But with Gear VR not being compatible with Samsung’s newest flagship phone, and with Google announcing in May that the Pixel 3A wouldn’t support Android’s built-in Daydream platform, it’s hard not to think that phone-based VR may be on the decline.
VR was sort of dead at CES 2019, sort of buried at E3 2019, and then Samsung and Google dropped out of the Cardboard-like phone-based viewer market. Paid VR content is said to be dead. IMAX said it is shutting down its VR theater offering.
Over the past six years since the Oculus Rift was introduced, the total number of VR users is estimated at 10 million – most of whom are video gamers.
I have three friends that are professional VR film makers, and one that has built a VR product for the dental industry. I get the dental product business model but do not get 2 of the 3 filmmakers’ business models.
A very few places are projecting VR video on to theater domes – this makes sense versus having everyone wear a large headset. But this is a far smaller market than was 3D.
I shoot VR myself, mostly still photos, that can be easily panned on Flickr or Facebook for 360 viewing without VR headsets.
VR was fading at CES 2019 – and it sort of seems that this might presage a collapse in 2020, similar to the path that was followed by consumer 3D (I shoot both 3D stills and video). VR remains stuck in gaming and is not being adopted by a wider consumer community. Proponents think it just needs better, new tech headsets.