Oculus VR co-founder says major publishers are doing "serious work" in VR

The Oculus Rift VR headset is a pretty popular piece of hardware, especially given that it hasn't actually been commercially released yet, but it remains primarily what you might call an "indie darling." Frontier Developments' Elite: Dangerous is absolutely thrilling on the Rift, for instance (or so I've heard), but none of the big publishers appear to be getting behind it in any meaningful way. But that doesn't mean they're not working on it behind the scenes.

In fact, companies like Activision, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft are "investing in VR right now," Luckey said in an interview with CNet. "I can't say anything specifically, but there are multibillion-dollar game development studios doing serious work in VR. But they're not the people who are here showing off demos in the hallway. They're the ones working internally to make sure it's something that's polished and that they can show and not get criticized for it because they're under a lot more scrutiny."

Those major publishers could also be working on games for Sony's Project Morpheus, a VR platform designed for the PlayStation 4. Morpheus doesn't have a planned release date, either.

A lot of developers would rather avoid the noisy crowds and chaos of launch day, Luckey added, although that may prove beneficial in the long run. "Games take years to make, and it's important that when we launch, it can't just be a great launch catalog and then a desert for a really long time," he said.

But while videogames are a big part of the Oculus VR formula, Luckey also noted the importance of demonstrating its relevance to a wider audience. "A lot of people, even if they know what VR is, see it as this tool to go in your basement and play Halo. I was about to correct myself and say another game, but that's what a grandmother would say: 'Oh, you're going to plug it into your Nintendo and play Halo'," he said. He allowed that it will be a "difficult perception to overcome," but said opinions will change "as virtual reality becomes more mainstream and [people] get to see things like VR cinema or 3D-360 degree panoramas or communicate with people over long distances. They're going to see this is relevant to them in their daily lives as a not-pimply-faced-teenage-kid." At Oculus Connect, Luckey and other execs mostly talked about VR "experiences" rather than games.

He's probably right, but I still want it mostly for jerking around inside the cockpit of a starfighter. For a closer look at what Oculus VR is cooking up, check out our hands-on impressions of the new Crescent Bay prototype, a "massive leap" over the DK2 headset that was unveiled over the weekend at Oculus Connect.


As lead news writer during ‘merican hours, Andy covers the day-to-day events that keep PC gaming so interesting, exciting, and occasionally maddening. He’s fond of RPGs, FPSs, dungeons, Myst, and the glorious irony of his parents buying him a TRS-80 instead of an Atari so he wouldn't end up wasting his life on videogames.
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