For all of its stressing about perfect hardware, Oculus VR is fully aware that it will also need plentiful software for the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) to be a success. In fact, it’s one of the reasons that the company is yet to launch the consumer version (CV1) of the device. Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe made this observation during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Shows (CES) last week, noting that it will be an ‘easy decision’ to launch CV1 when there is enough ‘compelling content’ for consumers to enjoy.
“If you don’t have content, you don’t sell hardware,” Iribe told International Business Times. “We need a suite of content of really fun, compelling experiences that aren’t just hardcore game-oriented, and when that’s good enough it’ll be an easy decision to go to the consumer market. Today there wouldn’t be enough compelling content to launch. Is that day going to be in 2015 or 2016? We don’t see it yet. There’s also the need for access to the input device. Are we using gamepads or not? It’s a whole different game if it’s a touchscreen, if it’s a gamepad, if it’s a wand, your hand or a gesture.”
Obviously much of that content will come from third-party publishers and developers although Oculus VR itself is making strides in producing VR content. The company is set to publish Playful Corp’s third-person platform experience Lucky’s Tale as well as co-publish CCP Games’ anticipated multiplayer flight simulation title EVE: Valkyrie on PC. Over on the Gear VR smartphone-based HMD the company has released a demo for its first internally-developed videogame, HeroBound: First Steps. Finally, former-THQ President Jason Rubin was taken on board at the company in 2014 as Head of Studios.
All that said, Oculus VR’s John Carmack has in the past noted that making the ‘killer app’ for VR is ‘not what we’re supposed to do’. Instead, the company will no doubt hope that one of the many external developers working with the hardware is currently creating the definitive VR experience. VRFocus will continue to follow Oculus VR’s progress in the build up to the launch of the consumer Oculus Rift, reporting back with any further updates.