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Palmer Luckey: "Really bad VR is the only thing that can kill off VR"

Oculus founder points to quality software as a major obstacle for developers

Oculus VR's Palmer Luckey has advised that the Oculus Rift headset may lack "AAA content" at launch.

Speaking at the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Expo - as reported by Engadget - the founder and CEO of Oculus VR highlighted the creation of compelling software as the biggest challenge when it comes to winning over the public.

"We've been talking a lot about how the Facebook deal gives confidence to content makers of all kinds, but people shouldn't take that to mean there's going to be this slam dunk of AAA content that's going to be available at launch," he said. "It doesn't mean that. Content takes a long time."

Luckey explained that selling the company to Facebook has allowed it to improve the hardware with "custom components" that might otherwise have been impossible to use - an important step towards reaching a product that is fit to be sold at retail. "What we have that's impressing all these hardcore gamers and technology enthusiasts isn't good enough to be a consumer product," Luckey added.

Luckey also emphasised the need for everyone working in VR - a field that now includes Sony and Valve among many others - to start collectively thinking about reaching "standard" for the VR experience. This standard must take into account what developers need to create good, consistent VR experiences.

"The standard is going to end up being defined by whoever sells the most headsets, and it would not be a good thing for them if the standard is games that don't include motion control, or games that require a very high field of view or that absolutely require position tracking.

"If we were to lock into a standard now, what happens when we want to make big changes that vastly improve the performance of our device and requires a complete retooling of the SDK?"

This last point is important, because it alludes to what Luckey sees as the one thing that could bring the VR revolution to a screeching halt: "I think really bad VR is the only thing that can kill off VR."

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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