Ex-Epic Games Boss Isn't Sure VR Will Take Off With Mainstream Audiences


I'm pumped for VR experiences. I do believe the technology is ready to be adopted into homes by gaming and entertainment enthusiasts. After using the tech a whole bunch, I know I want a headset in my house.

But then, I'm not exactly a casual or mainstream consumer. The question of whether the tech will take off with a more casual audience is much more uncertain. At least, that is the view of former Epic Games President Mike Capps.

Speaking to GameIndustry.biz (via VG247), he expressed his concerns about the future of the tech in casual households. He compared the push for VR in homes to that of 3D and 3DTVs:

There's so little tolerance at the consumer level for that kind of an investment. I think one of the things I'm most curious about – you look at 3DTV as a super easy to use technology that is really unfettered. Just a pair of polarized glasses and people didn't use it because it wasn't worth the trouble. The content difference was there. 3D Avatar looks way better than non-3D Avatar

If slipping on a pair of flicker glasses, is too much trouble – then the idea of, 'Ok I'm going to put on my head mount rig and fire up my liquid cooled PC in order to make it happen' isn't likely to take off.

He later went on to say that he think AR experiences like the HoloLens had a much better chance of taking off.

Just the fact that I could be using [AR] in the room with my kids, I could be keeping an eye on them while I'm playing, like I do when I'm on an Xbox, like I do when I'm on my iPhone.

"If I slap a headset on, I'm no longer dad. So there's a huge number of use cases where people cannot afford to shut out the world even though it's a wonderful way to maximize your entertainment experience.

I understand where Capps is coming from. I too have had concerns that we'd be seeing VR headsets in every home any time soon.

For me, I hope the companies putting out these experiences realise they are in it for the long game. There will be a large and dedicated group of early adopters no doubt, but the push for a broader audience will take a bit longer. And that is fine. As long as companies like Oculus and Valve aren't expecting instant success, VR will hopefully grow to one day be a part of most people's lives.