‘We can’t get ahead of ourselves.’
We’ve heard that VR will be the next big thing so many times by now- in fact, last year was supposed to be when VR would finally break free of its niche, tech nerd confines and become mainstream with the launches of PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive. High prices for all three, and very poor software support, however, ensured that wouldn’t happen.
However, it will eventually get there, according to Unity CEO and games industry vet John Riccitiello. Unity is, of course, one of the most used game engines on the market currently, and Riccitiello himself has over 20 years of experience in the industry (before this, he headed EA). So his word does carry some weight.
“What I’m not here to do today is to convince you that AR and VR is going to be a big thing. I’m going to assume we agree on that,” he said, speaking at the VRLA 2017 convention (via Road To VR). “What I want to talk to you about is when it’s gonna happen, how it’s gonna happen, and what the ingredients are. The point being: I want to try to lay out a framework that I think will actually help the industry, but beyond that, figure out—when you’re putting resources into this marketplace, when you’re investing your time and hard-earned money—when you can expect a return on investment and what that might look like. I think it’s important that we have that so that we [the industry] don’t get too far ahead of ourselves, and maybe running out of that cash or going bankrupt before we really get a chance to get started.”
I think he does have the right idea- but the problem is that the VR hype often comes from VR evangelizers themselves, who keep on insisting that VR is the next big thing, and inadvertently raise expectations. If they truly want what is best for VR, perhaps the best thing to do would be to silently work away on building the medium up in the background, and let their work do the talking.