SEOUL, Nov.27 (Korea Bizwire) – Virtual Reality (VR) devices are making inroads into the homes of consumers, with lowered prices acting as the main catalyst. VR devices, which were out of reach of most consumers due to high prices, are now becoming more accessible.
Samsung Electronics has released a new premium device called the ‘Gear VR’ at a price of 120,000 won, which is almost half the price of the new model’s predecessor. Although the new device was only launched on November 24, it is already sold out online. Samsung Electronics remains the only Korean manufacturer to bring a VR device to market.
The Virtual Reality market has the potential for a great ripple effect, as VR devices can be adapted to many different types of industries. The most representative one is the game market.
The VR experience space was the most popular booth at ‘G-STAR’, the international gaming exhibit recently held in Busan.
Sony Entertainment Korea demonstrated its ‘PlayStation VR’, a new virtual reality game device. People stood in line for over an hour to experience a new evolution in gaming. Sony is planning to launch more than 10 VR games designed for the PlayStation 4.
Nexon, Korea’s biggest gaming company, also exhibited a unique booth featuring VR devices. Using an Oculus Rift VR device, visitors were able to enjoy VR images of a Nexon game called ‘Maple Story’.
Officials in the gaming industry explained that though the products are not commercialized yet, many large companies have started development of VR content.
Industry watchers expect that the VR device market will start full-scale growth next year. Trend Force, a Taiwanese market research company, expects the size of the VR device market to reach 14 million devices this year, and grow to 38 million devices by 2020.
With the growth of VR devices, VR content is also expected to increase. Immersive 360 degree videos are video clips in which the viewer can select the point of view using a keyboard or mouse, and are expected to figure prominently in VR content development.
Google is currently the most aggressive mover in the VR business. The internet giant has started to support 360 degree video uploads via YouTube. In addition, the YouTube application for the Android mobile ecosystem was updated this month, and now offers VR features. Using a Google keyboard on a smartphone, video clips can be enjoyed from all angles.
Facebook has also embraced 360 degree video features by uploading the trailer for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ on its newsfeed. To provide a wider variety of 360 degree content, Facebook teamed up with Discovery and GoPro. Recently, Mark Zuckerberg uploaded a 360 degree video of Pyeongyang on his Facebook page.
By Francine Jung (Francine.email@example.com)