Virtual reality (VR) has incredible potential as a tool for education, medical practises and much, much more, but right now head-mounted displays (HMDs) such as the Oculus Rift are squarely focused on entertainment. In fact, the kits are essentially launching as new platforms for videogames, with Oculus VR itself busy preparing a line-up of titles for the kit’s release on 28th March 2016. So why isn’t the company placing a stronger focus on these potentially vital aspects right now? That’s something that Head of Worldwide Studios Jason Rubin recently explained.
Speaking with Popular Science, Rubin reasoned that the Oculus Rift needs to be focused on entertainment first in order to get it into people’s homes. “We believe that VR is going to be in everything,” he said. “But to start we’re focusing on entertainment because entertainment is a reason for people to bring a device into their home. Once it’s in their home, people will figure out what to do with it. A good example of that is when smartphones came about, people didn’t say ‘Oh you’re creating an app store? That’s going to change taxis. Taxis are done.’ But Uber resulted out of that situation, right?”
He continued, stating that this same example can be applied to VR “The same thing is going to happen in VR. People look at VR and they’re not saying today: ‘You know what this is going to do? It’s going to change this, kill this, make a new world of this.’ They don’t know yet. We don’t know. We can’t predict. I mean maybe some smart person’s out there working on it we don’t know about. So it will get into homes as a gaming system, as an entertainment system.”
Indeed, when the Oculus Rift does arrive, it will come with two free videogames. Those that pre-order the kit will get CCP Games’ EVE: Valkyrie while everyone that picks one up will also get Lucky’s Tale. An Xbox One gamepad is also included with the unit.
For the latest updates on the Oculus Rift and all other VR HMDs, keep reading VRFocus.