Oculus Doesn't Want Competitors To Damage VR Experience

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Oculus Doesn't Want Competitors To Damage VR Experience

Oculus DK2

Given the challenges of making virtual reality content, Oculus hopes competitors like Sony's Project Morpheus don't harm the experience.

The Oculus Rift has gone a long way towards making virtual reality seem feasible, but it's not the only headset in development. Sony has its own Project Morpheus in the works for the PlayStation 4, and other models are in the works. A little competition should be good news to those who enjoy immersive gaming, but these products haven't even been released yet. If one somehow manages to botch the VR experience, Oculus' Nate Mitchell is worried it might impact the entire fledgling industry.

"It's very hard to create presence, and it's very easy to break the illusion," Mitchell explained. "It's like this house of cards where, when everything is perfectly in its place, the illusion is totally there. A big part of it is our hardware, a big part is our software, and a massive part of it is the content ... So when content is poorly designed, it's very easy to break the illusion and the spell. You pull one card out, and the whole thing collapses. And you think, this doesn't feel that cool anymore."

Mitchell noted that for Oculus, the team can help make the hardware and content more immersive for users. But with all the new non-Oculus hardware and content arriving, which Oculus has no control over, a negative impact for the entire medium is a real concern.

"On the one hand it's amazing to see Sony come into the market, because it means more funding for developers," Mitchell explained. "But if the hardware isn't good enough, and it gives a bad experience and can't deliver presence - and actually one of the limited factors for them may end up being the PS4, for example - that's a major problem. That's kinda beyond our control, and that's really frustrating."

At the moment, there's no clear solution to the problem, assuming that these negative experiences Mitchell talks about ever become an issue. One suggestion is to offer VR software certification, much like how Nintendo authorizes which games can be published on its systems. For now however, the key priority is simply to get the Oculus Rift released so everyone can enjoy it. "We're still just trying to get the hardware out there, and let developers achieve presence before we worry about enforcing them to have it," Mitchell concluded.

Source: Gamasutra

Permalink

What a load of crap. Competition couldn't possibly harm the experience. If anything, it will make them work harder to provide better experience.

Nope. Competition and choice is always a good thing PERIOD. It means that both Sony and Oculus have to stay on their toes and that's a huge win for us. In a day and age where consumer choices in many markets are dwindling I'm willing to bet that Facebook wishes it could somehow buy out out the Morpheus project as well. He's right about more funding for developers though. Companies just need to sincerely focus on their projects and let the chips fall where they may. Let the free market decide the winners and losers.

Last time I checked Nintendo did that certification for their own hardware, this sounds like you want to do it for everyone in which case you'd be the only one in control, that is not a good thing, not for Sony anyway.

most of what I'm getting from this article is that they are showing a weakness and they don't want anyone else in the race, not even Sony as it;s evident that they'll say "hey it;s cool Sony wanna do VR but uhh the PS4 is a problem, that means it's our problem", no , it's not yours since you're not doing anything for them and they aren't for you, stay in your own circle and concentrate on what you can do, don't bullshit me by crying and saying "Sony ruined muh VR experience", the whole point is you're supposed to deliver what you can, not Sony.

I wish these guys would just realize that VR isn't going to be the biggest best thing to happen to video gaming, that's something they have to take in strides and this isn't any different, not all of us like VR so he's already failed there without Sony even getting "in the way".

if anyone is going to ruin it you can bet it'll be facebook.

I'm beginning to wonder if because of that huge purchase by Facecrook that Oculus is feeling somehow obliged (forced) to sell to every man, woman, child, pet and house plant. Judging from these past press releases It's almost as if they're being strung like marionettes over an open flame. Dance puppets dance!

Well, to be fair, I can see their point. If VR comes out, and a major player in the market makes a big splash as being terrible, that will colour people's perception of the entire VR industry.

Say Sony's Morpheus crashes*. The general public will be less likely to buy into Oculus Rift because it's VR and they've heard of the VR that doesn't work. Yes, people who follow this stuff will check the reviews, find out that one product is bad, but not the rest etc, etc, etc... but not everyone does this.

(*Actually, I remember E3 reports saying Morpheus felt smoother than Oculus. But this hypothetical scenario works either way around.)

That's a valid argument, I'm sure all the power hungry monopolies of the world use the same.

The_Darkness:
Well, to be fair, I can see their point. If VR comes out, and a major player in the market makes a big splash as being terrible, that will colour people's perception of the entire VR industry.

