John Carmack: Virtual Reality is “Coasting on Novelty”

More improvements have to be made with loading times.

Posted By | On 11th, Oct. 2016 Under News

Oculus Rift_01

There’s a strong push for VR gaming especially with PlayStation VR releasing on October 13th. However, other solutions like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have been around for a few months with minimal impact.

Oculus chief technology officer and former id Software founder John Carmack noted at the Oculus Connect event that the technology is currently “coasting on novelty.” As per Games Industry International, Carmack said, “The initial wonder of being something people have never seen before. But we need to start judging ourselves. Not on a curve, but in an absolute sense. Can you do something in VR that has the same value, or more value, than what these other [non-VR] things have done?”

One area that VR needs to improve in is loading times as players are taking as long as 30 seconds to get into a game. “That’s acceptable if you’re going to sit down and play for an hour…but [in VR] initial startup time really is poisonous. An analogy I like to say is, imagine if your phone took 30 seconds to unlock every time you wanted to use it. You’d use it a lot less.

“There are apps that I wanted to play, that I thought looked great, that I stopped playing because they had too long of a load time. I would say 20 seconds should be an absolute limit on load times, and even then I’m pushing people to get it much, much lower.”

Oculus is currently planning to launch its Touch controller on December 6th and dubs it the “hand trigger” for tracking different finger poses. Stay tuned for more information on the same soon.

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