VR – Elite Dangerous and Further Thoughts

So Nimgimli left a comment regarding the state of VR with regard to ED’s Odyssey expansion. Apparently this is what happens when I’m busy doing everything but paying attention. The state of VR for EDO is hardly new news, it seems, with posts talking about the current implementation going back at least a year. Given the performance issues that exist in the non-VR version and what I’m sure is a tricky thing to do to begin with I can see how things ended up here.

The bottom line is that doing anything about it isn’t currently on the roadmap. Considering one of the things I like about Elite is its immersiveness, I think I’ll probably pass on Odyssey for the time being. The other ongoing problems are a factor as well, but the harsh break incurred by switching to and from VR just isn’t the experience I’m looking for. I may still try VR with the traditional Elite gameplay though. The content I have in mind wouldn’t benefit much from Odyssey anyway.

Since I general consider VR to be a bit overpriced for what it has to offer, I figured I would look around and see what else might be of interest. As I expected, I didn’t really see a whole lot, though I did notice the Star Wars Squadrons also appears to support it to some degree. My experience with it is limited, but some time with VR and its “instruments only” mode could be interesting. It could also be annoying and frustrating.

Unfortunately I didn’t see much else that grabbed my attention. I’m still going through the 5000ish VR titles, about 3700 of which are VR only, so we’ll see. Using Steamdb.info makes it much easier to browse. There were things that looked like they might be fun to play with for a bit, but not for the full retail price of a VR headset. That makes sense too. Why develop a game for a small fraction of the market when you can make one with a much larger audience?

I looked through the concurrent player charts for a few titles and the vast majority of them don’t break 100 often or at all. Among the ones I looked at, the exception was Beat Saber, which does not surprise me. When I limited the list to VR only, I found one or two more that seem to be doing pretty well. The multiplayer shooter Pavlov VR seems to be doing fairly well for itself, though that’s not really my thing.

I’m curious how large the market for these games really is. If I assume Beat Saber and Half Life Alyx are among the most popular paid titles, it looks like sales top out somewhere between 2 and 5 million units. Having said that, I’m completely ignoring PSVR and I don’t feel like looking it up out of sheer curiosity. I’m just sort of rambling at this point anyway.

I just don’t know that we’ve quite hit the maturity and saturation to make it worthwhile, not to mention, though the numbers suggest Valve probably grossed somewhere in the ballpark fo 150M USD on Half Life Alyx.

Y’all take care.


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