VR Could Be More About Film Than Games, Oculus Says

"We don't know what the killer app is," Oculus said.

191 Comments
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The Oculus Rift got its initial funding on Kickstarter when it was pitched as "the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games," but it could end up serving movies more than games, Oculus VR has said.

"We've said from the beginning we're big gamers, and we started Oculus to deliver consumer VR and revolutionize games," Oculus VR's vice president for product Nate Mitchell told the L.A. Times in an interview at CES 2015. "But it may well end up being that VR is more about film than games. We don't know what the killer app is."

GameSpot was at CES 2015, where we saw a few new companies show off their own virtual reality devices. Some (as you can see in the video below) were better than others, but we found that the Oculus Rift Crescent Bay device with the new 3D audio, is still the most impressive virtual reality experience.

In November 2014, Oculus said that the consumer model of the headset is "months, not years" away, and that it will cost between $200 and $400.

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Avatar image for bobodeclown
bobodeclown

I only got to play around with one for a few minutes, but it doesn't take long to see how shoddy the image quality is in these VR headsets.

Imho, it will end up just being a gimmick. It takes the nerdiest of nerds to sit there slack jawed, with one of these strapped on. My wife has al ready told me that it would be hard to watch me play that way.

Avatar image for mkeezay22
mkeezay22

<< LINK REMOVED >> What headset did you try, after DK1 the resolution has been fine, DKII was 1080p and Crescent bay is even higher, try making up stuff to people who don't actually know.

Avatar image for gregglle
gregglle

Yeah this guy has no clue

Avatar image for gregglle
gregglle

Lol before he tries it he could already tell the shoddy image. As if he was going into it hoping to have a bad expwriences. Sees pixels and immediately takes headset off. "I knew it was going to be a shoddy image". There is no shoddyness in the oculus demos. There no latency or judder. Perhaps you were expecting vr to be like the hdtv's but clearer. Nope. It's about putting yourself into the world. Pixels will go away in due time. But right now we have the tracking and everything else down

Avatar image for bobodeclown
bobodeclown

Niether the Occulus or morpheus headset is going to give you super-sharp visuals, as both cover much more of your vision than any TV in a ‘normal’ position. Even people with projectors firing onto big walls tend to have a setup that takes up a relatively small percentage of their field of view.

This lack of resolution is made all the more serious when we consider that this extended field of view issue means that the natural 'goal' of a virtual reality headset like this is to have it render more of a scene than you’d see on a PS4 piping out video to a 42-inch TV. To even have it produce the same impression of sharpness as a 1080p TV without this factor, you’d need to use a 2160 x 1080 pixel screen – bringing 1080p visuals to each eye. Ive not seen any video glasses/headset to date with such a high-resolution.

In summary, there are still a few generations’ worth of development to be done here.

Avatar image for vibroknife
VibroKnife

These guys annoy me with every statement they make. It's like they don't give a sh*t about games anymore. What pr*cks

Avatar image for gregglle
gregglle

It's all in your head dude. You are creating this monster of a company inside your head. But your too stoopid to realize it

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Deadlysyns87

<< LINK REMOVED >> your too stupid to spell stupid. Facebook is a monster company, and they own Oculus.

Avatar image for kujel
kujel

<< LINK REMOVED >> This is why I never bought into all the hype and even denounce VR.

Avatar image for zzanzabar
zzanzabar

I am very surprised that people are not mentioning that the VR is like strapping a 70 inch (or bigger) TV screen to your head. How much does a high def 70 inch TV go for? For a fraction of that cost you can have that in your living room. On a cost per unit basis it is even cheaper to buy one for every member of your family than to buy just one TV of that size. Factor in the fact that there will be undoubtedly advancements that will allow you to view DVD's blluetoothed directly to the unit and you have a portable entertainment system for each member of the family.

Avatar image for deactivated-583276a1d2d91

<< LINK REMOVED >> For what ive played, occulus rift is a pretty cheap low def vr set. I think its was like 360p

Avatar image for mkeezay22
mkeezay22

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> lol even DK1 was higher than that, DKII was 1080p and Crescent bay has a higher res than the monitor you are spouting your BS on, get your facts straight.

Avatar image for gregglle
gregglle

Lol

Avatar image for mkeezay22
mkeezay22

<< LINK REMOVED >> No it's not like strapping a TV to your forehead, it gives you two angles from the eyes of the character, giving you not only an immersive view, but putting you inside the game world, a TV 6 feet away doesn't put you in the game world.

Avatar image for GhoX
GhoX

It's quite possible, in the short term. The reason is simple - VR game where a player feels realistic demands hardware beyond what is available on the market today, but VR movies doesn't have such a steep requirement.

In order for controlling a character in first-person mode in a 3D environment to feel "realistic", I'm not just talking about fancy graphics. In fact, I think modern graphics are already good enough. However, unlike a plain 2D monitor where even 1080p may feel clear enough and 60fps smooth enough, your eyes will be a lot more sensitive to the uncanny valley. VR will need VASTLY higher resolution and fps to feel realistic, 4K resolution would have to be the borderline, and fps above 200 or higher may be needed before VR games feels realistic.


