News / 22.01.2020
Here’s The Good News About Virtual Reality
There are many skeptics that love to cast doom and gloom over new technology, particularly immersive technology like virtual reality. While it’s true that the VR industry is moving slower than expected, there are certainly lots of good news stories out there.
Here are just some of the announcements made in the past month.
We started the new year with CES, the Consumer Electronics Show—the “global stage for innovation.” Traditionally, it’s been one of the biggest weeks of the year for VR, AR, and MR.
Last year, the Oculus Quest was the standout VR announcement at CES. While we didn’t see any technology giving the headset a run for its money at this year’s conference, there were certainly a lot of positive advances to take note of, including smaller and lighter headset designs and expanded field of view. Sony also announced it had sold 5 million PS VR units. Today In: Innovation
If you haven’t caught up on the announcements at CES, here’s my roundup.
Boneworks and Superhot VR
When thinking about virtual reality games,Beat Saberis probably the first title that springs to mind. However, we’re seeing a number of other titles coming to the fore as the demand for good quality VR games grows.
Boneworks, the experimental physics VR adventure which launched just before the holiday season, reached 100,000 players in its first week. This equates to an estimated $3 million in revenue. To put this into perspective, Beat Saber made $2 million in revenue in its first month. In addition, Boneworks was only released on Steam, making those figures even more impressive!
In a post-launch update, publisher Stress Level Zero commented, “Thank you to everyone for making the launch of Boneworks the biggest in VR’s young history! Over 100k people played in the first week! The entire SLZ team has been overwhelmed by the reaction, we’re so happy that you all share our enthusiasm for this passion project.”
Superhot VR, one of the most popular VR games out there, also saw great success over the holiday period. The company announced the game grossed $2 million across all platforms in the week over Christmas. This roughly equates to 80,000 copies of the game being purchased across PSVR and Oculus platforms in seven days.
Superhot VR regularly makes it into the Top 10 VR games lists. This is due to its addictive and unique gameplay where time and enemies only move when you do. It’s, therefore, no surprise that it was snapped up during the festive shopping period.
Some are attributing its success to the recent launch of the Oculus Quest, which, before Oculus Link—the $80 cable that lets you play Rift games on Quest—meant that the library of games available was limited, making Superhot the obvious purchase for new Quest owners.
Since its release in 2019, Oculus Quest has seen steady sales and helped to thrust VR into the mainstream. Oculus Quest is Facebook’s first all-in-one headset that offers six degrees of freedom (6DoF) tracking. This means that the headset has the same full tracking capabilities typically reserved for high-end PC driven VR headsets—without the faff.
The Quest was such a hot item over the holidays, the device sold out pre-Christmas and we saw the resale price of the headset going up to 157% of the retail price. This price hike in marketplaces like Ebay shows the demand for the headset and what consumers were willing to pay to secure the device in time for Christmas.
Valve Index And Half-Life
Valve’s flagship Half-Life: Alyx VR game garnered a lot of positive media attention at the end of 2019. With more than 10 million views of the trailer across YouTube and Twitter in its first 24 hours, widespread media coverage, and tens of thousands of social media comments, it was impossible to ignore the news.
The announcement of the game has resulted in the Valve Index VR headset selling out across all 31 regions where sold.
“We are working hard to build more units and meet the high demand,” a Valve spokesperson told Road to VR on Monday. “We are targeting to be back in stock before Half-Life: Alyx ships.”
For the Index—a high-end expensive headset—to sell out, we can see that Half-Life is already doing a great job of building hype and driving VR adoption. If the game holds up to the expectations, this could be the title to catapult VR into the spotlight of mainstream gaming.
This article was written by Sol Rogers and originally appeared on Forbes.com.
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