Meanwhile, VR devs are going, “But what about sticking blinders on people’s faces and making them stay at home?”
-Syp, on Twitter
In sudden surge, the augmented reality game Pokemon GO does seem to have gotten more press over the last few days than virtual reality has gotten over the last few months. It has gone from the gaming press (I think half the stories at Polygon this week have been about the game) to the general press to showing up on the local news. When your local news anchor is saying “Pokemon GO” a couple times an evening, it is a sign. And then there was word of a movie based on the game as well.
Of course, this has been very much a perfect storm, an launch that managed to combine summer, when kids are off from school, have free time, and an inclination to go outside and do something, a free app for the smart phone so many people already own, and the immense popularity of Pokemon.
Meanwhile, the biggest VR news I have seen this week is that the Occulus Rift pre-orders from the beginning of the year have all finally shipped, but that the Touch motion controllers still do not have a firm date as yet. Go team.
Of course, a phone app and VR aren’t really comparable, but it is a reminder that there hasn’t really been a killer app for VR yet that would get the average person interested in buying an expensive headset and a high end PC or console to go with it. Right now it is still a niche product for enthusiasts.