Hollywood is passionate about virtual reality (VR) and thinks it’s likely a game changer, but creators have some nagging issues with the medium.
That’s the big takeaway from a new joint VR research study by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE), released today
Part of an ongoing multi-year partnership between the two organizations, the study drew its findings from 16 in-depth interviews with content creators. It was presented yesterday during a panel session at the CES 2016 in Las Vegas.
“The future of VR is dependent on quality content and, with this study we wanted to provide a more comprehensive look at Hollywood’s attitudes on the many opportunities and challenges this technology faces,” said NATPE President and CEO Rod Perth in a statement. “This study presents a snapshot of the types of genres that could be adapted to this dynamic technology but also offers a realistic picture of its limitations.”
Creators had questions about generating a sustainable model for content creation, establishing a clear pathway to monetization and determining the endurance cap for sustained viewing that will affect long-form storytelling.
Gaming is commonly seen as the best application for VR. Content creator participating in the study identified horror as the next best medium for the technology. Other possibilities mentioned included live sporting events and concerts.
When queried about the greatest potential obstacles for mass adoption of VR, study participants pointed to the challenge of comfortably wearing a headset for extended lengths of time, technical issues with filming the content, the availability of quality content and the solitary nature of the VR viewing experience.
Participants said they thought this would be a big year for VR with high-end devices like HTC Vice, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR all being rolled out into the consumer market, and CTA’s research backs them up.
CTA expects unit sales of VR headsets to increase by 500 percent in 2016, reaching 1.2 million units sold, and total revenues are projected to reach $540 million — a 440 percent increase.
NATPE will revisit the issue with the panel discussion “What’s Real About Virtual Reality? Demystifying VR for Storytellers and Brands” on the first day of NATPE Miami 2016, which is scheduled to be held at the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc Miami Beach resorts from Jan 19 to 21.