Opinion: Virtual Reality Isn’t Worth More Than $250

To me the $400, $600, $800 price points of the Virtual Reality headsets are close to double of what they really should be. You can argue that it is to cover the cost of the equipment involved, the fact that is it the newest and greatest tech. In my opinion, as someone who hasn’t tried it, it isn’t worth the risk.

My personal view is that the VR headsets (Google excluded) are simply accessories to existing platforms/tech. It is the new technology, and sure, they have dedicated games, but it runs on a PlayStation 4, or a PC respectively. Which means that if you do not currently have a system that can run it the real cost isn’t simply $400, or $800. It is the cost of the headset, plus the cost of the system itself, then throw in any accessories you need for it. The cost quickly jumps from simply $400 to closer to $1,000. Which most people probably will not do right out of the gate. Which essentially eliminates half the population from using it.

Another point against it is the fad aspect of it. Taken from Merriam Webster a fad is defined as, “something (such as an interest or fashion) that is very popular for a short time.” Take a look at the previous items that have been accessories, or new innovative gaming items. The PlayStation Vita for instance; I bought this system at launch instead of a Nintendo 3DS, and enjoyed it for the month or so that I had it, until the games stopped, at which point I traded it in for the 3DS once Pokemon X and Y got announced. Do I enjoy seeing movies in the theater in 3D? Heck yes, it adds to the experience. But does anyone I know have a 3D TV? Nope. Can you buy 3D movies anymore? A few, but not many. Also, an extension of this is the Sony 3D split screen, where two players can play on one TV. Using the various lenses of 3D glasses, that’s still around right? Kinect? Fantastic start, no games, no real life span, and it is now used outside of gaming at NASA, and in hospitals. The first Wii, PS Move, I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. If this is simply a fad that is going to go away within the next year or two, it isn’t worth the investment.

It has been brought up that anything new is always expensive and always uncertain: the first TV, microwave, telephone. I hate to say it, but those are all (mostly) essential items. To look at the start of them, you have to go back in time since they have been around a while. The obvious point to go from here is that the VR headsets are just a starting point for it. But what can a VR headset do that a video game system can’t? Honestly, nothing. Sure it is an “experience” which we will get to in a minute, but beyond that? It’s a fancy screen.

Now to the part that I am sure we are all going to get sick of hearing. It is all about the “experience.” Now I wear glasses, and this puts a damper on many things in life, sunglasses, 3D movies, sticking your head behind your desk and various other things. If I am going to be convinced to buy a VR headset, I have to know it will be able to accommodate my glasses as I do not like contacts, and need my glasses to see most things far away. Now the fact I need glasses may not be an issue due to the fact of how close the screen is, but until I see otherwise, it is a valid concern.

Do not get me wrong, I do believe that Virtual Reality has a place, from all accounts I’ve heard stories of people loving it. And the social aspects of it seem phenomenal, such as having a group of people sitting around a campfire and just talking. That would be fantastic if a group of people have moved away, they can be basically together in a more physical sense than just a chat room on a computer. It does have its place in society, but I cannot help but feel it is overpriced at the moment. I would consider getting something such as the PSVR, as my computer is good enough to game, but not to run high end, ultra HD games. I would have been willing to pre-order it for around $250. I feel that would have been a fair price to take a gamble on. However I am not willing to put $400 down for Virtual Reality.

Former competitive Halo Coach, and former Microsoft Fan Boy. He is also a self proclaimed Star Wars Guru. He can be reached either on twitter at @OhMyApollo or Apollo@MammothGamers.com