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 mkeezay22
mkeezay22

<< LINK REMOVED >> I agree, racing games and flight sims are optimal for VR, a fixed seated position, in a sport or activity that would require a helmet just feels natural, although I have seen a few games that look to use VR differently, Lucky's Tale is a platformer in the Mario 64 style that so far looks to actually be better in VR, the ability to move your head around to spot secret areas or to aim projectiles at an enemy look like great fun.

Avatar image for Slammer612
Slammer612

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> outside of that, Give Pixel rift a Try as well. Very cool game for the rift

Avatar image for Slash_out
Slash_out

Unless movies get shoveled out as interactive experience, the VR will be mostly about games, I don't even see this as not a possibility. What worries me, is that there someone highly placed in Occulus that says cr*p like that...

Is this facebook's influence to widden the appeal of the device?

Avatar image for JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Military - give everyone red and blue dots above their heads and no more friendly fire... Except when it goes wrong >__>


& then all the esports FPS people can go do something useful!

Avatar image for SoulScribe
SoulScribe

To not know what's going to make your tech popular is them telling me they are not confident about their product which makes me less confident about their product.

Avatar image for DakeyrasUK
DakeyrasUK

Whilst I really want VR for gaming, I can see that if it becomes mainstream enough it could be used to create the internet in a way like Futurama depicted.


Facebook messenger/xb/ps etc you have one unique avatar that represents you in the virtual space. You can then hang out with you friends from where ever in this space sat chatting to their avatars in any cool environment you feel like.

Avatar image for elheber
elheber

Morpheus could try that first with Home 2.

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hitomo

<< LINK REMOVED >> what about those advertisments? ... I always took that as a scary Vision of the internet

Avatar image for mkeezay22
mkeezay22

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> The thing about VR is with you being in a 3D space, advertisements could just be in bus stops or billboards much like real life, those aren't really intrusive like browser ads are, so they wouldn't annoy me honestly.

Avatar image for DakeyrasUK
DakeyrasUK

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> lol, yeah that would suck. Not sure that would help it catch on though. How ads would be implemented in vr is an interesting thought though.


Currently I struggle to see how they justify their cost as they are easy to ignore (I have adobe flash plug-ins blocked on all websites as default so just get grey boxes). In vr surely it would be harder to ignore...

Avatar image for Ereheru
Ereheru

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>

I think ads will be a cross between product placement and finding an important item in a video game, like a can of Coca Cola that sort of flashes to catch your attention.

Avatar image for DakeyrasUK
DakeyrasUK

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> That would make sense. But what about the clickbait article adverts or the di.ck enlargment ads...?


Perhaps there will be avatars who come and speak with you in the virtual environment and give you their life story - "I'm a Nigerian prince in the real world...."

Avatar image for freedom01
freedom01

<< LINK REMOVED >> I think that was one of the ideas that came out, such as a virtual class for those that are handicapped

Moderator
Avatar image for Erybdylvseggnog
Erybdylvseggnog

It surprises me how many idiots doubt the validity or appeal of VR headsets. When done right VR will be the next step in entertainment evolution much like TV was in the days of newspapers and Radio. It's funny how history repeats itself. Most of these haters who are sayin' VR is a fad, their parents and grand parents probably said "Who's going to want to sit down in front of a box and stare at it all day... It's just a fad" about TV. The circle of ignorance continues.. Because I'm frequently on Gamespot reading the comments I am aware that is a society of ignorance toting trolls who love to share their vapid opinions on Gamespot so I shouldn't be surprised. But I will sum up my statement like this. VR is here to stay... and once a company gets it right and puts it on the market all you haters will eat your words while watching Seinfeld VR episodes. :)

Avatar image for crushbrain
crushbrain

<< LINK REMOVED >> Your statement is exactly why the chances of VR lasting beyond an initial gasp of awe are slim. You make confident assertions based on your opinion/hype-marketing without seeing the market react. It is complete nonsense. Every fad says it is the next big thing. The next big thing is always the thing no one expected or predicted. VR looks great. I think everyone will be very impressed. But there is no way to know whether people will put it on their desk and never look at it again, or integrate it into their normal routines.

Avatar image for Erybdylvseggnog
Erybdylvseggnog

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Meh

Avatar image for Ereheru
Ereheru

<< LINK REMOVED >>

While I applaud your enthusiasm for VR headsets, I'm not sure I follow your reasoning. TV supplanted radio as a family activity, something adults enjoyed with their families. Even newspapers were inclusive, with news for adults, and comics for kids. Even video games were, in the early days, a social thing, with games designed to be played by more than one person.

