HTC Claims VR Needs Three- to Five Years to Take Off
Mobile giant HTC has claimed that virtual reality will need 3-5 years to bed in before it can be considered mass market technology
If it feels like it's been years since virtual reality became a thing again (the nauseating experiments of the 1990s don't count), that's because it has. When Oculus VR began touting its Rift VR headset as the next big thing all the way back in 2012, and it'll be next year before we see it hitting stores - and even longer before the mind-bogglingly intense hardware that underpins this new VR revolution takes price of place in the mainstream, at least according to Phil Chen, chief content officer of HTC, who are working on their own headset, Vive VR.
Speaking after a virtual reality panel at this year's TechCrunch summit in Beijing, Chen announced that he expects VR technology to "take some time... to go to the masses", but he remains extremely hopeful for the future of the emerging platform, particularly in the Far East, saying "Japan and China are very pro-VR, and we're starting to talk to everyone you can imagine who is in gaming or animation".
HTC's Vive VR headset is certainly playing catch-up on the likes of the Rift, and will be entering a space that'll be fiercely contested, as most major hardware manufacturers have now announced plans to compete in the VR market, with many already showcasing prototypes at trade events, but the company has a major advantage over most of its competitors: it'll actually be launching this year! While HTC refuse to be drawn on the level of availability, or even the device's final pricing, they have confirmed that "limited quantities" will make it to market before the end of December, meaning that they'll be joining Samsung among the first companies to market (Samsung's own Gear VR launches this month).
Claims from a major player in the industry that mass adoption will be less than immediate aren't entirely encouraging for those eager to get their hands on the new technology, but that timeline could well change when the Facebook owned Oculus VR launches the Rift, a device aimed predominantly at gamers, next year.