These would be the same people who routinely assure us that “this time we got it!” while routinely failing to gain real market share? If they recognize it, they certainly have failed to replace it with the Versimilitude requirement.
Phtotorealism isn’t a requirement for enjoyment, see also: the Wii. But you do have to replace it with other things as you say. So far VR falls very very flat in this regard.
Have watched this aspect fail at parties for around a year now. The realism fades so quickly, the depth of the “games” fades even faster, and the low fidelity of the controls (playing shooters where your cursor is routinely off by even 1/8 inch would never be accepted on a PC or console outside of VR enthusiasts) that the players abandoned the VR system after that ~30 novelty period I mentioned above. Only the evangelist still remains interested in engaging with it.
Of course if they stay engaged it means disengaging (completely) with everyone else in the house while they play (that gets old fast even for evangelists).
Good, always good to be hyped about a thing, just don’t mistake your personal enthusiasm as a proxy for the engagement levels of the larger PC market.
Valve et al have been very savvy about a few things, (the primary thing they nailed down if that they kept the supply of VR systems incredibly low to promote a scarcity myth that helps in marketing to the very faithful). There will be a small and vocal hardcore around VR to be sure.
My prediction is that VR will not see large or even medium market share beyond that hardcore anytime soon. There is simply too much overhead in too many areas that produce “gaming drag” for it to take off.
Again, for a contrast, see how successful the Wii was especially in small social engagement settings. Nintendo sold boatloads of those things based on the strength of people contacting it through friend engagement, having a blast, then buying their own.
They replaced photo realism and game depth (the Wii had neither) with low cost, ease of use (aside from the idiots who threw wiimotes through TVs of course), and massive social inclusiveness during play.
VR hasn’t even mastered ease of use yet. The only thing intuitive for the controls of most of the systems is the headlook (which is great). The rest of the systems range from hot garbage like moving with a thumbstick to avoid having the player walk to voluntary-house-pariah features like being completely isolated once the headset is on.
Without overcoming these hurdles no amount of Gordon Freeman and The Headcrabs will push enough units for this generation to be more than a tech demo with a small audience.