At this point, with companies like Oculus, Valve, Sony Computer Entertainment and Samsung attached to the technology, virtual reality (VR) seems well positioned to succeed. But, without a true consumer product on the market, it’s impossible to tell how the next few years will go. While many are convinced of VR’s potential from a content side, mainstream adoption is another issue. Former Epic President Mike Capps, for example, thinks that it’s going to be ‘a while’ before the tech hits the mainstream, and hopes that these companies ‘don’t screw it up’ in the meantime.
Capps said as much in a recent interview with Games Industry. “There’s so little tolerance at the consumer level for that kind of an investment,” he said of VR. “And I think one of the things I’m most curious about – you look at 3DTV as a super easy to use technology that is really unfettered. Just a pair of polarized glasses and people didn’t use it because it wasn’t worth the trouble. The content difference was there. 3D Avatar looks way better than non-3D Avatar… If slipping on a pair of flicker glasses, is too much trouble – then the idea of, ‘Ok I’m going to put on my head mount rig and fire up my liquid cooled PC in order to make it happen’ [isn’t likely to take off]. I hope it happens but I think it’s going to be a while before my mom does that.”
Capps later touched upon Oculus VR CTO John Carmack’s talk at the 2015 Game Developers Conference earlier this month. “As Carmack said in his talk, ‘We ship a bunch of these Gear VRs and have an 80 percent return rate and everyone’s throwing up and then that’s the end. It’s done. No one’s going to buy it next round.’ So please, gosh, guys, don’t screw it up. Take all the time you need,” he stated.
Capps’ former company is heavily involved with VR, with its Unreal Engine 4 toolset proving to be a popular choice for developing Oculus Rift compatible titles.
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