Gabe Newell Is Comfortable with VR Being a Complete Failure

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Megalith, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    It turns out that Gabe can be a pretty honest guy. In this interview with Polygon, he goes into detail about the shortcomings of VR and admits that his company is totally prepared for the possibility of virtual reality failing to take off. Interestingly, he even says that the HTC Vive is "barely capable of doing a marginally adequate job of delivering a VR experience." Gabe seems to think that the major detractor is price, although he is optimistic and suggests that VR will, at least, succeed purely as a display technology.

    "Some people have got attention by going out and saying there'll be millions of [VR unit sales] and we're like, wow, I don't think so. I can't point to a single piece of content that would cause millions of people to justify changing their home computing. It's a great thing for enthusiasts and hardcore people. Where we are today is way further down the road than we were a year ago. But it's just going to be this slow, painful fits and starts kind of thing. So while we are really happy with how things are going, yeah, it doesn't match up with what other companies are saying."
     
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  2. OregonLAN

    OregonLAN 2[H]4U

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    VR is a niche kinda' like 3D was for movie theaters. It's neat to experience, but most people don't want to wear a hot and heavy headset to experience 3D/VR content. I have a VR headset myself, but I use it for FPV drone flying when daylight conditions prohibit me from using a tablet.
     
  3. sboucher

    sboucher Limp Gawd

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    I'm pretty bullish about VR, but his statements are pretty accurate and fair. Frankly VR, in the Vive and Rift format are aimed squarely at us - the hardcore gamer community. That's pretty far from mainstream imo. PS VR I hope will do well for expand the area as well.

    The real future is in AR though. That shit is going to change everything, but it will take a while.
     
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  4. steakman1971

    steakman1971 [H]ard|Gawd

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    The price is what's holding me back - $800 requires wife permission. That's hard to justify when we have a huge list of other things around the house that need to be done, kids, etc. For me, the $300ish price range is where it is at. That's my "under the radar" cost.
    I have played with the Vive. It's really cool and I can imagine some great games coming down the pike. However, I'm a techie and likely an early adopter compared to the general population. If $800 is too much for me (and I already have a PC that could run it), I know it's too much for the rest of the people.
    Out of curiosity, anyone know sales numbers for Sony's VR headset? I've not tried one, but have been told it is pretty cool. Someone was telling me about a Batman game they played using it.
     
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  5. Iching

    Iching [H]ard|Gawd

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    He will come around.:rolleyes:

     
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  6. piscian18

    piscian18 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    In its current high price/high physical requirement state it's not going to be massively available but it is without a doubt the future of technology. You have to think longterm. Like Ghost In Shell longterm. Here in maybe 20 years when Subcutaneous processors and Datajacks are common place so will VR. It will be similar to cellphones. If you think otherwise you haven't been paying attention to the history of Micro-Manufacturing.

    All that said I hear the HTC Vive is doing fine. It will get cheaper to build/price and refine as time goes on.
     
  7. Bowman15

    Bowman15 Gawd

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    It's a niche and will be for a long time. They are focusing on getting it into every home right away when they should be setting up top end VR shops that can give hourly or daily rental experiences first with the highest end equipment. Getting semi working crap in the hands of joe blow right away is just ruining it.
     
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  8. HeadRusch

    HeadRusch Limp Gawd

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    Gabe has always been too pragmatic to be a leader at a company, his lack of enthusiasm is like the opposite-end of the bubbly, eternally-hyped corporate Unicorn "our stuff is AWESOME!" spokesperson. I can take most of his "meh" but when he complains about software developers, I do have to take issue: Valve can STFU and spend a few million and show us how it's done. You released the hardware, drum up some solid AAA titles to go-with. YOu're VALVE, certainly you're good for more than an every-3-year update to PORTAL and keeping those shitty competitive-play games up to snuff, right? Same applies to our friends at Oculus sucking at the Facebook teat: You're trying to tell me that with all the important talent you have plucked from the worlds colleges the best you guys can do is work on CHAT APPS for your headsets? Take a few of your BILLIONS and develop some VR games with Activision or Crytek or anyone, frankly. Get some stuff out there, we have this incredible hardware and now we're starving for content.
     
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  9. polonyc2

    polonyc2 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    he's already talking about VR failing?...seems like it just started...must not be selling well at all...3D had a longer lifespan...the clunky headset is the main detraction...people hated 3D glasses so an even bigger obstruction on your face is not going to do it for most people
     
  10. rgMekanic

    rgMekanic [H]ard|Gawd

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    Once the price comes down and mainstream GPU's are able to drive them, it will explode.

