Many critics and fans were somewhat surprised to learn that the latest Formula 1 videogame, F1 2017 would not feature any virtual reality (VR) capability. A member of the Codemasters development team reveals some of the reasons behind that decision.
F1 2017 is due for release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC today, 25th August, 2017. but there are no plans for a VR mode, something that many have questioned, since the sit-down position of racing titles tends to make a good fit for a VR experience.
Creative Director Lee Mather spoke to GamesIndustry.Biz about that choice: “We’ve certainly given a lot of consideration to VR,” Mather said, “It’s a little trickier for us because we’re pushing the boundaries when it comes to our physics. We have a lot of elements on screen with the OSD, so that’s a lot of information the player would have to process in VR. The changes to move the game onto VR would be fairly significant, and we wouldn’t want to do it if it meant compromising any area of the game. That’s why we’re holding back on that at the moment, but it’s something we’re considering.”
F1 2017 is facing some tough competition in the racing genre this year, with Gran Turismo Sport and Project Cars 2, both of which feature VR compatibility, as well as the relaunch of Need For Speed and Forza Motorsport 7. Mather comments: “We’re a niche within a niche to a degree,” he says. “Racing games are a niche in themselves, and we are unique within that and that’s our big selling point. We aren’t just a racing game; we’re a representation of a full sport. So whereas other racing games may appeal to racing game players, we appeal to Formula One fans as well. We’re pulling in people who love the sport as much as we’re pulling in people who love games and racing. That’s where our place is and that’s why we’ve got such a dedicated fanbase every year.”
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