A few days ago I briefly glanced over an article discussing the fact that, "Sansar.com has actually been trending down
since the first Ready Player One
experience for Sansar was announced at the widely-covered CES in January."http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2018/04/sansar-social-vr-ready-player-one.html
Web traffic to Sansar wasn't growing, and can even be seen as declining, despite the popularity of the movie.
And today I ran across another article explaining how this lack of interest is extending to VR overall:
Actually this is also true across all variations of "Virtual Reality" related search terms and steam product stats for VR, so far as I can see. It's certainly not just Sansar. The movie is not causing people to want to 'try out' VR. I think this is because it only presented the idea of VR as mostly a sort of multiplayer shooter for escapists, rather than for education and many other uses, as presented in the book.http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2018/04/ready-player-one-social-vr-philip-rosedale.html
This makes sense because going back to 2016 when the Rift was launched with only 1 sensor and an XBox controller, many discussions across the web portrayed the Oculus platform as a "dead out of the gates" platform since it was not offering the "best gaming
hardware" options at launch. During that time a contrary viewpoint was offered, stating that VR needs to be about much more than just a gaming experience.
I have always agreed with this point of view, citing the need for VR to continue to break through the Medical, Financial, Real-Estate, and every other non-Entertainment fields. Yet films and games remain the primary point of contention for many enthusiasts.
But it is no longer just about personal opinion, as we can now see this happening in real-time. Where this VR-centric film that continues to gain global success financially (lots and lots of people are watching it), yet the growth of the VR Industry is not directly benefiting - nor is the film's companion VR experience.
And the culprit is likely due to how closely tied to "gaming" the film depicts VR. The film isn't off-base either, since most of the mainstream VR news strictly covers either films or video games; whether PC, Mobile, or Arcade style facilities.
I find the topic interesting personally, but I don't think it is all doom n' gloom. If anything, this only stresses the need to release headsets like GO and Santa Cruz. The removal of the PC as a dependency goes a very long way in destroying the perception that VR is just another gaming platform
. For example, the Real-Estate industry can thrive much more easily with Tetherless HMDs. Not to mention the wide breath of consumers that something like Facebook Spaces will cover.
In fact, if you look at the numbers in the article, VRChat.com
has nearly 5-times more views than Sansar
! This is strong evidence that there is a huge market for VR as a Social Platform as opposed to VR as a gaming platform.
AAA Titles and "killer apps" are really not answer; what VR needs is more people gaining access to cheaper hardware and immersing in social platforms; VR needs cross-industry investing in VR innovations that improve business operations and reshape how consumers interact with an organization's merchant infrastructure.
Or not. Who knows; I just find the topic fascinating as we all get to watch things unfold.