Virtual reality is firmly back in the spotlight at the moment and I’m not the only one giddy with excitement and nausea. Yup, that’s definitely a good feeling. The increase in attention is thanks in large part to the recent release of Sony’s Playstation VR. Recent events from Valve, Oculus, and Microsoft also offer plenty of insight into the progress and strategies of these global behemoths. The impetus and enthusiasm for VR is not in doubt, and the number of “it’s just a gimmick!” naysayers is dwindling by the day.

Microsoft’s recent announcement that VR is coming to Windows 10 via a number of 3rd party vendors and open standards stands in stark contrast to Sony’s more direct bull-by-the-horns approach, and in someways it echos and amplifies a conflict that has been raging in the background between Oculus and Valve (or at least between their fans). The arguments centre around control, investment, what is best for VR, and what is best for the consumer.

The simple fact is that even though virtual reality is a fantastic contraption, it faces an uphill battle to achieve market penetration so the investment from all 4 should be welcomed by enthusiasts from all quarters. However, VR is expensive and if you want to be involved then you need to pick a side to back with your cash. There are many obvious factors to consider when choosing, but one detail that gets less attention is the behaviour of these huge corporate entities, and the direction they are looking to take the technology. So let’s take a look at the big players:

Valve (HTC Vive)

Valve have done well to maintain their status as the patron saint of PC htc-vive-pre-systemgaming. Every step they are taking is a step towards open standards, and everything they do is fair to VR competitors, partners, devs, and punters. Their respected lighthouse tracking tech is available for anyone that cares to make hardware, their Steam VR platform supports Oculus Rift and even the yet-to-be-released Touch controllers. Gabe Newell has openly stated his opposition to exclusivity clauses, and Valve make funds available to fledgling VR developers without such unfriendly clauses. Gamers are not stupid, and we know well that Valve’s moves are ultimately self-serving as they want Steam to be the prominent content distribution platform for VR, but their methods are largely beyond criticism. There are no flies on Valve. The only negative you can really throw at them is that thus far they haven’t gained much traction, but that’s more a slight on our patience than on Valve’s behaviour.

Oculus (Rift)

For Oculus the fly count is less favourable. Their reputation has taken an riftheadsetblogabsolute beating. Owned and operated by the personal info-mining Facebook, and founded by a man now tarred by his controversial support for the views of Donald Trump, Oculus are perceived as a shadowy cloud of pestilence and famine. VR gamers have had to battle to reverse a move to block Vive gamers from playing Oculus games. Oculus also fund developers to make exclusive or timed exclusive games for their platform, but within the PC space that they operate this is a forbidden practice and PC gamers remain vigilant against it.

The PC VR battleground has become something of a good vs evil showdown. Evil’s saving grace is that the Rift is actually very good hardware, and the exclusives that they fund are actually pretty good games. Their approach may be unpopular, but their investments into VR have undeniable benefits and this whole VR movement is largely thanks to their efforts.

Sony (Playstation VR)

Playstation VR carries a lot of the same characteristics as Oculus. Their psvr-listing-thumb-01-ps4-eu-14mar16_psdsoftware platform is inherently exclusive, they fund exclusive and timed exclusive games, and their software and hardware form a locked in ecosystem. They are hitting VR early, with a mind to take control of this emerging market so that they can dominate it for years to come. However, Sony stand proudly on a different battlefield to Oculus where none of this breaks any rule or etiquette. Rightly or wrongly, this is exactly what console gamers expect and Valve’s holy aura does not permeate this place.

In fact right now there is nobody else on this battlefield at all, which means Sony can claim credit for making virtual reality available to a wide swathe of people that might otherwise run the risk of a Samsung phone exploding in their face. They have invested significantly into virtual reality, and that is wonderful news for the fledgling tech. Much like Oculus, you may question some of their motives but ultimately the resources and expertise they have thrown in are a massive positive for VR.

