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双语:虚拟现实即将走向主流 真的吗

2015-10-16    来源:fortune    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

双语:虚拟现实即将走向主流 真的吗


There’s no doubt that gaming companies see value in virtual reality (VR), but other industries will also soon take advantage of the mind-bending technology.

Virtual reality isn’t new. Devices like Nintendo’s ill-fated Virtual Boy—along with several others—have dotted store shelves for decades, but for one reason or another the products have failed. Despite early troubles, the VR industry has grown in popularity over the last couple of years with help from Facebook’s FB 0.00% Oculus, a company that plans to launch its Rift VR headset in 2016. Several other companies are vying for the space, including HTC , with its Vive VR, as well as Sony SNE -1.27% with its PlayStation VR. Samsung’s Gear VR is also in the mix.
虚拟现实并非新生事物。运势不济的任天堂Virtual Boy及另外几种虚拟现实设备早在几十年前就摆上了商店货架,但出于种种原因,这些产品都以失败告终。尽管初战不利,但近几年虚拟现实越来越受欢迎。这得益于Facebook旗下的Oculus,该公司计划在2016年推出Rift VR头盔。其他几家公司也在争夺这个市场, HTC拿出的是Vive VR头盔,索尼推出了PlayStation VR头盔,三星的同类产品则是Gear VR头盔。

Since Oculus put a spotlight back on VR, the focus has mainly been on gaming. Video games seem to be an ideal medium for a technology that requires users to place a device on their heads and “live” inside a 3D virtual world. Users can swing around, see what’s happening around the game, and experience environments like never before.

Games are a great first target for VR due to the fact that games, especially games on PC and console, are inherently 3D,” Brian Blau, research director for personal technologies at research firm Gartner told Fortune in an interview. “VR requires a sophisticated 3D engine to drive the visuals, and its those game engines that are the ones that will be used in VR as they are, to a large degree, capable of processing the complex 3D environments that are at the heart of a VR system.”

CNN, however, is aiming to flip conventional wisdom on its head. The news outlet announced earlier this week that it intends to stream the U.S. Democratic Presidential debate live to Samsung’s Gear VR. Users will have a “front-row seat,” the outlet announced, adding that they will be able to watch the debate away from live television and see things off-screen that TV viewers otherwise wouldn’t experience.
不过,CNN打算在这方面另辟蹊径。这家新闻机构本周早些时候表示,它将通过三星的Gear VR头盔直播民主党总统候选人辩论会。CNN称,这些“虚拟”观众会像“坐在第一排”一样,他们无需电视就能观看候选人的辩论,而且还会看到电视观众看不到的东西。

While the announcement wasn’t the first non-gaming play for virtual reality—the NBA offered a VR experience during its 2015 All-Star Game—it was notable for showcasing how virtual reality opportunities may go beyond gaming.

“We have seen a component of Hollywood become interested in VR as a new type of customer experience,” Blau says. “Interactive movies, live events in 360 and shared entertainment experiences will all be really interesting new types of media and entertainment delivered as an immersive and more personal experience.”

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told Fortune that several “major entertainment companies” are considering a jump to VR, including Disney DIS 1.18% , Lionsgate LGF 0.98% , and Lucasfilm. Like Blau, Munster sees a bright future for VR beyond gaming.
投行及资产管理公司Piper Jaffray分析师吉恩·芒斯特对《财富》杂志表示,迪士尼、狮门影业、卢卡斯影业等“主要娱乐公司”都在考虑投身于虚拟现实领域。和布劳一样,芒斯特认为这项技术在游戏以外有着光明的前景。

“A practical use case right now would be using the Gear VR on an airplane or if a college student wants to watch their Netflix NFLX 6.51% but can’t afford a big screen TV,” he says. “Unique experiences such as live sports and cinematic experiences will help drive value because young consumers are always looking for the latest tech.”
他说:“眼下的实际应用包括在飞机上使用Gear VR头盔,或者买不起大屏幕电视的大学生借助这项技术来观看Netflix上的影视剧。年轻的消费者总是在追逐最新的技术,所以体育直播等独一无二的体验以及看电影般的感觉将有助于提升价值。”

But whether consumers will ultimately be able to get their hands on large quantities of entertainment content remains to be seen. According to Blau, while some entertainment companies are interested in VR, they’re unlikely to double down on the technology until enough users join the market.

“The industry needs users and customers, just like any business,” Blau says. “For VR to do well in entertainment, several pieces need to fall into place; first is that devices need to get into users hands and on their heads in mass numbers. Media and entertainment thrives when they create buzz around their properties, and that can’t happen until head-mounted displays start to gain penetration in their desired markets.”

Developing that buzz is why gaming is so important. Nearly every major VR company is promoting the gaming capabilities of their devices in an attempt to attract a loyal fanbase. As Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter says, “gaming is proof-of-concept” for VR. If that works and enough consumers jump on the platform, it’s possible Hollywood will fall in line.
正因为要制造轰动效应,游戏才变得如此重要。为建立忠实的粉丝群体,几乎所有大型虚拟现实公司都把游戏功能作为自身产品的卖点。正如金融服务和投资公司Wedbush Securities分析师迈克尔·帕赫特所说:“游戏验证了虚拟现实这个概念”。如果这种做法可行,而且吸引了足够多的消费者,好莱坞公司就有望跟进。

What is unclear, however, is how many units need to be sold until the entertainment industry fully backs the technology. In July, Jaffray, Travis Jakel, another analyst at Piper, told Fortune that in 2016, 12.2 million VR headsets will be sold worldwide. Facebook’s Oculus Rift will account for 3.6 million of those headsets, while Samsung Gear VR will nab 5 million unit sales.
然而,还不清楚到底需要卖出多少台设备,才能让娱乐行业全力支持虚拟现实技术。另一位Piper Jaffray分析师特拉维斯·耶克尔今年7月份向《财富》杂志透露,2016年全球虚拟现实头盔销量将达到1220万个,其中360万个为Oculus的Rift VR头盔,三星Gear VR头盔的销量将达到500万个。

While those figures may seem lofty, it’s unlikely to prompt movement from Hollywood. Munster believes the VR market will slowly evolve and become “more social as it develops and more people start to use it.”

It will take time, in other words, for the market to mature, more headsets to be sold, and the entertainment industry to jump at providing full VR experiences. Pachter argues that if entertainment companies are interested in VR, we’re “at least five years” from a major, concerted effort on their part to capitalize on the technology.

Still, it’s clear that VR is attracting serious attention: the Consumer Electronics Association recently announced that over 40 exhibitors showing off multimedia content for virtual reality headsets will be on-hand at CES 2016—a 77% increase compared to CES 2015.

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