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Oculus games may command a premium price

Oculus games may command a premium price

Mon 13 Jan 2014 3:27pm GMT / 10:27am EST / 7:27am PST
BusinessTechnology

CEO Brendan Iribe would not be surprised to see Oculus games cost more than $60 - he also says "the age of 2D monitors has run its course"

The Oculus Rift could open up new realms of immersion for gamers - but those experiences may come with a price.

Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus, notes that - as a hardware manufacturer - his business has no say in what software companies will charge for Oculus-enhanced games, but admits he would not be surprised to see them come at a premium price.

"It's going to be up to the developers," he says. "There will be some who make casual, simpler experiences - maybe bite sized. There are going to be Indie developers that make bigger experiences. And there are going to be bigger teams that make really big experiences. ... And some that we've seen early prototypes of... Well, we've seen some that, boy, would I pay a lot to get that experience in virtual reality."

Aaron Davies, director of developer relations at Oculus, agrees.

"In VR, suddenly objects have value - and scale and size and depth and I think there will be opportunities for developers to monetize them," he says.

Noticeably higher retail prices for software could be one of the few things to derail current gamer excitement about VR. Consumers are still smarting from the industry's move from $50 to $60 in 2005 - and EA incurred player wrath last February by suggesting they might jump to $70 with the launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

"They'd better deliver if they're going to charge more than $50 or $60 for a game"

Brendan Iribe

Iribe noted that pricing in the game industry tends to swing. Prices spiked with the launch of the last generation consoles, then swung to the other end of the pendulum with the rise of mobile gaming. He sees the rise of virtual reality as not an extension of PC gaming, but something different - which opens the door for them to move back in the opposite direction.

"VR is a fundamentally different experience," he says. "This is the next generation of computing in a very big way. ... This is something that's going to change so many things."

However, he notes, raising prices also raises risk for developers.

"They'd better deliver if they're going to charge more than $50 or $60 for a game," he says.

Davies notes that the higher prices - if they come at all - may not be done in a clumsy fashion, such as hiking the initial retail price. Instead, he points to the free-to-play model, where microtransactions make it less painful to pay (and the customer may not realize they're paying more until much later).

"The whole concept of charging a premium is somewhat outdated," he says. "It's not to say it's going to be upfront. It could be this is going to be an experience you get dialed into. We'll see how it monetizes. ... If you create content or an experience that someone is passionate about, you're creating a lifestyle for them. And they'll pay for that."

"If people are willing to spend a lot of money on VR games, it obviously means we're doing something right," says Iribe.

Davies and Iribe note that they're speaking in hypotheticals. At present, the company still isn't even willing to talk about the Rift as a commercially available product. It's still in the R&D phase, says Iribe, who won't even commit to a 2014 release for the product.

The Crystal Cove prototype (which won Best in Show at this year's CES Awards) does give a few hints as to what we can expect when this thing finally does hit its release milestone, though.

1

The new prototype uses a camera as well for positional tracking

The unit being shown at this year's CES relied on a camera attached in front of the user to work. And Iribe said barring an unforeseen technological miracle, that's not likely to change.

"While we're not talking about the consumer unit, if it does [require the camera], we'll bundle that in," he says.

To date, Oculus has shipped more than 50,000 developer kits for the Rift, says Iribe. The company has gone from 7 employees a year ago to more than 70 today. The past year has also brought about several improvements to the unit.

The Crystal Cove prototype, as has been widely reported, offers positional tracking (thanks to that camera), giving users six degrees of visual freedom. And it has significantly reduced motion blur.

Latency has been improved as well. The developer kits in people's hands have a latency of about 50-60 milliseconds. Crystal Cove got that down to between 30-40 milliseconds. The goal for launch, says Iribe, is 20 - with the hopes of further reducing that in later models.

"We're not going to ship until we have a version that delivers a highly immersive, comfortable experience at a low price," says Iribe. "I don't mean just the foam padding and things like that. The experience of virtual reality has to be comfortable. VR has never been close to comfortable. We're confident we will deliver a very comfortable experience for version one. It's my belief that the age of 2D monitors has run its course."

