GDC 13: PC gaming experiencing renaissance, says Luckey

GDC 13: PC gaming experiencing renaissance, says Luckey
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

March 25th 2013 at 11:30PM

Platform's resurgence aiding developer interest in virtual reality headset Oculus Rift

PC gaming is in the midst of a renaissance, says Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey.

Speaking during an interview with Develop at GDC, the virtual reality tech guru said the platform was getting great exclusives and that a lot of emerging new business models such as free-to-play were experiencing a lot of growth on PC.

Luckey also said that much of the hype and interest surrounding the Oculus Rift was partly down to the resurgence of PC gaming, and the fact that the tech and services supporting it have improved greatly.

"I think the important factor for me is that PC gaming is seeing a renaissance - and there are even some great PC exclusives,” he said.

“That, and there is a lot of excitement about free-to-play and growth in that area and a lot of that is on PC. There is just a lot going on on PC - that's why we are attracting interest, not because of a lack of information elsewhere."

Oculus VP of Product Nate Mitchell agreed, and stated that the "stars had aligned" for the company’s virtual reality tech, with PC hardware at such an improved state making the technology feasible, and most importantly, work.

“Hardware on the GPU side has got good enough. Our sensor technology and display technology is finally good enough,” said Mitchell. 

“Palmer came up with an idea that put all of that together. And since then we have been putting together a good SDK to use it all. There were attempts at VR in the past - but the developers are now finally thinking 'OK, this might actually work this time'. We're not showing a half-baked system.

"This isn't about some big innovation happening, it's a mix of things coming together at the right time. The stars have aligned."

As well as great technological leaps in recent years regarding PC hardware, much of the platform’s resurgence can be put down to Valve’s eponymous digital distribution service Steam, which at last count in November last year reported more than 50 million users.

Steam offers a number of smash-hit PC exclusive from Valve including Team Fortress 2 and the Left 4 Dead and Portal series.

A number of indie exclusives have also emerged on the service, while outside of Steam, developers like Blizzard are experiencing huge successes with titles such as World of Warcraft and Starcraft, as is Wargaming with its MMO World of Tanks.

You can view the full analysis from Develop's hands-on with the Oculus Rift, which includes interviews with Palmer Luckey and Nate Mitchell, here.