The first virtual reality ads highlight how hard it's going to be to sell VR

The first virtual reality ads highlight how hard it’s going to be to sell VR

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You’ve probably seen a virtual reality headset or two at this point. ¬†Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset, or PlayStation VR for the PlayStation 4, or maybe even HTC and Valve’s Vive. These guys:

You've probably seen a virtual reality headset or two at this point.

Facebook's Oculus Rift headset, or PlayStation VR for the PlayStation 4, or maybe even HTC and Valve's Vive. These guys:

HTC Vive Pre / Oculus Rift / PlayStation VR
From left to right: the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR.

Business Insider / Oculus VR / Tech Insider

Chances are, however, that you still haven't used one. None of the three headsets above have been released for purchase. It's more likely you've tried out one of Google's VR headsets, the Cardboard.

This guy right here:

Google Cardboard
Look how much fun this kid is having with VR! That could be you!

Google

You might have noticed at this point that, in the above images, people using VR are having a blast. Open-mouthed awe is big in VR demos — that's the magic of VR, it can transport you somewhere you've never been before.

And that's why the first TV commercials for the HTC Vive are so baffling.

No looks of open-mouthed awe. No magical transportation. Just two human beings dressed as video game paddles, a la "Pong," annoying passersby on the street.

Look at how happy this guy is to be involved:

HTC Vive ad

HTC

And how about this lady, who gets surrounded by two strange men dressed in all white on the street:

HTC Vive ad

HTC

Or this gentleman, who gets fed up and starts straight up pushing one of the idiotic paddles:

HTC Vive ad
Not only is this a terrible example of virtual reality, it's also just terrible in general.

HTC

Sadly, that's just the beginning. HTC released 10 of these ads, ranging from the silly to the outrageously stupid. And not one of them features the HTC Vive headset, or offers an example of what it's like using VR. If these ads are to be believed, using the HTC Vive is like being stalked by a paid actor in a gorilla suit while you're trying to run errands.

And here's the reality: the HTC Vive is rad and it provides an amazing VR experience. Unfortunately, you'd never know it from this terrible ad campaign. Here's hoping that HTC (and Sony's PlayStation and Facebook's Oculus Rift) figure out a better way than this to get people into VR.

Read the original article on Tech Insider. Follow Tech Insider on Facebook and Twitter. Copyright 2016.

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