Although the VR hype has subdued recently, I consider myself to be a faithful in the technology, and has vested interest in its potential as new media frontier. Since I enjoyed the author’s previous book Console Wars, I didn’t hesitate to pick up this book to follow the nascent history of Oculus, Palmer Luckey, and the VR industry. And it was better than I expected.
“This book reads like a sequel to The Social Network.”
That was my first reaction after first 100 pages. The parallels are unmistakable, almost intentional. I was not, and am not a fan of Palmer Luckey but the book paints him complete opposite of Zuckerberg whom we know now. A daydreamer against a realist, a self-taught versus a Harvard dropout, open source in contrast with closed social network, etc. I would love to see that tensions realized on big screens, if not on TV like Console Wars.
What’s Cool about VR? 2 Billion Reasons
It was a lot of fun to read because the author chronicles the events like a TV series. You could say that’s a fault against the book for not written like a real “business” book. If you didn’t like Console Wars for taking dramatic liberties, you will likely disapprove the author intercutting narratives to give more sense of drama.
Computer Revolutions takes a Decade
Reading this book reminded me of another startup book titled Start Up. It chronicles Go Corp., one of the earliest pioneers of portable-tablet like, computer before iPad. Its similarities are unmistakable in a sense that both portrays a company of men-it’s always men, who tried to revolutionize the computing industry as we know it. Oculus may be too early, at least a decade like Go Corp. as it took Steve Jobs with iPad to make the tablet computers usable, acceptable, and mass-marketed as we know today.
Bygone Days of the Future
I believe the real work of VR industry is just beginning as Oculus continues to make new hardwares, Playstation VR hits 4.2 million units sales milestone, and even Nintendo is tiptoeing into the field with playful Labo VR Kit. And there’s AR, as mentioned in the book that hosts more challenges many will gladly tackle for years to come.
For that reason, I’m going to remember this book, and looking back this period of VR in next decade with a VR headset loaded with applications/games that are unfathomable today. Just like I fondly reminisce about the period of Console Wars.