I remember my first experience of VR. It was in the early 90’s, I was just about to hit the local hot spots on a Saturday. We traveled in to the city a bit early to cash in on the early drink specials, back then there was no such thing as binge drinking laws, so for $50 you could get into town and absolutely smashed before 7pm but once again I digress. Anyways after a few drinks we decided to change venue, which also back then the town planners made it so that you had to walk a block or two to get to the next venue. Now days they lump all the venues together and then wonder why at 5am in the morning there’s dramas cos everyone is drunk, cranky and wants to get home. Oops once again I digress.
Anyways…on Elizabeth street there is an arcade of shops and in there was these two big whopping virtual reality machines. Much like the one in the picture below. I remember the attendant realizing that we were a bit inebriated so instead of limiting our game play experience to the recommended 12 minutes, he allowed us to go 20 minutes.
The game was very simple, basic graphics, 4 elevated platforms connected to a lower central platform by steps. All around the platforms was just space, just black and filled with stars. If you fell off the platforms or stairs you died.
The player moved around by pressing the button on the hand gadget to go forward or backwards. Where you turned your body meant which direction you traveled. You aimed where you looked. The goal of the game was to shoot your opponents but the gun fired projectiles that were more like mini catapults rather than bullets. So you had to aim to allow for the arc and fall of the projectile, when you hit someone they exploded into little cubes. When you got hit you got this spinning sensation as your character disintegrated.
I remember falling off the platform once and instantly got that sinking feeling in your gut and upon spawn I ‘fell’ off the platforms a few more times, getting a kick out of the sensation. The only downside was that after we finished I had a monster of all headaches which was understandable cos that headset weighed a tonne. I loved the experience but could see its limitations and how it would never become a popular or replace the home console. It was too big and too damn expensive.
Flash forward to where we are now and it’s amazing how far the technology has advanced. VR systems are now available in the form of lightweight glasses and TV screens all at a much reduced price. I would not say reasonable price yet, but give it time and it will become cheaper than a home console.
The game I tried late last year was a colorful world, vibrant and filled the wherever my gaze fell. I used a joystick to move about the virtual world and where I looked was where I traveled or aimed. The unit (pictured) was light weight and even after 20 minutes of game play I had no headaches or aches or pains except for my usual gripes.
And before you ask. Yes, I still get that sinking feeling in my gut when I ‘fell’ off a platform
Now this only an example of how far the tech has come in the field of games. The earning potential for this tech is almost endless, this got me thinking, so I did some more interweb researching.
According to Deloitte Global website VR is multi billion dollar industry. According to their predictions in 2016 they stated:
“Deloitte Global predicts that virtual reality (VR) will have its first billion door year in 2016, with about $700 million in hardware sales, and the remainder from content. VR is likely to have multiple applications, both consumer and enterprise, in the longer term, but in 2016 we expect the vast majority of commercial activity to focus on video games. We estimate sales of about 2.5 million VR headsets and 10 million game copies sold.”
Deloitte Global Predictions Executive Summary
I then checked out Business Insider Website and in their Tech section they claimed:
“Total revenue for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is projected to increase from $5.2 billion in 2016 to over $162 billion in 2020, according to the IDC.
- More than half of the revenue will come from VR/AR hardware sales. Additionally, service revenues are projected to increase over the period as demand grows for enterprise-class support. Software was also mentioned as a smaller, but notable revenue source, growing more than 200% year-over-year (YoY) in 2016. Nevertheless, services revenue will quickly surpass it, largely due to demand in the enterprise segment.
- AR systems will ultimately contribute more revenue than VR systems. Games and paid content will be strong sources of revenue for VR systems, particularly in the next two years. However, this revenue will be eclipsed as AR systems are integrated into healthcare, product design and management-related uses.”
The virtual and augmented reality market will reach $162 billion by 2020, Business Insider website.
As a rule I always like to check at least three sources and for my last source I choose Fortune.com. In January 2016 an article stated:
“Video games will be the key driver of virtual reality hardware this year, according to a new report from SuperData Research. Game developers will also have a global audience of 55.8 million virtual reality users and produce 38.9 million virtual reality devices this year, according to the report.
Consumers will spend $5.1 billion on virtual reality gaming hardware, accessories and software in 2016. That’s up from the $660 million spent in 2015, says the marketing leader. Meanwhile, the global market is expected to grow to $8.9 billion in 2017 and $12.3 billion in 2018.
A breakdown of this year’s $5.1 billion global market shows Europe in the lead with a $1.9 billion share and North America close behind with $1.6 billion. That’s followed by Asia with $1.1 billion, and the rest of the world accounting for $0.6 billion.”
Virtual Reality Video Game Industry to Generate $5.1 Billion in 2016, Fortune.com
Well for me this means a helluva lot! I see so many different applications for this tech which due to my research has meant that a lot of ideas I have are more AR rather than VR, which is great news as it further hones down my pathway to my goal. Also according to the financial articles and news I have noticed, the industry has a bright and exciting future, so there’s hope for a person of my above than average age just entering the industry as a professional someday.
I am excited!!
This was the first of hopefully many posts on this subject. I realize that if I really want to get into this field I must seek out and devour as much information as I can about the industry, tech and information available. I hope to share some of which I find particularly interesting.
That’s all for now. Thank you for your company.
Till next time.
God’s Peace and Blessings upon you.