We asked Seth Luisi, the founder of Farpoint developer Impulse Gear, if Microsoft and Nintendo can succeed without virtual reality.
When the Xbox One X was officially unveiled at E3 2017, I was surprised to see no mention of VR. There is already an existing relationship between Oculus Rift and Microsoft for starters. Plus, moving forward, games are PC and Xbox compatible on release. And there is certainly no issue with the new console having the power to run the VR headset. I thought it was a no-brainer that Oculus Rift support would be announced for the Xbox One X, if not bundled in on a premium SKU.
But it wasn’t.
Meanwhile, PlayStation VR remains an enticing pull for consumers sitting on the fence deciding on which console to get. Not only is it a tonne of fun, but it offers a whole other channel for exclusive software to exist as well as exclusive content for multi-format games. One of these titles is Farpoint, an enjoyable sci-fi, first-person shooter played in virtual reality using the new Aim Controller. It’s functional, it’s fun and it can’t be played anywhere else but on PS4.
I recently got a chance to chat to Seth Luisi, the founder of Farpoint developer Impulse Gear, about his time developing for PSVR. In particular, I was interested in his thoughts as an independent developer on whether rival formats to PlayStation needed to embrace VR in future console iterations. This is how the conversation went.
Now that you have dived into full VR development, can you ever see yourself going back to making a traditional game or does that seem boring now?
We started Impulse Gear specifically around our passion for VR, and after creating Farpoint, I know everyone on the team is excited about making another VR experience going forward. And really, after playing Farpoint with the Aim Controller, it’s very hard to go back to a regular shooter that’s not VR. It’s so different using that controller with its 1-to-1 control and if you want to crouch you can just crouch in real-life. If you want to lean around the corner, you just lean. You can look at the world from so many new angles. When you go back and play a standard FPS not in VR, it just doesn’t feel the same. You miss all those aspects that come from playing a game like Farpoint.
Looking a few years into the future, do you feel that there will be room for consoles that don’t offer VR support?
I think VR is a new kind of medium that adds a huge amount to interactive entertainment, including games. So it would be hard to see it not being adopted by consoles or having consoles come out that do not support VR. Because I do think it is a game changer in many ways. We are still at the very beginning of it, and it is going to continue to evolve and get better and better. Having played so many great VR games and experiences, it would be very, very sad if that didn’t move forward on consoles.