"No one cares about greater visual fidelity" new Oculus VR dev says

15-year Electronic Arts veteran David De Martini joins Oculus VR as its head of worldwide publishing.

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15-year Electronic Arts veteran David De Martini could have retired to a life of playing golf, but he instead joined Oculus VR as its head of worldwide publishing, it has been announced.

The former EA executive, who oversaw EA Origin and the EA Partners Program while at the Battlefield publisher, confirmed his move to the virtual reality company in an interview with GamesIndustry International.

"I was ready to potentially retire to the golf course, and this was just so ground-breaking that it took me out of playing golf three days a week," De Martini said. "The potential was just so large that it was really something I'd been searching for at least the last five years within EA. It's the most exciting thing I've been a part of since at least Rock Band at EA."

De Martini is not the first former publisher executive or industry veteran that Oculus VR has brought on board. The company's ranks include former Activision and Gaikai executives, as well as Doom co-creator John Carmack, who joined the company full-time in November..

At Oculus VR, De Martini's job will be to introduce the Oculus Rift technology to developers of all size. He said he expects companies like EA and Activision, as well as numerous independent developers, to jump on board the new technology. Still, De Martini is aware of the challenge he is faced with in getting the platform off the ground.

"We have exactly zero production units sold in right now," De Martini said. "So they look at that and ask how many are you going to have? When are you going to ship? How many are you going to ship? And we point them to directional answers. And developers like certainty. They like specific answers."

Still, De Martini argued that the time is right for Oculus Rift to succeed because people don't care about more advanced visuals, but rather new experiences, he said.

"People are so tired of the last 15 years of the game industry, hearing about 'greater visual fidelity,'" De Martini said. "No one cares about greater visual fidelity anymore. It's already good enough. We don't need things to look even better; we need the experience to fundamentally change, and the Oculus platform is a fundamental change to how people will experience games."

Also in the interview, Oculus VR vice president Nate Mitchell said console owners like Microsoft and Sony may be interested in the company's virtual reality efforts, despite CEO Palmer Luckey saying on record that consoles are "too limited" for what the company has in mind.

"I think there's a huge demand for Oculus on the consoles because frankly, the gaming community is there," Mitchell said. "There's a huge PC gamer base at Oculus, but there's also an enormous console base. So many gamers out there own consoles; of course it makes sense that we'd want to have the Rift working on those machines. I think there's a ton of enthusiasm from the community to get the Rift on consoles. We'll see where we end up."

The Oculus Rift headset remains in development at Oculus VR, though no release date has been announced yet for the commercial version, which is expected to be available for $300 when it does launch. Development kits went out to developers earlier this year.

Discussion

250 comments
blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

lol. clearly, this guy has not seen a gamespot comment thread. kids love any mention of 1080p.

tightwad34
tightwad34

I do agree that better graphics don't mean a damn thing, to me at least. But he's wrong to say that no one cares about it. It almost seems like he doesn't realize that we all have our own needs and opinions. Might as well say gamers don't care about the story, or gameplay, or individual characters while he's at it.

Ultra_Taco
Ultra_Taco

I like greater visual fidelity...

1blackone
1blackone

Nintendo must look at what these guys are doing with melancholic tears in their eyes.  They had the vision to see the future, but, where sadly limited by the hardware limitations of their time.

For crying out loud, they had games that used the POWER GLOVE with rudimentary motion sensing, the POWER PAD with foot movements, AND the notorious flop Virtualboy!


That said, what would really tie Occulus Rift all together is the implementation of palm and finger haptic feedback gloves in tandem with full/partial body motion sensing via Kinect/PSEYE/Webcam.

If this OC turns out to be the ONE to deliver everyone's childhood vision of the what the future VG landscape was gonna be,  "then....It's a very exciting time!" (You get points for picking up the-if i must say myself-very relevant reference=P).

However, Its imperative that the clunky headset to be replaced with a thinner and lighter OLED visor-type display. hopefully something that has a deep-sea diver bubble panoramic view. Essentially this pic:

http://psipunk.com/immersed-senses-lets-scuba-diver-breathe-and-move-freely-underwater/


oflow
oflow

The fundamental changes that gamers want are better AI, better game mechanics and game developers that think outside the box.  Games like Brothers, Journey or The Wonderful 101 and concepts like voxels, procedurals (No Man's Sky) or dynamic sandbox worlds with player created content.

