Changed? Sure, the tech is better, but they're doomed to make the same mistakes because none of them even bothered to look at all the work that was done in VR in the 90s. Same wonderful "let's reinvent the wheel" mentality that's taken the software world by storm. I'm glad some of this 90s stuff is at least coming back, because maybe some of the companies doing work will go back and use some of the work that was done with consumer exposure, software interface, etc.
There are a ton of folks who did some really pioneering work that I'd love to see involved with Rift/Sony/etc, but I haven't heard any of them mentioned anywhere.
Cheesy toy ads aside; Hasbro, Abrams Gentile Entertainment, Numerical Design Ltd., Steve Tice industries, Zombie, Bulletproof Software, and even Warren Robinett were doing a ton of work in this area for a number of years. And I'm wondering if Rift/et al even looked at the percentage of people who can actually view stereoscopic vs. not, head balance issues with 12+ hours in a helmet, ways to abate motion sickness, audio cues to make people turn their head (which is harder than you think, especially if you have a drivers license), etc. I don't see a lot of that in the design, it just seems to be the usual "wave of the future" nonsense that sunk it last time.
Someone should go talk to the Second Life folks about that.