That is the main problem with VR now. How does one make something social when it's very design is to cut you off from the outside world? That's the killer app he's talking about. Watching Seinfeld with goggles on will not be it, nor will movies, since those are passive experiences, and VR needs something active.

I used to DM Dungeons & Dragons, and making something that is truly interactive is difficult, because you need something behind every door, you need something in response to every variable. So many times I had to come up with an adventure off the top of my head because instead of going in the castle, they decided to build a raft and float down the river seeking adventure.

Don't lose the faith, but understand that some people will need to see that new experience to believe. And, if history does repeat itself, it will be full of ads and take awhile for somebody to make something truly great.

Avatar image for Erybdylvseggnog
Erybdylvseggnog

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I didn't want to write a big thesis on why VR is the future but let me give a few examples. VR doesn't have to be exclusive. To be honest I believe it will be more inclusive than TV. Imagine going into a virtual world where you can chill out an sit in Virtual Room with your family who is half way around the world but you are stuck in some foreign country on business. That's very inclusive and practical by even today's VR standards. I believe that is why Facebook spent so much money buying the rift in the first place. Because they see the way VR can connect people.

Here's another example. Imagine watching a movie where you can choose to see the film through the eyes of the protagonist. Or even through the eyes of the villain.. for the whole two hours people are interacting and talking directly to you. Shooting at you... yelling, crying or laughing with you. That's very feasible, immersive and more entertaining than watching movie by today's standards. Even the possibility of you and a friend sitting n the couch watching a movie and you see it through the eyes of the protagonist and your friend see's the movie through the eyes of the villain. The possibilities are endless.


And finally yeah there will be a lot of ads and it may take a while for it to become a every house hold thing. But like the great indie movie scene there will always be people pushing to provide amazing authentic experiences with minimal ad gouging.

Avatar image for Ereheru
Ereheru

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>

I don't disagree with any of that (though your movie sounds more like a game, which is cool), I'm just pointing out that it wasn't the younger generation that made TV what it was, it was everybody embracing it.

I just caution you not to get frustrated at how long it takes...;

Avatar image for elheber
elheber

Sounds like you never read the old'timey critiques on television drawing your attention away from family. People would listen to the radio while engaging with their family, but they said TV drew peoples eyes away so it would never take off as a family experience. And although they were right that it was distracting, they were wrong about how that distancing would prevent it from catching on.

Avatar image for Ereheru
Ereheru

<< LINK REMOVED >>

Old timey? I'm depressed...I remember watching the first moon landing on a TV the size of a refrigerator turned on its side, with a black and white screen the size of a small book...

I've seen critiques like that for many things over my life, but I'm talking more about history that I have lived. In the past, when I was a kid, the family would sit at the one TV that your family had and watch shows together. As TVs became smaller and cheaper, that changed...first to having your own TV to the present where you can watch TV on your phone. TV is a personal viewing choice, not a family viewing choice, so it's a bit hard to see how it was 50 years ago, when I was born.

They were very wrong about it distancing families, since it wasn't just our families watching things, but it was became a shared part of our culture to this day. I'm not saying that VR can't or won't be like that, it needs to find it's way to convince people that it will be something social, which is hard for some people to see when you are removing their sensory input for their surroundings and replacing them with different sensory input.

I'm just saying don't judge the critics of VR so harshly...They see people cutting themselves off from the real world for something they can't experience from their vantage point. It's not a new thing, Plato wrote about it in his myth of the cave.

Avatar image for davillain-
DaVillain-

The question is, how much and will it see the same faith as Kinect?

Avatar image for freedom01
freedom01

Oculus is going to get a lot of back lash (again) for this, the backers initially wanted a game concentrated VR, now this is going to worry many who might think that Oculus might concentrate more on films

Moderator
Avatar image for JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

<< LINK REMOVED >> Well, if they're focusing on the hardware, it doesn't matter that much. Instead of designing a gaming peripheral, they can just design a new way to interact with things in a virtual world, meanwhile someone else can focus on designing things that use it.

The only thing I see about using it in movies, is that it wont really be a movie anymore, it'll just be like moving around a story driven rpg with even less interaction.

At which point they'll make them 'interactive' and advertise how they revolutionised the movie business... By turning it into something that already existed anyway, lol.

