valve would never lie! VR is for everyone, even those with inner-ear issues! Dude, I want Portal as a VR experience. I feel motion sick just thinking about it. And it’s kind of great.
Dude they’ve talked about bringing Half Life 2 to VR. That game is out of control. A 3d shooter with all that scary shit coming at you? Damn.
Forget motion sickness, people are going to be having heart attacks! Another reason to test it in 14-year-olds with no cardiovascular issues.
If I try it, I’m starting with something nice and relaxing. Flower, say. Flower would be soothing in VR.
But even some mellow stuff would be not so much fun. Can you imagine FEZ in VR? That would suck.
Yeeeeees…that would be interesting. Like an intentional replication of a drug trip. The 2D/turning to change perspective thing would be WEIRD. Actually, though, someone would probably enjoy it.