38 Comments

Hmmm, consumers are less and less willing to pay the price we're asking for games. How shall we sort this out and keep our business model from sinking? Hmmm... I know! Let's find an excuse to try and charge even more money from them! I'm sure that this gimmick will make them willing to spend even more cash!

Posted:8 months ago

#1
consumers are less and less willing to pay the price we're asking for games
I think that may be due to the fact that games havent changed much in 20+ years. Same experience, same games, just with better graphics and sounds. The difference between playing video games 20 to 30 years ago and today is...... not much. Only change has been MMO's, and they have pricing all over the spectrum.

Oculus is offering the first real change in how players experience gaming in generations, I think its akin to to first consoles, which for the first time allowed gamers to play arcade games on their TV. I think this is just as big a development.

The ceiling price point of 60 dollars hasnt changed in 25 years because games havent. The Oculus experience is going to change that, and with it the chance to change the price point.

Once the Oculus gets dialed in, it will be the best gaming experience available in the world, everything will be secondary and lesser to it. People will pay for it.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 13th January 2014 6:03pm

Posted:8 months ago

#2

Jed Ashforth
Senior Game Designer, Immersive Technology Group

108 184 1.7
...games havent changed much in 20+ years. Same experience, same games, just with better graphics and sounds. The difference between playing video games 20 to 30 years ago and today is...... not much.
@Todd - I could not disagree more with this statement. There's barely any part of gaming that hasn't changed enormously in the last 20-30 years. I understand the point you're making, but this is crazy talk!

Posted:8 months ago

#3

Andrzej Wroblewski
Localization Generalist

102 69 0.7
Nope, no matter how much greed is there in the eyes of the marketing scourge, such prices will only make people laugh. Everyone needs to get used to more and more conscious consumerism. Unfortunately not only the overly greedy bunch that caused it.

On second thought -- provided that VR comes with unbelievably realistic 3D sound and gets back to real-life orchestra recordings... No eye candy can be sold without convincing sound to it. And every visual simplification may still be accepted provided there's believable sound to cover for what's missing. Now imagine that in VR...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrzej Wroblewski on 13th January 2014 6:26pm

Posted:8 months ago

#4

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,104 1,078 1.0
You can always sell for cheaper later, never the other way around. Of course they are going push the limit to the breaking point

Posted:8 months ago

#5
@ Jed- the gaming experience has not changed in 20 or 30 years, its not crazy talk at all. Ive been around them as long as there have been video games. 25 years ago, I would sit in front of my TV/monitor , with a control pad/keyboard and control characters on a 2d dimensional screen. I played adventure games, sports games, etc etc and the gameplay is essentially the same today as it was then. So what has so drastically changed beyond graphic resolution and sound? I could play console/computer and even handheld games back then.

As I stated the only real change in 30 years is the MMO and the ability to play games easily across networks.


as for price. 20 plus years ago I was in the retail end of this industry as a buyer for a regional game store. I remembering us for example selling Sword of Vermillion for Sega for 64.99. It sold, and sold well. Adjusted for inflation that would be like selling a game for 110 bucks today. Its not unheard of to actually be paid a fair price for a product.

If Oculus games gives players new deep game playing experiences , unlike they have ever had before, I can see $99 being a new price ceiling easily.

Edited 7 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 13th January 2014 7:16pm

Posted:8 months ago

#6

Steven Hodgson
Programmer

84 122 1.5
I don't mind that price, as long as the game model doesn't expect me to pay microtransactions on top of that

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Steven Hodgson on 13th January 2014 7:39pm

Posted:8 months ago

#7

Morgan King
Animator

48 92 1.9
Higher price points for AAA titles gives indies that much more space to space to compete in - the VR realm has been largely indie devs so far, a Steam-like store encourages indies, as do smaller experiences. If the big publishers want to sell an $80 game, it's going to have to be a phenomenal experience to compete with the enthusiasm and flexibility of the indie VR community over the coming years.

Posted:8 months ago

#8

Edward Buffery
Pre-production Manager

149 96 0.6
Now and for the last 5 years I've not been interested in higher resolution displays, faster frame rates, higher detailed textures or shadows, bloom, better particle effects or bump mapping, etc, and have no desire whatsoever to pay more money for games if that's the only 'improvement' they contain.

