Virtual reality will “completely change the world”, says Epic Games founder

Couch Knights

By on April 3, 2014 at 10:03 am

Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney isn’t being coy about his hopes for the future of virtual reality, describing it as “a technology that will influence every game and every platform.”.

“It’s technology that I think will completely change the world,” said Sweeney to Polygon. “I think It’s going to be a bigger phenomenon than smartphones.”

“You have to put it in perspective and realize we’re in maybe the [first-generation] iPhone stage right now where you have this really cool device, but it has some real flaws that prevents it from being a pervasive device for everyone.”

Sweeney added that although the audience might seem small now, it would keep growing “until eventually you’re going to reach a critical point where you can put on one of these devices and have an experience that is effectively indistinguishable from reality.”

Epic Games announced a VR title for the Oculus Rift at this year’s GDC called Couch Knights, built in Unreal Engine 4, which is pictured above. The game takes place in a living room scene, where action figures come to life and battle.

20 comments (Leave your own)

Ooooooooooooooookay, I think we’ve officially crossed into the “ridiculous hype that will probably never come true” zone.

Let’s see one – just one – really good game that is actually fully playable and enjoyable on a VR headset before we have a circle jerk about changing the world.

At the moment the best devices still have major lag/motion sickness/resolution issues to overcome.

 

I’m optimistic for VR. I reckon it could become one my favourite platforms for gaming, if at very least on the casual side.

Though I’m a pretty big anime fan and just seeing the 2D characters around me in 3D is probably gonna be enough to sell me lol.

 

caitsith01,

While I agree it’s a little too soon to be getting excited about VR I’d like to stay positive about the possibilities. Just think of what might happen if somebody does actually come out with an inexpensive VR headset that works really well. While I agree it won’t exactly set the world on fire it will certainly add some unique features for developers to shoot for in the future.

But let’s just wait and see.

 

I’m optimistic about it too – I tried an OR for the first time a few months ago and it was awesome.

But I’d rather that they just quietly get it working really well then amaze us with actual applications, not blow a whole lot of hot air about how it’s going to change the world.

At the moment it all sounds a bit Segway-ish.

 
Lord_PorkSword

I’m mainly looking forward to seeing Star Citizen on this thing. Games like that should suit the purpose of VR very nicely.

 

I really think the VR hype will die after the OR is out for a few months to a year. VR isn’t something new and fancy, it’s been tried before and while it was popular at the time it ended up being phased out.

I do admit graphics are leaps and bounds over the 1990 phase so I could be completely wrong and it bringing in a whole new era of gaming but personally I believe augmented reality is more the direction we should be taking.

 

lordporksword:
I’m mainly looking forward to seeing Star Citizen on this thing.Games like that should suit the purpose of VR very nicely.

So all aboard the hype train for you then? Neither of those have been tested to even function yet. I think we’re jumping the gun a tad.

caitsith01: But I’d rather that they just quietly get it working really well then amaze us with actual applications, not blow a whole lot of hot air about how it’s going to change the world.

But you know that won’t happen. They’re all about selling this to you at this stage. They have no proof that it even works, much like 3D TVs before.. but hey every middle class moron on the planet wanted one and then they turned out to be garbage. I’m worried same things going on here. The technology isn’t ready for prime time, let us the hardcore guys take the bullet first, don’t go batshit insane about changing the world yet.

Also the Iphone analogy is a pretty silly one to make given how misused the device in its current form is. Flappy Bird a prime example.

 

caitsith01:
Ooooooooooooooookay, I think we’ve officially crossed into the “ridiculous hype that will probably never come true” zone.

Let’s see one – just one – really good game that is actually fully playable and enjoyable on a VR headset before we have a circle jerk about changing the world.

At the moment the best devices still have major lag/motion sickness/resolution issues to overcome.

Sorry, but I’ll take his opinion over yours. Virtual Reality IS going to change the world. It amazes me how many people just still can’t comprehend this. Remember that it is not just about games either, it is a technology that will become very useful for a lot of things.

It’s not a gimmick, and every person who ridiculed this idea will eat their words in years to come. Even a world renowned Physicist said VR will become a major part of our lives by the year 2030. GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEADS. This technology is going to become a part of our lives whether you like it or not.

It’s not the new playstation move or the wii u pad or 3DTV. Personally I don’t even really care about 4k resolution. VR is the most exciting tech to me right now and do you honestly think facebook would spend 2 billion on it if they didn’t realize the potential of this thing?

For god’s sake just dream a little and stop ridiculing everything. You forget that it’s human imagination that enables us to use computers and talk to each other here on the forum. Can you imagine what people probably thought about computers when they first emerged on the scene? do you think anyone would have thought they’d be as good as they are now? doing the things we can do on them? VR is a new emerging tech that is going to mature into something beautiful. Why can’t people see that? it really pisses me off.

 

matttyb,

That’s all well and good but try telling that to non-gamers and non-intellectuals. I doubt any of them are going to adopt VR on account of it looking silly or too complicated. There is a lot of technophobia out there and VR would be really difficult for them to get their heads around.

