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Close up of a Gear VR headset

 

 

I was bitten by the virtual reality bug and decided to use some loyalty points to scoop up a Samsung Gear VR system a few weeks ago.

 

My early impressions are mixed, and those impressions rise and fall with the sporadic quality of the launch content.

 

My biggest beef is with the display quality of the video content.  The bit rate on most video is disappointingly low and I found myself straining to stay immersed. The resulting compression artifacts ruin the immersive experience because every cinematic sequence is marred with smearing squares and never ending jaggies.

 

There were some above average video demos, but even those demos weren't anything with which I'd try to sell "VR" to my friends.

 

The games have something more to offer, and the novelty of being immersed is still impressive.  I really need to see what developers dream up as this technology matures, but I'm skeptical, at this point, as to whether the market for this type of entertainment will ever grow big enough to support triple A games.

 

I remember when Kinect and PS Move thought they would drive a new segment of gaming experiences, and those devices didn't make your eyes sweat while using them.  

 

My judgment is leaning toward 'meh', but I will give it a lot more time to see if it can pull me in completely.  

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