    If it doesn't die before that can happen.
     
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  11. SeymourGore

    SeymourGore [H]ard|Gawd

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    He didn't seem too bent out of shape over the demise of Steam Machines, so I'm not surprised he wouldn't be bothered by VR collapsing.

    Dude is less stressed than a sloth hanging from its favourite branch eating a delicious banana.
     
  12. viscountalpha

    viscountalpha [H]ard|Gawd

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    Vr finally looks decent and we have the technology to push it. I still have big doubts were will ever have cyber decks actually available for consumers. But it's a nice dream.
     
  13. Shadohh

    Shadohh Gawd

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    I disagree. I think the tech just isnt ready yet, but we do need baby like we are taking now to get to the holodeck. but yeah it probably wont be in the next 50 years aka our life time.
     
  14. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris Wii was a Novelty

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    I bet one of the 3 VR games is HL3. 3 games ... HL3 ... not a coincidence.

    It's been long thought that Valve would wait for cool new tech to use before making another HL game.
     
  15. Parja

    Parja [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Nah, even then, it needs more compelling applications than what's currently been conceived.
     
  16. The Cobra

    The Cobra 2[H]4U

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    I was a beta tester for the gen 1 rift when they announced it a few years back. For me, VR is like 3D glasses...a no go for me. Curved monitors are my way to go....I'll wait until "True VR" is out...as in Star Trek Holodecks.
     
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  17. JohnnyGatt

    JohnnyGatt GamingFace

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    The same thing was said about 3D when 3dFX first hit the market and at that time we had 2 or 3 games and cards started at $350 then we got Voodoo 2's and a $500 price tag and you wanted 2! what is holding it back is content (Valve has one demo pack out and no real games) not the price of the headset when you look at the tech $800 is not a lot for a hud and all the other kit you need. But you will find out fast you will want a GTX 1070+ to run it so you end up spending more on your PC upgrades than the Vive. We are only now seeing the first AAA game hitting the market and the VIVE has been out for almost a year, yes we have hundreds of games BUT they are all Beta/Demos at best and most are as in depth as games you find on mobile phones.
     
  18. zalazin

    zalazin Gawd

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    Well I own a PSVR and love it, but it could be better. I can understand the Vive and Rift not taking off considering the high price and requirements. However if Sony can't pull it off with a 400 USD headset that approaches Vive performance with the PS4 than VR as we know is done.....
     
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  19. Krab

    Krab Limp Gawd

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    I want VR to be successful. I'm just not sure it's there yet. VR really needs a knockout flagship title and not just gimmicky crap or rehashes of existing games.

    The real barrier now is lack of interesting software.
     
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  20. shansoft

    shansoft [H]ardness Supreme

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    The VR's failure isn't really about price.

    It's about technology. The wireless technology to make it wireless without delay and Screen technology.

    The biggest problem for me when using VR is the screen. Resolution is awfully low to the point where I can see all the pixels around. It really pushes me away the first time using it.
     
  21. dgz

    dgz 2[H]4U

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    My interest in VR has always been as a display technology. I really don't care about the tracking and stuff. That's not how I play games.
     
  22. Youn

    Youn [H]ardness Supreme

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    I like his attitude... hope for the best but be realistic... you can't predict the future... plans change...

    ...relax to try and avoid incoming heart attack
     
  23. Dahkoht

    Dahkoht Limp Gawd

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    Laws of physics need to change.

    In other words , make it were you never know you are wearing a heavy scuba mask for hours to play a game.

    Until then , it'll be a niche of a niche.
     
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  24. s0eViL

    s0eViL n00bie

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    There is absolutely no way VR is going to fail, 3D TVs is a very different thing, VR immerses you in another world and it is truly amazing and will get 1,000 better as soon as we get some decent HMDs.
    I have been using VR displays for near three years now and i still love it. The games available at the moment mostly suck but there are a few good ones out there like for example Onwards which is such a fun game, the multiple bugs in the game make it even more fun :)
    And then there is the whole VR porn industry that in itself will be the true reason of success for VR, once you go VR you won't go back lol
     
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  25. Shmee

    Shmee Gawd

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    I think I am the VR consumer he is talking about. I am interested in it, but there is not enough for me to play, for me to pay the insane asking price.
     
