While virtual reality (VR) has been around in various guises over the years, the latest iteration of the technology has snowballed into the forefront of videogame news and is seen as the next ‘big thing’ for developers and global company’s to be pursuing. But games industry veteran David Braben, co-creator of Elite and CEO of Frontier Developments urges caution when it comes to VR.
In an interview with Videogamer.com, Braben talks about the VR industry saying: “I’m afraid, as an industry, about VR and how it will play out. It has that slightly ‘bandwagon’ feel about it. VR is great, don’t get me wrong, and I enjoy it. We’ve supported it wholeheartedly right from the start. I think we’re the only AAA game that today has support in for VR for the consumer.”
He adds: “But what I suppose the concern is, when [VR] goes broad, if it goes broad, is seeing your kids on the sofa, even more disconnected than they are now, with headphones and headsets on, I think from a parental point of view is going to be a negative. I think the experience is great, the vibe is amazing. It’s really good, and I’m impressed as to where Oculus are with their controller as well. But we’ve just got to think about that. And that isn’t just me criticising [VR], I think it’s great. I just think that we’ve got to get our position and messaging right, and make sure the games are things that people will be comfortable with. It’s stating the obvious, but I actually don’t think that head-mounted displays are best for all games.”
Braben hasn’t been the first to state miss giving’s of the technology, Warren Spector creator of Deus Ex has called it a fad, and Nintendo of America’s President and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime said: “At least based on what I’ve seen to date, it’s not fun, and it’s not social. It’s just tech.”
While there maybe concerns from some industry veterans on VR there are still many who are looking forward to its future. In the coming 12 months, the launches of all the major head-mounted displays (HMD) will have happened and the true state of the VR industry will emerge.
VRFocus will be following these events as they unfold and reporting the latest announcements.