What I would be willing to pay for however is a truly new level of immersion that sits a whole league above anything else I've experienced. If the Rift can offer that, and according to the people who've actually tried it then that sounds like a distinct possibility, I'd be willing to pay maybe $10 more for the experience compared to a similar non-Rift alternative. However, I'm not just talking AAA titles here. Most of my purchases right now are indie games in the $10-$15 mark. I sincerely hope there will be relatively low budget, quirky but awesome indie games designed specifically for the Rift that that sell for $20-$25 in addition to the big budget space opera / mech fighting extravanganzas for over $50.

Posted:8 months ago

#9

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,177 1,125 0.5
"It's my belief that the age of 2D monitors has run its course."
One: Some mandates never work out as planned, so this better not be one or a good deal of gamers who don't want VR (no matter HOW great it is) won't be running out to snap up anything other than a spare cheap 2D monitor for when their current one finally dies.

That is all. Otherwise, good luck with this thing whenever it's released.

Posted:8 months ago

#10

Mark Hardisty
CEO & Founder

6 3 0.5
20 years ago today I was working at Virtuality on VR experiences using rather large sized heavy headsets with very low resolution (stereoscopic) screens with very basic 3D modelling. The experience then, although visually crude, was still an immersion within a gaming world that couldn't be experienced on a 2D monitor. The visual quality, resolution, head tracking and lag have obviously improved massively over the 20 years, but it's still fundamentally the same experience..

I hope that this is the time for VR to become accepted by the masses, but there are so many fundamental issues with it that I fear it is going to be another flash in the pan, that only a few will take on board.

Posted:8 months ago

#11

Mario Tommadich
Technical Requirements & Compliance

32 28 0.9
Careful now... let's not smother the little flame of hope for real virtual reality by putting too much bold in the fire...

Posted:8 months ago

#12

Mario Tommadich
Technical Requirements & Compliance

32 28 0.9
Also, why not keep some ideas for V2.0? Give me some for free now and I'll pay for the rest of my life. Promise.

Posted:8 months ago

#13

Mario Tommadich
Technical Requirements & Compliance

32 28 0.9
I agree, almost everything has changed in games. Go back, load an emulator and play your old time favourites. Most of them actually suck for today's standards. Go ahead. I dare everybody to try.

Games have changed so much, so fundamentally, it's mind boggling. Starting with the introduction of physics into gameplay(Half Life, ff), over to massively user generated content (Little Big Planet) and Level editors with scripting support(Crysis), not to mention touch screen input and sensational stuff like the Wii or Kinect or PS Move? Even the way we play FPS nowadays has changed. Anybody still looking for a medipack? I'm not even scratching the surface here. How can anybody say games haven't changed? There s so much stuff going on in the video game world, it's impossible to take in. There is more diverse gameplay than audience to actually play it. I'm glad I work in the gaming industry, otherwise I would only see a fraction of what's going on.

Posted:8 months ago

#14

Andrew Ihegbu
Studying Bsc Commercial Music

451 162 0.4


We've seen plenty of Oculus concepts and the simple fact is that it's going to take us a generation back in terms of visual fidelity. We already know that many games built to a PS4 spec end up looking like a barely PS3 worthy title due to the overhead of the VR system. I simply cannot understand why people here think that because $100 is okay for them, it will be okay for the Moms, Dads, Teens and Young Adults that make the vast majority of the buying public. They struggle to justify the current AAA prices as it is, which is why GameStop, Gamestation, mobile gaming, F2P, GOG, and so many other alternatives are so popular.

You can't make me pay $100 for a game, even when I leave school. Sorry but no. I drew the line at my kick-starter investment of $80.

Posted:8 months ago

#15

James Berg
Games User Researcher

159 206 1.3
Mark, that's hilarious serendipity - I was just writing a comment about my first experience with VR, and some quick googling turned up that it was Virtuality VR that I was playing :)

It was Dactyl Nightmare (http://www.arcade-history.com/?n=dactyl-nightmare&page=detail&id=12493) that I played way back then (early 90s), and it was amazing. Big bulky headset, had to stand in a magnetic ring, and your controller was a hand-held thing. Wires everywhere, and the rig was heavy. And amazing.

