VR Does Not Need A Killer App, Say Valve
That doesn’t bode well.
VR is primed to take off and be the next big thing, with major multiple players launching their products for the mass market this year. But while the tech world continues to get excited over the prospect of consumer grade virtual reality, and the possibilities of the paradigm shift that something like this would enable, a lot of the consumers themselves are actually fairly cool on the idea of VR- which is often attributed to there being a lack of a must have software showcase for VR so far. Right now, VR has not had its Super Mario 64 moment, nothing that makes a consumer want a VR headset.
According to Valve, one of the major players in the VR field (they are working with HTC to bring in the HTC Vive), a killer app is not even needed- the tech generally sells itself, much like smartphones did back in the day.
“What was the killer app for the iPhone?” said Valve’s Chet Faliszek in an interview with German magazine PC Games Hardware (translated by ashecitism on NeoGAF). “Its App Store. Back then, there weren’t big creators on the platform, only lots of small ones, who today are bigger than classic AAA studios. We like smartphones and tablets because they offer us different experiences compared PCs and consoles. The same will happen with VR.”
Personally, I’m not sure the analogy is a right one- people, obviously, needed to have a smartphone, because it is an integral part and tool in daily life- the games were just the cherry on the cake for most people. VR, on the other hand, is expensive new technology with no real practical use, that must sell itself properly if it is to ever take off- Valve’s attitude, frankly, scares me.