The Y of VR

Steve Masur

Managed Risks
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Here’s my Y theory of the VR marketplace. Since there is no common file format for making VR content, and no common platforms, each piece of content made has to be custom-made for each platform. We saw this with computers, as well as in mobile. Until there is a common platform, the larger set of creative producers will not produce VR works. Only a few will produce them. So you are not likely to see a lot of content produced for the middle of the market, best analogized to console games, and characterized by Oculus Rift. However, there is a common platform for low end confectionary VR; Google Cardboard. As a result, a wide variety of creative producers can, and have produced for the Google Cardboard platform. This content has limited production value, so it sells at the lower end of the pricing scale. Content can also be made at the higher end of the pricing scale, where production values are critical, and the cost of custom development for a particular platform (or creating in a proprietary platform) is a non-issue. So for example, it works fine for a company to make walk-through VR presentations for large buildings that have not yet been built, or special event theater productions, where the price point is minimally $25,000 per unit up to the millions of dollars.

Thus, there is low end content, and high end content, but nothing in the middle. It is a Y market for VR content.