My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Rivalry between @Facebook and @HTC – @Google, @Microsoft, @Sony and @Samsung in VR as Video Game Console Savior and smartphones Extinction

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Rivalry between @Facebook and @HTC – @Google, @Microsoft, @Sony and @Samsung in VR as Video Game Console Savior and smartphones Extinction

Virtual Reality is set to be big business in 2016. Potentially, it might even replace the Video Game Consoles as the next generation Platform for playing high-end immersive video games.

As is the case with any new technology, there are rivalries being formed. In the development of Virtual Reality, it is no different. There is a developing rivalry between Facebook, who purchased Oculus, a VR Developer and HTC, a smartphone maker partnered with Valve, a Cloud Gaming Developer. 

This rivalry that may come to define the direction the VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) world takes as explained in “Virtual reality may rule video games. Here's who will rule VR”, published May 22, 2015 by Ian Sherr and Roger Cheng, CNET News.

Rivalry between Facebook and HTC – MWC 2015 debut means smartphones and Tablets facing Extinction

Facebook had kicked things off by buying Oculus back in March 2014 for some US$2 billion as reported in my blog article entitled “Facebook buys Oculus Rift for US$2 billion - Facebook Social Virtual Reality Future as Smartwatches and smartglasses herald the death of the smartphone in 2015”.

No-one was sure what Facebook intended to do with Oculus Rift.

I'd speculated that they'd find a way to make the technology a lot smaller and portable enough to rival Google Glass but tailored for Console Gaming as reported in my blog article entitled “Facebook launches Nearby Friends feature - WhatsApp VoIP and Oculus Rift VR Wearable Computing Takes flight as FB look towards the Future in the Year of the Horse”. 

The partnership between HTC and Valve to develop the Vive VR Headset became public at possibly the strangest MWC (Mobile World Conference) 2015 I’ve ever written about as noted in my blog article entitled “Oculus Mobile VR Jam 2015 - How Samsung Gear VR is Gearing up for Competition in the VR and AR Space”.

This is because for the first time in years, the focus was on this new future technology that not only made the smartphone launches look mundane by comparison, but had the potential to make Video Game Consoles and smartphones obsolete by 2017 as described in my blog article entitled “Google Glass Designer Isabelle Olsson puts Leopard frames on Google Glass - Smart + Sexy = Smexy glasses Katy Perry Roar for Tablet and smartphone Extinction”. 

Google, Microsoft, Sony and Samsung  in VR – All the World’s a Stage as Content already in the works

There are other players now in the VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) Hardware Developer War. 

Google may possibly join with their Google Cardboard reincarnated as Mattel 's View-Master as well as a version of Android tailored for VR as predicted in my blog article entitled “@google to develope Google @Android for VR - Why a VR and AR War is looming on the Horizon in 2016”, as the story is far from finished:

1.      Microsoft Hololens
2.      Sony Morpheus VR Headgear
3.      Samsung Gear VR

We are now in the summer of 2015.  

Samsung Gear VR has launched their Samsung Galaxy Gear Developer Edition for Developers to play with in 2015 as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition expands your Galaxy”. 

Aside from this, none of these VR Headset Developers is yet to debut a completed product, albeit Content is slowly beginning to bubble to the fore.

One such example is the partnership between DeNa and Nintendo in March 2015 to develop Video game for smartphones may also include VR Headsets, due to the similar screen size as predicted in my blog article entitled “@DeNACorp and @NintendoAmerica partner for Smartphone and Tablet Games - Partnership to boost Mobile Games as VR and AR Beckons in 2016”.

User generated Content is also starting to appear, thanks to Google's launch of YouTube’s support of 360-Degree Panoramic Videos.

This means while Video Game developers twiddle their thumbs, mulling their decision as to which hardware to support, owners of 360-Degree Panoramic Cameras would have been some of the first to develope Content online that's best viewed in an immersive VR headset as predicted in my blog article entitled “@Google's @YouTube launches 360-Degree Panoramic Videos - How Google @Android VR makes Content for VR Ambitions”.

The video formats for 360-Degree Panoramic Videos have already been agreed upon and are already in play, with Content being published by YouTube Video Developers, albeit nothing particularly eye-catching has yet to be published.

What is now needed is a breakout video that not only utilizes the technology to its full potential but makes the connection as to how it can best be viewed using a VR headset.

By 2016, one if not all of these VR and AR Developers will debut a game-changing product in 2016. But even before that, there would have been Content online, both in the form of Games as well as 360-Degree Panoramic Videos, guaranteeing the success of VR and AR Headsets.   

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