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Valve don't think VR needs AAA killer app. Comparison to smartphones, the AppStore.

ashecitism

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from reddit, removed link due to magazine scan

The new issue of the German magazine PC Games Hardware features an interview with Chet Faliszek that was done at CES last month. Most of it is already known, but there are some points that are noteworthy I think.

  • When talking about hardware requirements he said that Valve is working on foveated rendering. (I think that's the first time they have confirmed this.)
  • Asked if their tracking is more precise than Oculus' he doesn't really answer the question, but mentions how 360 degree tracking is like pure magic.
  • Chet disagrees with the notion that the Vive needs a AAA killer app and calls the app store the killer app of the iPhone.
  • When asked about the price, he says "We view Vive as high-end VR, the best of the best. I can't comment on the price but we are trying to not make it too expensive."
  • He also mentions that they are working with PC manufacturers to create bundles.
  • Chet says Oculus isn't their enemy, but Steam taught them an important lesson: "Competitors are irrelevant for business, it's a very bad idea to base your own decisions and strategies on their actions. Even if they are brilliant people like Palmer Luckey, who I really appreciate."

my german is a bit rusty, but that particular part went like

Q: Too bad (about no HL3, Portal 3), but Vive needs a killer app. Save for Crytek no AAA studios are on board, not even Valve has unveiled anything, even though that Portal demo seemed like something almost complete.

A: What was the killer app for the iPhone? Its AppStore. Back then there weren't big creators on the platform, only lots of small ones, who today are bigger than classic AAA studios. We like smartphones and tablets because they offer us different experiences compared PCs and consoles. Same will happen with VR.
 

BY2K

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A: What was the killer app for the iPhone. Its AppStore. Back then there weren't big creators on the platform, only lots of small ones, who today are bigger than classic AAA studios. We like smartphones and tablets because they offer us different experiences compared PCs and consoles. Same will happen with VR.

I... I need to sit down...
 

Durante

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When talking about hardware requirements he said that Valve is working on foveated rendering. (I think that's the first time they have confirmed this.)
That's very exciting. It would be amazing to get a consumer product with foveated rendering within the next 5 years.

Asked if their tracking is more precise than Oculus' he doesn't really answer the question, but mentions how 360 degree tracking is like pure magic.
Well, that's because the internet crucifies you for some reason if you say that "my X is better than their Y", even if it's just a factual statement. Everyone's a winner in everything!
 

Pie and Beans

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Ugh. Not what I want to be hearing from Valve. Any excuse not to have to go back to full on game development I guess.
 

Nikodemos

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Smartphones do have a killer app: they're fucking phones, everybody needs one.
Hehehe. True, though.

When asked about the price, he says "We view Vive as high-end VR, the best of the best. I can't comment on the price but we are trying to not make it too expensive."
$699 confirmed?
 
Nov 22, 2014
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Nope. Big store of little creators is a great idea, but still it'll be something big from valve that gets more people on board.
 

Nzyme32

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It's true, mostly due to the fact the experience of VR is so compelling anyway, and even simple things like drawing in three dimensions is amusingly entertaining.

That said, I am certain this does not mean there won't be any AAA type titles coming from them or others.
 

Aztechnology

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That's very exciting. It would be amazing to get a consumer product with foveated rendering within the next 5 years.

What about the Fove? I believe Samsung invested in them at some point and they had a successful kickstarter a while back. Good chance we'll see it there first.
 

artsi

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As cool as small scale experiences are, I like my games with good production values and depth. But I have my simulators and hopefully EVE: Valkyrie (and eventually Star Citizen) will deliver.
 

Foggy

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Not sure about the mobile comparison, but he's right that VR doesn't need a AAA killer app and it's unrealistic to expect one at this stage. It'll be the next Minecraft type game that really sets things in motion. A game that fully leverages the ecosystem and new possibilities of the medium and doesn't cost a fortune to make. Just gotta wait for brilliant people to do brilliant things.
 

Durante

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Isn't that what Fove is doing? Which should be launching this year.
What about the Fove? I believe Samsung invested in them at some point and they had a successful kickstarter a while back. Good chance we'll see it there first.
I'm not convinced 120 FPS tracking is sufficient to fully realize the advantages of foveated rendering. I'm also extremely unconvinced they'll ship a product this year.
 

PuppetSlave

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Not that surprising thing for Valve to say imo.

What are they gonna say, yeah the lions share of all the profits are going to go to whatever AAA title that everyone wants, to all the potential developers they want to release their games on steam.

Nah, they want it to be the gold rush feeling when everyone is gonna strike it rich Klondike style.
 
