October was a really hot month for VR!

The growth of the VR industry is extremely rapid and last month was crucial for the whole VR world.

Posted by Agnieszka Orlikowska on November 8th 2016

The growth of the VR industry is extremely rapid and last month was crucial for the whole VR world. Before the holiday season, Oculus, Google and Sony pushed their VR-related efforts making October extremely exciting. We witnessed a couple of big events and announcements such as: the Oculus Connect 3 Conference, the launch of the Google Daydream VR platform and the launch of Sony's PlayStation VR.

Oculus Touch Controllers and a new VR headset will be launched

One of the most important events that took place in October was the Oculus Connect 3 Conference organised in San Jose, California. There were dozens of revelations throughout the event, however, the most important announcements were the official unveiling of Oculus Touch Controllers and the company's new VR headset. Oculus Touch is a pair of wireless controllers that were designed to help us touch and interact with virtual worlds as if they were real. Touch brings motion-tracked input controls to the Rift platform. The controllers will be available on the 6th of December and ar reported to cost $199. At the Oculus Connect 3 Conference, Facebook Chief Mark Zuckerberg also announced that Oculus had begun developing a new VR headset. The product is in its prototype stage but it is reported to resemble the Rift. It is worth mentioning that Zuckerberg has already made it clear that the new VR headset will offer a standalone experience. It will allow users to move around in virtual reality without any wires whatsoever. Unfortunately, there was no word on when to expect it to ship or how much it will cost.

The launch of the Google Daydream VR platform

The same week that Oculus launched its Conference, Google was having an event of its own. The company announced the launch of Daydream, a new VR platform for Android devices that's built right into Android and is supported by Google's first VR headset: the Daydream View. The two things that inspired Google while developing the Daydream View design were compatibility and comfort. The device is made up of textured fabric with foam padding and it is paired with the wireless motion controller that allows you to easily navigate in the VR world. Daydream is said to bring the exciting VR experiences to those who can't afford HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Unfortunately, this new VR platform is only compatible with Android high performance smartphones so in order to fully enjoy the VR experiences with Google Daydream, you'll need either the Pixel or Pixel XL smartphone. From November 10, the headset will be available in the US, Canada, UK, Germany and Australia at the previously announced priced of $79.

The launch of Playstation VR

Last but not least we must mention the launch of Playstation VR. Sony's VR headset has been in the centre of attention since its initial announcement. PlayStation VR is a virtual reality head-mounted display unit (HMD) that plugs into your PlayStation 4 console. Its system is able to track movement thanks to built-in accelerometers and LED side lights detectable by a connected PlayStation camera. Sony boasted that the PS VR would come with some demo games at launch and it maintained its promise. Sony released its PlayStation VR headset on the 13th of October at the price of $399 which makes it undoubtedly the most accessible piece of VR hardware that has been released yet. So what can we expect next? There's no denying that the current technology is impressive and the time has come to start taking VR more seriously. Nevertheless, there are some questions that must be asked. Which of the three mentioned companies will manage to bring VR into the mainstream? Which one will become the leader of the VR industry? Will it be Oculus, Google or Sony? Or maybe some other company? At this moment, it seems that PlayStation VR is the best virtual-reality headset available on the market in terms of cost and content and this fact is also backed up by numbers. According to a recent report by Sony, till now Playstation VR sales have been a huge success (please read also: https://gamerant.com/playstation-vr- sales-546/). Will Google's Daydream manage to achieve as good results as Sony has? And what about the launch of Oculus Touch Controllers? The new tracking controllers will, without a doubt, take virtual reality to the next level but isn't their price too high? Will many people be willing to pay as much as $199 for a pair of controllers? Unfortunately, in order to clear all these doubts and answer the above questions we have to wait till the end of the year.