It should come as no surprise that, advertisers are casting their wistful eyes at VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) for 2016.
Virtual Reality gaming is expected to be huge in 2016 if the buzz at GamesCom 2015 in Germany was any indication of its potential to save the Video Game Console industry.
Predictably, with it will come VR Advertising.
Advertising is slowly dying on the smartphones and tablets as noted in Why the Rise of ad-Blockers is killing free Publisher and App Content. It’s not a solution to ad blockers, but is merely a new market to which to pitch more immersive advertising, possibly introduced via the Google Cardboard VR headset.
It’ll be literally in your face, adrenalin pumping, harder to ignore and look more like entertainment than an attempt to sell you a product or service.
So how real is the Virtual Reality Hype? Will it really go mainstream as many are predicting in 2016?
VR to dominate CES 2016 – HTC is ready and Playstation VR is still doing some NASA testing
Companies such as HTC and Valve and their Vive VR Headset, which had cleared FCC (Federal Communication Commission) testing, a requirement for electronic gadgets to go on sale!
More details on the working of their headset will be revealed at CES 2016 which is already shaping up to be all about Virtual Reality Home Entertainment!
Sony, makers of the Playstation 3 Gaming Console, are also looking to VR as their savior. They’ve renamed Project Morpheus as simply the Playstation VR. Sony is currently testing with NASA to develop Mighty Morphenaut, a system to remotely control robots on the ISS (International Space Station).
No date for when the Playstation VR is coming down to Earth, but expect to see it at CES 2016 with more Gaming and immersive video content and priced tentatively at US$518.99.
Microsoft Hololens – Microsoft Augmented reality coming for Developers
Microsoft has had a great year with Xbox One and Windows 10 as noted in Windows 10 at the end of July 2015 with Edge Browser and Cortana Personal Assistant.
They might continue that winning streak with the Microsoft Surface 3 and the Microsoft Hololens AR (Augmented Reality) headset, which Microsoft employees have been allowed to test out Hololens, posting their creations on social media using the hashtag #MadeWithHoloLens.
Microsoft also has a Developer program where developers pay US$3000 to buy a Developer kit for the Hololens to be able to develope Apps and other content for this new device.
Additionally, as of Monday January 11th 2015, regular customers of Microsoft can submit their ideas for apps, with the best ones being put to vote on twitter for future developement.
Samsung Gear VR – Virtual reality for Samsung Fanboys
The Samsung Gear VR is yet another contender in 2016 that’s already on sale for US$100 as proclaimed in US$99 Samsung Gear VR in November 2015 is a fanboy’s VR Dream.
Already, this device can easily be the Breakout product of 2015 along with the Samsung SUHD TV and truly made anyone pleased to receive them as presents as I’d predicted in How Samsung SUHD TV, Gear VR and Level On Pro are great Christmas gifts.
The Gear VR is going to get an improved ring controller which will debut at CES 2016. Still not so crazy about having to purchase a Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus or Note 5 to work with this headset, but it’s Samsung way of rewarding its loyal customers who love their tech innovation.
Facebook’s Oculus Rift – Facebook bet on Social Virtual Reality
As for the VR headset that started it all, the Oculus Rift that’s now owned by Facebook, they’ve got a nice surprise for 2016.
They’re launching their product with a family-friendly 3D platformer Lucky’s Tale included as part of the package to promote VR Gaming. The Oculus Rift differs from other VR headsets in that it needs to be connected to a computer to work.
Also, it may not be subsidized like other headsets. So expect pricing as high as US$$500 to US$600 range when the Oculus Rift comes out in 2016 after a CES 2016 debut.
More of a reason why Jamaica needs to have a Video Game Design and Developer and Design Competition to unearth Gaming Design talent!!
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