There will come a time in the near future when virtual reality headsets will be a normal peripheral addition to your living room. When that happens, a new wave of video games will penetrate the market.
This will be a time when every studio will be scampering to get VR support for their ace titles. EA though believes that before creating titles for virtual reality headsets, they need to study how the technology is going to be used by consumers.
Speaking at a session at SXSW, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said that while VR will potentially break the “fourth wall” in gaming, understand user experience is highly important before jumping in.
“When we think about making games today, we think less about the technology or the means of experiencing the game, and we think more about the modality of play,” Wilson said. “So, how are you trying to interact with that game?
“When I look at any of the VR devices, I look at that not in terms of ‘What is that device going to deliver,’ but a desire for gamers to have a different type of modality — the ‘Get In’ type of modality, right,” Wilson said. “That might be delivered to you through a headset, or through some hologram that evolves out of your living room floor.
“The thing I challenge my team to right now is, ‘Listen, there’s clearly a desire to add a modality of play to the three we’re currently focused on. I don’t know who the technology partner is that’s going to deliver that modality for us, but let’s start thinking now about the experiences so that we can deliver experiences that make sense for you; experiences that deliver on the promise and the fantasy of being inside a video game.”
Currently all the big industry names are working on a VR prototype. We already have the Oculus Rift, Sony is working on a VR headset that is rumored to be revealed later this year, and then we have Valve who has tagged VR as the future of the industry. Valve’s VR headset prototype was recently revealed by a developer to be “light years” ahead of anything the competition has to offer.