When Facebook bought Oculus Rift in 2015, hardcore gamers started counting down the days until they could have their very own VR setup in their homes. The current generation has witnessed leaps and bounds in gaming technology; it is only natural that they are excited to embrace the next leap into Virtual Reality gaming. However, there are legitimate reasons why waiting may be the best option.
What’s Available Versus What’s Affordable
The tech market usually starts off with prices higher than what people will pay. For example, the first HD TV’s cost more than a car. Today an HD TV can be purchased with a single paycheck and most people will still have plenty left over. More companies making the same product will increase price points based shopping trends. When two nearly identical products are offered, people will almost always choose the cheaper of the two.
Currently, there aren’t a lot of options available for VR gaming and equipment. As more people purchase or show interest in VR technology, more companies are investing in VR. Most of the top technology companies in the world are investing in VR technology such as Google, Samsung, Microsoft, and Apple. These companies will not only be competing for price point customers but also best features. In other words, if you buy now, you may find yourself spending another sum of money in as little as a year when companies, through competition, have made more advanced products and are offering them for a more affordable price.
There are Going to Be Legal Challenges That Will Affect Price and Privacy
Since its acquisition of Oculus Rift in 2015, Facebook has paid over half a billion dollars to settle legal challenges. We have seen the potential uses for Virtual Reality in mainstream media for more than 3 decades. A technology this anticipated, with this much potential, is comparable to blood in the water during shark week. Corporate juggernauts will be fighting with each other and filing lawsuits in an attempt to gain market share. Most likely these companies will pass the cost of litigation on to the consumers driving up the price. Companies that avoid litigation may be able to offer similar products for far less.
Legal challenges may be brought for privacy rights. VR technologies will push data collection into new areas requiring legal examination. Currently, Oculus Rift’s VR technology feeds information to Facebook servers, even when it isn’t in operation. Vests and jackets that are worn for some VR simulations may be able to collect biometric data like body temperature, heart rate and breathing statistics. Information collection of this kind will most certainly border on health statistics and will most likely be challenged heavily in the court system.
Legally it may open up the ethical question of virtual crime and virtual consequences. If someone is a victim in the VR world and exhibits symptoms related to an event in the VR world, the possibility for criminal prosecution will dramatically increase. This new reality is no longer a matter of if it will be brought to court, but when. If you can face charges for things that happen in the VR world, you may want to wait until the law becomes clearer on those issues.
The Current Infrastructure May Not Be Able to Handle The Information
When the first MMO’s hit the market in the late 90’s, the major problem was lag. The amount of people who flocked to the first MMO’s caused the game to slow down considerable. For single player games this may not be a problem. However, if you are into MMO’s, a virtual world trading that much information, the result may become a drastic slow down even for the fastest internet service providers. The internet highway may start to resemble a Los Angeles freeway at 5:30 pm.
The problem doesn’t just apply to internet speeds. DA Johnson an avid gamer and consultant for a dsl internet company remembers when computers weren’t powerful enough to run Everquest. The people who were passionate about playing the game found themselves upgrading or buying top of the line computers, just to remain competitive. The reality is people will invest in VR equipment, only to find themselves lacking a computer powerful enough to make it fun.
The potential of VR technology and the fact that it is currently available is a very exciting idea. However, the hardcore gamer should temper their expectations and show patience before jumping into the VR jacuzzi with both feet.