Tim Sweeney is the head of Epic Games, the company behind a plethora of major game franchises for PC and Console (and even mobile if you include Infinity Blade), as well as the engine that makes numerous major games as well, the Unreal Engine, has come out to say that virtual reality is going to change the world. This time virtual reality may actually accomplish just that.
Virtual Reality had a nice run back in the 90s but it was pretty much ahead of its time. The only way to really enjoy virtual reality back then was to wear a rather bulky headset and you were also usually required to stand in what was basically a waist-high booth. The games that came out for it were quite rough as well. So while virtual reality has good potential back then, it was definitely ahead of its time and eventually it died out. Fast-forward to today and we have virtual reality having a lot of momentum, major companies supporting it, and much more advanced technology to make it work this time.
Tim Sweeney spoke to Joystiq (which is now part of Engadget as a sub-category unfortunately) this week over a phone interview and the subject of virtual reality came up. He is very positive about the direction that virtual reality is going.
There are some amazing things happening in VR right now, and a lot of them haven’t seen the light of day publicly at all. But next year is going to just be a watershed time for VR. – Tim Sweeney, head of Epic Games
Virtual reality needs to be careful though. It doesn’t want to take too long to hit store shelves for consumers to full enjoy, but it also doesn’t want to rush things either and end up being garbage. The Oculus Rift was announced back in 2012 and still doesn’t have a final product out yet and their marketplace doesn’t yet support paid games and applications. Other virtual reality headsets like the Samsung Gear VR piggy back off of the Oculus Rift market and are tied to the lack of paid downloads as well. Yet some of the games we have seen already look quite promising (Bandit Six, Land’s End, both for the Gear VR) and there are other companies like Google, Razer, Valve, Microsoft, and so on all on board the virtual reality train now.
Land’s End by ustwo for the Samsung Gear VR
The impact that virtual reality could have is also something Sweeney is quite positive about:
It’s going to change the world. The hardware is going to double in quality every few years for another decade, to the point where, 10 years from now, it’s going to be hard to tell the difference between virtual reality and the real world.
It seems that a lot of major players in the industry think that 2015 is going to be a critical year for virtual reality. If there are a lot of people in the industry pointing to this year as the year virtual reality becomes a thing for consumers finally, then we have a lot to look forward to checking out and experiencing. It is almost fun to imagine massive budget VR games made with technology like Unreal Engine and Unity 3D.
What is it about virtual reality that you are looking forward to? Is it the games or other unique features we will only get to experience through virtual reality like watching concerts and movies through VR? What headset are you looking forward to the most? Do you think virtual reality will change the world? Let us know in the comments below!
Website Referenced: JoystiqxE