You’d really have to have been sleeping under a rock for the past few weeks not to know than the Oculus Rift VR headset is finally a thing. It cost Facebook no less than $2 billion to scoop up and has finally hit the market as a piece of real consumer technology.
Suffice to say, stepping into an era where VR is the next big thing is guaranteed to have massive implications from a marketing perspective. In fact, many experts believe that the rulebook as we know it will cease to exist, instead being replaced with marketing techniques and standards most never dreamed possible.
However, that’s all by the by for the time being as it’s not going to be anytime soon that things shift quite so radically. Instead, there are several lessons the Oculus Rift has already taught us about the new VR movement, which if nothing else serve as interesting food for thought.
1 – Prices Need to Come Down Significantly
First of all, for Oculus Rift to make a big enough impact on the market for global marketers to take note, it’s going to need to get way, WAY cheaper. At the moment, the headset costs a whopping $600 in its own right and really will only be of any use to those willing to spend $1,500 or more on an ultra-powerful PC. As this really doesn’t apply to the mainstream market, it’s unlikely to be a priority for marketers. Both Sony and HTC have their own VR headsets in the pipeline for this year, which are expected to launch for $799 and around $400 respectively.
2 – More Than Games
What’s likely to prove most significant when devices like the Oculus Rift take off is the way in which it will all be about far more than games. From virtual movie theatres to the full live concert experience to major sporting events and more, gaming will only represent one small facet of the appeal of such devices. Which in turn will open up a world of incredible marketing opportunities, targeting an extraordinary array of audiences above and beyond typical gamers.
3 – Early Players Will Have an Advantage
Though the expected slow uptake of VR by the consumer population may suggest otherwise, experts insist that it’s the brands and businesses joining the game earlier that stand to score biggest. First of all, there’s still an abundance of opportunity to become famous for doing something awesome in the VR space and build a lasting reputation. Secondly, getting a head start on future VR marketing campaigns and strategies means that when the time comes, their respective likelihood of succeeding will be much greater. In both instances, the early bird may well catch the worm.
4 – Content Conversion May Be Possible
Last but not least, VR has always attached the downside of having to create videos and content from the ground, specifically with VR in mind. These days though, developers are working with new-generation software that can leverage existing content and create a full VR experience with it. GoPro’s CEO and founder Nick Woodman has personally expressed huge interest and optimism in the strides already being made, which could see existing video and other marketing content repurposed for VR.