Not gimmicks like motion control, voice control or 3D, all of which have flopped in their most recent iterations for the most part.  Bulky VR headsets, especially when the tech is still in a stage when most people that use it get nauseous, will mostly likely fail as well. 


While visual fidelity isnt the end all be all (considering lots of great indie games use low res graphics and are some of the best games out) hes kind of delusional if he thinks there isnt a huge segment of gamers that dont want more fidelity and always will.

I know hes primarily doing PR for the product so he has to say these things, but personally I think until the tech advances a little more (like the headsets are the size of Google Glass not a huge box strapped to your head-- gaming is nerdy enough without a dose of extra dorksauce from this contraption) and the price point is a bit lower ($300 for one person is a bit steep thats the price of a console) hes kinda fooling himself.

Dont get me wrong I'm all for innovation, I just dont think this thing is really what people want.

But who knows, a game like Star Citizen with Occulus Rift support might do to VR what Star Wars did to sci fi movies in the 70s, so you never know.

XNEXUS666X
XNEXUS666X

Although these things are quite good in terms of technological achievement, they won't succeed unless they require less effort than sitting back on your couch moving your thumbs about. As wonderful as it seems, all this head moving and hand waving is just a pain in the ass and hardly the relaxing experience I want out of games.

PS2fweak
PS2fweak

I can agree with some of what he's saying, but I hate how black and white he's being. He says "no one cares about greater visual fidelity anymore"? And then he goes on to say what we don't "need". We don't need Oculus Rift either. It's not about what we need. People always want better visuals, because contrary to what many gamers think, better visuals can/do spark creativity. Many games would've never been imagined if their creators didn't believe they were possible. That possibility comes from better tech. 


And I know it's his job, but I'm tired of people acting like Oculus Rift is the only VR option. Microsoft and Sony don't want it. They can't own it, so they would never be interested in it. They will just make their own and probably for half the price. I think there's a huge demand for Oculus, because there's a huge demand for VR, but I think it's still too early for most gaming applications, because the controls still don't work properly IMO. 


I'm not ready to feel like I'm actually in a game world when I can still feel a gamepad in my hands, and every human-hamster wheel device just looks ridiculous and possibly dangerous.

xolivierx
xolivierx

it might be a cool gadjet, but I like looking at my tv while playing games.
I am not really looking for new experiences in terms of gaming. I'm kind of old fashioned

mattcake
mattcake

The millions of people who just bought a new console would say otherwise.

the13stuff
the13stuff

I'm not interested in wearing this thing on my face.... at all. We are cut off from the world around us enough, and seeing this stuff just reminds me off the rather large immobile people in WALL-E.

cdragon_88
cdragon_88

Truth is, this is where we are headed in video games. Vr and always online. The question is, is the technology too premature and ahead of its time to take off?

krizalidzero
krizalidzero

I think he's right, it's good enough... with the PS4 and Xbox One, the PS3 era was amazing but jaggies. Now games look like true Pixar/DreamWorks movies, which is awesome, so yeah... it's enough right now, hell, even the Wii U (that looks a bit better than 360 and PS3) is good enough.


tsunami2311
tsunami2311

I didnt buy into this 15 years ago when they tried this and i still dont. and if those images are how i gona see threw that I still wont. we shall see I say it will fail just not as bad as previous attempt

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Well he's right.  I DO want to see bigger, better, and more impressive looking games of course but making games look better than everyone else's game isn't the point anymore.  It isn't important.  Game budgets are getting bigger and bigger.  Small indie devs can't afford 100 million dollar game budgets.  BUT there are plenty of tools out there to make good looking high quality games with just a small handful of people.  The Unity engine and Unreal 3 (and hopefully 4 will be just as intuitive for devs) both offer great tools for people.  They can make great looking material without needing tons of money.


Either way, new ways and methods of play can only help games.  This entire industry was created with innovation in mind.  Of course the past several years gamers have rebelled against change (mobile games) and innovation (Wii and motion controls of any kind).  Sure they aren't always implemented or done well, but the great stuff IS GREAT.  Enjoy it and quit complaining.  Gaming is a hobby.  It's supposed to be FOR FUN.  Stop getting so ticked off about what the industry is doing that's good (Oculus, WiiU, 3DS, and SOME but not all mobile games) and fight against the ridiculous nonsense (in app purchases, freemium models for games OF ANY KIND, forced online connectivity in games that shouldn't need it).

