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Future of VR is Difficult, Says PC Chip-Maker AMD


"Thanks in part to Facebook's purchase of Oculus VR, virtual reality might well be the current darling of the tech world, but not everyone is convinced. Speaking to GameSpot, AMD's Richard Huddy and Darren Grasby expressed concerns about the futu"


Thanks in part to Facebook's purchase of Oculus VR, virtual reality might well be the current darling of the tech world, but not everyone is convinced. Speaking to GameSpot, AMD's Richard Huddy and Darren Grasby expressed concerns about the future of VR.

"I have to say I find [Steam OS] quite hard to figure out, in the same way the future of VR is difficult," said Huddy. "It's clear that there's big investment that some people care about a lot. I put on a VR headset recently and just felt like throwing up."

"What is clear, is that the current demos of VR that I've seen aren't sufficient on their own," continued Huddy. "Although they've clearly addressed a number of the problems, the fact that I get sick says that there's probably lag in the system, which I'm sensitive to, that I'm quite surprised with. They've done a lot with the lag on the system, but if you actually look at the experience, it's still a bit shoddy because there isn't enough graphical horsepower behind it...1080p is not acceptable for full field of vision rendering. The human eye is roughly 8K from field of view across, and 1080p doesn't fool me for a second, and that's okay, because they know it's something they need to address. It probably means they have a couple years before it's practical to bring something like this to market in a way that gives it a chance for ubiquity. Whether it'll work or not, I don't know. If I was Mark Zuckerberg, well, it's only two billion dollars, isn't it?"

"I put on a VR headset recently and just felt like throwing up." -- Richard Huddy

AMD's Grasby questioned the focus of the technology. "How broad will [VR] go, or will it become very niche around the gaming market?" said Grasby. "I think the way the industry is looking at it at the moment is that you could almost be looking at people walking down the street, or standing outside a hotel with some kind of device around their head. That's what I think is going to derail it. I think if it becomes a niche market it has a chance, but at the moment this 'Internet of things,' which everyone talks about, that's kind of derailing the focus."

Huddy and Grasby aren't the only ones to have expressed doubts about the future of VR. Minecraft creator Notch cancelled an Oculus version of Minecraft following Facebook's purchase of the company earlier this year, saying "Facebook creeps me out" in a tweet. And he's not alone; one of the founders of EA, Trip Hawkins, said in an interview recently,"Having to put on glasses is kind of annoying and alienating. If I'm in my home, playing games, I don't want to knock my beer over, I don't want to not be able to find my phone if it rings; I don't want to not be able to make eye contact with other people in the room, you know?"

Game designer John Romero called VR a "fad," but added, "Maybe in the future there will be a better VR that gets you out of isolation mode." And Straus Zelnick, CEO of Grand Theft Auto parent company Take-Two Interactive, said in a separate interview, "It is an anti-social technology, but we will support it to the extent it's brought to market and it works for our games."

Despite Huddy's concerns about VR technology, the AMD executive saw positives for the GPU business.

"They're clearly great opportunities for us," said Huddy. "If the Steambox sells tens of millions of units then great, we would love to be in there supporting them. If Oculus are successful, well there's two eyes that need to be rendered with their own viewpoints. How would a GPU company not love a product like that? But their correctness in a business sense, yes or no, I can't tell."

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Posted on Aug 12, 2014

Source: GameSpot.com




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