With interest in virtual reality all-but mainstream and tens of millions of VR viewers now in the hands of people around the world, we’re going to see an increasing number of ways that the technology is put to use in an adult setting.
AliceX VR Live Cams is the latest to shed its beta banner and officially launch its live VR camgirl platform, but it’s such a new niche within porn, is it worth your hard-earned dollars?
A different approach?
In some ways, the company is taking the same approach as traditional cam sites like CAM4 or Chaturbate for new users, in that signing up is free and doesn’t require a credit card. This is a direct contrast to most of the rest of the paid-for porn online, in that it usually requires an up-front payment (or putting your card on file, at least) before giving you access to any content.
That means that provided you have a phone capable of VR and a headset, it’s free to test out and look around before committing any cash, which is just as well for nascent technology.
It may well have now launched officially, but AliceX is still very much a niche site for early technology adopters. As a result, the selection of models online at any one time is extremely limited – I’ve not seen more than three or four online simultaneously, though if you do develop ‘favorites’ there’s a schedule of upcoming shows too, which would probably be handy in that scenario.
While this is a drawback in comparison to traditional cam sites with thousands of models, it actually plays into the way in which AliceX works. You might otherwise be tempted to jump around between rooms, which is a process that requires taking off your headset, exiting VR mode, selecting a new room and then re-entering VR mode.
It’s worth pointing out that AliceX has gone to some trouble to make sure the virtual room you’re placed in is an entire 360-degree experience, which isn’t the case normally for VR porn.
Chatting, i.e. the interactive part of the ‘experience’ is as awkward as changing rooms – you have the choice of staying in non-VR mode and using text chat or granting access to your microphone and talking, though you’ll need to be in ‘private’ mode for that.
The latter makes a lot more sense, and again, plays into the idea that this is more of a ‘virtual girlfriend’ service where you might form attachments to particular girls (there are no guys on the platform, as yet) and stop by for a chat now and then, more than somewhere you’re going to drop-by for five minutes hardcore action in free chat, which is commonplace on non-VR cam sites.
If you do want to get a little more intimate, you’ll need to stump up for credits for a ‘private’ or ‘exclusive’ chat, which is billed at around 40 coins per minute. In ‘private’ other people can still interact with the model. Pay 200 coins a minute for exclusive access where no one else can enter the room and you’ll have undivided attention.
The exception with this is that other people can still ‘spy’ on your private show for 20 coins per minute, but not interact.
Exactly what that works out to at a per-minute rate depends on how many coins you buy at once. The lowest tier gets you around 23.5 coins per pound/dollar while the highest tier gets you about 5 coins per pound/dollar more, making it better value but a larger up-front cost. You get 60 coins for signing up for a free account.
At £70 for 2000 coins, and 200 coins per minute for an exclusive show, even if you buy the top tier, exclusive shows will still cost around £7 per minute, which definitely isn’t cheap. Whether you consider that good value is perhaps a different question, personally, I don’t.
Of course, you could instead have 100 minutes of spying on other private shows, which would make it more like 70 pence per minute. It really all depends what you’re hoping to get out of your VR cam experience, as to what ‘value’ you put to those coins.
If you’re comparing AliceX to a regular cam site, you’re only getting half the point of the service – it’s far more akin to watching a VR porn movie (obviously), albeit one in which you can interact with the ‘performer’.
Right now, with a small selection of models and a niche target market – VR might be almost mainstream but VR cam shows definitely are not – the private (chargeable) sessions are only going to appeal to a small number of people. The actual technical performance was almost flawless, though the ability to correctly refocus the Gear VR I was testing on depended on how far the model was sitting from the camera.
The key to AliceX’s, or any other VR cam site’s, success will be getting to scale quickly, as three models at any one time just won’t cut it for many people.