Game over for virtual reality?

Dec 01, 2017

LIKE the rest of the consumer-electronics industry, video-game makers would be lost without the traditional binge buying that happens between mid-November and the late December. This year’s gift-giving season will be as much a treat for makers of video-gaming gadgets as for their happy recipients. Prices of the headsets, sensors and controllers that let game-players explore the artificial world of virtual reality (VR) have been slashed to levels most families can now afford. Stockings could be bulging with VR headsets from Samsung, Dell, Sony, HTC, Oculus (a division of Facebook) and others. For those willing to wait until early 2018, costs could fall still further—as a new, even cheaper generation of VR headsets hits the market.

Despite the merry ho, ho, ho, however, there is a distinct whiff of urgency in the air. Virtual reality has failed to live up to its hype, and mainstream consumers never really bought into the technology. Even ardent gaming fans have been slow to embrace...

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