Ciera
Ciera

hahahaha nope

djentmaven
djentmaven

Is running your mouth a prerequisite of becoming employed by EA. Origin, one of the worst ideas ever along with the current failure that is BF. Guess what people do care about visual fidelity. That's why there is such a huge PC base and graphics card sales are up. I already hate this guy.

Deadlysyns87
Deadlysyns87

Guy who Oversaw EA origin the thing you guys all hate is now on Oculus Rift and all you PC gamers are like this guy knows what he is talking about. Guess hypocrisy is alive and well Oculus is going to go downhill now guys.

ender707
ender707

Finally someone there acknowledges that xbox/PS4 gamers will buy this.  Just kept shaking my head in disbelief regarding them saying they wanted it on android but not consoles...

MADDjoe
MADDjoe

Give me awesome game and great graphics any day. I could careless about the experience playing while playing the game. I want to sit in my chair with a controller in my hand, a beer and some snacks on the side. Experience level...awesome!

opinions2
opinions2

The main issue I take with this article is that not all players can even view 3D due to a lack of depth perception. I for one have 1 eye that my brain will take images from and the other is pretty much ignored. As a result almost all 3D effects are lost on me. So Oculus Rift hold absolutely no interest with me. Having higher grade graphics for me to look at is nice but even now I am starting to see a blur in the lines between 'Real' and 'CG'

SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

Actually, many gamers are just now experiencing decent visual fidelity for the first time.  Everyone raved about GTAV graphics, which are quite bad in reality, because they didn't know any better.

gufberg
gufberg

This is blatant baiting by GameSpot. THe guy is saying that the experience must fundamentally change and that visual fidelity is much less important in comparison. GS takes his comment out of context to generate controversy. 

john1217727
john1217727

If you want a new way to experience gaming, get a 3ds - 3d without the 3d glasses.

john1217727
john1217727

Yeah, he should have taken his bs opinions and retired " to a life of playing golf." We were offered new ways to experience gaming last generation with motion control gaming (not trying to dis the kinect 2.0 here as it is primarily used for non-gaming functions) and that seems to have been a fad..  3d tvs haven't exactly been tearing up the market either.

elitefunk
elitefunk

FUGS THAT! GIMME BETTER GRAPHICS B!TCH!!!! lol, in all seriousness though if people didnt want better visuals why are they buying next gen consoles? i sort of agree that we need some more innovation when it comes to how we play games, and oculus is shaping up to be just what weve been waiting for but i still like playing games the oldschool way, motion controls are a gimmick i dont mind basic motion controls like they have in BF4 (lean and free look) but i dont want to stand up and flail about like a loony to play games (wii). Also i can see the oculus becoming more of a pain than anything, i hate wearing safety glasses at work, i hate wearing headphones to play while my roommates are asleep so i could see me not wanting to have this bulky thing strapped to my head either, especially if it requires constant adjustment. anyway im excited to see how it performs but im not getting my hopes up yet.

noandno
noandno

I realized that he used to work for EA so, yeah sure buddy....

jhcho2
jhcho2

The 'we don't need better graphics' statement has been said as far back as 10 years ago. Anyone who continues saying it either doesn't understand the industry, or is spewing out PR crap to mislead the public.


Anyway, I'll just say it again. Oculus Rift won't leave a mark on the industry. Virtual Reality didn't take off 15 years ago, it won't take off now. And no, it's not about technological constraints 15 years ago. Technology always seems outdated when looked back in retrospect. 15 years ago, nobody thought VR was held back technologically. In fact, we thought it was awesome. Gamers just don't like gaming with a helmet or goggles. Not for long term at least. That preference has not changed this 15 years.

amaneuvering
amaneuvering

"I think there's a huge demand for Oculus on the consoles because frankly, the gaming community is there," Mitchell said. "There's a huge PC gamer base at Oculus, but there's also an enormous console base. So many gamers out there own consoles; of course it makes sense that we'd want to have the Rift working on those machines. I think there's a ton of enthusiasm from the community to get the Rift on consoles. We'll see where we end up."

