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If you build it, they will cum

Will VR Porn Really Take Off and Boost VR Sales?

Virtual Reality – love it or hate it, it’s going to hang around for a while. Along with its counterpart Augmented Reality (AR), it has a huge presence in the industry, showing up at conventions all over the globe.

People are very optimistic about VR and how well it will perform; Facebook spent $2 billion on Oculus, so they must have seen something worthwhile in it. What’s seen as worthwhile though seems to vary from person to person, with Facebook themselves aiming for something a bit different – shopping. Known as “v-commerce”, companies are seeking to integrate this new technology onto their platforms to generate new streams of revenue.

v commerce


That revenue, according to multiple analysts will be massive – $150billion between both VR and AR by 2020 they say. That’s an extremely large industry if calculations are correct, so large that it would displace the mobile market, “VA/AR in 2015 feels a bit like the smartphone market before the iPhone,” say experts Digi-Capital. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey however, thinks it’s all a little bit overblown. “A lot of what analysists are saying is pretty optimistic,” said Palmer in an interview, “VR is going to take a while to become mainstream.” Mark Zuckerberg somewhat ratified this statement, saying that Oculus was a “five to ten year bet.” Palmer likened the whole thing to the Palm Pilot, a bit of tech that was hugely ahead of its time. “It took over a decade for that to come about,” with Apple purchasing Palm in 2010 (it was conceived in 1996!).

So it seems that the figures may be quite overblown for VR, the hype has clouded judgement, with Palmer himself saying, “none of those analysists know anything […] we have purposefully not spoken with any.” Could Oculus, and by extension other VR companies, be overlooking an important market that drives innovation? Porn, often forgotten, drives innovation in the tech sector. Robotic sex dolls are a vast new frontier, driving research into artificial intelligence and human-like robotics. While a lot of people don’t agree with sexbots or VR porn, it’s hard to ignore. Oculus themselves have banned porn on their service, and said they, “will forbid pornographic content from being a part of the Oculus Store.” While this may be the case, it’s simply not the full story. Luckey himself has said in the past that the Rift is an “open platform”; you can keep pornographic content off the official store, but it’s not tied to it. VR has been called a ‘platform’ before, but it’s not. It’s a peripheral device, it cannot play games on itself – it has to be connected to a PC or games console.

oculus real porn


 

That mistake is often made, and is perhaps why porn is so overlooked by analysists. Porn absolutely does drive innovation, but does it really drive sales? A recent Indiegogo campaign may suggest otherwise, according to VRSexlab. So far over the course of 24 days, the aptly named #GivePornAHand campaign has only managed to drum up $7500 of a total $250k. While they will get to keep whatever they do receive regardless of if the goal is met, it does raise some questions. The campaign actually managed to partner with some huge names like Fleshlight, the creators of the famous male masturbator. Clearly they saw something in VR too, as have many in the adult entertainment sector.

The problem is though, that nobody really pays for porn anymore. While Sexbots are innovative and creative, they are still ridiculously expensive. Roxxxy, for example, will cost $7000 to purchase. That’s a lot just to get yourself off, and while some people will pay that price, it’s not going to hit the mainstream any time soon. Porn has been free to anyone who wants it for some time now, the dawn of the internet making it ever easier to watch. Amateur pornography in particular is identified as one of the key factors in professional porn subsiding, alongside ease of production. The thing is porn probably still will drive VR to an extent – you just have to look at the Indiegogo for the Autoblow, which offers a tangible object compared to #GivePornAHand’s digital content.

lovesense toy


Dildos, sex toys and so on are still a booming industry, and while porn production is looking a bit healthier this year, “revenue from traditional porn films has been shrinking.” Companies are adapting, according to Chanel Preston who said she felt 2010 was “the lowest point,” but it’s unclear whether VR will help them as much as they’ll help VR. For a while at least, creators who can produce porn that works specifically with VR will see some benefit. Things that would work with the Lovesense for example, a toy that you can control from a distance that’s also compatible with new interactive porn. It may be a while before we truly see VR in the mainstream, if Luckey of Oculus is to be believed (and he probably should be), but if creators can adapt to the changing market they may see a pickup with VR. The question then, is how willing will people be to start paying for porn again?

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  • Reon

    if they were smarter they’d drop the faux morality, no one really cares, people either embrace porn openly or secretly
    and fund porn for the VR devices and have that free content drive the sale and adoption of VR
    it might start with cheaper devices like those which merely adapt phones as headsets or simple ones but that is enough to gain momentum

  • Bunkercake

    Porn has been a massive driving force for a few leaps in technology. However, monetization of everything has become a muddy issue. When you’re selling a digital product, how do you get money out of people who don’t want or necessarily need to spend it? Advertisements are a pretty big boon to a lot of internet-based companies. Cultivating fandom and the merchandise sales that accompany it is another potential path.

    In any case, in much the same way hi-res porn has become the norm, I expect that so will 3D porn. VR headsets will find a foundation in game and porn enthusiasts and will slowly but surely replace monitors. People will find some way to monetize it, even if it’s just supported by the niche of consumers that will actually pay for it. That niche must still be pretty large, considering that the porn industry is still a force to be reckoned with.

  • EroBotan

    is indiegogo really popular? I only hear few success story there when it comes to games related stuff.