For years now, I’ve been in the mindset of believing that specs simply do not matter. Whether that’s a laptop or a smartphone.
If it can run Facebook or Candy Crush for you, it will fun fine.
Anyone who asks how many cores are in the latest HTC device is simply irrelevant and pointless in my eyes. You may as well ask how many slices you can get from a Hovis bread loaf compared to another brand.
But lately I’ve been looking at the VR headsets, and I’m changing my mind on this.
But only slightly.
Before I owned a Mac, I had a custom-built PC.
Every component had been planned and bought for one by one. In time, everything had been collected, by which time it was ready and set to build and eventually play Half Life 2 on its highest settings.
It was great having something that you knew what was inside the system. No bloatware, no ‘free trials’ for programs, it was yours to do as you please.
But two years later and a graphics card upgrade, it becomes irrelevant to me. The games I wanted to play were accessible on emulators. Most were available on the Mac, and due to them switching to Intel, I could switch to Windows if I really needed to.
Ten years on, that still applies.
But I do have a choice to play games that won’t play well on the Mac, natively on the three PlayStation systems I own.
I try out an Oculus Rift back in 2013, and in those thoughts, I believe there and then that it’s the future.
Now in 2016, it’s become a consumer product, where anyone with enough money saved could purchase a mid-tier PC for £800, and have a HTC Vive to play.
Then I see Nerdcubed’s videos of VR, especially ‘Zen Blade‘ where you can use a lightsaber, and I become tempted.
So much so, I’m looking at hardware and brands I hadn’t looked up in years.
Oddly, it was nice to come back to seeing graphic cards specifications and how one was more efficient than the other.
Better still, they have simply gotten faster, and the architectures are improvements based on what I used to tinker about with, so I was able to catch up 10-odd years over a weekend.
This is when I come back to my original point;
Specs do not matter.
Except when you’re buying a VR headset.
That is now an important point, and will become more relevant as time goes on.
I can’t see Apple and Nintendo embracing VR until it can be used for long-term uses. They have their own plans and ideas for other areas, such as automobiles and health. Or augmented reality such as Pokémon GO.
But you can see it working with Boot Camp. The Mac Pro hasn’t been updated since 2013, but if it did this year, it would most definitely be VR ready, even though it would cost over £3000.
But this is why I’m holding back, why I will be looking into a PlayStation VR. It’s the best entry point for a headset in VR, and I’m sure there’ll be a way of having it working on a PC and Mac in time once it’s in the public domain.
Compared to £399 for PSVR and £639 for the Vive, it’s a no-brainer.
I imagine the cost will go down. It reminds me in a way to how the PS2 had a DVD drive and the Dreamcast didn’t. It gave Sony a great selling point, to easily have a DVD player in every household.
But with games such as Arkham VR, Star Wars Battlefront VR: Trench Run being available as close to its launch as possible, it can open up a wide audience, especially if these are free to download.
We’re still in the very early stages, similar to wearables, but they’re both definitely here to stay, it’s the next level of interaction to our devices we use every day, and a step closer to wielding a lightsaber in your front room.