So after watching OC4 I’m left with a very worrying thought “Is facebook more interested in creating a hardware that supports their social media structure then continuing to push the boundaries of high end pc based VR”
When facebook brought Oculus this was a fear that many expressed and now I’m wondering if this is now the case.
I love my rift having brought it a month after launch and with touch it’s given me lots of enjoyment. When I first saw Palmer Lucky talk about VR and the kickstarter campaign it was inspiring, especially for a long-term gamer like me.
When facebook brought Oculus, Touch and the current Rift where already well under development with the principals for both units in place.
So why am I worried that we will not see a CV2.
OC4 starts with Zuckerberg saying he wants 1 billion in
VR. Well that’s never going to happen from high end pc based VR. This only
leaves low end low friction based VR. With the announcement of Oculus Go this
fits that perfectly. Essentially a personal VR media viewer that will work well
for all types of media from watching films, youtube, internet browsing and
social media viewing.
Don’t get me wrong I love the idea of Go and have been
waiting for standalone VR devise that is cheap and easy to use to watch films
and do exactly what this will do, and I will buy one. Oculus Go is great
to achieve this and to spread the idea of VR as well as Oculus brand awareness.
However does this new venture depart the focus aware from
leading edge VR for enthusiastic PC gamers?
Zuckerberg has expressed disappointment that VR adoption has
not grown as quick as they would have liked and I wonder if this is a small
insight to what they really now want to do.
Yes VR adoption has not grown as fast as they would have liked but hang on a second what kind of adoption is truly possible for current VR.
Gaming right now is the natural fit for VR but VR is not a natural fit for gamers on a large scale. My great nephew is 13 and he plays games all day long if he could, either on his phone or on his xbox. For him gaming is either quick and easy or a way to talk to his friends online. He is not interested in great graphics, story lines or immersive gameplay, he wants awards, quick arena matches, collecting stuff and so on. He has GTA 5 and has never done a mission for him it’s about his friends meeting up and playing the game the way they want to. I asked him “is this how all your friends play games” and he said “yes”.
He has tried my rift but gets bored very quickly one because he’s not interested in playing a game for the game, his friends are not in it and the learning curve is more than he is prepared to put in to adapt to it. Maybe he is a lazy 13 year old, but aren’t most 13 year olds and this is the age group the current gaming industry is focused on.
So who is VR right now for, well I would say the older gamer who one has the money to spend, enjoys solo driven game or has a strong narrative, into sims and is willing to take the time to adapt to VR, that is not a large game base for mass VR adoption. As Palmer Lucky has said VR is for a subset of a subset of a subset.
So with this knowledge and sales feedback If I was the owner of a mass media platform and want to promote that platform high end VR would not be the way to go, low end low friction mass adoption would be my choice. Leading back to sadly again no CV2.
What else points to facebook moving away from high cost leading edge VR, what Carmack said in his talks and Q&A.
Firstly he said in his talk that almost made me shout was “if Go tanks then Oculus will focus back to predominantly high end PC VR” WHAT are you saying that Oculus focus is no longer on advancing PC VR. If that is true than it is very sad news for all VR enthusiasts who see Oculus as the leading light in VR. Also in a Q&A he talked about they have lenses that can achieve 140 degree view but are not using them.
In OC4 there was very little talk about continue funding for VR titles in fact no talk about funding. And there was no really big titles being showed for next year. So we have Marvel Powers United and possible Respawn doing something but we have no news on that. Not Very Encouraging.
Santa Cruz looks good but it’s not high end VR. I want high end VR, where is my leading edge in visual fidelity and FOV VR, Oculus?.
NOT COMING GUYS NOT COMING.
Price drop to £399 had to be done because very soon Vive and Rift will have inferior speks to upcoming HMD’s.
Samsung Odyssey is coming and yes the tracking is not going to be perfect but it will have better ergonomics and visual fidelity. When anybody tries my rift the first things they say is “it looks fuzzy, I don’t like the binocular look and it feels uncomfortable on my face”, don’t get me wrong they are also very impressed but it’s not enough.
So please oculus move towards the halo fit and get rid of the baseball camp fit. Bump up the screen and lenses.
This is what Samsung have done, don’t get left behind.
So I hope the £399 is to clear stocks so that maybe just maybe a bumped up rift is coming.
Rift will even be lesser in visual fidelity then the $199 GO that’s mad and the media will have a field day with it.
The GO will have higher visuals and better lenses then the Rift, even Carmack said that the new LCD screens has more net gains now then OLED.
I wonder if these screens are the same as the ones Pimax are going to use?
Lastly the coming update for Home with Dash looks great and really looking forward to it. Please oculus let us know you are still committed to high end PC driven VR because this update is maybe a prelude benefit for GO and Santa Cruz.
I would have like to have seen some news about what Oculus is working on for higher FOV, better lenses, better fidelity, and better ergonomics. Even if this was not happening strait away and was coming down the pipe as Oculus did in OC3 last year with Santa Cruz, this would have created a buzz for VR on PC.
The silence is deafening.