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Monday, April 04, 2016


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True. There are a million people that for some reason, like me. Love VR. Going in to Second life and experience the world is amazing. When i demo my Oculus for people they think it is cool but have absolutley no intention to buy there own.


“When i demo my Oculus for people they think it is cool but have absolutely no intention to buy there own.“
This says it all really.
And even when Sony release their headset and everyone with a playstation gets one this coming Christmas in their stocking, it will still just be an expensive toy, a games consul add-on.
All this talk would have been totally unnecessary if they had just promoted the VR headset as an amazing new game experience and a possibly useful virtual tool for the future in remote areas of Science.
But they had to go the “It's gonna change the world” rout.
My own personal grip about this whole trip is that the chief protagonists and pushers talk about creating a “Metaverse” when they quite obviously have no experience at all of any such thing beyond reading about it in books. Even the originator of the idea Stephenson, has never been to SL, but says it's not what he imagined, apparently. And finally they seem to trash the only real source of data on the subject available, SL/OS and their users, the only people freaky enough to live in their VR world, even if they were able to create it.

sirhc deSantis

Thanks for the precis, my limited budget doesn't stretch to paywalls :)
I was curious though about seeing some astonishing numbers of pieces of kit being shipped in Asia so had a quick look. And, indeed, it is possible to grab a 'VR' sort of headset at almost my price point (ie naff all possibly cheaper) as long as its .. a Baofeng. OK, still 60 bucks for a nicer but still phone based one. And can even get a sub 10 buck .. old fashioned lcd (I think) shutter version.
Now I am curious as to what these sets are being used to look at. (Yes even a million sold in a vast market like China is a drop in the ocean but still).

Carlos Loff

Agree 100%, marketeers are hypping VR to make a few bucks wile they can - People want to be in the Internet or in a virtual world zipping a cup of coffee, glancing the TV, answering some sms, exchamging words with the companion next to us, petting the Cat, etc, etc - This kind of stuff is pure focus and isolation so impossible to go into the general masses, at least for prolonged uses, more than 20 minutes - This hype will pass soon, unless there is a huge Alien revolution and we see everything else around us going virtual, almost like Matrix - Some cool folks, maybe even I, will like to try sometimes 1h or 2h straight but that is not masses or general public, like the philosophy of this article says

SL Oldtimer - Dont want to get shunned

I'm here to counter your value judgment on Trump. Undoing everything Obama will skyrocket VR since people will be able to aford expensive stuff again 8 years down the road.


"If a Trump presidency becomes reality, VR sales might skyrocket."

What difference will Trump make after the super rich have been allowed to run rampant. The fact that he scares them should be the one reason he should be taken seriously.

What has happened on Obama's watch? Unprotected borders and a tsunami of Illegal aliens destroying wages for blue collar jobs. A tsunami of H1B visa slaves destroying jobs opportunities and wages for white collar workers over many industries (yeah, tech people are not the only ones suffering)

This is all under the rule of supposedly "liberal" government. That should tell you that the liberals are a lie the same as the so called conservatives. There are no government representatives for the people only the rich.

Right now they are in the process of disenfranchising CITIZEN VOTERS by trying to count illegal aliens as bodies with voting rights.

The dystopia is now and it has nothing to do with Trump.


Agree 100% the parallels you draw between the dismal failure of a single company's efforts to keep going past the hype cycle for only a decade and all this VR nonsense are undeniable. Billion dollar companies like Sony, Microsoft, Samsung, Qualcomm, Google, Facebook and others are foolish to invest in a technology only good for games and remote areas of Science and absolutly nothing else ever. They are all going to look pretty foolish to not have done any research about how they are all headed for absolute failure. By next year all this VR hype will be over and forgotten, just like second life. It's all so clear.

Dartagan Shepherd

Wall Street Journal now. Sheesh, at this rate I'm going to start pestering for an autograph.