Say Sony's Morpheus crashes*. The general public will be less likely to buy into Oculus Rift because it's VR and they've heard of the VR that doesn't work. Yes, people who follow this stuff will check the reviews, find out that one product is bad, but not the rest etc, etc, etc... but not everyone does this.

(*Actually, I remember E3 reports saying Morpheus felt smoother than Oculus. But this hypothetical scenario works either way around.)

That seems an odd line of thought, since until now all VR attempts HAVE been massive failures that where terrible products, at least all the ones that where affordable to the common man and not just arcades.

If one of the VR competitors like Sony where able to ruin the image because of a bad product, then the image is already stained beyond recovery. Which is arguably the case given how Rift was never meant to be anything other then a niche product for a niche market.

I think I get his point, competition is great but you need a market to compete over. If there is a large scale problem while VR headsets are a niche thing, they may always remain so.

Let's say something crazy happens and someone dies from a seizure as a result of some kind of visual glitch. A story like that could prevent wide spread adoption of the device as it would probably make for a good fear mongering news story. Even if the Oculus isn't directly involved, the blame would likely fall to all VR headsets.

Look at all the good little capitalists spouting on about how competition is always good...
No, competition is NOT always good. It's good a large amount of the time, but that is not the same as always.

Maze1125:
Look at all the good little capitalists spouting on about how competition is always good...
No, competition is NOT always good. It's good a large amount of the time, but that is not the same as always.

Care to explain? Because I'm reading your statement as Oculus should corner the market on VR and anyone else that wants to make and sell a similar alternative have no right to exist.

I would not dismiss the worry out of hand - there are plenty of examples of negative traits being assumed to be shared among associated things. See: Nuclear energy safety in the wake of Chernobyl, regardless of reactor design; loss of faith (and sponsors) in pro cycling after the Armstrong era, regardless of the biological passport; the belief that immigrants are the cause of all problems because of that family wot I read about in the Daily Mail, regardless of the fact that the Mail was only ever meant to wrap chips. Etc.

People are very willing to see their biases fulfilled. I think that most people see the new generation of VR as a separate thing to the older attempts, but there is still a great deal of skepticism about it working now due to the association of those failed attempts. A high-profile failure now could well set things back. I don't think it'll stop anything, if the technology works, but I can certainly understand where Mitchell is coming from. Personally, I don't think it applies in this case, due to the market already being segmented by the driving technology, and the software side of things being so immature that any roll-out is going to be fairly slow; but I don't think that he is being rash in being concerned about high profile failures.

But what's the worst that could happen? After all, the British electric vehicle industry did just fine after the Sinclair C5.

This is looking worse and worse. First "We're going to shove this on everyone", and now "We want a monopoly".

Yeah, sorry, I am leaning more and more towards the "No" side of the fence, and you're not helping with your PR.

Don't worry, from the E3 reviews of the Sony Morpheus it's likely to be better than your device.

It would be a decent point if it was coming from outside the company, but as it is it just sounds disingenuous.

You know, I think Oculus should just shut the fuck up before it digs itself any deeper.

One stupid PR quote is an accident, two stupid quotes is a trend, three quotes is becoming the next EA or Xbone.

Adam Jensen:
What a load of crap. Competition couldn't possibly harm the experience. If anything, it will make them work harder to provide better experience.

Yes and no. The way I read it, he's not talking about competition. The worry is not "Oh, now we have to compete with someone, that's bad".

The worry is "Oh, now our competitors are coming into the market, rushing out with substandard equipment, and destroying the market before it even forms by delivering a shoddy product that turns everyone off from VR in the first place".

Speaking as someone who has paid zero attention to the ongoings of various VR efforts, it's an understandable concern. People are already extremely skeptical of VR and either don't see the point or actively want it to fail. It's very, very possible for the first released product, if it's bad, to destroy all demand for VR in its entirety. It would be very much like how the release of ET for the Atari 2600 drove everyone to abandon video games for most of a decade. Naturally, Occulus views this as a bad thing, and are admitting that it's frustrating that their entire business is at risk of absolute, irrecoverable failure because of factors completely outside of their control.

Adam Jensen:
What a load of crap. Competition couldn't possibly harm the experience. If anything, it will make them work harder to provide better experience.