Thank f**k he has a clue regarding this one thing.

Palmer is a very smart guy and he's done something awesome but if they don't find some way to get this thing on all the consoles out there too then I think that's just one of the worst business moves ever for a product like this.

Just because things are always advancing that doesn't mean you should ignore a massively important chunk of the entire gaming market and only support computer nerds.

The Rift needs to be EVERYWHERE if it's to be the paradigm shift it's has the potential to be and quite possibly the industry needs to continue to be the best it can be.

ecurl143
ecurl143

It's no gimmick -  I absolutely guarantee the Oculus Rift will change gaming in a massive way - I've tried one out playing Dear Esther on a very low resolution screen and it was still an incredible experience - I mean unbelievably immersive - I can only imagine how much better it will be when the consumer units ship with HD and tighten up the head tracking to allow forward and backward movement of the head.

Take a look at Star Citizen and realise how much wow factor visually an Oculus Rift will enhance to player experience - instead of playing on a static 2D 17/19 inch screen - you will feel like you are in the craft itself and able to look around on all axis - add in 5.1 surround sound headphones and the immersion is complete.


sol_invictus55
sol_invictus55

This is such a gimmick, its just basically putting a screen to your face its not really VR. Just sit close to your tv for the same effect.

pupp3t_mast3r
pupp3t_mast3r

@PS2fweak All the articles I've read about Oculus Rift make it sound like such a big deal but so far what I've seen of it makes me think it's just a gimmicky add-on like they used to tack on the guns and the steering wheels for some games on the PS2 and XBox.


Don't get me wrong, I think there's tremendous potential here, but it's still so early on we'd need at least another 5-7 years before technology has advanced far enough to make this hardware a viable entertainment option.

IAMTYLERDURDEN
IAMTYLERDURDEN

@tsunami2311


It's easy for someone who hasn't experienced the Rift yet to say what you're saying but you really cant compare this new tech with anything that came before it. Nothing comes close to this. The Rift takes over your whole field of vision. Never before has there been such immersion in gaming worlds, not even using the biggest 4K TV and best surround sound system. The list of supporters continue to grow so yeah... I get the feeling this will be different.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@opinions2I might be wrong here, but I do not believe it would affect you. This is from their official website:


"Can I use the Oculus Rift if I have poor/zero vision in one eye?

The Oculus Rift provides two independent images, one for each eye, so your view should match whatever you’re able to see in real life. We can’t guarantee it’ll work for everyone’s eyes; you’ll have to try the Oculus Rift for yourself to be sure."


"The Oculus Rift creates a stereoscopic 3D view with excellent depth, scale, and parallax. Unlike 3D on a television or in a movie, this is achieved by presenting unique and parallel images for each eye. This is the same way your eyes perceive images in the real world, creating a much more natural and comfortable experience."

leakingdogmilk
leakingdogmilk

@gufberg 


It wouldn't work if PC gamers aren't so stupid, actually possess the ability to read and the ability to stop kissing and talking about their own ass. Look at all these stupid morons here talking about I CARE I CARE and miss the whole point completely.


I have a gaming PC but I will never call myself a PC gamer so I wouldn't be associated with a bunch of morons who sniff their own ass for breakfast. 

john1217727
john1217727

@jhcho2 Yeah, I don't even like having to wear 3d glasses to watch 3d Tv.  I already wear glasses. That's why I like my 3ds - 3d with no glasses.  I infer from his statement that 'no one cares about greater visual fidelity,' that the graphics for games on the Oculus Rift will be inferior to those provided by next gen consoles and PCs.  Most of the time people who use words like 'no one' or 'everybody' or 'never' or 'always' in a statement are not telling the truth.  

.

jhcho2
jhcho2

@ecurl143

When it comes to gaming, whether a certain technology has any staying power isn't dependent on how innovative it is. It depends on whether gamers want to make it a standard way of playing games. Innovation is like a breakthrough in technology, or an introduction of something new, neither of which is necessarily guaranteed to become a standard way of doing things. If my own gaming preference is any indication, gamers don't like wearing stuff on them when they game. They might do it for the novelty, but they certainly do not want to wear something like the Oculus Rift every single time they game. As such, assuming that is true, it will not be a standard. It's very important that you make a distinction between innovation and a new standard. The Wiimote was an innovation and even the Wii sold well. Do you see any next gen consoles using a remote as a standard controller? And why? We simply don't want that to be a standard.

amaneuvering
amaneuvering

@sol_invictus55 

You are so wrong it's not even funny and CLEARLY you haven't tried one.