Poorer 3D graphics on the other hand is not as great an issue as resolution and fps when it comes to VR. The human brain would trick itself into perceiving less-detailed 3D objects as real, but regretfully it can't do anything about low resolution and poor framerate.

Avatar image for saturatedbutter
SaturatedButter

Why not sporting events? I mean, people pay a lot of money for a good seat at a football game. Why not just place some crazy multi-directional camera in several seats at a stadium? Then charge people access to those seats and ability to switch between them on the fly, so they can watch the game with a VR headset as if they were right there in the stadium.

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CyrenII

<< LINK REMOVED >> Excellent thinking mate

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brakish33

<< LINK REMOVED >> Talk about a cash cow


Avatar image for HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

Nice!

Avatar image for deactivated-5c0b07b32bf03

That's actually a hell of an idea.

Avatar image for KamuiFei
KamuiFei

VR is going to be a very slow process I think. Lots of trial and error in how the tech will work.

Avatar image for deactivated-58270bc086e0d

Bit hard to get excited about VR when there aren't even any actual games planned for it yet.

Not to mention movies on this thing will feel like being 3D in a 4D world. By including head movement in the headset you are giving it more flexibility for immersion. Only to then remove that flexibility when you watch a movie. Since 3D movies aren't actual 3D, they are 2D images with depth added to them. Your point of view while watching a video will always be fixed.

3D would be if I could walk around in the movie just like in a video game. Which will never happen. Most of the reasons for VR are lost when watching movies on it.

Honestly the more they speak about it and the more I think about it as a device the less confident I am that it will be a success. Once the wow factor of these has gone and it will go eventually I don't think there will be much incentive to even use one any more outside of a few very niche genres, such as simulations.

I hope I'm wrong but I just can't shake the scepticism no matter how much I want to.

Avatar image for gregglle
gregglle

You don't want to shake the skepticism. Clearly. But that's fine. You don't need to buy into it. Just continue being skeptical. And continue to take whatever you can out of context in order to align with your skepticism. In all honesty, there is absolutely nothing oculus has done that makes it look like a gimmick. Nothing. If anything, everything they have done points to a high caliber product. This gimmick mentality has nothing to do with oculus themselves. It's more about a bias that has grown from the last decade or so of gimmicks. Then people make assumptions that it's a cash grab. Etc etc. Oculus is an extremely professional and forward looking company. Does oculus ever market their product? No. It's all by word of mouth and interviews. But the rift is popular because of people experiencing it themselves. Just realize every bad feeling you have towards oculus has actually nothing to do with the company itself. Just from preconceived bias and assumptions. Sorry to tell ya

Avatar image for saturatedbutter
SaturatedButter

<< LINK REMOVED >> What if they recorded the movie with one of those Google Streetview camera balls that records in every direction? But video instead of photos. Then you could watch it from whatever direction you want.

Avatar image for jeffkang2
JeffKang2

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> >Then you could watch it from whatever direction you want.

medium/com/backchannel/google-taps-hollywood-a-list-for-360-interactive-short

> Oh, and by the way, the screen won’t be in a theatre or on a TV, but on an Android phone.
> When you watch Help, your phone is a window into a 360-degree world captured by a specially designed camera.
> You simply point the phone in the direction of what seems to be the most stuff happening in that world at that moment.
> So when you hear those churning blades, you might choose to lift the phone towards the sky, to see the helicopter hovering above.
> Or you could continue tracking the damsel.
> Or even look behind to see what’s chasing our terrified ingénue.
> There is footage to accommodate all of those choices.
> In any case, it’s a choice that must be taken.

>The solution was a rig with four Red Epic Dragon cameras with fish-eye lenses.
>Since it moves on sinewy cables dangled from a crane it’s called the “spidercam.”
>Each camera collects so much information, the finished product will be too big to be stored on the phone — Help! will have to be streamed.

It would be awesome to have controls for teleporting around to different 360 cameras whenever you want.

Avatar image for klarkash-ton
klarkash-ton

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> They already do that. You can download a bunch of "360 degree experiences," which are precisely that. That said, I think the more interesting experiences will be ones that combine real footage with a real-time rendered 3D world. Sensa Peso uses that technique, and it works a lot better than just being surrounded by footage.

Avatar image for mkeezay22
mkeezay22

<< LINK REMOVED >> There are lots of games planned for it, some are already out, like Elite, but a few others are Eve Valkyrie and Lucky's Tale which are both VR exclusive, plus games like Project Cars are natively supporting VR, there will be plenty of games to enjoy in VR.

Avatar image for mkeezay22
mkeezay22

While I really doubt VR will be good for movies, I have no doubt VR will be great, and quite popular in the gaming community.

I would like to say why I think people are unfairly comparing VR to Kinect or 3D.

