The VR revolution started a few years ago with the news about a new VR product called Oculus Rift which nearly captured the imagination and attention of consumers and developers alike. It was supposed to be a perfect product before Google came into the picture, made the same technology available to the masses at a cheaper rate and Oculus could not really do anything about it and lost a great market due to the long development time and high cost.
A few years ago I purchased a VR Headset from IamCardboard which was made from a more sturdy material which I thought would be perfect as compared to the Google version of it which was made of just cardboard. To be supportive of Google, google just made a prototype for everyone to build on and yes as a concept they nailed it. The concept is great and was sure a big hit on the future monies that companies like Oculus were going to make. Did they make a huge impact on Oculus? Is it worth spending your money on a Cardboard or any other VR kit? Lets find out.
Like I said I have been using VR Headsets for a while now. I have used multiple VR headsets and I straight off the bat, I am going to tell you to avoid the ones purely built by cardboard or other materials similar to it. The reason being simple, they are flimsy, prone to break, they are not really built to hold the weight of your phone so if you are really enjoying a VR game, you might end buy with a broken screen as the back walls are not solid enough to hold the phones weight, and the lenses come out often so you will have to manually place them back with glue which will cause a lot of finger prints on the lenses and the VR will then just give you a bad time. All the above mentioned things have happened to me other than breaking my phone. One night, after a couple of months, I was showing off my VR headset to my friends which I had purchased from IamCaradboard and the lenses just popped off and I had to manually place them back. My friends did enjoy the experience since they were a little intoxicated and unable to notice the blurriness because of the prints that I left on the lense but as soon I started using it, I noticed something was wrong and I did correct it but once the lense comes out, it will keep happening even if you are not using it.
But there are a lot of new ones that cost basically nothing and are good enough for daily and rough use. The number of games available are not too great however, they do offer a good change of things as compared to just pulling birds and aiming them at pigs. The first game that I started playing was called caaaaaaaarrrrdddboooaard or something like that where all you have to do is jump from a building through checkpoints and avoiding obstacles on the way. It was great, but my favorite genre was always horror and I played a lot of games like Sisters, 11:11, Chair in a Room, etc. But my favorite hands down was Insidious – The Game – its just amazing how they built up so much suspense in a game and even in broad daylight it will give you a feeling of being in the movie and will make sure you jump back and scream.
Google definitely did manage to put a dent on all future earnings that Oculus would have made. Oculus rift was my dream console and I wanted to get my hands on it as soon as possible but due to the long development time, they ruined it for me and many others like me. It was in development hell for too long and I did not want to pay $200 for a development kit and not the final product. Anyway, Google Cardboard came along and made things much easier and simple showed us how bad these VR kits can be. Now I might sound contradicting here but hear me out. VR is good but only for a few minutes whether it is Google Cardboard or it is an Oculus Rift. As soon as Ocuclus was launched at SMAASH in Gurgaon, I headed over there and faced a similar problem which I was facing with the cardboard which is that after only 5 minutes of usage, your head does start hurting and a lot of people using this for a virtual rollercoaster ended up puking. And the reason is simple, firstly, your body is not moving and your mind is forcing your body to think that it is moving. Secondly, Cardboard or Oculus – the optics are not that good, they might be good for a few things but not spending time in a VR environment as they do not put out images that are life like and the motions are too fast in some games and VR experiences that you are sure to get mental motion sickness.
So, is it worth it? Yes, just pick up one as it barely costs anything and does offer a great experience in terms of photography, Virtual Reality, and Gaming. The newest addition to my VR headsets was the VR Box ver. 2.0 which is damn cheap, sturdy, has good build quality, and the best part is that it has movable lenses. Shelling out a little money for this technology at this stage does have its own pros and cons, however, the extremely low cost does justify the issues that the current models have. Just go ahead and buy yourself one for a fun and cheap VR experience.