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Virtual Reality at SXSW

Virtual reality may be the future of gaming, movies, and consuming media, but it still has a long way to go. That hasn’t stopped Oculus, Samsung, HTC, or even Google from trying to show consumers and techies what the future may look like. The future they’re envisioning is even more disconnected from others than what it currently is. If you look into an average American home the family is sitting around a large screen watch the nightly news or their favorite TV series not talking or interacting. If VR head sets become the norm in living rooms everyone would be in their own bubble disconnected from their surroundings, and the people around them.

The controls of VR sets are wonky, ill conceived, and for the most part non-existent. On top of that after a prolonged time in the head set you’ll become nauseous and dizzy. If their were better controls than a track pad on the side of the headset or using a Xbox or PS3 control I would be more enthused. While these companies keep on saying they are working slow in order to build these new technologies it doesn’t look like they know where they are going. I don’t want a simple controller in my hand, I want something that responds to hand gestures and works more like a Wii controller.

Another hurdle these hardware makers will need to jump is finding developers and film makers to create content for these devices. I’ve yet to see a compelling game or movie that makes me want to own one of these devices. If Minecraft, Halo, or GTA were adapted for these headsets you’d see me throwing money at the screen. Films also have a lot of thought that need to go into them for these VR sets, because the users can change what they are looking at. This means a user could miss key points because they were looking at the wrong side.

The other issue for VR headset is price. Samsung took a route that could pay off in the end. They’ve decided to slap you’re Note 4, soon S6 and S6 Edge, to your face. This means that you wouldn’t need to buy extra hardware, just the contraption to hold it onto your face. This is similar to Google Cardboard, which is a piece of cardboard that lets you use your phone for virtual reality. Samsung could reach more users because they already own the most expensive part of the headset.

While I think VR still has a long way to go, its come a far way since the original Oculus was shown off. Their are hundreds of companies working to build software, games, movies, and hardware to make VR a reality. The future may have us wearing our headsets at home and not talking to our friends or family. It may also bust much like 3D TV’s have, but it all hinges on content. It doesn’t matter if everyone wants to buy one, without a real reason to use them they are pieces of junk.

Tell us in the comments below what you think about virtual reality and if you’d want to watch movies and play games on these devices.