Some of you may remember I did a little post about one of Nintendo's greatest failures, the Virtual Boy. You may want to read that post first if you haven't already. Much of what I typed there will apply here.
When I was younger and virtual reality was brand-spanking new, promising to be the next big thing in entertainment, it was very cool. There were all sorts of promises both explicit and implicit about new levels of gameplay immersion. Heck, sometimes is was so over the top, cartoons and such treated it as if sticking on a VR headset sucked your mind into cyberspace. I found myself screaming, essentially, "VR DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!"
I didn't think all that much about VR since those days, except for when I dug up my Virtual Boy during some closet cleaning. Then I saw a commercial for Beyond Tomorrow featuring a VR set that involved a big hamster ball the player would run in. That's when an extra level of crap about VR hit me: The concept has been around for what, two decades? And they still haven't established themselves with some common brand name everyday headset? Yeah, it's cool that they've got some big device out there that gives a player a feeling of mobility to go with depth perception and a little mocap. But unless I'm going to head over to whatever techhead paradise it's set up at, that's kind of pointless. Where's the VR for the common man?
That's what these geniuses should be working on: Getting the baseline immersion to be commonplace. I know a fair share of games where having binocular depth perception would make a lot of jumps easier to judge. Even if I'm still holding a gamepad, that would be a big improvement. So why aren't they making that cheap instead of making big motion sensitive hamster balls? Shouldn't we be moving beyond the overengineered concept phase by now and at least into "It costs $1,000 dollars now, but they'll be in mass production with a price plummet next year"?