We criticize because we know that the technology isn’t ready for mass market, its the same problem that happened in the 1980s, no one was ready for VR and no one was prepared to pay $3000 for a HMD.

Whilst its nice they’ve gotten the price to $350, it still doesn’t address the problem, how do we get everyone on VR, not just hardcore who are already gushing and hyped over it. It’s a problem I’m certain they will not be able to fix at this point in time. More proof is needed. Oculus can still fail, much like the rest of the VR HMDs coming out. Its like VHS and Beta all over again, the superior platform will win. But there’s nothing stopping all of them from failing. That alone is up to the markets reaction to the tech. And naturally the mass mainstream are trying to sell as many units as they can via hype.. even if the technology isn’t quite there yet.

No one is denying this technology won’t change the world. It will definitely. But they need to be bloody careful or the risk making the same mistakes as were made 30 years ago.

 

I’m looking forward to the new experiences with non-gaming virtual worlds, VR movies, VR meetings etc.

Also seeing VR used for medical, research, teaching & Industrial purposes now that the technology has finally matured.

 

matttyb:

For god’s sake just dream a little and stop ridiculing everything. You forget that it’s human imagination that enables us to use computers and talk to each other here on the forum. Can you imagine what people probably thought about computers when they first emerged on the scene? do you think anyone would have thought they’d be as good as they are now? doing the things we can do on them? VR is a new emerging tech that is going to mature into something beautiful. Why can’t people see that? it really pisses me off.

Dude, seriously. WTF are you even ranting about? Did you actually read my comments?

 

Wow, I think a few people are confused. VR =/= OR. The Oculus Rift will not change the world, but VR most definitely will.

It’s a pretty obvious progression from shitty augmented reality on your smartphone, to complex VR overlays using something like oh… oh…. let me think… some kind of wearable screen? Is some massive company developing one right now? Google eye-monitor or some such thing?

And why would someone the size of Facebook buy OR? Because they want to “branch out” into pushing enthusiast hardware to PC nerds for pocket change? Or because they see global applications of VR bringing in more cash than old-fashioned social networking?

VR is going to change the world, if you’re too shortsighted to realise this, you need to stop thinking of giant helmets and PC games.

 

caitsith01: Dude, seriously.WTF are you even ranting about?Did you actually read my comments?

Sorry mate I just got carried away lol. As you can tell I’m pretty hyped about it haha.

 

gammad:
matttyb,

That’s all well and good but try telling that to non-gamers and non-intellectuals. I doubt any of them are going to adopt VR on account of it looking silly or too complicated. There is a lot of technophobia out there and VR would be really difficult for them to get their heads around.

We criticize because we know that the technology isn’t ready for mass market, its the same problem that happened in the 1980s, no one was ready for VR and no one was prepared to pay $3000 for a HMD.

Whilst its nice they’ve gotten the price to $350, it still doesn’t address the problem, how do we get everyone on VR, not just hardcore who are already gushing and hyped over it. It’s a problem I’m certain they will not be able to fix at this point in time. More proof is needed. Oculus can still fail, much like the rest of the VR HMDs coming out. Its like VHS and Beta all over again, the superior platform will win. But there’s nothing stopping all of them from failing. That alone is up to the markets reaction to the tech. And naturally the mass mainstream are trying to sell as many units as they can via hype.. even if the technology isn’t quite there yet.

No one is denying this technology won’t change the world. It will definitely. But they need to be bloody careful or the risk making the same mistakes as were made 30 years ago.

Very valid points you addressed here and I do believe you are right. I guess it depends on how good the Oculus Rift will serve as a stepping stone to future VR in comparison to much older products. But I get the whole market/mainstream thing. A lot of people might not wear it until 15 years from now when a) the tech has matured to a point where not having one is considered living in the dark age and b) it looks very slim and pleasingly aesthetic on the individual because let’s face it, only the hardcore VR people like myself wouldn’t care about having a brick attached to your face lol but the casuals might be like “Hey I can’t wear that shit in front of my friends.”

 

Lawnmower man.

It’s happening o_o

 

Meh, until we have a control interface that lets us just move like we’re in it then the only games it will be good for are flight sims and things like Arma where you want to be able to put your head on a swivel during firefights etc.

Anything that requires too much actual head movement (or god forbid, actual walking) is never going to be a success, people don’t play videogames for exercise.

Things that involve more than using your thumbs or a mouse get relegated to the “i never use this crap after the first week” cabinet along with all the wii games that actually used movement controls.

I can’t wait for the first law suit by someone who “injures” their neck using an OR.

 

I’ll just leave this here…

 
NoobyMcNoobnoob

wow reminds me of gaming magazine headlines from pre 98.

o and beyond 2000 anyone remember that show? still waiting on my flying car

 
 

Haven’t heard this b4 >_< . But i suppose if it has facebook/ mobile integration it will sell like hotcakes

 
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