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No surprises on virtual reality

I read recently that Facebook is slashing the price of its Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) goggles, suggesting that they simply aren't selling as expected. But, to be honest, this comes as no surprise at all. I would suggest that VR suffers from exactly the same problems as 3D TV did (remember that?). There are some inconveniences we are prepared to suffer relatively briefly for the novelty experience. Think 3D glasses in the cinema or a VR experience at a games show. But for our everyday viewing or game playing, we don't want to be encumbered by attaching chunky hardware to our face.

I'm not saying that VR won't happen - it probably will. But I suspect it will only really become mainstream when it can either be done passively - using a large curved screen, for example - or if the headgear is so light and unobtrusive that we really don't care that it's there.

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