Virtual Reality is No Gimmick

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  1. Great point on Super Hot. VR has great potential once devs find out the best practices. The exciting thing with VR right now is that longer games are coming out.

  2. i used to think that vr would die fast and never be more than dumb broken games but i'm glad to say i was wrong, there are a lot of cool games around and the headset themselves are evolving fast, i am jealous cause i don't have neither the money nor the space for a vr headset, no idea if i ever will, but denying how cool and how exciting it is it's an incredibly dumb thing to do.

  3. I’m still not sold on VR, mostly because the games I like to play really won’t work with it. Certain genres benefit greatly from VR but others don’t, VR is more limited than people initially think.

  4. I sincerely believe that VR is the greatest innovation to gaming since the rise of 3D graphics back in the day. I challenge anyone who doubts this to play Wipeout Omega Collection on PS4 in flat mode and then VR mode and feel the difference.

    I still play flat games from time to time, but I'd play just about everything in VR if I could. Dual wielding in an FPS in that mode now feels like my arms are sticking out of my chest like a forklift, compared to true dual wielding in VR where you can point each gun at different entry points and wait for enemies to come barreling through them. In VR having you head movement independent of where your weapon is pointing feels amazing and makes it much easier to glance over your shoulder and see where your allies are moving to in a game like Firewall. And every shooter with motion controls has built-in crouching and blind-fire mechanics just by performing the actions you would irl. Just the act of physically aiming a weapon feels great.

    Even old games like Skyrim get a new lease of life, physically being in amongst those huge sprawling mountains and endless landscapes (although that game is best on the PS4 Pro), and playing with motion controls means you have direct control over your bow and arrow, and independent movement of your sword and shield. So I would often hold up my shield and thrust at my opponents, Roman-style. And it worked.

    I used think that motion controls were a gimmick, but now I see them as a Mick Jagger that previously had not yet met it's Kieth Richards. In the right games VR and motion controls work together to great effect. I put my parents (non-gamers) in Racket Fury, an excellent VR ping pong game, and the physics was so good that my Mum was returning shots within the space of a minute, just by playing ping pong how you would irl.

    To be honest, I think part of the reason Phil Spencer was writing off VR is because after the Xbox sales this generation Microsoft doesn't really have much choice but to hang back and let someone else take the chances. But it may come back to bite them in the end. I hope not- competition is good for the consumer. But it may happen that way.

  5. I think Microsoft dude is posing because their VR technology is pretty bad, it's not ready and would potentially cast a shadow over the whole system like KInect has in the past, and he just doesn't want to spell it out that way. It just makes sense for them to focus on the core of the system rather than peripherals, because peripherals haven't worked for them very well in the past. If and when Ubi, EA, Take2, Activision and Squeenix start releasing bigger VR titles, he'll change his tune and pretend he never said that, while presenting the new Microsoft headset.

    VR is a niche now but it's a constantly growing new development which is figuring out ways to expand itself and break barriers to adoption.

  6. I was made a believer when i tried VR for the first time for about 30 mins. It was with some basic games but i could not believe how much fun i had. I agree that VR is truly revolutionary in that basic features we expect from a game, like walking, shooting etc… are so much more engaging.

  7. If dude wants to build for community and people playing together on the Xbox? Then they need to start having couch co-op being a thing again for more than just fighting games. 😛

  8. The VR conversation always gets difficult because it really does come down to what kind of experience you are looking for in a game. The bulk of VR's potential is (as you said) in more "casual" gaming where it isn't so much about large amounts of content but instead about emphasizing the novelty of a new form of interaction. This is fine. It is clear that for many, this is enough. That being said. Any time I think about the VR topic, I can't help but ask "Would I want to put hours and hours into Red Dead Redemption 2 if it was built as a VR game first and foremost?" I know that seems like a unfair question but it is a important one. VR imposes certain design limits that don't really hurt the VR experience in itself but those limits do manifest themselves in a big way when you start thinking about how various non VR franchises and genres would actually work.

    The big problem I see with VR right now is not the technology itself or even the game designers that are exploring the limits of that technology. It is the early adopters turned zealots who don't really see that if VR is to survive, it needs to find its specific niche and stay there. There are experiences that gamers enjoy that will work in VR and there are experiences that won't. There are entire genres and franchises that would not survive the transition without losing what made them popular to begin with. This is not something that can be arbitrarily dismissed in the name of "progress".

    VR is really cool and really fun but there are a lot of big hurdles that VR needs to work around that non-VR games just don't. If it can survive the obnoxiously vocal minority of early adopters who have turned zealot online, it will always be a platform for gaming that sits alongside non-VR. That is fine, that is probably the best case scenario for everyone involved.

  9. Great video.
    And the head of Xbox trying to tell people about where trends in gaming are going?….ok.
    I don't consider it a gimmick. It's no longer in it's infancy. It's functional and pretty fucking amazing/fun. Every person I've had try it, loved it.

  10. i agree that the application of vr in the "real world" are transforming when it comes to training for certain jobs or whatever, but for gaming it's still a gimmick that makes first time users go "Woooooh" for bit when they see cool environments for the first time and than rapidly degrades to hitting colored squares in a void for 30 minutes a day.

  11. I agree it's not a gimmick. Of course many people view it as one, but videogames themselves were also a gimmick at some point… Computers even.

