Dean Hall says the Vive is "awesome" but urges caution about VR gaming

HTC Vive

DayZ creator and RocketWerkz boss Dean Hall let slip last summer that he's making a game for SteamVR, and while we still don't know exactly what it will be, things sound like they're going pretty well. In comments posted on the New Zealand subreddit (Hall is from NZ), he described the Vive VR headset as “amazing,” saying, “It's the device that really convinced me that we could make fun (and not just casual-as-fuck) VR games.”

Hall's enthusiasm is obvious, but what's interesting is the way he describes the Vive and Oculus Rift headsets as “fairly different” platforms, even though they're often treated as more or less different shades of the same color. “While you can use each to do what the other is, they're both designed at the core quite differently and seem to me to be retrofitted to also do what the other is,” he explained. “For example, the Vive is focused on positional tracking right from the get-go and it is clear when you use it. Games designed for one or the other work best, IMHO, and I would offer EVE Valkyre as a great example. CCP sat down and made a game for the Oculus and the result was outstanding.”

But while VR headsets “make for great E3 demos,” the ability of developers to create VR games that people will want to play for extended periods of time remains an open question. “We don't know what kinds of games will sell well, how big the market will be, and so on. So our steps with VR are exploration and we're not banking the studio on it,” he wrote. “I fear some studios are so swept up with the possibilities of VR they're putting everything into it when we don't know anything about the VR game market.”

I'd say his caution is well-founded. The Vive may well be a great piece of kit, but it's expensive as hell, too: It lists for $799 in the US, £689 in the UK, €899 in the EU, C$1149 (about $860) in my homeland of Canada, and $949 in Hall's New Zealand.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.