This is as immersive as ANY entertainment experience has been to date and it's only going to get better and better with each new iteration of the technology. It's like actually standing IN a game with the whole game literally wrapped all around you in full 360 degrees and with you being able to turn your head in any direction and always see part of the game world. There's no obvious edges or boundary to the game view like there is with a screen. The potential is just huge if they nail all the little tech issues in the final consumer model.

You REALLY need to go watch some more in depth YouTube videos of this thing in action and actually get some clue of exactly what it's doing and what it brings to the table...

Seriously.

tsunami2311
tsunami2311

@IAMTYLERDURDEN@tsunami2311there is that chance will be diffrent but I say it wont be, Just from seeing camera point at the rift, I can  say one thing WE dont see things they way its portraits it  image to us which is it's skew the hell out of the image.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@leakingdogmilkDo you game on your PC? If yes, than you are a PC gamer. You can't just change the definition whenever it suits you. 

If you don't play on your gaming PC, then you're an idiot for buying an expensive piece of kit not suited for its purpose.

amaneuvering
amaneuvering

@jhcho2 

Every single new console is using motion control in some form or another and that's what the Wiimote primarily introduced to the masses; motion control.

I genuinely expect the same will happen with this new generation of VR based on what I've seen.

sol_invictus55
sol_invictus55

@amaneuvering

How do you turn your head 360 degrees?

amaneuvering
amaneuvering

@jhcho2 

And I think the Rift actually has the potential to genuinely be that overall improvement for those people that embrace it.

I'm one of those people that absolutely hates wearing 3D glasses to watch a 3D movie but Oculus is on a whole other level. With Oculus you could be watching a full 3D movie while sitting in a full 3D cinema, all around your view, and suddenly the entire movie spills out from the screen and into the actual cinema around you. Imagine a horror movie taking advantage of that potential. It's just on a whole other level to anything we've ever experienced in entertainment to date and that's just a non-interactive movie for them most part.

Go check out the 'Alone" Oculus video on the VR Brotherhood YouTube Channel for an example of what I'm on about (also, remember, the image of the game you see appears fully wrapped around the guys head without the edges that are visible on your screen)...

I don't imagine for one second that Oculus will be there as an alternative to controls, traditional or motion or whatever, but alongside them. I do imagine it will basically replace the need to sit staring at a relatively small TV screen for most of your main gaming sessions however.

jhcho2
jhcho2

@amaneuvering 

That's exactly the point. Motion controls isn't as good as conventional controls for gaming. So it basically means that an innovation isn't guaranteed to be an improvement. The Oculus Rift is an innovation. It has not yet proven to be an overall (<--keyword) improvement to gaming. An improvement is when once introduced, we never want to go back to what it was before - like the introduction of shoulder buttons and analog sticks. Can we imagine a controller without them? The answer is no. Whether or not gamers will actually find it hard to imagine gaming without the Oculus Rift....is still yet to be seen. What the Rift can or cannot do, is entirely besides the point.

amaneuvering
amaneuvering

@jhcho2 @amaneuvering 

But ALL the consoles incorporate/use motion control in one way or another now and THAT's the impact the Wiimote had.

The ONLY reason it's not the primary control interface is simply because on gaming focused devices everyone knows motion control still isn't quite good enough to replace dedicated game controllers so they put the game controller as the main controller and motion controls as a secondary option for those who want that.

VR's time is pretty much here imo and the only question remaining is whether it becomes the new paradigm or one of the better peripherals that's come to gaming.

Personally, for more core gamer types, I think it has a genuine shot at being the new paradigm for much of their gaming time and interaction.

It's potentially THAT good this time around.

jhcho2
jhcho2

@amaneuvering@jhcho2 

That's how the Wiimote influenced the industry. But the Wiimote was primarily motion based. All the current controllers are still directional button base. Whatever motion controls we have now, are there seemingly for gimmicky reasons. Nobody will really care even if it wasn't there.