Monday, March 28, 2016

Could 3-D Virtual Reality Headsets Increase The Popularity of 3-D Movies?

Given that more and more people are now downloading (hopefully legally) movies online, could new and improved affordable 3-D virtual reality headsets increase the popularity of 3-D movies?

By: Ringo Bones 

Despite 2016 is being dubbed as the “Year of Virtual Reality” it seems that Hollywood has yet to tap into the 3-D virtual reality headset PC gaming world for the high resolution 3-D movie viewing potential of their existing kit. At present, those “large-scale” IMAX movie theaters are the most popular way to watch 3-D movies in its maximum quality at a relatively “affordable” cost. But due to the increasing popularity of online movie downloads (hopefully legally downloaded) could the increasing availability of relatively affordable 3-D virtual reality headsets make high quality 3-D movie viewing at home a possibility and make 3-D movies popular again since the post James Cameron’s Avatar dip? 

The reason why Facebook purchased Oculus Rift for 2 billion US dollars is probably due to the perfection of its “headache free” virtual reality headset a few years ago. Oculus Rift VR headset costs US$599 and is one of the widely available models out there. HTC Vive is another widely available VR headset at US$799 while the “cheapest” one out there is the Sony PlayStation VR at US$499. But can all of them be used to watch 3-D movies at home with an image quality as good as or better than those in large scale IMAX movie theatres at your local mall? 

At present, there aren’t any dedicated 3-D movies that can take advantage of existing VR headset’s 360-degree surround view capability. Worse still, personal computers that are powerful enough to be fully compatible to those widely available 3-D virtual reality headsets that serious PC gamers can do without only represent 1-persent of the computers already running around the world. And if you only use your PC for basic schoolwork, chances are it isn’t part of the 1-percent that’s fast enough and had the requisite video cards to run a state-of-the-art 3-D virtual reality headset currently used by serious PC gamers. And to take advantage of future online high resolution 3-D movie content, chances are, your existing Wi-Fi or internet connection might be too slow.