The Oculus Rift needs games to make it a worthwhile peripheral, not the other way around.
The idea of virtual reality gaming could be the breakthrough that takes the hobby in a whole new direction as long as it works like it should. Video games are meant on the most part to bring the gamer into the experience like never before, and be part of the action, and virtual reality peripherals such as the Oculus Rift could easily bring it to the next level.
However, like with any gaming device, it’s not what the device can do that sells it in the end, a fact that Microsoft and Sony both seem to be forgetting as their new consoles near launch next month. Without the games, what is a gaming peripheral or console good for?
Virtual reality gaming is a lot like 3D movies, in that the technology might exist, but without the media to take advantage of the technology, it’s really a waste. Oculus Rift games could easily be amazing, but media needs to exist to make it amazing.
CEO Brendan Iribe, one of the men behind the Oculus Rift, told a team of reporters this morning:
“[Virtual reality] is a new platform, and we need made-for-VR content. There will be lots of ported content … and then you can look around Half-Life or Team Fortress 2. But content is best when it’s made for VR. It’s kinda neat. You try something made for PC and a 2D screen, and then you try something made for VR … you feel connected, feel like you’re there. That’s what is going to define the platform.”
In other words, in order to thrive, the technology needs media made for it, much like the recently announced Oculus Rift game Slender: The Arrival. The feeling of immersion won’t be complete if the game isn’t made to take advantage of the technology.
As the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 continue to focus on how they outperform each other in various degrees, it won’t be until the games are made to use the hardware that it becomes necessary.
Brendan Iribe says he’s not just focusing on gaming with the Oculus Rift. It might just make its way into movie theaters for a more personal 3D experience. Much like Blu-Ray or iMAX though, some movies would benefit from it, while others would be just fine as they are.
As Oculus Rift games likely start rolling out to support the peripheral, we can expect more and more forms of media to be made for it, if it proves profitable.