Oculus Founder Talks About HTC Vive Support
In light of the imminent release of the Facebook-owned, virtual reality headset, Oculus Founder, Palmer Luckey, took to Reddit yesterday to give the VR community an opportunity to discuss some matters that they deemed important. Palmer’s original Reddit thread read as follows:
“With Rift launching in a matter of days, I don’t have time to troll around Reddit trying to figure out what people want. Top comment as determined by the community gets a response at the end of the day, so upvote wisely.“
This led to a frenzy of potential questions being put forward by the community. Interestingly, though, the question that surfaced to the highest of the bunch was this:
“I’ll preface this by saying I believe the Rift is the superior product based on what I have heard, I really really appreciate all of Oculus, and I have ordered both the Rift and HTC Vive for development. However, can we please get the straight dope on HTC Vive support in the Oculus Store? Exactly what is happening, who is at fault, what is Oculus doing to bring HTC Vive support to the Oculus Store and who is stopping this from happening? And if this won’t be resolved in the immediate future, what is Oculus doing to ensure most people spend most of their VR time in Oculus Home, not SteamVR?
The Vive has obviously proven itself to be a good system and Oculus obviously would welcome the software sales. Myself and most people here would surely love to buy ALL their games on the Oculus Store only, but the current situation is making that unlikely. THANKS!!!”
This question was met with mixed reviews from the community of the Oculus SubReddit, as it was deemed by some to not be a relevant enough issue for Oculus. However, others argued that it was a crucial part of establishing the ecosystem for the virtual reality market as a whole. There was then tense backlash on the highest voted question that led to the question being removed and then reinstated by popular demand.
In the end, the question remained and Oculus founder, Palmer Luckey returned to post his response, replying as follows:
“We want to natively support all hardware through the Oculus SDK, including optimizations like asynchronous timewarp. That is the only way we can ensure an always-functional, high performance, high-quality experience across our entire software stack, including Home, our own content, and all third party content. We can’t do that for any headset without cooperation from the manufacturer. We already support the first two high-quality VR headsets to hit the market (Gear VR and Rift), that list will continue to expand as time goes on.”
Palmer then responded to this question:
“Exactly what is happening, who is at fault, what is Oculus doing to bring HTC Vive support to the Oculus Store and who is stopping this from happening?“
“I am not going to point fingers in the middle of our own launch. Hopefully, things work out in the long run, I am trying my best. It is pretty obvious what would benefit Oculus and our unparalleled VR content investment – heck, the Oculus Store did not even launch with our own hardware, people have been using it with Gear VR for a long time now!”
The last point he addressed was a response to the following:
“Myself and most people here would surely love to buy ALL their games on the Oculus Store only, but the current situation makes that unlikely.”
To which Palmer responded
“You are right on both counts, unfortunately. Lots of losers, only one clear winner.”
The reason these questions were deemed relevant to the community was that, without support for all of the devices on the Oculus Store. The Oculus store may suffer. As Oculus users may end up following their natural path and just booting the device up with Steam. Which could end up isolating the Oculus store from its potential market? With the margins of the actual hardware sales quite low, for companies like Oculus, HTC and Valve, it’s all about software sales. This is no doubt why Oculus have taken the controversial route of obtaining exclusivity on game titles, in order to balance out their initial user base on launch.
What do you think about how Palmer addressed the question? and do you think there could have been a better question posed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.