I was scrolling through Variety when I saw, yet again, another Virtual Reality (VR) headline: “HTC Is Getting Ready to Launch a Mobile VR Headset (Report)”. HTC is responsible for bring big VR technology to the foreground with their models of HTC Vive for VR gear. The current Vive goes around $800, while it’s bundle set goes for around $3,000 dollars. The HTC Vive has many gaming functions, while the new mobile headset they are working on may overcome the ability to “lean in” the fantasy world.
With the growth of VR and its new found realisticness, not just from HTC, make me wonder where VR is going. Theres plenty of VR experiences, games, and even short films made in 360 right now; what I thought was going to be a short trend has grown into a phenomenon over the past years. Even when I attended Sundance last month, every “New Frontier” film/experience was some version of VR or Augmented Reality (AR) while past trends of experimental video has moved aside.
So what is it’s role in film? Personally, I still don’t think VR or AR will overcome the cinematic form we already have, but I do believe it will overcome gaming and online video. Cinema is not suppose to be “real” in all senses, but suppose to be beautiful and a form of story. Short form films and videos, though, may overcome the 2D format for it viewers to be immersed into a world for just a short amount of time.