The Disillusionment of VR: From Hype to Disappointment

The Rise and Fall of VR

A decade ago, VR captured the tech world's imagination with the Oculus Rift launch on Kickstarter. However, today, VR is essentially dead.

Even affordable mainstream VR headsets, like the Meta Quest 2, now include augmented reality capabilities. The upcoming Quest 3 will feature even more advanced passthrough technology. Apple's Vision Pro has pushed VR boundaries so far that it no longer fits the traditional category.

VR's downfall can be attributed to its failure to offer a compelling reason for users to adopt the technology. Without a killer app, it remains a novelty rather than a must-have device.

Disappointing Market Performance

Industry analysts once predicted $150 billion in VR market revenue by 2020. However, as we approach 2024, the actual revenue stands at a mere $32 billion.

The underperformance of the VR market can be attributed to factors like high costs, limited content, and a lack of user-friendly experiences. These have contributed to disillusionment and the rise of augmented reality as a more practical technology.

The Rise of Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) has emerged as a more enticing technology than VR. It seamlessly blends virtual elements with the real world, creating a magical and immersive experience.

AR offers practical applications in various industries, such as education, healthcare, and entertainment. It has the potential to revolutionize how we learn, interact, and entertain ourselves.

Unlike VR, AR doesn't isolate users from their surroundings. It enhances the real world with digital overlays, making it more accessible and engaging for a wider audience.

The Integration of AR and VR

The boundaries between AR and VR are blurring. Many VR headsets now incorporate AR features, allowing users to switch seamlessly between virtual and augmented experiences.

This integration offers the best of both worlds. Users can enjoy immersive virtual experiences while still being aware of their physical environment. It bridges the gap between fantasy and reality.

Additionally, the integration of AR into VR headsets provides a solution to VR's lack of a killer app. By combining the strengths of both technologies, developers can create compelling experiences that appeal to a broader audience.

The Future of AR and VR

While VR may have disappointed, the future looks promising for AR and the combined AR/VR experiences.

AR is already making waves with popular applications like Pokemon Go and Snapchat filters. As technology advances and becomes more accessible, we can expect to see AR become an integral part of our daily lives.

As for VR, it may have lost its initial hype, but it still has a place in niche markets like gaming and simulations. With ongoing advancements, the VR industry may eventually find its killer app and regain some of its lost momentum.


Virtual reality may have fallen short of its lofty expectations, but it paved the way for augmented reality to shine.

AR offers a blend of magic and reality, enhancing our everyday experiences in ways we once only imagined in fairy tales like Alice in Wonderland.

While VR's demise may be disappointing, the future of AR and the possibilities it holds are truly exciting.


Haje Jan Kamps. (July 20, 2023). VR is dead.

Content Restricted To Members