We know the Lindens are as excited about VR as we are. We know they are building that support into Sansar. That means the tech is in-house. Second Life is a huge repository of content that can be used with VR. VR is a luscious opportunity to draw new users into SL. I think they cannot pass up another attempt at VR.
However, I can see where they might pass up SL VR and just point people to Project Sansar. Or they might wait for development on the Sansar side to complete. Then with Sansar as an example of what the Lab can do tech-wise, provide some limited VR support for SL.
Limited support may be a scenario where Oculus is for use with Sansar and Cardboard is for use with Second Life. You can probably think of other scenarios that work with the limits of SL.
VR support in general is going to run into some problems. I think we are seeing it now. VR games are being sold at discount. Why? The free market does not generally discount anything that is selling well and in demand. VR sales are questionable. Few are bragging about how they are selling VR product. Are these more cracks in the VR hype? Probably.
One fact seldom talked about is the space users need to use VR as it is imagined now. There is a cost for RL space. A home or apartment has a cost that every user has to bear. People typically calculate the cost of a square foot of living space.
In my part of California a ranch style home with yard tends toward a onetime of cost about US$300±/sq ft., usually more. Figure a 30 year life and that is $10/sq ft/yr. I’ll skip adding in taxes and maintenance but, those are significant and growing costs. An apartment is $36/sq ft/yr. For the current desktop type computer we need a 4 by 5 area to sit in and set the computer. The needed 20 sq ft costs $200-$720 a month. (Yes, I know this various by geographic location. But, you’ll get the idea.)
A VR setup ideally requires a room. A 10×10 empty room just for VR use is probably not that outrageous an idea. That is 100 sq ft. Or $1,000-$3,600 per month. I think that will drive people toward desktop seated use of VR. That could mean driving, flying, and other things we do while seated in RL will be the preferred home VR experience.
I tend to walk and fly when I am in SL. Thinking about it, I spend more time on my feet in SL than I do flying. But, not always walking somewhere. Dancing and standing around talking are a significant part of that on-my-feet time. So, SL is not likely to remain the premier VR app for most VR users. The experience is not going to fit well into even a room. But, VR user curiosity will certainly bring new people to SL, at least for a time and some will stay.
All things considered, my belief is we haven’t heard the end of VR for SL or gotten a good handle on VR acceptance and use.
I probably should point out that coming from the Myst-world of Uru Live I experienced the developer, Cyan Worlds, stating very emphatically when closing Uru, the second time, that it would never, never, never reopen. It was done, done, done. Thank you now go away. Today, when the login server is working, the developer has it online as a free to play game and the servers are paid for by player donations, which I never thought would last. But, fan pressure and persistence brought Uru Live back and has kept it online.
So, I see VR for SL as something that will happen because users want it. There is no question in my mind. The only questions are whether Linden Lab will provide the VR or users/third-party-devs will figure out how to implement VR for SL. And when…