If the announcements at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles this year are anything to go by, the future is bright for virtual reality (VR) technology. With HTC, PlayStation, and Oculus all showing off their headset capabilities and immersive content it increasingly seems like VR technology is only continuing to move forward and up. As organic as its increasing popularity seems, however, the success of the platform is certainly not a given, something that Oculus knows all too well.
Oculus was first out of the premium VR gate this year with its Oculus Rift headset but it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the company. With an inadequate stock of headsets and consumer hesitation over price and hardware requirements some have been starting to think, including the president of Nintendo of America, that the technology might not have the mass market appeal to sell high volumes just yet.
According to Gamasutra, this week Oculus’ head of developer relations, Anna Sweet, acknowledged that the VR market is still incredibly young but she encouraged developers feeling concern over any unexpected slowdown in the speed of VR adoption to stick with the technology and, more specifically, to stick with Oculus. Sweet told Gamasutra that “the market is new, for us and for all the other platforms out there. It takes a while to get hardware out into the world, and to develop that market.” Before going on to say “I think the way we think about it, and the reason we’re investing in content and developers, is we want them to be able to take those risks now while the market is still new and while we’re all still getting hardware out into the world.”
It’s true that one of the greatest ways to increase the mass market appeal of VR will be to make great content that people want to experience available as quickly and as frequently as possible, so it makes sense that Oculus would want to fund developers and increase the software they can offer and Sweet said that Oculus’ plan is “to keep investing as long as we need to.”
VR has many exciting features to offer and many avenues for new applications still to explore so it’s important that Oculus keep investing in those who are able to formulate and create new and interesting experiences for consumers, not just for their own success but for the success of the VR platform as a whole.
VRFocus will continue to bring you the latest VR news as it’s released.