More VR Thoughts

Ha, I had this written out and drafted:

“Having seen 2016 described as “the year of VR” by multiple outlets, and seeing the evidence myself, I thought I’d go ahead and tip my toe into the world of VR.

I went with the AuraVisor, a relatively obscure option in the VR market. To see my thoughts on it, skip ahead to the next heading.

After a few days of (April 2016) research, I concluded that these were my options:

The HTC Vive ($800) probably provides the best, most powerful experience available today. It also requires at least 2×1.5 meters to walk around — a space I could easily clear in my living room, but the real kink in the plans here is that moving my computer in there (necessary to power it) would be a major hassle. So the $800 price tag might have scared me away anyway, but logistically it just didn’t seem feasible as an introductory option.

The Oculus Rift has major shipping delays going on, and seems somewhat overshadowed by the Vive, so I didn’t give it too much thought. Somewhat similarly, Playstation VR is too far off to satisfy my immediate curiosity. Besides, these are still large commitments, money-wise… $600 and $500 + a PS4 respectively.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have Google Cardboard and its variants available for use with smartphones. Android is definitely the platform of choice for this route, and I just so happened to have gotten a Windows phone (and one without a gyroscope, at that — something smartphone VR apps use), so I didn’t want to go this route either. Samsung’s VR initiatives are android-based as well, and require their high-end phones, so it ends up being around a $600 investment, as well.

So the AuraVisor is a glorified Google Cardboard variant, priced at a premium for the conveniences it provides (a ready to go, wireless VR experience out of the box pretty much) I was okay with this idea, and this was a route to experience Android-based VR without the guilt of buying a second phone.”

— I planned on editing and posting this entry once I got my hands on the AuraVisor, but this was before I did a bit more research and became convinced that it was simply a terrible use of my money. I had indiegogo refund my contribution. If my non-gaming experiences on the Vive had been any indication, I would have looked at a few VR videos/apps, been like “well, this is underwhelming,” and regretting spending $400 on it surely. There are other reasons it’s a bad investment, but I think it’d be a waste of time to trash the product here.

If Google releases a stand-alone headset for Daydream, I might get that for my “mobile” VR solution and to compare against the Vive.

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