Train2Game News VR audience survey

Steel Media has completed a survey of its audience on new specialist VR site TheVirtualReport.biz. 
Highlights of the report have been provided ahead of the report’s full release alongside Steel Media’s flagship event in London. The biggest mobile gaming conference in Europe, Pocket Gamer Connects London, takes place 16-17th January 2017 and incorporates VR Connects, a dedicated area for the VR industry.

The survey highlights provide key insight into the future of this rapidly expanding sector. The VR and AR industry is looking forward to 2017 despite some apprehensions. Over 62% predicted a positive or very positive outlook for VR this year. Only 16.13% had doubts due to Brexit. Adoption of the latest tech is being fuelled by indie developers working with VR and AR, but the industry is calling on government to safeguard its future.

Lack of investment in UK, or a skills shortage, were considered the two most likely threats to the VR business caused by Brexit. Uncertain consumer interest in VR was considered the biggest current threat generally, said 60% of those who took part. Government investment in tech R&D was the biggest factor which 46% of those surveyed thought would help the UK stay at the forefront of VR development.

Many of those surveyed have yet to release a VR product, almost 50% have been operating for under two years and most have under $20,000 in development budget. Of those that disclosed their expectations, the majority expected their 2016 profits to be 5% or less, although almost 34% expected this to be more than 2015.

There are key hardware players at the forefront of VR and AR who respondents are working with. HTC Vive, with 63%, was seen as most important, closely followed by Oculus Rift with 55%. Mobile VR also featured significantly, with Google’s platforms Android/Daydream (53%) and Samsung Gear VR (52%) taking the third and fourth slots.

117 VR industry professionals took part in the survey, Developers were the largest group who took part at 55%. The majority of those surveyed were from: Europe (41%), UK (16%) and US and Canada (26%).

Chris James, Managing Director, Steel Media:  “The games industry in the UK is vital to the British economy. Mobile continues to be a successful business area. And our research now shows that developers see huge potential in VR and AR. It’s interesting that any doubt in 2016 came not from Brexit but from the need for education and investment. We’ve launched our new event VR Connects alongside our hugely successful mobile event, and continue to grow our website TheVirtualReport.biz, to support this growing sector. This is just the beginning!”

The survey took place on the TheVirtualReport.biz, giving insight from VR professionals operating in the games industry. The survey was completed in tandem with a survey of the mobile games industry on PocketGamer.biz. The full results of both surveys will be available online to coincide with the launch of the biggest mobile gaming industry event in Europe,

Pocket Gamer Connects London, and its sister event VR Connects London, take place on the 16th and 17th of January at The Brewery on Chiswell Street. Some tickets to the event are still available at the time of writing. Over 74% of people surveyed said they considered networking opportunities to be the deciding factor on whether to attend an event or not; for this reason PG Connects and VR Connects has a dedicated Pitch & Match meeting system, two SpeedMatch sessions, the Very Big Indie Pitch and VR Indie Pitch for showcasing projects and more, including the hugely popular Global Connects party.

More information can be found at http://www.vr-connects.com/london and http://www.pgconnects.com/london

Train2Game News No Camera Motion Controller VR

​Finch, a virtual reality startup, will showcase their Mobile VR Kit based on No-Camera Motion Controller at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Finch has designed the Shift as the first no-camera motion controller to bring exceptional VR experience to smartphone owners. Shift matches the functionality of the best motion controllers for Oculus and HTC Vive without the need for external cameras and wires. By the end of 2017, Finch is aiming to add inside-out room scale tracking by smartphone camera and will have at least 50 mobile VR multiplayer apps compatible with Finch Shift.

The controller employs modified IMU sensors to determine real-time hands’ position with sub-centimeter accuracy and a 360-degree tracking range. Coupled with the ‘PC-to-mobile’ streaming software, it allows running existing Steam VR, Oсulus and HTC Vive apps and games on smartphones. The Finch Shift will also allow mobile gamers to interact in virtual reality through a multiplayer option.

Finch Shift’s Developer’s Kit, priced at $179, includes the sets for both hands, SDK/API, accessories, three demo games and the streaming software pack. The DK1 will be shipped in February 2017. The consumer version will hit the market in the second half of 2017 after Finch’s Kickstarter campaign this spring.

“We believe that Finch Shift VR Kit will accelerate consumers’ interest to virtual reality in the near future. The main reasons for slow market expansion have been limited functionality and low quality of content for mobile VR, and prohibitive costs of high-end hardware. With the Shift Kit, anyone who has a decent smartphone can play the best virtual reality games from SteamVR and mobile VR app stores. Plus, you can share the fun with your friends, just like you do it with console gaming,” said the company’s CEO Alexey Kartashov.

In spite of billions of dollars invested in virtual reality startups, current market demand for VR gadgets is significantly below earlier predictions. The industry experts see the mobile VR segment as the key to the doors to virtual reality consumer adoption. Tractica researchers forecast global sales of smartphone-powered VR devices to reach 323 million units between 2015 and 2021. However, lack of natural input devices and other challenges with quality of mobile VR experience have been serious roadblocks to the mobile VR sector growth.

The Finch team believes that it has found a solution to the problem. By combining existing high- quality content with affordable devices, they hope to introduce the exciting world of virtual reality to millions of smartphone owners around the globe.  The attendees of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month will have an opportunity to try Finch Shift in action at the Augmented Reality Marketplace (Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall 2, booth 26737).

Finch Shift website: www.finch-shift.com .