I'm really excited about the Rift and similar VR techs, and desperately hoping they can solve the motion-sickness issues. Do that, and provide interesting experiences, and I'll be happy to throw a few hundred dollars at the system, and $100/game for the big titles. Hopefully there'll continue to be a rich indie community as well.

Posted:8 months ago

#16
@Mark, you may be interested that the new book on Immersive Entertainment: http://www.gowerpublishing.com/isbn/9781472426956

We managed to get an interview with Virtualitiy's Dr. Walden and others from the early and current VR sector.

Posted:8 months ago

#17

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
@Todd -
" I think that may be due to the fact that games havent changed much in 20+ years. Same experience, same games, just with better graphics and sounds. The difference between playing video games 20 to 30 years ago and today is...... not much."
Sorry Todd but I couldnt disagree more with your statement, and this comes from a guy that has been around games and has played pretty much all types of games from every generation... thats just my opinion.

---------------------

Regarding oculus Rift.... At the end of the day what matters most to me is the game design and not how its projected. Wether its a standard TV screen, 3d screen, projector or virtual reality headset, at the end of the day its all about what i can do in the game and how the game plays. I cant see oculous rift being succesful, if the games cant use the 3d virtual screens as part of the game play. And no shaking my head to see differant things doesnt cut it for me. At the end of the day, i can have just as much fun on a screen like the 3DS has, the same way I can have on a PC or a HDTV. The screen may be smaller, graphics may not be all that. But the game design, how the game plays is what would really grab me in the end.

I view the oculus rift virtual 3D enviroment as nothing more than a gimmick a fad, that will wear thin soon after, just ike motion control in games. Motion control worked for Wii Sports and I cant see another way of enjoying that game. But for most other games, i like sticking to a game pad. Motion control is good for a select few games, but thats it. I remember when the Neo Geo came out and game cartridges were $200 dolars and the 3DO with all its 3D graphics, way beyond anything at the time and at the end of the day, poor game design didnt lead to anything great. But then again we have the game boy, with just 4 shades of grey colors, and look how well that did.

So no, absolutly not... if Oculus rift thinks that they can get away with charging anything more than 60$ than good luck selling them. It doesnt matter how great those games are. It just makes video games simply not something thats cost effective to most people.... and to me... this news simply plants a nail in the coffin... RIP oculus rift.... at least for me. Simply not interested. Over 60$ for one game. You fucking kidding me.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 14th January 2014 2:45pm

Posted:8 months ago

#18

Renaud Charpentier
Lead Designer

66 143 2.2
In the other news: PC is dead, next gen is dead, On Live is the future, 2D games have stopped to exist, social gaming took over and now the screens have disappear... the future is so modern...

Posted:8 months ago

#19
"It could be this is going to be an experience you get dialed into. We'll see how it monetizes. ... If you create content or an experience that someone is passionate about, you're creating a lifestyle for them. And they'll pay for that"

>Sighs< How much business-marketing jargon? I like him a bit less after this interview.

Posted:8 months ago

#20

Ruben Monteiro
Engineer

77 190 2.5
"It's my belief that the age of 2D monitors has run its course."
I sometimes wonder if people actually believe the silliness they spew out while promoting their product.

Posted:8 months ago

#21

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,169 953 0.8
I can see his point of view but I personally believe software is already too expensive in general, so I'd find it hard to really get behind the idea of even more expensive software.

Something I really disagree with is the idea that 2d monitors have run their course. As far as I'm concerned they're a great window into an incredible experience, I don't believe that 3d games need to jump through my window in order to be more immersive.

Of course, its just a point of view but I'm not a huge supporter of 3d TVs and monitors but I guess many consumers have already lost a lot of confidence in the mechanic despite considerable hype, which one will notice, has seemingly died down at successive electronics shows and events.

Posted:8 months ago

#22

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
I think the jury is out as to whether the Oculus is a mainstream product, a niche product or a passing fad.
We have just seen 3D television fail, despite the full might of the world's major electronics companies and broadcasters.
People don't like wearing extraneous stuff on their heads.
And the headset cuts you off from everything else you might be doing concurrently. Even drinking a mug of tea.

