Sadly, just as I didn’t predict, the mass market has not latched onto virtual reality. I really thought people would love it, but, like 3D TV and film, it just didn’t break through – or hasn’t yet. Nevertheless, Mark Zuckerberg, who paid $2bn for Oculus in 2014, remains positive. “This is going to be a big year for VR,” Zuck said in April. I, if not quite so positive, remain evangelical. If anything can lift VR’s fortunes it is surely Oculus’s next generation of the cable‑free Oculus Go that I was wowed by a year ago. The new Oculus Quest is sensational. The day I set it up, I lost four hours just marvelling at it. Skydiving in France; walking, seemingly on air, above Cairo; playing addictive games; I found that 2pm somehow became 6pm.
Oculus Quest is wireless, like the Go, but that had only one hand controller, whereas Quest has two, and with seemingly zero latency: move your hand in the real world and your virtual hand twitches at exactly the same time. The engineering to create that in a VR setup with no powerful gaming computer awkwardly wired up to it is impressive. The Quest acknowledges that the stuff we hoped would be on VR – amazingly realistic news reports, for example – hasn’t quite materialised. Instead, it has gone flat out on gaming and “experiences”. Perfect for a bit of ultra-escapism at the end of a day at the grindstone.