2016 was the first year of commercial virtual reality (VR) and much has changed and developed over that time. Daniel O’Brien, general manager of HTC’s Vive division, has spoken about the last 12 months and what he sees as being the future for the Vive.
Speaking in an interview with Digital Trends, O’Brien commented that he was very happy with the progress of the HTC Vive so far, especially with the volume of content and the monetisation thereof. He added that the launch of the Viveport content store, though in its early stages, was satisfactory so far. He also spoke of the innovations that were already happening with the HTC Vive, such as the tracker.
He said: “Full body tracking is something that’s doable with the tracker. All you need is three trackers, the Vive and the controllers and you literally have your whole body tracked in virtual space. The movie and entertainment industry is now starting to use these trackers rather than motion capture as part of their development tool set too. While I can’t confirm which AAA studios are using the Vive, I can tell you that every single one of them is developing with trackers and looking at innovative ways for their IPs.”
O’Brien was enthusiastic about the AAA titles that were heading to the HTC Vive: “We’re very excited about Valve committing to VR with the three titles it’s making for it, and Bethesda announced its Fallout strategy. We do know of other partners that are working on various large IP projects with the Vive — they just haven’t announced those yet.”
When asked about exclusives, O’Brien was very firm in his commitment to keeping Vive an open platform: “Developers need to be able to make money. We spend a lot of time working on these platforms, but if a developer can make something for the Vive and then take their game to other VR platforms, we’re completely open for that.”
O’Brien also expressed his belief that VR arcades would become an important part of the VR experience, and perhaps even revitalise the arcade industry: “I think VR arcades have a distinct ability to attract a consumer and get them into VR and get them excited about it. This is a model that already exists in markets like China, for PC gaming, and we’re now seeing that same sort of public setting for VR show up in Europe and the Americas. People have some really great and innovative ideas about how to do it.”
VRFocus will continue to bring you news on developments within the VR industry.