I am sure that the experience is amazing. But so is a roller coaster. And you don't want to spend hours on one of them.

Posted:8 months ago

#23

Mark Hardisty
CEO & Founder

6 3 0.5
James, Dactyl Nightmare was a great little game. Black and white floor tiles to counter the fact that we didn't have texturing ability at the time. It was such an exciting time to be working in VR (when it seemed to be the next big thing).

Lets hope that the Rift really takes hold and breaks away from just a small tech savvy group. With everything, it just needs the right piece of software, the right experience, that 1 thing that captures the imagination of the masses - and hopefully it will break into the mainstream. (I still have my doubts though).

Posted:8 months ago

#24

Mark Hardisty
CEO & Founder

6 3 0.5
@Kevin - thanks for the link - I will definitely take a look at it. http://www.gowerpublishing.com/isbn/9781472426956
Dr Jon Walden was definitely a force in VR. It was a great time and a really exciting company to be part of - a feeling that I guess is similar to the feeling surrounding the Rift at the moment.

Posted:8 months ago

#25

Justin Biddle
Software Developer

159 484 3.0
I have to admit I'm with Bruce on this. At present it does seem very much a niche product and with the very high premium to own one plus buy the software I don't see it breaking free of that.

Plus. People like to laze in a chair or on the sofa to play games. Sure the Wii required movement but most people after they got over the novelty learnt how to just lie back and do the same with minimal arm movement.

Posted:8 months ago

#26

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
I got to agree with Bruce on his comment... when a guy says something sensible ya gotta give him kuddos.

-----------------------------------------
"They'd better deliver if they're going to charge more than $50 or $60 for a game," he says.
Seriously with the situation many developers are going through in development costs, hes going to expect them to deliver. Alot of times its not even the game itself, its also marketing, advertisment and building a brand. You can have a great game, but making a great game is only part of getting it sold. And the industry right now should prioitize lower cost and faster gaming development. Development of gaming engines and assets that can get games out faster.

They'd better deliver? What is this guy sitting on anyway, The ones who need to deliver is the guys behind Oculus Rift. The gaming industry has delivered plenty of Gems and this year was good for gaming, Tomb raider, Bioshock infinte, Grand Theft Auto V, Super Mario 3D land.

----------------------------------------------

But anyway, Furthermore in my own personal opinion. One reason I enjoy playing on consoles more is the idea of other people watching you play and playing with other people, like right there in your living room. Like Ill play little big planet and Mario with my girlfriend and games like Mass Effect and Metal gear she and her son will be watching as I play, simply into the story. I like to be in my living room and have people walk in and see all my badassness in the game Im playing. VR headsets, they cut you off from the world and further gamers into even more isolation. Which i think is a problem Nintendo has been succesful at addressing.

And I simply dont like wearing some wierd gaming helmet, a suit or peripheral that makes me look like Matt Damon in the movie "Elysium". I simply refuse to look stupid while playing a game. Its bad enough with motion control and voice commanded video games. Like.... i simply dont find blowing into my nintendo DS fun.

And honestly I cant see VR headsets working for every game. Some games like puzzle games or stratagy games, I dont think a VR headset will revolutionize the expirience. A game like Fire Emblem, wether its with 16 bit graphics, 3D graphics, large screen, small screen, its a game that works in any of those platforms simply because of its gameplay mechanics. So wether I play on a VR headset or a 2D screen at the end of the day I play it cause of the games content and gameplay mechanics.

I dont want to sound narrow minded, Im not saying this technology doesnt have its uses. It can have medical, educational and fitness uses and PORN... yeah, if its gonna revolutionize annything, it will probably be adult oriented content. But in the world of games I think its best it existed as a peripheral and not another gaming platform. I can also see this working in interactive movies, where very little controller input is needed. Such as adventure games like beyond two souls. Maybe a new game of MYST perhaps? As a peripheral and it can work with existing game tech with games featuring differant modes to work with it. But I think its a waste of time and money for developers to develope a game solely around this platform. When a game can support existing game consoles and PCs and have an extra feature to support oculus rift. But the idea of Oculus to make themselves into yet another gaming platform further fragments the gaming market and with steam announcing its own platform, there is very little room for people to offer support to another EVEN MORE expensive platform.