    The technology right now is limiting for many but this has always been the case with every advancement: Cars, phones, television, even riding horses at some point. Nothing was for everyone at first, that doesn't mean we (humans) shouldn't pursue the development of technology that allows a more widespread adoption of the so-called gimmick. Quite the opposite in fact.

    I'm on board the VR train not only as a means to play videogames but as a tool for connecting to other people. It won't always be clunky visors and six-button controllers. It won't always make you sick or cost so much. If they keep investing and working on it, VR will become something truly great for everyone.

  12. A lot of disabled folks, elderly folks have a positive reaction to being immersed in the changed environments for awhile. Especially those who are bed or house bound can have worlds more experiences at their fingertips. As a disabled housebound person I've felt myself getting a bad sense of wanderlust that is solved by spending a few hours in VR environments.

    Even things like those VR games where you play cards with other people around a table can be quite enriching too for those who can't leave the house but want to hang out and play cards or board games with friends.

    I think VR has a lot of broad uses that will help disabled folks in the long run. I am very excited to see that aspect expand in the future.

    It's kind of like how everyone thought Wii Bowling and the motion controls were just a gimmick, but Wiis are still around and serviced because physical therapists , old age homes, hospitals and the like have taken them on for physio-related tasks.

  13. As someone who has played a lot of VR I think you're (slightly) looking at it through rose tinted glasses. The gimmick of VR in and of itself wore off for me after a bit. I don't have any fear of heights in VR and am not impressed by vistas. What I continuously look for and am impressed by is interactivity thanks to headtracking and motion controls. Without motion controls we would have another virtual boy, or 3ds situation and VR would continue to be slept on until a real game changer was invented.

    I do believe VR is at a place though, where if it was more convenient and less expensive, had better software and killer apps, and the install base for big developers to want to make those titles, VR would be here to stay and I think we are on that road.

  14. I'm glad that you found the experience to be engaging and fun, and I am also curious about the future applications for Mental and Behavior health.
    But, as the VR market stands right now, I can't see myself buying into it. I just don't see the benefit of buying VR versions of games I've already bought and own on another system. Maybe when the price drops for a good headset, and the game library includes a substantial amount non-ported games of AAA quality, and the technology is capable of supporting MMO's, I'd be willing to jump in.

    Until then, I'll stick to console and PC.

  15. I'm not entirely sure if you've given this one a look (and I'm sure this'll raise some eyebrows), but VRChat is definitely a VR experience worth studying. I've gotten a chance to play it in VR and I feel it's currently the best social experience that this technology has undergone thus far. It's an odd feeling seeing various full-body avatars talking to you in VR, but I think it's created these integrated worlds that people can interact from, while still giving them the creative outlets to design their own avatars and converse via that expression. If VR truly is going to jettison into a new social paradigm, as silly as it sounds, VRChat is where the roots are being planted.

  16. I love VR personally, I wish I could just show people how seeing it in a youtube video doesn't communicate how it feels to actually use a headset. Also there's lots of stuff out there most people haven't even heard about for it so some people still have the impression that there's not a lot of actual games for it even though this simply isn't true.

    As for the violence in video games thing near the end, I have no desire to brutalize people IRL after doing it in Blade & Sorcery which is probably the most violent example of a combat simulation that exists in VR outside of the game Blood Trail. To me, Blade & Sorcery is just an opportunity to partake in movie-esque fight choreography. The increase in fidelity and immersion doesn't change a thing about this particular topic from non VR games imo.

  17. I want to agree with you, but it feels like the majority of this video is arguing that VR will be more than a novelty *someday*, “with technological advancements” but those advancements don’t always come

  18. I still think that it is a gimmick. A very cool gimmick, but like the 3d on the 3ds, or the motion sensor in the wii, it's not something comfortable to use for hours in a single player experience.

  19. I agree that VR is in the best place it's been in years, but I do still think it's a mostly useless gimmick.
    It has its place in the living room of wealthy, bored people who enjoy feeling like they live "in the future" just like Stadia, most Apple products and that Alexa spyware.
    That said, it has little to no place in mainstream gaming, not to mention it's still absurdly priced and poses a serious health hazard to everyone, even perfectly healthy people.
    There's a reason that most people play VR games for 10-20 hours only to drop them completely and moving to something else, while there are triple-A and indie titles both on PC with a throng of people having 1000+ hours. VR is thought for casual use, but it's also too expensive to be really considered casual.
    The controllers aren't precise as they should be – far from it – and most of the fun comes from having to constantly fight with the inadequate way of controlling this and that.
    Graphically, they're obviously years behind current gen PC titles while also requiring beefy specs, another thing to reduce the potential number of users.
    To conclude, current VR has no real value aside from being something you show your friends when you invite them over, something with a lot of "wow" factor that fades very quickly. It's something that could have niche uses in medical applications in… let's say 25 years. But it's far too soon to tell if that'll ever even be a thing in everyday life.
    Just my two cents here, thought I'd post this because it's the first time I watch a video of yours and end up like: "Alright, this time he's totally wrong on everything."

  20. I disagree. As someone who suffers from motion sickness, VR is an expensive, clunky gimmick that doesn't feel half as intuitive as a controller and not only feels extremely restrictive in how I can play games, but also restrictive in how long I can play games before wanting to throw up.
    Motion controls, camera addons and virtual reality is nothing more than expensive trend chasing gimmicks that detracts from a core gaming experience that me, a core gamer, wants.

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