While Kinect might have had hype behind it, it never lived up to the potential we were told it had, most peoples first experience with Kinect made them doubt it would ever be a popular device, and none of the early demos shown except the extremely scripted Milo demo showed the Kinect wasn't capable of much that would be useful in a meaningful way in gaming. The Oculus Rift on the other hand makes believers out of the people who try it, they go in with low expectations and leave as full converts, people who remember the experience as something refreshingly new and immersive, it's really the opposite of the "Kinect Effect" where you go in with high expectations and realize they will never come to fruition, VR has you go in with low expectations and come out realizing it does actually deliver, and it's vision has already come to fruition.


3D is also something that was hyped as the next big thing, but most peoples first experience showed it was a novelty at most, and one that would leave your eyes hurting after a couple hours, gaming in 3D also wasn't great, I hear people talk about VR like it's 3D and it just shocks me that they don't realize the difference between being fully immersed in a world that is around you, compared to one that simply pops out giving a feeling of depth.


Games with native VR support are putting you in the characters eyes, you aren't simply viewing it from the perspective of the character though, you are viewing it from your own perspective as you now control the characters head movement with your own, and the world is all around you, for all intensive purposes, you are the character, and anyone who has experienced VR will get that moment when you're so convinced it's you, you put your hands out to see them, even though it doesn't work in game, you expect it to, simply because the experience is so real your brain interprets it as reality.


I think VR will be huge, especially now that Oculus bought the team that is working on full hand tracking called NimbleVR - << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for klarkash-ton
klarkash-ton

<< LINK REMOVED >> VR will be great for movies, they just won't be the kind of movies we're all used to. They will be created and staged to take advantage of a fully-rendered 3d world. That means all new kinds of staging, editing, and filming techniques. It's exciting.

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Kyelo

<< LINK REMOVED >> I agree VR will be amazing for gaming, things like Kinect don't compare at all. Oh and well written!

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Spartan_418

"We don't know what the killer app is."

And you never will, unless you get around to actually releasing the consumer version...

Avatar image for mkeezay22
mkeezay22

<< LINK REMOVED >> Now that they got the funding the made Crescent Bay which is fully made out of custom made parts, the full instructions for making a DK1 are now online and it is open source, this is nothing but good news, being able to make their own screens and other components has really paid off, a look at the advancements in Crescent Bay is pretty impressive, 360 degree freedom, higher resolution, built in surround sound, and an all around more comfortable product.

Avatar image for Sushiglutton
Sushiglutton

I'm mostly excited for exploring places I never will in real life. Like the moon, Mars, the Sun, deep oceans and Mt Everest. Wingsuit flying in the alps!


If someone could make a really cool "simulatuion", in VR, of the the 1969 moonlanding (including take-off, landing, exploring the moon and the return journey) I would be all over that!

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streamline

That was what drew me to the assassin's creed series. It was like virtual tourism. Unfortunately, the game also gave me th urge to climb on buildings I see in real life and jump off them into a pile of hay. Good thing I have enough sense to not give in.

Avatar image for Sushiglutton
Sushiglutton

<< LINK REMOVED >> Ha, I know what you mean :)! I visited Italy some time after I played AC and I really wanted to scale those buildings!


I would love exploring a historical city in VR for sure. Even if there wasn't that much interactivity. Just exploration would go a long way for me.

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vadagar1

p0rn

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alhubbard

<< LINK REMOVED >> The real reason to buy an Oculus.

Avatar image for kyelo
Kyelo

<< LINK REMOVED >> I once seen a thing that was basically a thing you put on yer pee pee and a p0rn film is linked to it that is filmed in 1st person. Supposed to simulate the real thing.

Avatar image for alhubbard
alhubbard

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> What a time to be alive!

Avatar image for kyelo
Kyelo

I doubt it will be movies. People socialise with films far more than they do gaming, also films would require studios to spend a small, and unecessary, fortunes on it. Games won't as the worlds are generated in 3D already.

Avatar image for guitargladiator
guitargladiator

still have yet to see a reason to get excited for vr and now oculus admits they don't have a killer app

Avatar image for mkeezay22
mkeezay22

<< LINK REMOVED >> You do know Oculus isn't making the games right, game developers are.

Avatar image for kyelo
Kyelo

<< LINK REMOVED >> Surely it lends itself to games? Especially those like Gran Turismo or an aircombat sim.

Avatar image for elheber
elheber

It's already pretty apparent that one of the emerging genres is not a traditional game. I hesitate to call these things VR Games as they're more like VR Trips. By the word "trip" I do mean both "visiting another location" and "tripping out". They're limited in interactivity but deep in immersion so these VR trips are more related to movies than games.

I blame this on lack of decent input devices more than anything else. Despite the surge in motion gaming we had, it still feels like that technology is already lagging behind what VR technology needs for gaming. It needs to catch up.

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Kyelo

<< LINK REMOVED >>wow wow, you saying we have 'Total Recall' happening? 3 boobs...:)

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Slammer612

<< LINK REMOVED >> I agree to this. I was going to make a long post bringing up how I see the stuff on the rift as experiences more then games. I think there are some real good ones, and some not so good. Only couple I would consider a game (euro truck sim 2 and elite dangerous are worlds better with the rift then without. The one where you storm the castle is pretty good too)

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schu

And facebooks evil hooks set in..oh well...some other company will pick it up