Oh you don't see what they're doing. They're basically trying to preemptively deflect criticism about poor sales to their competitors.. We're doing badly because *they* suck.

*sigh* The occulus is not a bad idea but it's a niche product. . A fun niche but still niche.

And competition will invariably make the industry better

Think about it. Is the average, uninformed consumer going to buy one of each competing brand of an item to see which one they like best, when what you're buying is a 3-500 dollar luxury item? No. They're going to buy whichever one is marketed the best and base their opinions about the medium as a whole based on that.

JUST LIKE WHAT HAPPENED WITH VIDEO GAMES (as Agayek also said).

You still see people equate video games with Mario, or some Space Invaders arcade game, where you do one repetitive task over and over again where the end goal is to beat your high score, despite the popularity of casual games you can play anywhere, on anything. People stick with their first impressions and will be blind to everything else.

So when people pick up a poorly made VR experience, then dismiss it as a gimmick, all the other VR experiences will suffer because of that.

Vegosiux:
This is looking worse and worse. First "We're going to shove this on everyone", and now "We want a monopoly".

Yeah, the Internet Hate Machine is getting really out of control.

First they take a quote about how the OR is expected to primarily targeted at hardcore gamers with powerful gaming rigs, and put the focus entirely on Palmer's decade-long vision about the VR platform.

Then take one about the concerns that bad competition will be a hardship to overcome, and open it with the words "Oculus Doesn't Want Competitors".

Nowhere Man:
I'm beginning to wonder if because of that huge purchase by Facecrook that Oculus is feeling somehow obliged (forced) to sell to every man, woman, child, pet and house plant. Judging from these past press releases It's almost as if they're being strung like marionettes over an open flame. Dance puppets dance!

I doubt that, even around the Kickstarter era, Palmer has been pretty vocal about his long term vision for the VR medium's target audience, and supported apps like the VR Cinema. If anything, since the purchase they have spent a lot more effort narrowing down their audience to powerful gaming rigs thanks to the higher performence they can afford.

Entitled:

Vegosiux:
This is looking worse and worse. First "We're going to shove this on everyone", and now "We want a monopoly".

Yeah, the Internet Hate Machine is getting really out of control.

First they take a quote about how the OR is expected to primarily targeted at hardcore gamers with powerful gaming rigs, and put the focus entirely on Palmer's decade-long vision about the VR platform.

Then take one about the concerns that bad competition will be a hardship to overcome, and open it with the words "Oculus Doesn't Want Competitors".

If you've got a problem with me, take it up with me. And yeah, I'll continue to be cynical about it. It's not convincing me, and all the attempts to hype it up are only pushing me away, because seriously, sell me the goddamn thing on its merits once it's actually finished, don't try to make me think I want one before it's done, and especially don't try to force me onto the hype train where I can't make an informed decision because the conductor shoved a pair of blinders on my face.

And there's nothing you can do about that, so...save your breath.

Oculus, if you feel that way about the competition, maybe you should get your product in the hands of the consumer before your opponents do. It's been two years? of them sending out devs kits, making new dev kits and hyping up their device. I know they have to get the word out that they're making the next big thing so it will have the support on many games and the demand from players to be successful, but that's a double-edged sword that might cut them bad, as at least two big tech companies saw someone trying to bring back VR and are now trying to carve out big pieces of the pie for themselves. And here, Oculus is worried they're going to use chainsaws to cut up that pie, ruining it. Well, beat Sony and Samsung to the punch. At least, if you can prove that your VR tech is good first, then if your competition's hunks of junk turn out to "hurt the experience" you will have minimized the damage somewhat and can recover with ease.

The good things about the Rift is it isn't not tied to one console like the Morpheus, so Oculus's total market might not be as affected by poor reception of VR on one or two platforms (Plus, PC games can always be modded by determined third partied to use VR or improve their existing VR features.), and it's not being emphasized for mobile devices, which still carries the (unnecessary?) stigma against being in public with a huge brick strapped to one's head. The Rift just needs to firmly plant itself in the market before anything else can get the chance to ruin the general public's first impression, then it can weather the possibility of the other VR systems being treated, both by their creators and the public, as a fad, regardless of their quality.

That's what a social media monopoly lackey would say!

Oculus Doesn't Want Competitors To Damage VR Experience

Fixed that for you.

Adam Jensen:
What a load of crap. Competition couldn't possibly harm the experience. If anything, it will make them work harder to provide better experience.

