VRFocus previously discussed bringing big videogame franchises into virtual reality (VR) with Jason Rubin, VP of Content at Oculus VR, and how most of these transitions into VR for 2D videogames are likely to be unsuccessful. This is mostly due to companies not fully comprehending the VR format. Some videogames are perfect for consoles and PC, and one has to think whether the VR format is appropriate for the story and videogame. This hasn’t stopped Oculus VR itself bringing good content to their platform with over 2,000 titles, and 300 titles for Oculus Rift with Touch, it’s clear that 2017 has been great for the latest wave of VR content. VRFocus sat down with Rubin at Oculus Unwrapped in London to discuss the VR landscape today, the recent Oculus price drop, the Santa Cruz prototype that was showcased at OC4 and some advice to developers or companies looking to get into VR.
The VR space is growing, changing and always improving in hardware and software. This does however put consumers at risk when they purchase VR head-mounted displays (HMDs). There may not be enough content to consume, the software or hardware hasn’t been fully developed and it means consumers may be buying HMDs that could be out-of-date in less than a year. This would make VR more competitive and fast-moving than the average release of a videogame console. This will not be the case for the Oculus Rift, according to Rubin, who says that purchasers can rest assured that the HMD will stay the focus and will be here for a while.
Since the beginning of the year Oculus Rift’s price has continued to drop in order to stay competitive with the PlayStation VR and HTC Vive, so as the price for the VR HMDs drop and the VR content library increases, consumers can expect more quality at lower prices in future. This is what everybody is waiting for in order for VR to hit mass market.
Others believe that the tech for VR should be developing faster, but Rubin disagrees and explains that we are all too impatient. According to Rubin, the technology for the Santa Cruz could not have come out any earlier, even if they wanted to. Oculus VR do not want to rush too quickly with the release of new technology and want to make sure enough content is out there before releasing any new VR HMDs. With the coming of the Oculus Go at the beginning of next year and the Santa Cruz prototype, Oculus Rift purchasers can rest assured that no new additional HMDs will be released in 2018. Rubin says that the Oculus Rift is going to be here for a while, and will also stay the focus for a while. The same can be said for the any content that will be created for the Santa Cruz HMD; Rubin explains the Santa Cruz prototype as a mash up of an Oculus Rift and Oculus Go: Santa Cruz would be the result of the two having babies.
The recent success of the great sales for the PlayStation VR and with the sales of VR HMDs exceeding 1 million units in Q3 in 2017 Rubin is extremely excited for the future. He says, “I’m also really excited that Sony is out there putting money, time and energy into making games. That’s good for VR. It’s good for VR, it’s good for Oculus.”
With more laptops and PC’s becoming “VR ready” it looks like Oculus VR want to become the VR HMD consumers lean towards in the PC VR space. Rubin explains, “I think what you’re going to see over the next couple of years is PC VR really take off and [Oculus] Rift be the center place or center piece of PC VR.”
Due to the growing success and awareness of VR it looks like more companies are looking to create more VR content. Rubin says that this is a great time to start to learn about VR, but this can come with a lot of risk. It’s a delicate balance of staying ahead and becoming dominant in the field or going too far ahead. “It’s a rough and tumble business. This is the game we are in,” Rubin explains in the interview below.
To find out more about Oculus Rift and find out tips for developing VR watch the video below.