Avatar image for Too-DementeD
Too-DementeD

<< LINK REMOVED >> Not just films but everything other than Gaming, and from what I've heard, that seems to be the case. All we've been getting from them is "Gaming is what's most important to us" with no further information about what kind of support there will be for gaming on their end, while they constantly boast about how this tech is going to revolutionize virtual reality, when you can use the Oculus to "sit in a room" with someone else and so on and so forth. Once these headsets are out there though, I'm sure unaffiliated devs will be the ones that take it back to it's gaming core.... followed by Oculus/Facebook going "SEEEEEEEE, We told you we care about games".

Avatar image for freedom01
freedom01

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I wont say its bad, but Oculus has to give out more info on how it will revolutionize gaming, we've seen youtube vids of people with developers kit using them, but thats it, no word on Oculus on what else they will add in it, Now we just hear uses other than gaming, which is ok, but at least give out more on gaming since that's what the backers wanted to begin with and the reason for backing them up

Moderator
Avatar image for davillain-
DaVillain-

Everyone thought Kinect was going to be the next big thing and look what happen. I'm not saying VR is going to flop but they need to let people try it out first before we buy it. Kinect had potential but the technology is just not there yet.

Avatar image for mkeezay22
mkeezay22

<< LINK REMOVED >> Yes but if you honestly think Kinect has anywhere close to the potential VR has you are mistaken, VR makes a new fan every time someone puts on a headset, Kinect was quite the opposite, it made believers into doubters.

Avatar image for Too-DementeD
Too-DementeD

<< LINK REMOVED >> It also didn't help that Microsoft tried so hard to push Kinect into people's faces by tacking it onto more than a few of their games, and then later also making it part of their console, which added so much to the price too. The Kinect was destined to fail with that kind of approach.

Avatar image for freedom01
freedom01

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> also the games for it were...very lacking, not in quantity but in quality

Moderator
Avatar image for Too-DementeD
Too-DementeD

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Oh, it was most certainly not lacking in quantity.
I can't believe that of all studios, they made RARE the one that was assigned to making Kinect games.

I don't really care for RARE these days as I know most of the old staff left, but still, that was like putting down an old dog. Poor guys.

Edit: I just had flashbacks of Han Solo dancing. Ughhghhhghh.

Avatar image for gregglle
gregglle

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I'm a vr enthusiast. I'll get that out the way. But VR is completely unlike Kinect. I don't think kinect would have ever been successful no matter how well optimized because it's true utility is inside of a VR world. When you are using for a TV it's gimmick. It doesn't add to immersion at all. It ends up being just a less useful controller interface. Which is a gimmick. That's why it never caught on.

Avatar image for Too-DementeD
Too-DementeD

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Not sure if you meant to reply to me, cos I didn't compare it to VR, I just said Kinect was destined to fail. You're right though, it was just a gimmicky controller interface. I think the only useful thing about the Kinect was the voice recognition, and even that was shoddy.

If you were to look on youtube, you'll be able to find plenty of videos that have made fun of the voice commands in some way. Gamespot even had an article or two about "Xbox trolls" that made their username a voice command so that when people spoke to them over the internet, it would do that command (like sign out of XBL etc.). Machinima also has a running gag where they try to turn on their Xbox One using the voice command, and it never works.

Avatar image for freedom01
freedom01

<< LINK REMOVED >> true, the only way we can try it is if we spend...I think its $250 right now? for the developers kit, but I think they are much stricter now on who they are going to sell it to. If they could just place demo kiosk around game retail stores it would be great commercial publicity and we can get to see the potential of the headset. And not everyone has the time and money (travel fee), to go to a convention to try them out

Moderator
Avatar image for davillain-
DaVillain-

Setting up a Kiosk station at Gamestop is a good one.

Avatar image for davillain-
DaVillain-

Is that your new avatar?

Avatar image for freedom01
freedom01

<< LINK REMOVED >> yeah

Moderator
Avatar image for davillain-
DaVillain-

I saw it on the forums but I can also see it now.

Avatar image for freedom01
freedom01

<< LINK REMOVED >> I changed it a couple of months ago, but it stayed with the old one, tried it again today and it finally changed

Moderator
Avatar image for amaneuvering
amaneuvering

Well I doubt VR will ultimately be more about the kinda traditional passive movie type experience than the more interactive gaming type experience, in fact I'd go as far as to say that's just not going to happen, but watching/experiencing movies in VR has the potentially to be pretty awesome.

Avatar image for gamingnerd121
gamingnerd121

I'm sure a certain other industry will be carrying the VR tech, at least to begin with.