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My Main Takeaways From The First Ever HTC Vive Summit

Image courtesy: HTC, Via Twitch.Tv

Did you know that HTC hosted a summit all about the HTC Vive? No, well HTC just hosted a summit all about the HTC Vive, called the HTC Vive Summit. Just like everything else these days, it was hosted live on Twitch. Over the course of its runtime, they showed off a wide range of VR titles, all performed by big e-sports names. So how was it? Well, I missed the live-stream, but the replay is available on Twitch Video on Demand (VOD). So I had a look, and here is what I can say about the state of VR.

1. Games look like incredible fun

Image courtesy: HTC, Via Twitch.Tv

Anyone who has had a chance to play with a VR headset knows that they are crazy fun. When the office got hold of a PSVR, worked essentially crashed to a standstill. However, the HTC Summit has really hammered home just how fun playing in VR can be. Even the experiences that didn’t appear to have high polish regarding graphics ticked all the boxes need for a good game. Everyone who donned the headset was smiling like a toddler and many giggled like them. So providing a fun experience, the HTC Vive has that down. That was never really a concern, however. What is a concern, and what the HTC Vive Summit did not overcome, was how you looked playing with VR

2. But you look stupid

Image courtesy: HTC, Via Twitch.Tv

There isn’t a nicer way of putting this. When you don the headset and play around in VR, you look incredibly dumb while doing so. No matter how awesome it is to be a warrior fighting a giant, or a soldier clearing a room of insurgents, you look like that kid pretending to fight with lightsabers that went viral years ago. Granted, for single player experiences, this is not a major concern. However, it’s hard to sell a product that many are not convinced about by showing them how foolish you look. Gamers especially can be very self-aware when it comes to how they are perceived by the wider public.

3. Bigger personalities are needed

Image courtesy: HTC, Via Twitch.Tv

There is also the issue when it comes to presenting these kinds of events. Now, anyone who has ever watched big gaming events will remember the horrible time when Ubisoft rolled out that super-bizarre hype-man at E3 2011. So companies have learnt to try and get people who genuinely care about the product to host these events. Getting Esports teams like Cloud9 and Team SoloMid adds a definite level of legitimacy to the HTC Vive Summit. However, while they are great gamers (obviously) and knowledgeable commentators, a bigger personality is needed to unify the presentation. The whole reason Bethesda keynotes are great to watch is that Todd Howard has the perfect balance between stage presence and geeky knowledge. That is what HTC needs for their next summit.

4. Peripherals are getting crazy

Image courtesy: HTC, Via Twitch.Tv

On a small note, there were some very interesting elements shown off during the summit. Peripherals, which were a big deal in CES this year, made a showing at this event as well. To say there were interesting would be putting it mildly. For example, there was a part of the summit near the end where someone was using a standing bicycle to control a tank. That was after it was already used as a means to power an F1-type sportscar in VR. While it’s easy to focus on how ridiculous a concept that is, it doesn’t take much to realise that this is a great idea. Just like Wii Fit genuinely got more people exercising, this could be the push needed by certain users to get into exercise.

5. Esports are going to be a major part of VR Marketing

Image courtesy: HTC, Via Twitch.Tv

The main takeaway, for me at least, from the HTC Vive Summit is how we are going to see VR marketed in the future. For HTC at least, they are putting a great deal of stock in the rising popularity of Esports. More traditional Esports games like DOTA, LOL and Starcraft, are not ripe for VR adoption, but they certainly are for consuming the event. Others, like Counter Strike, can easily be formatted to be used in VR. As numbers for Esports just keep on growing, HTC seems to be onto something by entrusting them with marketing.

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