Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus VR, spoke at GamesBeat 2013 this morning on “Disrupting the traditional video game console cycle.” Oculus VR’s headset, the Oculus Rift, is well on its way to introducing a new generation of virtual reality for gamers that is set to change the very nature of the industry.
With over $2 million in backing and nearly 10 thousand Kickstarter supporters (such as yours truly), the company is rapidly gaining momentum as a console paradigm shift. Iribe opened his chat this morning with a talk on VR as a new platform, and also offered a hands on demo of the Oculus Rift.
“[Virtual reality] is a new platform, and we need made-for-VR content,” said Iribe, “There will be lots of ported content — delete the UI for VR — and then you can look around Half-Life or Team Fortress 2. But content is best when it’s made for VR. It’s kinda neat. You try something made for PC and a 2D screen, and then you try something made for VR — maybe it’s just a procedural world. But you feel connected, feel like you’re there.
“That’s what is going to define the platform.”
According to Iribe, what sets the Rift apart its ability to tap into player emotion, which would give players the sense that they were connected to the environment they would be interacting with.
“In VR, you look up and you’re still there, you get that sense of scale. And you’ll now have characters that know where your eyes are,” he said. He stated that this high level of immersion would enable game developers to now pull at player emotions and heart strings in ways they had not been able to do before.
Iribe also spoke of how he believed that the Oculus Rift could prove to be a breakthrough in other industries, like film. To explain his point he specifically referenced to recent sci-fi thriller Gravity to prove how a movie could benefit from the addition of virtual reality.
“I feel VR can disrupt theater — Gravity, it could be made for VR. I kept looking at top and bottom being so short,” Iribe said. “In VR, you could’ve been floating in space and felt that sense of presence — could’ve shrunk back to the screen. Feel could have big impact on theater.”
The Oculus Rift is looking to launch on multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android.