The Catch 22 of VR

So a ton of people are really excited about VR. To be honest, I am too, but there’s a serious hindrance to the future of it. It’s really simple, but something that’s going to be difficult to overcome. Okay, what am I talking about?

Well, it’s the serious issue for most every new hardware platform, but it’s especially true for VR. It all boils down to this: developers aren’t willing to spend millions of dollars on games with little to no chance of return. This is far worse for VR than most new tech because of two reasons:

  1. Gamers who purchase VR are typically quite hard core gamers because of the extremely high, early adopter price tag. This isn’t so great since these are the types of gamers who rush through hundreds of hours of gaming in weeks. So these players need massive games, which brings me to issue number two.
  1. The market is incredibly small for VR right now, so companies aren’t willing to spend millions on these large scale games with practically zero chance of return on their investment. That’s why you essentially only see demos right now, yet even these carry a hefty price tag. It’s simple supply and demand. There isn’t enough demand, so investment won’t be huge and really the only way to get the investment back on even the smallest of games requires a big price. Imagine a full game: the price would have to be upwards of $100.
    And here is where the catch 22 comes in: gamers aren’t going to drop hundreds of dollars on the equipment without decent games on it. So we’re in this crossroads of sort that probably won’t budge for quite a while. To top it off, until hardware sales go up, price won’t be coming down for a while either. Sure, component prices will drop thanks to devices that use similar tech, IE phones, but it won’t drop significantly enough to dramatically lower the price.

So where do we go from here? I’m not sure really. If something doesn’t happen soon, the early adopters will get sick of tech demos and this whole thing will essentially implode. Until triple a titles are fully brought onto the platform or more gamers jump on the possibility of “maybe,” I don’t see it going much further. What do you think? Am I completely off? Let me know in the comments below.

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