John Carmack To VR Devs: "Don't Coast On Novelty"

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John Carmack To VR Devs: "Don't Coast On Novelty"
October 10, 2016

Oculus chief technology officer John Carmack gave developers strongly-worded advice on virtual reality at Oculus Connect this weekend.
 
Delivering the conference's closing keynote, the Doom co-creator told developers that "the future [of VR] is mobile," suggesting that PC-based virtual reality should not be the target market for many VR apps. Claiming that "a lower and lower bar for adoption" is better in the long run for the technology, Carmack said he follows "the mission that Facebook had when it bought into Oculus, of having a billion people in VR."
 
Though smartphones are less powerful than high-end PCs, he said, they can still deliver significantly better gaming performance than hardware like, say, the original Xbox or GameCube, and should not be discounted. "The PC is going to be the creative class. It's going to be the laboratory," Carmack said, but he went on to give advice on how to make VR games work on mobile platforms.
 
Among his suggestions were a need to improve loading times to a 20-second maximum; improving mobile VR user interfaces; and using voice more in UI design. But the biggest issue, said Carmack, is the VR industry's current status of "coasting on novelty, and the initial wonder of being something people have never seen before."
 
"Can you do something in VR that has the same value, or more value, than what [non-VR apps and games] have done?" he asked the gathered developers. Indeed, one issue frequently raised regarding virtual reality is whether it can sustain interest beyond brief play sessions or demonstrations.
 
The entire keynote can be viewed via Oculus' Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/oculus/v/93564552?t=07s

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