"Is it really different this time?"

That's the big question investors face as virtual reality (VR) is once again the talk of the tech press. The technology has been hyped before, but always turned into a money pit instead of a cash cow.

First and foremost, the products are finally coming. For example, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has released its Oculus Rift headset, the HTC Vive Pre is also available for ordering, and Sony (NYSE:SNE) announced its new PlayStation VR during South by Southwest. Further, projects like Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) HoloLens also show the potential for similar technology like augmented reality (AR). While VR will be hitting consumers this year, AR will more be targeted more directly to applications within enterprises.

With products finally hitting shelves, the question becomes: will VR be a niche opportunity for enthusiasts, or something that truly moves to the mass market and lives up to the massive market potential some analysts are projecting?

In the video below, Motley Fool analysts Eric Bleeker and Rex Moore discuss the VR market and some of the advancements they've seen in VR between January's CES and March's South by Southwest.

Eric Bleeker, CFA owns shares of Facebook. Rex Moore owns shares of Facebook and Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.