So all this talk that the age of 2d screen is over is just sensationalist remarks on people who have stakes in the business furthering there agenda. Its that or they are being dilusional.

Check out this link so you see what I mean. Personaly its a nice idea, but I cant see it working for a large variatey of games, especially if you needed to crouch, crawl, use stealth, hide behind a wall, jump. Its good for point and click shooters. Like I hope the people making Oculus Rift know that there are more types of games besides shooters...

http://youtu.be/Zy-kUiZ4QjI

And then there is this link. You know if i want to get on a bike and throw newspapers, why not get on a real bike and throw them... duh! It will probably cost less, and be less of a pain to do as it is with putting this setup together and the annoyence of all the space it occupies in the living room.

http://youtu.be/UKHEoCN0Nmg

Here is my last video. Seriously, I can do everything this guy is doing with a game pad. Its like the Power Glove all over again, but for the whole body...

http://youtu.be/lV3j2Yxv7jY

Finally I want to add i dont think Id be playing an extended amount of time in any of these setups, like I do with a game like fire Emblem on the 3DS. Ive seen the sun go down and come back up with that game. And it didnt cost me thousands of dollars in peripherals to expirience it.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 14th January 2014 7:38pm

Posted:8 months ago

#27

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,177 1,125 0.5
I hate speculation, but I believe the Rift WILL do VERY well among early adopters, game makers, people who want that "show off" bit of tech and anyone else who goes whole hog into it who has the powerful system to run those more than $60 games on. I'd imagine that development costs will fall over time and perhaps so will the price of those games. But I think those comments above may lead the other part of my brain to think this is a signal that Rift games will be pricier than the norm and only cheaper as they age and show their age to those gamers no longer impressed with them as launch/launch window showpieces.

Other than that large to medium sized niche of "haves", I'm betting we'll see Rift in arcade like zones where people pay something like ten bucks a pop for a few minutes of "Holy Wow" thrills. Small doses, big profits. Dactyl Nightmare II (hell, I remember playing that back in the 90's at one place with something like a 30 minute line for that trip to polygon central). Maybe even Cube Quest II (if anyone recalls that non-VR gem that would probably be super cool if revisited as a Rift game).

I don't see this becoming a standard outside of a few must-have experience because there are still people who just don't want it no matter how awesome it is, don't like the selection of titles available, the price (even if it's inexpensive), need to tweak and fiddle before they plug and play or some other reason that keeps this low on their bucket lists of things to buy.

Posted:8 months ago

#28

Jeffrey Kesselman
Professor - Game Development

30 52 1.7
Translation: Please develop for our platform. There's good money in it. Really.

Having said that I AM developing for their platform and think it could be a great way for Indies to differentiate themselves in the near future.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Jeffrey Kesselman on 14th January 2014 7:56pm

Posted:8 months ago

#29

Jeffrey Kesselman
Professor - Game Development

30 52 1.7
As for price points, we tell the customer what our games are worth by the prices we charge. In sales-psychology its called "anchoring."

The F2P nonsense, fueled primarily by promoters more interested in showing investors big usage numbers then actually making any money, did a great deal of damage to the industry.

It will take time for us to recover from telling the customer that our games were worth nothing.

Posted:8 months ago

#30

Morgan King
Animator

48 92 1.9
@Rick - If the device was purely for gaming as we've known it, perhaps I'd see where you are coming from, but it's simply not. There's already software for CAD modeling by hand for 3D printed objects - when the software is approaching Photoshop-style functionality, is $60 really still the target price point? Even on the strictly games front, there's the potential for experiences beyond just the gameplay - there is so much more room to design for ambiance and simply being in the environment - it's primed for heightened audio and visual design, increased interactivity with minutiae, and care given to things that are normally out of the range of the player to spend time with. Tight gameplay is essential, sure, but that's also merely the foundation of a VR experience - creating a convincing world is a whole other thing on top of that. This is a whole other thing than a standard display or a 3D screen, too - it's a fundamentally different way to interact with digital content, and will need to be treated as such. Asking a premium price for novelty is a short-term enterprise at best, but asking a premium price for a premium experience? I wouldn't dismiss that.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morgan King on 15th January 2014 2:15am