Of course it could. We have great example with current gaming. A person that has only experienced console gaming has lack of experience of other types of gaming and think thats all there is to it. you have to go extra mile to make somone see that there are different experiences in gaming, something that would not exist had consoles not exist.

Now, im not saying competition is bad, only that there can be bad competition. Like google cardboard VR. its not VR in any sense of the word. its a mocup that some people will try and think its the real deal, be dissapointed and stop caring about VR.

This happens in all industries, nothing new here. and market leaders often dont want that. not that they can control it though.

Personally i want GOOD competition of VR. So far though, i see none. only cheap knockoffs. Just like Chinese iPone. It may look like iPhone, but its nowhere close.

I love how everyone's missing the point and going 'But competition is always good!'.

Oculus Rift isn't saying that they don't want competition. They're saying they don't want the competition to screw up, creating sub-par VR products. That will harm the industry because it will turn people away from the idea that VR can work.

If sony (or any big-brand electronics manufacturer) made a cheap set of VR goggles and marketed them heavily, I bet most of the buyers would not even have heard of Oculus, much less have tried one. If these consumers have a bad first experience with VR, it could mean they'll not want to buy an Oculus Rift because, hey, the Sony ones didn't work, why should this?

Two words: Google Cardboard. Joking aside...

"It's like this house of cards where, when everything is perfectly in its place, the illusion is totally there....it's very easy to break the illusion and the spell. You pull one card out, and the whole thing collapses. And you think, this doesn't feel that cool anymore."

I'm sorry, but did you guys just blatantly admit that the "coolness" of VR is an illusion that needs to be maintained? You did. You even used a damned "house of cards" as a metaphor. Way to instill faith in your technology, guys!

Yeah yeah, I know what they're getting at. They don't want some huge company to jump out in front of them and go "LOOKIT GUISE! VR IS BAAAAAACK" at botch it horribly and crash the whole (potential) market for this stuff. But here's the bottom line for me...

If your emerging technology or product is great, it doesn't need an illusion to protect it. Knock offs of great things put a negligible dent in the best version of that thing. There's a reason the creators of Angry Birds are rolling in piles of hookers and cocaine and the makers of "Persnickety Parrots" are working on a Flappy Bird clone and having an existential crisis because they are trapped in an infinite loop of remaking games about fowl. Your energy is better spent looking for ways to make Oculus better and more affordable, not nail-biting about Sony.

Plus, we all know what Sony is going to do with their VR headset. They are going to release it and it will be AMAZING, and they will release three games for it and then everyone will forget it ever existed. And I will buy it. And I will hate myself for it. *eyes dusty PS Move controller angrily - begins quietly weeping*

In Oculus's defence the Morpheus is complete and utter crap, even when compared to the outdated dk1 prototype.
Anyone who only tries the Morpheus will think VR is a silly gimmick that is years away from becoming a mainstream product.

Jesus, so many cynics in this thread.

As someone who bought an Oculus dev kit and then promptly sold it because it was nauseating, a bad VR product would definately sour someone's opinion of VR as a whole. I went from drooling with anticipation to indifferent in one day. While it definately has promise, it's clear it needs a lot of work, and that if developers don't tailor their games properly, the immersion is broken easily.

The first time VR tried to become mainstream it failed so badly it has taken almost 20 years for people to try again, so obviously their worries are justified.

So in my opinion they are being genuine, not worrying about competition like most people seem to assume (how exactly a console only VR headset is competition for a PC only headset, I don't know).

Ideally we would test all offered examples in the virtual reality field and let brands instead of technologies fail. Trying to link the two concepts as quickly as possible in the mind of the consumer and the marketplace is the sort of thinking that only harms technology and the gaming industry. A bad VR experience should only tell us that VR currently can't be handled by that company, not that it is an infeasible technology. If the Morpheus is consistently unable to perform, that should only tell us that the Morpheus can't deliver on an acceptable level of immersion, not that virtual reality is a failure. Same with the Oculus.

Zontar:

The_Darkness:
Well, to be fair, I can see their point. If VR comes out, and a major player in the market makes a big splash as being terrible, that will colour people's perception of the entire VR industry.

Say Sony's Morpheus crashes*. The general public will be less likely to buy into Oculus Rift because it's VR and they've heard of the VR that doesn't work. Yes, people who follow this stuff will check the reviews, find out that one product is bad, but not the rest etc, etc, etc... but not everyone does this.