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The iPhone didn't need a killer app because that's not the only thing that made the iPhone popular. Accessibility and being able to have the internet in your pocket did. There's really no comparison. VR is a piece of hardware you have to wear on your head, it needs intriguing software to be worth it to customers. Does that mean it needs a killer AAA app? Not necessarily, but it's still a silly comparison.
 

Visualante2

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I trust Chet. He seems like a no nonsense kind of guy. But this strikes me as detached from reality. Their answer can't just be 'Steam is the killer app'
Smartphones do have a killer app: they're fucking phones, everybody needs one.
Any phone before 2007 was a phone. Smart phones have taken off at extra cost to the consumer because of their extensible nature.
 

ThePizzaGuy

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Smartphones do have a killer app: they're fucking phones, everybody needs one.

Agreed. People buy smartphones for the phone and mobile internet. App store was just a (great) addition to that. A VR headset is a completely different device with a completely different market.
 

Durante

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If i wanted shovelware crap then i can just continue to play on smartphones.
It's extremely regrettable (and also, given the very best games released over the past few years, plainly wrong) to immediately associate "non-AAA" with "shovelware crap".

Personally, I'd be more inclined to have negative associations with "AAA" than "non-AAA".
 

Shuggananas

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It's extremely regrettable (and also, given the very best games released over the past few years, plainly wrong) to immediately associate "non-AAA" with "shovelware crap".

Personally, I'd be more inclined to have negative associations with "AAA" than "non-AAA".

truth right here

Yep, checks out.

So much for "Half Life 3 will be the VR killer-app".

VALVe is such a useless company these days.

lol sure thing bro
 

PetriP-TNT

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I agree with the AppStore comment all the way. Like I said on the Steam thread: VR doesn't need an killer app, it needs an ecosystem that shows that shows that your 1000 dollar purchase is not just a one trick pony.
 

Nabbis

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It's extremely regrettable (and also, given the very best games released over the past few years, plainly wrong) to immediately associate "non-AAA" with "shovelware crap".

Personally, I'd be more inclined to have negative associations with "AAA" than "non-AAA".

It's he who equated their software prospects to a smatphone appstore. If he only wanted to say that the games won't have AAA production values but still offer atleast some semblance of quality then he should have chosen his words better.
 

nubbe

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bad comparison

You need a phone

Without quality software, VR will be neat for a week and then you won't give a fuck anymore.

VR is entertainment
Phones are communication
How the hell do you even come to that conclusion
 

Nightmare452

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Games on the App store were mostly $1 at the time iPhones were new as well, so unless those VR games are $1-5, I don't really see the comparison. Thats a crazy statement.
 

PetriP-TNT

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Without quality software, VR will be neat for a week and then you won't give a fuck anymore.

VR is entertainment
Phones are communication
How the hell do you even come to that conclusion

You are completely missing the point. He is obviously talking about having quality software: it's just that one big name means nothing.
 

Protome

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He has a point though. Look at how much of a massive success Steam Machines are thanks to the fantastic Steam store.
 

Aztechnology

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I'm not convinced 120 FPS tracking is sufficient to fully realize the advantages of foveated rendering. I'm also extremely unconvinced they'll ship a product this year.

I don't disagree. 120hz I think will likely cause people some discomfort, but it's a start at least. I hadn't realized they were aiming for a release in 2016 though. I've seen next to no coverage of their device nor have they really revealed anything.
 

Shuggananas

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He has a point though. Look at how much of a massive success Steam Machines are thanks to the fantastic Steam store.

lol yeah cause that's comparable right
 

massoluk

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Uhh... I don't want to hear this from the guys that launched Steam solely on the strength of HL2.
 

Visualante2

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bad comparison

You need a phone

Without quality software, VR will be neat for a week and then you won't give a fuck anymore.

VR is entertainment
Phones are communication
How the hell do you even come to that conclusion
Facebook's acquisition says that they see Oculus as a form of communication. I think that sort of service might be a future for VR. We might find that Second Life and PlayStation Home were ahead of their time.
Uhh... I don't want to hear this from the guys that launched Steam solely on the strength of HL2.
It was also partly about bringing together Counter Strike patches, right?
I agree with the AppStore comment all the way. Like I said on the Steam thread: VR doesn't need an killer app, it needs an ecosystem that shows that shows that your 1000 dollar purchase is not just a one trick pony.
I read it more as an admission of defeat. That they literally can't manage three big multiplayer titles, a store front and develop killer apps for their own hardware so they're just relying on third parties. That's what the 1400 free Vive Pre units is about. They need third parties more than ever to prop this thing up.