Nobody might purchase a PS5 or Xbox Sequence X this Christmas, in order that they purchased Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets.

Quest 2


It has been a very, very strange holiday season for many consumers, given the global scarcity affecting many products, especially video game consoles. It has been over a year since the PS5 and Xbox Series X launched, but consoles are just as hard to find now as they were when they launched, if not more, as scarcity has worsened. in many ways.

An interesting side effect seems to have occurred this year. With so few people actually able to find PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles to bring their friends or family with, we’ve seen a surge in another type of hardware. VR headsets. In particular, the Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets, for which the popularity of the Oculus app has risen to number 1 in the App Store, and which have generated enormous numbers of players for VR developers.

The developers have virtually no say in how ridiculous those Christmas boosts were for their games. You have never seen anything like this:

Are people just … really drawn to virtual reality all of a sudden? I think that’s an explanation, but I think it’s a confluence of factors, not just one thing.

  • I think console shortages play a big part in this. Even if your kid wanted a PS5, it’s still great fun asking them to open a VR headset and play with it on Christmas morning. It doesn’t produce sad recipients.
  • All the Metaverse hype could have been marketing work here. When you hear that this technology is far enough into the future, you may think it is time to pull the trigger and invest in it, even though reality is still far from those lofty dreams.
  • Finally at this point the price and ease of use of VR, especially Quest 2 which is relatively cheap (the price of a Nintendo Switch) and doesn’t require you to be connected to a PC. powerful gaming device to run (or use cables) is the easiest to use iteration of the technology we’ve seen to date.

A constant question has been whether there will ever be a “moment” for VR, a unique turning point where it has moved from niche adoption to mainstream adoption. I’m not convinced that such a lucid moment will come, or that a game can deliver it (if Half-Life Alyx didn’t, I don’t know what it would). But this is one of the most important moments I’ve likely seen for VR since its inception, and part of a slow and steady increase in mass adoption. It seems likely that we are still decades away from wiping out virtual reality, and it will continue to evolve in terms of tech capabilities, price, and portability, but it’s a big step forward. Even if his simply inaccessible material competition helped him.

I’m excited to see how the longer-term usage rates for the Oculus Quest will be here after Christmas. One of my main problems with VR is that it’s fun and exciting to use for the first time, but it can land on a shelf quickly when potential gamers return to more traditional games. on consoles, PC or mobile phone. It’s too early for these Christmas adoptive kids to say, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a downturn in the next week, even if the Christmas wave is good news for the scene overall.

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