Remember virtual reality? Its buzz has faded

Just a few years ago, virtual reality was poised to take over the world but the buzz over VR has faded to a whisper.
People use Oculus VR headsets at the Panasonic booth at CES International, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People use Oculus VR headsets at the Panasonic booth at CES International, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Published January 9

NEW YORK — Just a few years ago, virtual reality was poised to take over the world.

After decades of near misses, the revolution finally seemed imminent, with slick consumer headsets about to hit the market. Industries from gaming and entertainment to social media stood ready to hop on the bandwagon.

But the buzz over VR has faded to a whisper. At the CES 2019 tech show in Las Vegas, there are few glitzy VR press events.

These days, VR is mostly a niche product for gaming and business training, held back by expensive, clunky headsets, a paucity of interesting software and other technological shortcomings.

In particular, venture-capital funding for VR software development has plummeted, falling almost 60 percent in 2018 by one estimate.

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