VR headsets are no longer hot favourites

VR headsets are no longer hot favourites

Gamers and enthusiasts might head to malls and gaming zones to experience virtual reality, but don’t see need to invest in headsets

VR headgears can adversely affect people with motion sickness, say experts.

A trend that started in 2016, Virtuality reality (VR) headgears quickly became popular among gamers and movie enthusiasts in the country thanks to the realistic feel it imparted to virtual experiences.

While malls say their VR zones still attract customers in droves, the trend has been experiencing a slowdown with individual users since last year, especially in Bengaluru.

Initial novelty and cheaper versions 

“I have used VR headsets for a long time, especially for gaming and interactive apps. It was big when it started and since brands like Samsung and OnePlus introduced this gear for cheaper rates, it was a toy that everyone wanted to have,” says Nivedith Gajapathy, technology and travel blogger. 

Strain on eyes, lack of interest

These are some of the reasons why individuals don’t prefer to buy VR headsets for personal use anymore. Nivedith says it is strenuous for people who wear spectacles, if used for a long time at a stretch. “The visuals are not clear and that can give a headache. Another reason is its usability and functionality. One needs to install an app, set it up to get a better calibration. I don’t think people have that kind of time and want an easy-to-use gadget,” he explains.

Be cautious while playing, say experts

Dr Sirish Nelivigi, senior consultant, opthalmology, Sakra World Hospital, says that though the LED screens used in this gadget are not harmful to the eyes, there are other ways it can impact a user. “VR headgears are not for people with motion sickness. The effects might make then dizzy and they can even collapse,” says Dr Sirish.

Moreover, people with conditions like strabismus (squint eye) and amblyopia may not be able to experience a VR box normally. The reason is that this gadget works on the concept of 3D image. And it is only when both the eyes are working normally and are in sync with each other will one get the full effect of virtual reality, he says.  

Updating games key to get customers

Smaaash in 1 MG Mall is one of the many VR gaming zones in the city. Ullas C S, marketing manager, Smaaash, Bengaluru, says that though the number of people wanting to try this out has increased over the years, a person gets bored if they play the same game twice.

“In the two outlets we have in the city, we get at least 8,000 to 9,000 customers, on an average in a month. We keep updating the games on a regular basis. We have many games like ‘Art of Attack’ and ‘Jurassic Escape’ to ‘Fruit Ninja’, Single Coaster’ and various shooting games. We also plan to introduce PUBG soon,” says Ullas. He adds that many such VR gaming zones are being launched in the city.

Where can you experience

- VR Room, Koramangala

- Smaaash, 1MG Mall

- Freakout Gaming Zone, Gopalan Arcade Mall, R R Nagar

Popular games

Beat Saber, Resident Evil 7, PubG, Moss

Brands to look for

- Samsung Gear VR

- Google Cardboard

- Sony PlayStation VR

- Oculus Rift

You can buy a headset for Rs 500, which is made of biodegradable materials. A good quality headgear can cost anywhere from Rs 3,000 to 25,000.