(*Actually, I remember E3 reports saying Morpheus felt smoother than Oculus. But this hypothetical scenario works either way around.)

That seems an odd line of thought, since until now all VR attempts HAVE been massive failures that where terrible products, at least all the ones that where affordable to the common man and not just arcades.

If one of the VR competitors like Sony where able to ruin the image because of a bad product, then the image is already stained beyond recovery. Which is arguably the case given how Rift was never meant to be anything other then a niche product for a niche market.

I can see a cause for concern. Right now, Oculus Rift (and by association, VR in general) has some good hype going from all the rave reviews from people that have used the developer kits. But they haven't gotten the consumer model out yet, and if a big name company like Sony can get their product out and marketed before OR, it's possible that any negative hype from an inferior product could affect the adoption rate of their own product.

Now, this is all contingent of the competition actually being significantly inferior. I don't know whether it will be or not. I do believe that someone developing a VR device for consoles will run into technical limitations that aren't present on the PC, but I believe that as long as the product doesn't cause common cases of cybersickness, the differences won't be enough to actually cause problems for the VR market in general.

Nowhere Man:

Maze1125:
Look at all the good little capitalists spouting on about how competition is always good...
No, competition is NOT always good. It's good a large amount of the time, but that is not the same as always.

Care to explain? Because I'm reading your statement as Oculus should corner the market on VR and anyone else that wants to make and sell a similar alternative have no right to exist.

Well, seen as I didn't say that at all, and given that I was very clearly responding to the general statements that "competition is always good", some might think you're reading comprehension isn't too impressive...

Competition is not always good. You may have a very good argument as to why it is good in this particular situation, I'm not addressing that, but that does not mean that it is always good.

derektheviking:
I would not dismiss the worry out of hand - there are plenty of examples of negative traits being assumed to be shared among associated things. See: Nuclear energy safety in the wake of Chernobyl, regardless of reactor design; loss of faith (and sponsors) in pro cycling after the Armstrong era, regardless of the biological passport; the belief that immigrants are the cause of all problems because of that family wot I read about in the Daily Mail, regardless of the fact that the Mail was only ever meant to wrap chips. Etc.

People are very willing to see their biases fulfilled. I think that most people see the new generation of VR as a separate thing to the older attempts, but there is still a great deal of skepticism about it working now due to the association of those failed attempts. A high-profile failure now could well set things back. I don't think it'll stop anything, if the technology works, but I can certainly understand where Mitchell is coming from. Personally, I don't think it applies in this case, due to the market already being segmented by the driving technology, and the software side of things being so immature that any roll-out is going to be fairly slow; but I don't think that he is being rash in being concerned about high profile failures.

But what's the worst that could happen? After all, the British electric vehicle industry did just fine after the Sinclair C5.

I gotta agree, and nuclear energy was a great example. There are a ton of plants that were shut down (or will be shut down) and future plants that had construction halted due to the Fukushima disaster, regardless of any new safety features they have that weren't in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Hell, Germany plans on phasing out all of its nuclear power plants because of the disaster. This isn't even including all of the negativity towards nuclear from people that are afraid of nuclear energy because they associate it with nuclear bombs. So if one VR headset delivers a bad experience, it is entirely possible that it could harm the public perception of the rest. However, it is pretty unlikely that anyone will die due to anything VR related, or in the numbers that happened at previous nuclear disasters, so it's doubtful there'd be as strong of a reaction, but a poor product negatively affecting the rest is still possible.

I would entirely dismiss the worry out of hand. If a non-Sony and non-Oculus product botches it, then it won't be a blip on the radar of the Oculus gets it right.

From everyone that has tried the rift. This technology is worth it. The only way someone could botch it for everyone would be if it were only a gimmick. And if it's a gimmick, I'd rather know sooner than later.

Honestly though, I'd love to be on break at work and pull out the ol' VR goggles and be somewhere else. Movie theater or otherwise.

Well people do have it right that you need competition, but on the other hand this is a market of spazoids which they need to rely on will understand a new concept. But most consumers need everything to be sold as a "killer app", "make or break", "go big or go home", "believe the hype",... and countless other dog shit philosophies to keep you consuming endlessly on excitement alone without rhyme or reason.
So if a major player comes in with wonky products people will likely abolish the idea all together for years because they burned everything on one toy that turned out poor.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here