Consumer VR headset sales are “exploding” due to Oculus Quest 2, which makes commercial, entertainment and other venues the same, said consultant Bob Cooney in his keynote presentation at the Amusement Expo International.
The future is virtual. It doesn’t matter where you reside, either physically or figuratively; much of 21st century interaction will be virtual.
Bob Cooney, an RV consultant, sent this message as an example to the recent Amusement Exo International at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with his image projected on a screen in his Australian office.
|Bob Cooney “toured” the conference room with his image broadcast from a robot.|
“People want better immersion, and when people start getting used to virtual reality, 2D screens, LCD screens won’t be enough,” he said during his main session: “The moment of virtual reality and what it means to you “. “
While Cooney focused most of his statements on the amusement machine industry, he encouraged his Las Vegas listeners to visit Omega Mart, an interactive and mind-blowing artistic experience in Area 15 of Las Vegas. Vegas demonstrating the application of virtual reality to traditional grocery shopping. He described Omega Mart as a combination of an immersive grocery store, an art museum and an entertainment center.
“It’s beyond categorization,” Cooney said. But “the reviews are off the charts … they’re selling like crazy.” Area 15 is a shopping and entertainment complex a mile west of the Las Vegas Strip.
VR headsets explode
What makes Cooney so sure of the impact of virtual reality in the future? The consumer. He said sales of consumer VR headsets are “exploding” because of Oculus Quest 2, making commercial, entertainment and other places the same.
He called it the “e-Phone moment for virtual reality.”
For anyone in the room, Cooney showed statistics indicating that virtual reality games have increased 110% year-over-year, from one million connected units to 3 million in 11 months.
“If that growth curve is maintained, we’re talking about 80 million headphones in the next five years,” he said.
To prove he’s not alone in his predictions, Cooney pointed to John Riccitiello, CEO of Unit Technologies, a software developer, who said that by the end of the decade, VR devices will be on par with consoles. current games.
“By the end of this decade, it’s very likely that we will see virtual reality as the next consumer gaming platform,” Cooney said.
Facebook drives growth
Facebook, owner of Oculus, is doing its part to drive growth.
“They’re subsidizing hardware costs like telecommunications companies did with the first iPhones,” he said.
And so far it works: the number of active monthly Facebook users continues to grow and is now nearly 3 billion users.
Creative studios also take note and create virtual reality experiences for entertainment venues.
Netflix, for example, produces location-based RV attractions that will travel around the world.
“We’re seeing big money coming into the industry,” Cooney said. “They come in with a real team interest in immersive technology and specifically virtual reality right now, which is how a lot of people bring these experiences to market.”
“This is the next display technology that our industry is adopting,” he said.
Putting virtual reality into a historical perspective, Cooney said the iPhone was launched in 2007 after a weak growth in smartphones, with growth of 100% a year for two consecutive years, with a market penetration of 65% in five years.
In the entertainment industry, a new platform emerges every 10 to 15 years, he said. Arcades moved to console / PC, followed by mobile VR is the next platform.
Meanwhile, headphones continue to improve
The HTC Vive Focus 3, with magnesium alloy crane, interchangeable battery and removable magnetic front plates for cleaning, has a 5k display where Quest was less than 4k. The field of view, which determines how far you can see, has been extended from 89 to 120 degrees.
It also includes full tracking, so no tracking cameras are needed.
“Everything stays inside the headphones,” he said, adding that initial reviews have been positive.
|Bob Cooney introduces Sean Griffin of Nomadic.|
Growth during the pandemic
The pandemic did not stop Nomadic, a location-based VR entertainment provider, from introducing its Lightsaber VR game.
Cooney introduced Sean Griffin, nomadic CEO, who also appears on screen, to describe his experiences launching the game through the pandemic.
The nomadic team was challenged to test it on the field as many locations were closed, but by the end of 2020 there were more than 200 game cabinets on the field.
A poll indicated that 55% said the game was excellent, but that many had bad experiences.
The team then reordered the instructions, making it clear that users had to use the tutorial, to which they added text. They also streamlined the tutorial to focus on fewer elements.
They re-entered the game and re-watched the players in action.
After the second set of observations, the team made some additional changes.
They perfected the language and removed the “omit” option from the tutorial.
The level of commitment improved. All players threw the lifebuoy instead of 40% at first. Three-quarters said it was an excellent experience.
“We’re thrilled to see that now everyone is doing it,” Griffin said.
Asked about the future, Griffin echoed Cooney, saying the studios want to reach customers from more locations.