Posted:8 months ago

#31
just because VR gaming might be a novel new thingy, asking for a premium price point is waffalium at best, a good way to kill a potentially nice new enterprise at birth. So go on, price the price point out of affordability :)

Posted:8 months ago

#32

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
Now that I finished this post and Im rolling my eyes, wishng I can make posts as short as Dr.Chee... no worries I will continue to work on it.
----------------------------

anyway.... I guess im thinking about some of the comments Mr. Brenden Iribe made in the article... thinking how he is so sure consumers are going to put there financial life in jeoparidy and developers are going to risk losing there companies to develope for this thing. Reminds me alot of what SNK, SONY and NINTENDO tried to do. And honestly the reason i worry, is because I love playing video games, and if it comes to a point were I cant play it, due to costs or complicated requirments then its gonna suck.

I will give anything a try if its at the right price and thats what they need to do.

The neo Geo at the time offered a "premium" video game expirience. The console went on to sell for $600 and the cartidges $200 and look how well that did. And the 3DO and Atari Jaguar, for all its graphical power at the time didnt mean good games.

I find the VR headset extremely limiting in controller input, unless you play with a gamepad or keybored. However if the control method is the use of your body through motion control as demonstrated with the Omni Holodeck displacing your character, jumping, punching and kicking crawling will be very limited and right now its really best suited for point and click shooters.

VR can work for games with minimal controller input. Infact I think they can provide the ideal ground for a reinaissance in adventure games and interactive movies. I find it extreamely good for games like beyond two souls, Walking dead telltale games and heavy rain, that have minimal controller input, that prioritize story telling and atmosphere over gameplay. Not good for fighting games, executing a combo will be a pain, especially if your blind and finally i dont see many people playing on this thing for more than two hours if they have to use there entire bodies as the input method for the game.

Lets come out with a device that not only is more expensive to consumers, but more expensive to develope for. Thats the wet dream of any developer right now, CORRECT? Its like when Ken Kutaragi, thought people would get a second job to pay for a PS3. He was so arrogant to expect consumers would do this, which at the time would offer a novel, premium, deep, more immersive gaming expirience and would take over the living room and be the only device you needed in your house. Yeah, SONY had a hard time with that. And lets not even go into 3D TV's, which at the time was "revolutionary" "was going to change your living room" and an expirience you had to have. If the TV industry couldnt get people to wear 3D goggles to watch TV I doubt a VR headset will sell like hotcakes.

I think the more prudent approach would be to simply make it a peripheral compatible with existing consoles and PC, and offer it in the same manner as the PS Move. But they want to go ahead and make it a seperate platform. It would be ok if I can just buy one and plug it into a PS4 and take a game like killzone: Shadow fall and simply click on an option to play using the Oculus Rift or compatible headset. This would work simply because people who cant afford the VR expirience or are not thrilled by it can still play the game and developers have less room for risk and failure incase people dont adopt the Oculus technology very well.

So we go on to create a device to make bike riding and throwing news papers more immersive? Really? and the Omni Holodeck which is mostly good for point and click shooters. Because you cant duck, crawl or jump. The holodeck makes a gamepad much more funcional and appealing let me tell you that.

I remember when the original Nintendo Gameboy was up against the Turbo Xpress, Sega Game Gear and Atari Lynx, portable devices. Then came the Neo Geo Pocket and the Wonder Swan color and then there was the Ngage. And few people cared about any of them. The Gameboy kept selling and selling and selling, only to be replaced by the Nintendo DS. But then Nintendo got arrogant and decided to sell the 3DS at $250. Claiming it was revolutionary for its 3D screen. So how did that work for them. Now SONY's VITA is struggleing as well because the price is too high.

You can offer consumers the best game in the world, but at 100$ per game and in my opinion anything over $60 and Im done playing games. $60 to me is already high enough. it simply does not become a cost effective hobby. And I rarly buy a game at $60 dollars anyway, with prices dropping within a few months. Its like when I used to collect comics, once they started approaching the 5$ dollar mark I simply had to stop. I loved collecting comics, it was great but I had to do away with it.

