Virtual reality tech is the next generation of gaming, and unlike many other innovations, it’s something gamers actually want, according to Oculus Rift CEO and founder Palmer Luckey.
“You don’t see people saying ‘Wow, all my life I’ve always wanted to play a social mobile casual streaming game with microtransactions.'”
“We do think that this is the next generation of gaming,” Luckey told VG247 at GDC in San Francisco today.
“Right from the very beginning of 3D games one of the goals has been to make a virtual reality, to make you feel like you’re actually present in the world. That’s really what first-person games are meant to do. I think that virtual reality – it’s very clear that people want this. They see it and they say ‘This is something I want; I want to be in these worlds’.
“There’re other potential paths to next generation gaming, like people say ‘Mobile is the next generation,’ or touch or social – but you don’t see people saying ‘Wow, all my life I’ve always wanted to play a social mobile casual streaming game with microtransactions.’ But what they do say is, ‘I want to play a game in virtual reality’. And that’s why I think this is getting so much traction, and why it will really be a next generation gaming device.”
The PlayStation 4 is the only traditional next-generation device to have been announced so far, taking a PC-like approach and emphasising social features like streaming and game sharing. Luckey didn’t seem super impressed with the new hardware.
“Maybe it’s the right path for them. I wouldn’t have gone down that path because I’m a VR enthusiast, I wanna make virtual reality happen,” he said.
“So in terms of have Sony gone down the wrong path in terms of my point of view as a VR enthusiast? Yeah, sure, but that’s because I’m a nut that loves VR so anything that’s not VR is going to be a mistake for me.”
Sam spoke to Luckey at some length, and we’ll have the full interview available soon.