When the Oculus Rift made its stunning debut in 2012, it was the first time people realized the possibilities of consumer VR products. With early products like the HTC Vive flooding the market and marketing campaigns all over the place, it looked like we were on the verge of achieving the “Matrix”. That should also be the first time the concept of “the year of VR” was mentioned.
The company’s main goal is to provide a solution to the problem of the problem.
In 2014, Facebook acquired Oculus, setting off a wave of VR startups, and many people felt that this was the “year of VR.” In 2016, Microsoft launched Hololens and Windows MR, and Sony launched PSVR. In 2016, Microsoft launched Holens and Windows MR, Sony launched PSVR, this time with more momentum, AR and VR concepts go hand in hand, basically now in the online search “VR year”, pointing to 2016. And 2019 Valve Index release, ultra-high freedom sandbox game “Boneworks” listed in the eyes of many players, also considered VR “3A year”.
However, these so-called “VR year”, ultimately did not become the starting point of VR popularity. The concept of hype to the present, I’m afraid that even the passers-by who have no interest in VR, hear the “VR year” four words are going to ear calluses. So much so that, according to past standards, this year than the past few “VR year” are more suitable for VR year this name, however, the word has been little meaning to mention.
Really. This year, it is likely that VR really crossed the threshold of popularity of the year.
Of course, after experiencing the past few “wolves”, not many people may have the courage to draw this conclusion.
However, if you have been paying attention to the development of the VR industry, you will find that in the past two or three years, VR hardware, software and services are developing at a rapid pace, in fact, has been vaguely accumulated from the quantitative change out of the qualitative change.
Leading this change is the Oculus Quest 2 as the representative of the “new generation of VR headsets”. These headsets have Oculus Quest 2, domestic manufacturers Pico Pico Neo 3, not yet listed HTC Vive Focus 3, there may be more competitive products announced in the future.
These next-generation headsets, at the price of entry-level headsets of the past, integrate all the cutting-edge technologies of the past few years of VR development, in many places even surpassing mid- and high-end products that cost two or three times as much as they do.
For example, I own an Oculus Rift S purchased in 2019 for the first time, which was the benchmark for entry-level VR headsets two years ago, yet this headset has a refresh rate of only 80hz, a monocular resolution of only 1280×800, must be connected to a computer with a cable to play the game (the design of this cable interface is not good, it is easy to get stuck to the shoulder), and can not physically adjust the pupil distance –That is to say, about 10%-15% of the population wearing this headset, is destined to dizziness, how to adjust it is useless.
From the perspective of a VR enthusiast with a small head and a game media editor, the actual experience of the Rift S is actually quite good, playing games like “Pavlov” and “Half-Life: Alex”, I do not feel that there are any shortcomings in the operation and graphics. But from the perspective of the average user, the 1/10 chance of not being able to use this product is enough to veto it.
This is the reason why the VR first year to first year to go, but never convince the public: low-end popular products always have one or another defect, and high-end products, although the experience is still good, but the price of thousands to place there, the average user will be directly discouraged.
And, a few “year” down, everyone’s enthusiasm and trust are almost consumed, so that Oculus Quest 2 to the highest sales of PSVR four times the speed, sold two million sets in three months, many people reacted to the next chapter of VR, may have begun.
Why are the new generation of entry-level VR headsets selling so well? First of all, they have excellent hardware performance, flexible enough to use scenarios, and low enough prices. The two new generation headsets that have been listed, whether Quest 2 or Pico Neo 3, both support monocular 1832×1920 resolution, also known as “binocular 4k”, which is the highest grade in the mainstream VR headsets. At the same time, they also support 90-120Hz refresh rate, physical adjustment of the pupil distance, an important function of course, will not be absent, based on the camera handle is also very mature, the overall hardware experience more than the last generation of mid-range headset, and even Valve Index have a little threat.
In the past, the VR all-in-one machine for light users and the PC headset for enthusiastic users well not offend. The Quest 2 and Pico Neo 3 both come with Qualcomm’s latest XR2 chip and can be used alone as all-in-one units to play light games like Superhot VR or Rhythm Lightsaber. Meanwhile, heavy players can also connect the headset to a computer with a cable or wireless streaming to play large PC games like Half-Life: Alex or DCS.