  26. Ducman69

    Ducman69 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Gabe could never hold that posture, and has enough money to pay for 24x7 live-in JAV stars at his disposal.
     
  27. Silentbob343

    Silentbob343 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Price is keeping me out, but if it drops to the $300 point I will be all over it.
     
  28. viscountalpha

    viscountalpha [H]ard|Gawd

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    The holodeck is nonsense. The technology is there, it's just too expensive for the time being. I'm still betting on cast AR to hit it big.
     
  29. iQuasarLV

    iQuasarLV AMDFanboy EchoChamber Member

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    It is too soon to tell. The problem right now is 'IF' VR has the legs to convince developers to create platform defining games for it. My friend bought the VIVE, and has yet to show me a game that transcends traditional gaming experiences to justify the cost of entry. That is the problem if you ask me. Can VR survive long enough as a product for the market to mature, and convince game makers to say, "You know the next AAA game should be VR because X game truly showed what VR can do. We could sell the hell out of it." Until that happens VR will remain Niche, and die a very slow death like some patient in the ICU.

    Let us just hope that it has the staying power to round the corner in acceptance.

    *Edit*
    I am still waiting for the RPG defining experience like Dark Souls or Final Fantasy where I feel I am in the game world casting those spells and killing those monsters. I mean the day I see Firaga/Blizzaga/Thundaga being cast real time in front of me and not just some viewing experience, sign me up!
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
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  30. zalazin

    zalazin Gawd

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    Thanks Gabe for putting down VR from the Vive pushing people. VR did not need your help to hurt it any further.....
     
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  31. Snowdog

    Snowdog Pasty Nerd with Poor Cardio

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    I think 2017 is going to be a tough year for VR.

    The initial buzz is fading. It doesn't look like there going any big HW announcements any time soon to boost the buzz level, so slowing sales.

    There isn't much installed base and with slow sales, there isn't big incentive for risking money on any VR only titles.
     
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  32. sir-gold

    sir-gold Gawd

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    The TPCast (the wireless VR attachment for Vive and possibly Rift) will be coming out this year.
     
  33. MRAB54

    MRAB54 Gawd

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    People have been burned on VR gadgets since I was a child. Virtual Boy, anybody? Most have it stuck in their mind that it is a gimmick, like 3d TV.

    Buddy of mine has a pretty high end VR system, don't know which one, and I found it cool, immersive, but not something I'd do more than a few times.
     
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  34. MRAB54

    MRAB54 Gawd

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    Story I saw today on innovation vs persistence on getting shit done:

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/..._shut_up_and_work_harder_says_linus_torvalds/

    Very relevant here. Going to take a lot of work to make it happen, no way around it.
     
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  35. MavericK

    MavericK Zero Cool

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    It has absolutely nothing to do with that.

    If you read this statement in context, it has nothing to do with him thinking it's going to fail, either. He is merely saying that whether or not it ultimately succeeds or fails, Valve is going to put full effort into it because they believe it's the future.

    I have seen this quoted a number of times now on various sites like "OHH NOOO VR IS FAILING" when in reality it's anything but.

    The only people hurting VR over this are the ones who are taking this quote to mean something it does not.
     
  36. Wierdo

    Wierdo [H]ard|Gawd

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    He said price is NOT the major factor at the moment, it's the need for more solid titles.

    It's not gonna matter if the set is $200 or $800 if the selection of titles is limited, people will not see the value of buying into the platform either way until that's sorted.

    Which brings us to the three titles they're working on for starters - and the open standards approach they're taking to attract a larger software and hardware ecosystem around their technology.

    Once there's a compelling library of titles to attract players to the platform, THEN working on lower prices will make more sense.

    It's an interesting opinion, I can see that angle I guess.
     
  37. Smashing Young Man

    Smashing Young Man Gawd

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    I dunno . . . it feels like VR has reached escape velocity. I don't think it will be like the Jaguar VR and other 1990s VR tech that came and went.
     
  38. -PK-

    -PK- [H]ard|Gawd

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    Image created by Darren Geers @geersart. He actually live streams while he draws if anyone was interested.
     
  39. lostinseganet

    lostinseganet Gawd

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  40. endalykt

    endalykt Limp Gawd

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    It's even more niche than that, it's aimed squarely at hardcore VR enthusiasts. VR brings nothing to hardcore gaming, it's just a silly gimmick that costs an arm and a leg.