A recent interview featuring Oculus' Jason Rubin has been released. It talks about the future of VR Gaming, and also addresses an ongoing misconception that likens VR to 3DTV. Personally, I think that there are 2 camps for this train of thought:
- Users who are "less technically inclined" tend to view VR and 3DTV as something similar. This is understandable, but it is similar to someone thinking that a Smart Phone and a Server are the same thing.
- Developers who have built infrastructure and "write code" for a living tend to understand that VR and 3DTV are utterly different.
The reason this is such an ongoing topic is because a lot of discussion around "strategies" for VR attempt to label these strategies as "good vs bad," and often rely on linking VR to 3DTV to make such judgements.
While many have voiced their opinions on both sides of this camp, we finally get some insight from Oculus.
When we talk about the potential trajectory of VR as a mass consumer category, some people liken VR to 3D television. Is that a fair comparison?
The answer to that question is simple. 3D television delivered the exact same experience in a way that was interesting, but in the end pretty crappy. So the same movies, the same television shows, maybe a few made-for-3D things because they wanted to show you waterfalls or a forest or something, but ultimately it was watching television with a kind of fake depth. That was its one trick and it was pretty crappy. After watching it for a while, regardless of the technology, your eyes got tired.
And there's a good reason for that, by the way. It wasn't real 3D. You couldn't look around anything. All it was was stereo, and the stereo was made for a very specific interpupillary distance, the distance between your pupils. People's pupils are variable. And some people are wider, most people are in the middle, and then some people are very narrow. And only people that had almost exactly the IPD it was made for got a good experience. Everybody else got a really crappy experience.
VR is an utterly different situation. It's giving you a very, very different experience. VR gets better and better and better every year. VR is an infinitely-evolving ecosystem of totally different content. And so you can't compare the two.