Virtual Reality is the next big thing in gaming according to companies like Sony, Valve, and Oculus Rift. With the excitement in the air that we, the end consumer, will get our hands on them in the next couple of years, you hear speculation as to how each company can make sure that their piece of hardware stays afloat. Today I’m focusing on Project Morpheus, Sony’s VR Headset, and what is needs to get right in order to thrive int he gaming world.
The first thing you always hear when discussing the Morpheus is how Sony will find a way to “appeal to the mass market.” Many say that without the mainstream support of Morpheus, and VR in general, it will fall my the wayside just like the Virtual Boy did years ago.
I cannot put into words how much I disagree with this point and I have a huge example as to why this is so. On my eyes, Morpheus must capture the interest and purchases of the the hardcore gaming community itself. Without the support and buzz of the gamers, Morpheus is due for a quick death.
While I agree that a “mass appeal” price tag is smart (I’m thinking $349-$399), making the messaging and direction behind it not targeted straight at the gaming community would be a hiccup that Morpheus can’t afford.
Look at the Xbox One and Microsoft for example. When the Xbox One was unveiled a few years back, it was pushed to “appeal to a broader audience” with things like TV and the NFL being pushed more than games.
When gamers saw this, they caused an outrage on social media and more importantly with their wallets. Microsoft saw that this appealing to the mass market was not a good idea and reset their cross heirs to where they should have been all along, with the gamers.
The same goes for Morpheus. We need to be shown that this thing is for gaming and that there are developers and games that will thrive when used with Morpheus. If you get the hardcore gamers to embrace it, it will sell well initially and that will spark the interest of your average Joe. Once the gamers are given games that preform well with the headset, then they will be ok with expanding its functionality a bit more and making it more appealing to the broader consumer.
Sony has to come out guns blazing at this year’s or next year’s E3 though in terms of games and developers for the headset. This cannot be marketed as anything except an even better way to experience gaming on the PS4. Maybe down the line it can open itself up to other things, but in order for Project Morpheus to succeed it NEEDS the gamers’ support.
For that to happen, well it’s pretty simple, just bring the games Sony.