When Oculus VR was first beginning John Carmack, the legendary developer behind the likes of Doom, showcased a makeshift Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) running a virtual reality (VR) version of Doom 3. A lot has happened since that time and Oculus VR is now far more ambitious in its plans for VR past the first-person shooter (FPS) genre that it once planned to dominate. In fact, these days, even Carmack himself would be surprise if VR’s killer app was a shooter at all.
Carmack said as much responding to a Twitter comment that begged the developer to look further than shooters to find the VR killer app. “I will be surprised if the killer VR app is a shooter,” Carmack replied. The statement echoes comments made by Oculus VR during its Oculus Connect developer conference in September 2014, where CEO Brendan Iribe stressed that the technology was no longer just about videogames and FPS titles. In fact, the fabled app might not be a videogame at all.
A handul for FPS experiences are currently available for the Oculus Rift, with the most recent entry in the genre being Time Rifters. FPS titles seem like a natural fit for VR technology, but would require heavy optimisation and perhaps even new input methods to provide a true sense of presence.
The conversation took place as part of the same talk on Twitter that has seen Carmack put in contact with members of Mojang to discuss a VR version of Minecraft: Pocket Edition for Gear VR. It’s not yet clear if anything has come from the two’s talks although it is of course a little early for any such announcement to be made. VRFocus will continue to follow Oculus VR, the Oculus Rift, Gear VR and all other forms of VR technology closely, reporting back with any further updates on them.