Microsoft (Digital Herpes)

And finally we have everyone’s least favourite pantomime villain; shrugMicrosoft. They’re late to the party, but probably have sinister plans to fleece us all and completely ruin VR for everyone.

Their recent announcement that VR support is coming to Windows 10 with open standards, supporting a range of headsets from various vendors actually appears to be very positive. Open standards are the ideal for VR in all respects. It allows for rapid advancement and competition in the hardware space. It allows developers to make games for the widest audience they can reach. It allows consumers to buy the VR they want based on the price and merit of the hardware, rather than restrictions imposed by software exclusivity.

Let’s not celebrate just yet though, as this is Microsoft. Their standard will probably exclude Vive and Rift, send detailed analysis of our brain activity to the NSA, and urinate in our cornflakes. Probably. And more pertinently, thus far they simply haven’t matched the investment of the other 3. Microsoft are sitting back and letting the others drive VR forward. If not for the investment and risk taken on by Sony, Facebook, and Valve, it is unlikely Microsoft would ever have turned up at all.

So which company’s efforts are you supporting? What does the future of VR look like under each of them? Or is it all about the here-and-now, and you already have a Playstation 4 so this isn’t even a question. Let us know in the comments below! No registration necessary.

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Asa W

I am just some British chap that is enthusiastic about games and related technology. I put my opinions into articles thinking other people might want to read them, so you could probably call me egotistical as well. Any publishers or platform holders reading this: My integrity can be bought for a low low price. Call me xx

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21 Responses

  1. Xbox one is da best says:

    And what i sayd is the true.
    For the 4 month in a role Xbox One beats the POS4. I have said it before, this is it.
    The Xbox consoles will outsell the POS4 for the rest of this year and the coming year.
    I was called a troll my arguments where wrong, no way the Xbox One could win 3 month on a row and now just like i said it won 4 month in a row.

    Cal me a Troll an Xbot, cal me out for my spelling call me dumb and a idiot, i dont care.
    This just prove that when a pony has no arguments agains the TRUE i am telling they go
    insulting me.

    Microsoft is winning and you all can not handel the true. Come on JUMP IN ;-))

  2. Theodore Marvin "Ted" DiBiase says:

    Which brand’s VR headset is in the title photo for this post? can’t say it look too comfortable.

  3. Xbox One is da best says:

    Septic Septic, i do not understand you. You are a diehard Microsoft and a Xboxfan just like me. I have read all your opinionpieces on other websites, and i must must say all your opinionpieces are spot on. I love them cous you are defending Microsoft and the Xbox One till dead.
    Only the ponys on one website are in full force against you. Every comment you make and every opinionpiece you write an army of pos4 ponys vote you down, just because you are Septic.
    But you dont give up defending the Xbone One and Microsoft. You are one of the best Xbox One and Microsoft defenders on the internet, and i love you for doing that.

    You are a Xboxfan pur sang and whe are proud of you, whe Xboxfans.
    All Xboxfans and ponys know that i am right, and they know you are one of the best Microsoft and Xbox One defenders on the internet.

    Keep up the good work, whe need a diehard fan like you, you make Xboxfans proud.
    To everyone, lets all JUMP IN to the best console with the best and most firstparty games every year, there is only one console that has that and that are the Xbox consoles.

    • GingerBreadMunchies says:

      Not at all. If you refuse to spell properly, it makes you look like an uninformed, uneducated tool. That does nothing but play video games. Your opinion can’t be taken seriously, because you can’t be bothered in the first place to put forward your opinion in an understandable fashion. Your rants take on the unformed dribble of a mental patient.

      So, maybe first learn how to spell properly, stop attacking Sony fans at the first comment you post, then perhaps people will take you seriously. Until then, you can’t be taken seriously, like, at all. Sorry, but that’s your doing, and you are the only one that can correct it.