Wagner James Au

Haha, thanks. Credit where it's due, my editor at WSJ suggested the Trump line. Originally, I only alluded generally to the upcoming election as a reason to flee into VR.

zz bottom



"What has happened on Obama's watch? Unprotected borders and a tsunami of Illegal aliens destroying wages for blue collar jobs. A tsunami of H1B visa slaves destroying jobs opportunities and wages for white collar workers over many industries (yeah, tech people are not the only ones suffering)"

Is this for real? A tsunami of illegal immigrants? Watching too much Fox News I see?

Anyway back to the point of this article. I could't read it as I hit a paywall.

Im not sure I see the similarities here Hamlet. Virtual Reality and Second Life are 2 different things. Virtual Reality is an industry. SL is a platform run by one company who's technology never advanced with the times and couldn't scale to meet demand if that demand even existed. We think a virtual reality headset is expensive at $600 bucks for a piece of technology we can actually own, and then in another post commend Linden Lab for lowering sim setup fees to $600.


Congratulations on the gig with WSJ.

One bit of disagreement: I don't think a RIft would do much for us in a Trump-Nation. In fact, our immersion in the unreal is one reason that a dangerous megalomaniac can get this much support.

There are perils to not paying attention as we posted selfies and got our news from social media. Enter the demagogue.


My opinion on VR headsets is that it will take time for it to become commonplace, but it will become commonplace to have it. It won't take off nearly as fast as it's being hyped but in time it will be used for far more than gaming. One use that I can see happening is in the distribution of first-run movies, probably indies and low-profile major distribution company releases at first, but in time it could further threaten the movie theatre industry, as the distribution companies see it as a way to cut out the middleman and still get their money per view. In time, movies will actually be shot with being on the headset experience first and use the built-in 3D capabilities it affords.


I'm not convinced it will be a failure, just as I don't veiw Secondlife as a failure. SL makes a profit, not like it used to but it has done for 10 years and I'm guessing still makes enough for the company to seriously consider projects like Sansar as worth the effort while still making small investments (milking SL users?) while they can.

Who are the early adopters of VR headsets ? Gamers ? plenty of those. People who already bought into the hype ? plenty of those. My view is that despite the hype there is enough genuine interest from pre-orders of Occulus headsets, those who've tested the pre production kits and already fallen in love with it who already *want* to be immersed in the games that come with the retail box. Same with the Samsung VR, it's not massively expensive. The S5,S6,S7 is expensive but most people don't notice that when it's over the course of a contract. And the Samsung Galaxy series is the most popular premium handset outside of the iPhone sphere. (I don't have either, I'm not influenced, it's a fact).
Everyone really needs to stop comparing Google cardboard with Occulus and saying "this IS VR". Of course people are disapointed if they think that's what the experience is like.
The costs of Occulus, HTC Vive, Samsung will come down. There is massive hype but even if it's hype now, it's not going away. It might be a thing teenagers get for Christmas with a Playstation, it might be something people get to use with their next PC. Yes, you need a high end PC, in a year or 2, your high end PC will me mid range and much cheaper to buy new.
Remember when DVD recorders & Blu Ray players cost over £300 or whatever that is in dollars ?
Now you pick them up for £50 or less in the supermarket. The first VR headset to sell for under £300/$300 will hit that sweet spot . Just like any game console or laptop.

Dave Winet

Wagner that was a brave piece but had to be said. Here's my take (and I just finished presenting on VR and AR [and mentioned your article] at a big teacher's convention, so I've been thinking about this for a while):

VR, AR or just RR dont matter as much as whether or not the experience strikes a chord, satisfies a need and helps survival. SL failed because it's like reality but so is playing with dolls in a doll house. Fun for some but ultimately not meaningful, even for little girls. Video GAMES on the other hand provide that meaningfulness because they stimulate emotions that we've developed over millions of years in the face of danger. Just because the danger is imaginary doesn't alter the fact that the body responds to the idea of it. Think horror movies: not real but scary because they tap into our basic fears.
So VR and AR will sink or swim based on their ability to satisfy needs, be they real or just 'felt'. 3D TV isn't that compelling because it doesn't, and VR headsets won't either UNLESS THE GAMES ARE AWESOME. AR might have a brighter future if people can assimilate it into their daily running around routines. It *is* useful after all to, say, look at a can of beans in the market and simultaneously see on a head-up display how much it costs up the street.


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