In fact, wireless streaming technology is now so mature that it can even stream 120Hz 4K low-loss images consistently. Using the WiFi 6 protocol, the theoretical latency of wireless streaming is even lower than wired. In the past, some hardcore gamers would even hang the connection cable of the VR device on the roof in order to solve the problem of tangled cables. The new generation of VR headsets, on the other hand, have largely gone wireless, bye getting rid of the cable troubles.
In hardware, these new headsets are not much of a leapfrog breakthrough, but through quantitative iterations, basically solved all the loopholes and shortcomings of past VR devices. Coupled with the price of 2,000 yuan, a large number of new players to order is not difficult to understand.
The hardware’s price/performance ratio and maturity is just one aspect. the software content of VR has also expanded greatly in the past few years, and players of any age and gender can find their own fun in VR devices, which is not the same place this year and the previous few “VR years”.
The 2017 Pavlov, 2019 Boneworks, plus the 2020 Half-Life: Alex, plus a large number of VR mode support simulation racing and flight simulation games, for heavy game enthusiasts, the value of VR has long been needless to say.
Some other games for young and old alike, like “Rhythm Lightsaber”, have developed their own sub-culture, with “Rhythm Lightsaber” as a platform for virtual hosts, even among people who don’t play VR, also have a very high popularity.
Coupled with the impact of the epidemic over the past two years, many people have been forced to isolate themselves at home, and virtual socializing has seen groundbreaking growth, which in turn has contributed to the growth of VR native multiplayer games. Many people may have purchased VR devices for social purposes, and then downloaded multiplayer games directly on their headsets to play with friends. The XBOX 360 relies on multiplayer games to popularize what has now become a mainstream paid network service for consoles. The multiplayer games on VR are also likely to be a key point in driving the snowballing popularity of VR devices.
The final piece of the VR popularity puzzle is the VR vendor’s service. the Oculus store as a whole is already very mature, but for domestic players there is a not insignificant threshold: to use Oculus’ network service, you must have a Facebook account. many of Quest 2’s important performance updates, such as unlocking 90Hz, 120Hz high refresh rates, and better streaming software, all require Internet access. For the average user, the network barrier dissipates many of the Quest 2’s advantages in hardware and software.
In contrast, domestic manufacturers Pico in this regard is much more convenient. the name Pico may not be familiar to the average player, but it has actually been in the industry for 6 years, is one of the few domestic VR manufacturers that really have independent research and development capabilities. The Pico Neo 3 is one of the most popular VR devices on the market today.
Pico Neo 3, is currently on the market in addition to Quest 2, the only product that can be called the “new generation of VR headset”. Hardware performance, Pico Neo 3 has basically reached the top level of VR headset, most hardware indicators and Quest 2 are very close, in the field of view, battery life and wearing comfort, and even a slight advantage.
If you’ve been paying attention to some of the services that came with the Pico Neo 3 when it was launched a while ago, you’ll realize that it’s not just a new product. pico wants to make VR really popular in China with this product, and they’ve really put a lot of real effort into it.
The previous generation of Pico Neo 2, the price is from 4399, while Pico Neo 3 in the case of greatly improved performance, the price cut to 2499, but also standard with 128GB storage. If you are a heavy VR user, you can get up to 10 free games by purchasing the Pioneer Pass and participating in the daily game punch card.
The games themselves are quite sincere, and Pico Mall’s lineup of exclusive games is the most luxurious among domestic VR manufacturers. The aforementioned “Ping Pong: Winning 11” and “Contractors”, as well as the popular rhythm game “Phantom Knight”, are only available on the Pico Mall in China. pico is also working specifically with game developers to build servers for Pico users in China, giving domestic players a better experience. We’ve even heard that Pico employees have a dedicated team of playmates to ensure that players are easily matched with real-life opponents when playing these multiplayer games.
This thing is really super fun
This is not all, Pico also has a punch card cashback activities, after participating in the relevant activities, consecutive punch card 180 days, you can also return 50% of the purchase price of the machine. For most Pico users, it is actually very simple to complete this punch card, and even do not have to do it yourself, every day parents will play ping pong, children drive a car, play music games, almost finished.
Why like Pico these VR manufacturers, willing to make such an effort to popularize VR at this point in time? Ultimately, with hardware upgrades, falling prices, epidemic effects, and the Metaverse concept being a big hit, this year does seem like a node on the verge of a breakthrough for VR. Although no one wants to say the words, but this year, perhaps it really is the legendary “VR year”.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/in-the-end-which-year-is-the-year-of-vr/
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