Virtual Reality Gaming. Has it Arrived?

Virtual Reality was new to the market in 2016. But now has it come of age in 2017?

Virtual Reality, VR, AR, Headset, Tech, Games, Gaming,

At GDC in 2016, one, Patrick Walker peeped into the future to predict what is now occurring, see link below. He indicated the huge investment in VR of over a billion dollars in 2015/16 and this got a lot of game developers interested. But is it possible to prise the market away from the big boys? Probably not? Just look at the 2017 best selling VR games with games from Rockstar, Epic, Impulse Gear and Capcom all with big titles and new iterations of popular franchises in VR.

2016 VR hype shifts to reality thanks in no small measure to PSVR. It’s got good immersion and is now accessible widely and buy to entry is cheaper than rivals. PSVR has at the moment first to market advantage and will be an entry point for early adopters of VR.
All the big players want in and interesting to see the situation today as a gold rush. Suffice to say you need deep pockets to enter this market. Walker provides insightful market analysis on the non-VR gamers and their expectancy on the price of entry with just about 50% unwilling to pay over $350 for the kit. So unit price must drop to attract a critical mass.

Price is everything

He points to the price problem of upgrading your hardware to handle the VR. Understandably if PSVR can do this without it using a unique console it makes sense. So it transpires the players need deep pockets as well. What’s new?
He outlines the product providers with marketing stats research reviewing their ability to compete and how they are seen. These stats are from the time of his talk but are still very pertinent today.

Let’s look at a few VR providers.  HTC Vive (Steam VR) – Thought of as expensive with average content availability. Oculus Rift Considered expensive with not too many games. PSVR is cheaper with a good bank of content. Viewing the VR game charts of today ( Feb 2017) the game content for all platforms has increased considerably as developers are trying for first to market advantage, with whichever system prevails. So there is more choice on all systems.

In Nov 2016 the Walker said the market was saturated but predicted more of the same with new entrants waiting for VR to become financially viable for their brand. Again it’s a balancing act between console or PC with consoles being preferable. A disadvantage for non-console VR is that the system requirements for VR are expensive because VR requires high refresh rates pushed to two displays, it’s going to be fairly demanding.

Below are the recommended system requirements for the Oculus Rift, which are likely fairly similar to what you’ll need to support Steam VR. — NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater— Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater— 8GB+ RAM— Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output— 2x USB 3.0 ports— Windows 7 SP1 or newer.

What the players think

Reviewing VR games by existing or potential customers seem to highlight that gamers value user review as opposed to price, unlike mobile games. Logical really as the entry point into VR is so high that gamers expect to pay a premium price for a premium experience.
Other stats that were interesting is the correlation between VR user score and minutes playing which is not indicative of popularity, unlike other platforms, maybe because of the sea sick syndrome? However, retention is a good indicator and it is marked by players returning again and again. So varied metrics for VR games should be used to assess their popularity.

Walker gave some predictions regarding new entrants to the race, some of which has come to pass. He is also predicting Facebook and Apple entering the market and the technology advancing rapidly. He also sees Microsoft having an interest specifically in Augmented Reality or AR, seeing it as the preferable experience in the future.       But judging by todays parameters, he thinks mobile and social VR seem to provide the biggest potential for future growth. Walker provided a good overview of the market which is still in flux as we speak but consolidating by the day. As a marketer of games, I found it very informative and advise you to watch the virtual space.

VR talk VR focus Nov 2016 Watch it here
Patrick Walker EEDARTrack / Format Games & Entertainment Overview
http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1023900/Data-and-Insights-in-the

Generation Z and Social Media

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In a recent U.S. college survey by Fluent marketing and insights, conducted in March 2016, students between the ages of 17-24, (a.k.a. Gen Z)  were asked about the social media platforms they use most. The results are not surprising with Facebook getting a resounding, 67%, Snapchat at 51% and Instagram at 50%. Predictably the Snapchat phenomenon is continuing unabated with the steady rise of this platform worrying the Facebook executives.  33% of respondent stated they have increased usage of Snapchat and no major increase in the use of  Facebook.

However, it was found that Facebook retains its dominant position in the social media sphere, being the favoured platform for friends, family, and brands. But the findings indicate it needs to keep evolving if it is to keep its position as the default social media platform of choice. Snapchat and Instagram appear to be used by Gen Z for tighter close-knit friendships or groups.

The survey’s most interesting findings revealed what the platforms are being primarily used for.  

Facebook is the Daddy. Primarily being used for general digital profiles and regarded as necessary. Regarding advertising on Facebook, respondents indicated they preferred display ads as opposed to news feed ads. Despite Facebook heavily promoting  video lately, respondents still favour using specific video platforms like You Tube.

