VR in 2018 – The New Wave

By Henry Stuart January 26, 2018

Virtual reality is about to have its next wave. Up to now, it has been finding its feet, with the longest beta phase of any emerging technology to date. We are now at the point where the technology, creative and price point are at that magic equilibrium. Here are the 3 key things I think will create a New Wave of VR in 2018.

1. New Headsets

Since day dot, VR headsets have had a few issues: 1. Price, 2. Wires, 3. Performance. These are all being addressed this year with the release of some truly groundbreaking products:

Oculus Go
It’s an all in one VR headset, no phone, no computer needed. A standalone VR headset. And, drumroll…. It’s only $200! This is a product and a price that VR has been gasping for. This headset is going to massively re-launch VR in 2018.

Vive Focus
HTC also have a standalone headset coming out, the Vive Focus. The main selling point of this headset is that it has ‘inside out’ tracking, allowing you to walk around interactive VR experiences. This is a big deal when it comes to making experiences that feel real and truly transport you with a sense of ‘presence’. However, this comes at a price – $600, so 3x the price of the Oculus Go. I think this will be an awesome headset, but I doubt it will have the same impact as the Go, purely because of the price.

Pimax 8k
Yep, 8K, you read it right. Well, when you dig a little deeper it’s actually 4k per eye… And then dig deeper, it’s 3840 pixels per eye… That’s still pretty impressive, compare that to the current Oculus Rift which is 2160 and you can see it’s a huge jump up. One of the biggest complaints I hear in VR is ‘I can see the pixels of the screen.’ Well, with the PiMax, that’s going to be heard a lot less. You’ll need a pretty powerful computer to render that content smoothly though!

The Oculus Go is one of a number of new headsets out this year

2. Ready Player One

Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s novel, Ready Player One, is due to hit the big screens in March in the UK. It depicts a dystopian future where people use VR-esque headsets to escape the real world for a magical and endless ‘metaverse’ called the OASIS. I think this film will have a massive impact on the adoption of VR worldwide as it will open the medium up to the masses like never before.


3. Cinematic VR

2018 is going to be huge for cinematic VR (aka 360 video). The medium has been gradually evolving, with pioneering directors discovering the vocabulary for narrative in the immersive space. Look out for work from the likes of Avril Furness and Charlotte Mikkelborg – both directors we’ve been lucky enough to work with at Visualise. Cinematic VR is currently much more popular than interactive VR, with the ratio rumoured to be as much as 75:25 on the Oculus Mobile platform. The Vive has a recently updated 360 video platform and production studios are just starting to hit their stride and create stunning films.
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