And you know its fine really, I hope the tech comes out, I like when people try to push gaming foward, but what I dislike is when companies become arrogant and comments like this put me of...
Davies notes that the higher prices - if they come at all - may not be done in a clumsy fashion, such as hiking the initial retail price. Instead, he points to the free-to-play model, where microtransactions make it less painful to pay (and the customer may not realize they're paying more until much later).
Translation: The customer may not realize they are being screwed over until later.
"It's my belief that the age of 2D monitors has run its course."
i think 2D monitors have a pretty solid place in the entertainment industry and will continue to do so and COEXIST among other emerging technologies just like PC's, Consoles and mobile devices seem to be doing.

For the time being i see this being a fad and novelty for the people who can afford it, If its popularity is good, Im assuming costs will go down and it can reach the mainstream market. Virtual Reality was the word of CES this year just like 3D was in previouse years and 4k was the year before. It the thing they want to push foward it was this years "BUZZWORD"

Anyway, Im hoping for holographic projection technology, better battery technology and high data storage capacity technologies. Such as with memristors, super capacitors and holographic versatile disks.

Anyway, Peace out!

Posted:8 months ago

#33
price the price point out of affordability
so what is the price point of affordability? I still see in the middle of the great recession, people lining up for days and buying million of I pad/ iphone this and thats for hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Apple simply changes the color, adds a few features and they line up again.
You really think the gaming public, the same demographic of people who love to be FIRST, who love to show off, who love new tech, who love new experiences, You really think this demographic of consumer will not line up to buy the greatest leap in gaming in 3 generations? Anyone who has tried this tech that I have witnessed says the same thing. " wow", followed by " where can I get this and how much does it cost". When I state around 300 bucks, the response again is almost always the same in " oh really, thats not bad".

For those that doubt, try the damn thing first.

There a reason for this.. http://riftmod.com/oculus-rift-wins-best-hardwareperipheral-from-this-years-e3-game-critics-awards/

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 15th January 2014 2:01am

Posted:8 months ago

#34
@Mark - Yes a true force of nature, and having David and Palmer interviewed in one book was a bit of a scoop and worth the read.

@Bruce - good observation from the sidelines, though I think you can rule out fad as it will be very hard to kill off the momentum of support from the "home brew" brigade. I think this was a factor in changing Sony's approach to HMZ too HMD's!

Posted:8 months ago

#35

Axel Cushing
Writer / Blogger

104 130 1.3
@Renaud
Nicely put.

The idea that 2D screens are "over" is laughable. They may not be as new or sexy as they once were, but they have reached a point of ubiquity. Think about how many 2D screens each of us uses just in the course of a single day. Whatever limitations they may have, they have a major advantage over the Rift: nothing extraneous between the user and the interface. I look and I perceive the information presented, whether it's a spreadsheet, a text message from my mom, the last season of Game of Thrones, or a cunningly executed Zerg rush. All without anything more complicated than the Mark I eyeball.

I have a hard time believing that the overhead for games is suddenly going to escalate so dramatically that it will justify a higher price point, particularly in games which the Rift would be naturally suited towards. First person shooters, flight sims, space sims like Star Citizen, anything where your perspective is locked forward. I can see makers/modders/artisans taking the Rift and mounting it into military surplus flight helmets for people who want "the total experience" in their dogfighting encounters, but as so many have pointed out already, the average gamer doesn't want to wear something on their head that makes them look stupid.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Axel Cushing on 15th January 2014 8:39pm

Posted:8 months ago

#36
How many folks have rushed out to grab a 3D TV and are still watching it in 3D?
HDTV - is still finding its feet
And thus,
VR Gaming will have its day in the sun, but will require a mass market appeal and impetus, and affordability.

Looking at a apple device, is not helpful. It has its own HALO effect, which has diminished somewhat over the years.

The question is, will a business model of razors and razor blades work?
or establish a beachhead via the enthusiasts/ early adopters?

Posted:8 months ago

#37

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