Snapchat & Instagram: The good buddy platforms. These platforms are used several times a day by the respondents and are used to communicate with close friends and their campus community. They are open to ads on these platforms if they are brief and not pretending to be content which is perceived as disingenuous.  

YouTube & Pinterest are brand central. Respondents follow brands and celebrities on all channels, but they seem to favour interaction with  brands on Youtube and Pinterest. They also like following celebrities on these platforms. Twitter is also popular for following celebs. Respondents expect  ads on these platforms, as they seem more brand oriented.  Adverts that service a need or address issues they care about are usually clicked on. The quality of visual content in Snapchat and You Tube, promote repeat visits, in contrast,  branded stories or celebrity endorsements do not engage respondent enough to buy a product.

Time is of the essence, but video is king.   Most respondents (74%) spend more than two hours a day on social media with just under half  (44%)  spending more than four hours a day. Video is popular on all platforms with You Tube, as expected being the top provider. Two-thirds of respondent watch up to two hours of video a day for entertainment, this may happen over several visits during this time. Unusually live streaming video conversation were not as popular as these figures would suggest, with in-person contact being the preferred method of communication.

 

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Quizzes, like University Challenge, Trivial Pursuit, Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, have been tricking us with trivia, puzzling us with puzzles and probing our knowledge on the most obscure topics you can find, and we never grow tired of it. The fact is we love it. But why?  Quizzes are not new, they are the age old test of acquired knowledge. Well here at Fierce Fun we want to offer something new to the genre, with our new generation trivia sensation, QuizTime Trivia. It offers the player endless trivia quiz fun and is the fastest game online to test your trivia knowledge. If you are a fan of trivia quiz games and want to test your knowledge? Then look no further and try this, it never gets dull.

The Quiz reflects the highest form of human achievement.

So why is the quiz, such an essential part of the human condition?  People are natural exhibitionists and posers when it comes to what they know (or think they know) and seek the validation of their intellect by their peers. This is our basic competitive nature and is one of our unique human traits. I see the quiz and quizzes in general as the zenith of human development and it is a key ingredient in what separates us from the animals.

Some say that our ability to manage fire, speak, develop agriculture, write, and cooperate are the benchmarks for human evolution. These are indeed great achievements. But I say the quiz is our greatest. One of the most important human achievements is the pursuit of knowledge and the retrieval of it when needed. This along with our imagination, which we may use to create scenarios for our challenges is unique to humans, and has allowed us to make sense of our world and find answers to all the problems that assail us as a species.

 Origins of the Quiz

So what is the origin of the Quiz? Testing of ability has always been a feature of human society. The testing of knowledge, was common in early civilisations as far apart as Ancient Egypt in the Mediterranean to the Han dynasty in China.Most ancient societies offered education to certain members of the populace and passing tests of knowledge was a way of advancing yourself in society, just as it is today. Testing and examination through the ages came under a variety of names but the term quiz is relatively new. The use of the word Quiz for an intelligence test was first recorded in mid 19th century, when first used as a verb for interrogate. Later in that century it came to mean what it does today, i.e. an entertainment based on a testing of someone’s knowledge.

Earlier uses of the word conveyed that of an odd or eccentric person, as used by the English novelist, Fanny Burney  in a diary entry by her in 1782. The most interesting origin theory of the word is a Dublin tall tale, whereby the Impresario Richard Daly, bet he could introduce an unknown and nonsensical word to the English language and let the public decide its meaning within 48 hours. He had people graffiti the word all over the city and in two days it was the talk of the town and entered the English language. Whether or not the meaning was agreed upon by the Dubliners of the day is unclear but the meaning eventually evolved into the Quiz, we understand today.

Change of use.

How has the quiz changed over the years. Initially a parlor games for the middle classes it eventually gained respectability, when it was used as the basis for the IQ test. Intelligence Quotient or IQ as we more commonly know it, was devised to measure the ratio of the mental age of a person to their actual age. This was carried out by what came to be known as Mensa. Also known as the international high IQ society, Mensa, provide a forum for people of high intelligence, as judged by their quiz or test, to become members and to show off to each other, seriously, they do.

So the quiz had attracted the super brainy people. Mensa was set up in 1946 and was advertised as a club for those with high IQ’s, no dummies need apply. It was was set up by a British psychologist named Cyril Burt. The problem with Burt was that he was a eugenicist, meaning he believed intelligence was hereditary and that society could enhance the human race by allowing the brightest and best to breed. Eugenics had it roots in the selective breeding movements, popular at the time in Germany and Sweden. So is that why he set up this social club? For the intelligentsia to copulate? Possibly, but the interbreeding of the ruling Royal families of Europe over centuries, never produced one Einstein. So the evidence suggests it is codswallop. Mensa now say they are a social club of intelligent friends.

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