Palmer Luckey: people still don’t know they need VR

Virtual Reality is going through its latest upswing at the moment, having come and gone in various iterations over the past few decades in one form or another. However this time around it feels a little different. The technology is said to be finally where it needs to be and it’s achieving that oh so important thing: presence. However, despite the Oculus Rift and other headsets doing extremely well in terms of uptake, the founder of Oculus VR, Palmer Luckey, believes the public doesn’t understand why VR is relevant yet.

“A lot of people, even if they know what VR is, see it as this tool to go in your basement and play Halo,” he said, before poking fun at his own statement: “I was about to correct myself and say another game, but that’s what a grandmother would say: ‘Oh, you’re going to plug it into your Nintendo and play Halo.”

He has a point. The Oculus Rift experience is something that’s difficult to explain to people. It’s just one of those things that you have to try yourself.


So what’s going to turn things around? According to Luckey, letting people try it is of course the first step, but it’s when people can use it to watch movies or music concerts using the hardware that it will really hit home. When the technology is made more personal and allows them to do things that they enjoy – outside of gaming -it will really take off.

“They’re going to see this is relevant to them in their daily lives as a not-pimply-faced-teenage-kid,” he said (via Cnet). “That’s going to be a difficult perception to overcome.”

However it is something that he’s prepared to do and part of the way Oculus plans to achieve that goal is through the creation of in-house content. The VR firm recently announced it was internally developing its own games and experiences, to really show off what the Rift and its eventual successors are capable of. He also claimed to be in cahoots with a lot of developers that were working on VR in secret, even some giant ones that he described as “multi-billion dollar” companies.

He could of course be talking about Sony, which is developing its own headset system known as Project Morpheus. However, Luckey previously slammed the Japanese firm’s efforts, suggesting that with the low power of the PS4, it would never be able to compete with the ever evolving PC platform, not deliver a comfortable 60 frames per second or more in dual VR mode.