Where’s the VR Beef?

Nick Heer, writing at Pixel Envy:

Are businesses chomping at the bit to have staff sit in a virtual board room instead of just on a call? Is this solving a meaningful problem for them?

Zuckerberg preemptively responded to criticisms like these by reminding everyone that this category is just getting started. But that is a bit of misdirection. Oculus, the virtual reality hardware company Meta bought, was founded in 2012; Meta bought it in 2014. On a technical level, Meta can point to plenty of improvements. But it is much more difficult for anyone to point to clarifications in the concept and purpose of virtual reality. Again, I would be an idiot to argue there are none at all, but this week’s keynote would have been a great time for Meta to illustrate something new and enrich the story. So far, it does not have legs.

I quipped to my Dithering cohost Ben Thompson a few days ago that it sort of feels like Facebook is building the BlackBerry of VR. The obvious low-hanging fruit platform, just waiting to be disrupted by some actual breakthrough platform — by Apple, perhaps, again — at some point in the future. But the more I think about it, I think that’s unfair to BlackBerry. BlackBerry was, for its time, a sensation. It wasn’t a mainstream hit, but the people who used BlackBerrys loved their BlackBerrys. They called them “CrackBerrys”.

I don’t see anyone saying “I wouldn’t want to go back to life without it” regarding their Quest headsets.

Friday, 14 October 2022