Palmer Luckey: VR will not go mainstream even if it is free

Posted on Sunday, Nov 04 2018 @ 22:41 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
In a new blog post, Palmer Luckey, the co-founder of Oculus, talks about the difficulties of bringing virtual reality to the masses. In particular, Luckey points out that existing virtual reality implementations are still far from what's necessary to drive mainstream adoption. He points out that even if you gave it away for free, the masses would stop using it after just a couple of weeks:
Lower pricing for existing VR technology can help expand the size of the active and engaged userbase, but not to nearly the degree many people would expect. I want to take this a step further and make a bold claim: No existing or imminent VR hardware is good enough to go truly mainstream, even at a price of $0.00. You could give a Rift+PC to every single person in the developed world for free, and the vast majority would cease to use it in a matter of weeks or months.

I know this from seeing the results of large scale real-world market testing, not just my own imagination – hardcore gamers and technology enthusiasts are entranced by the VR of today, as am I, but stickiness drops off steeply outside of that core demographic. Free is still not cheap enough for most people, because cost is not what holds them back actively or passively. I hope and pray I am wrong, but most people are not like you or me. If I had to make a concrete bet, I would put a hypothetical ultimate ceiling for VR in the next two years at perhaps 50 million active users, and that could only happen with an unreasonable amount of investment that would be better spent on other parts of the problem.
More at Palmer Luckey's blog.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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