3 Reasons Why Virtual Reality Will Fail
May 24, 2016 – by Per Christensson
The VR hype train keeps on going. At some point it's going to crash.
Every few years, virtual reality tries to make a comeback. With each iteration, proponents tout the latest version as "the one" that will finally bring VR to the masses. While more companies have bought into the current VR hype than any previous generation, I still think virtual reality will fail. Here are three reasons why:
1. You have to wear something on your head.
This obvious but often overlooked fact of virtual reality may be a deal-breaker in itself. Most people simply don't want wear a clunky headset — it's that simple. VR headsets look silly and they can be uncomfortable. They are also a hassle to set up and use compared to the standard controllers most gaming consoles provide.
VR headsets could be less of a drawback in a future generation of virtual reality if they can be developed with a form factor similar to glasses. But that's not going to happen anytime soon. Even if it does, I think most people will prefer a handheld controller.
2. You need a lot of space.
We all have friends who move around way too much when they play video games. They sway from left to right while controlling their race car and bounce on the couch each time their character jumps in a first person shooter. Yet these people look tame compared to those using virtual reality devices.
VR requires turning your head, flailing your arms, and even moving around. It's like the Nintendo Wii taken to a new level. Virtual reality devices require a lot of open space, which means a small dorm room or even a modest living room might not cut it. Only large, open spaces are ideal for VR and even then you have to make sure no lamps or plants are nearby. It's only a matter of time before we start seeing social media posts of all the things people have broken while playing a VR game.
3. People don't want virtual; they want reality.
Reason three may not be as obvious as the first two, but it is no less important. People today seek real experiences. We already spend way too much time in front of screens at school and work. In our free time, many of us spend more time on social media than we would like to admit. The younger generation is already pushing away from this, as many kids are shunning mainstream social networking sites and are even seeking paper books as a way to escape from the digital realm.
People today don't need an escape from reality, they need more of it. An electronic gadget that you can strap to your head to virtualize a real experience is not what most people want. We need more time outside, more time with friends, and more time to enjoy real life, not a virtual one.