    • G. Lehri says:

      Seriously- stop it please -_-‘

  4. Xbox One is da best says:

    O come on boys, the salt is strong PO…o i’am sorry, ponys. I know the true in my arguments hurds you big time.
    And “arguments” about my spelling and my writing is only moving the goalpost.
    My arguments are spot on and you guys can not deal with the truth in my arguments.
    And than to ask to ban me is cous you cant handel the true and have no arguments against it.
    You are sour losers, keep the salt on coming. The true is that the Xbox One outsould the poor POS4 with big numbers, for 3 month in a row and it will outsel the POS4 (pro) for the rest of the year and it will do so till the Xbox Scorpio comes out.
    Then its all done. The Scorpio will crush poor POS pro with can not even do propper 4K gaming. Microsoft has done a big effort for the true gamers, Xbox One gamers.
    Xbox and games for Windows will crush POS consoles and the poor line up of first party games. Xbox One has more AAA first party games this year, and it will have more excl.’games next year.
    It is time for you ponys to buy a real console and that console is the Xbox One.
    Keep salty, you amuse me, cous you dont have arguments against it. Come on boys JUMP IN in the beautiful world of Xbox consoles and excl. AAA games.

    • G. Lehri says:

      All the “pony” talk and Xbox worshiping really serves to discredit any arguments you try to put forward. I mean seriously; do you honestly think anyone is going to take you seriously when you’re just insulting people and talking about people being ‘salty’ all the time?

      Come on. I appreciate that you take the time to comment on our humble little site but try and change up your points/arguments so its more conducive to a reasonable debate. Pretty please? :)

      • GingerBreadMunchies says:

        That’s like asking a rattlesnake to not bite. Not gonna happen if you keep poking at it with a stick…………

      • GingerBreadMunchies says:

        Done with this site. If that’s the only comment that Xbox guy can make, I don’t care to read the articles here anymore. Because every time I read one, there he is, with the same shit, over and over and over and over again. I prefer intelligent conversation.

  5. Xbox One is da best says:

    No Microsoft is not stupid, they are smart. They let poor $ony invest a truckload of money in POS vr and have no idea if they make money of it. They are stuppid. This POS vr will make them bankrupt, it will fail.
    Microsoft was so smart that they let poor $ony invest in Bluray, and Microsoft let poor $ony take the risk.$ony was nearly bankrupt. When Bluray broke trough then Microsoft
    put it in the Xbox One.
    Verry smart move, let the others take the risk and put in a truckload of money, then when it is a succes then use it with zero investments.
    That is smart, that is the way you run your company, and that is the American way.
    Whe Americans are the smartest people in the world
    Poor poor $ony is not only poor but also stupid, thats why they are loosing,
    They are stupid and arrogant as hell. And all the PONYS believe everything $ony says.
    Microsoft is very smart and poor $ony and the PONYS are very very dumb.

    • Theodore Marvin "Ted" DiBiase says:

      I’m surprised you have time to comment on hear in between writing speeches for Donald Trump.

      • Theodore Marvin "Ted" DiBiase says:

        *typo on hear, should have been here.

      • GingerbreadMunchies says:

        Yeah, I just found this site myself, and having looked through a few articles and the comments he makes, the guy seems….. Unhinged, to say the least…………….

    • Dak says:

      Xbox One is da best your a douche. I live in the USA not America as that could mean north south or central America. You are everything that is wrong with the usa rolled up in to on fine ball of shit. Have a good one.

      • G. Lehri says:

        No need for personal insults Dak.

        “I live in the USA not America”


        • GingerbreadMunchies says:

          The guy insults anyone that owns a PS4. I think efforts need to be made to stop his posting comments. He does the same thing in a few articles, then when anyone calls him on it, he calls them a PONY (big capital letters.) I for one don’t appreciate it when someone can’t make a decent argument, or can’t spell properly for that matter. It hurts my eyeballs trying to read it.

  6. Theodore Marvin "Ted" DiBiase says:

    I think it’s too early for me, it must be best to wait to see which format p*rnhub supports.

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