Months before the first wave of modern consumer VR headsets are set to go on sale, Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey has identified one drawback that might stop them taking off for a while. "Cables are going to be a major obstacle in the VR industry for a long time," Luckey wrote in a tweet. "Mobile VR will be successful long before PC VR goes wireless."
By "mobile VR," Luckey is referring to devices like Google Cardboard and Samsung's Gear VR, the latter of which was developed in collaboration with Oculus. These headsets rely on compatible smartphones to provide the display and processing power, whereas Oculus' flagship device, the Rift, has a built-in display and needs to connect to a powerful PC. Mobile VR headsets have the advantage of working as self-contained, wireless units, but wired headsets like the Rift or Sony's PlayStation VR will be able to offer more advanced experiences.
"Real users won't have cable servants."
"It is important to design both hardware and software with those limitations in mind," Luckey says. "Real users won't have cable servants. And I say this as someone who has spent many hours as a cable servant, dancing cables around users to keep them immersed!" With wired VR headsets, users can quickly get tangled up if they're immersed in an experience that requires you to stand or move around. Oculus has often described VR as a "seated experience" in its present incarnation, partly because wires are less of an issue when you're simply moving your head.