Luckey: Virtual reality's greatest danger is bad VR

Luckey: Virtual reality's greatest danger is bad VR
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

May 21st 2014 at 11:30AM

Oculus creator says without Facebook, the company wouldn't be able to achieve the vision for its first consumer model

Virtual reality's greatest danger is bad VR, says Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey.

VR technology has been spurred on leaps and bounds since Oculus' crowdfunding success, with rival headsets and major players such as Sony getting into the VR race.

"I think really bad VR is the only thing that can kill off VR. That's why we've been so careful to say that 'these are dev kits, do not buy, do not buy!'" said Luckey, in an interview with Engadget.

That's why, he said, Oculus VR has chosen to join Facebook, to give VR technology the best possible chance.

"People don't have experience with this technology," he explained. "When it arrives, it has to be good.

"[Joining Facebook] lets us make the first version really, really good, and use a lot of custom components that wouldn't have been possible otherwise," he said.

Without the social network behemoth, Luckey said that Oculus may have been forced to release more costly, incremental headsets to fund its desired consumer model.

"Maybe it doesn't sell and we actually hurt the VR market overall because it wasn't good enough. This [Facebook] lets us have as good of a shot as we're ever going to have at making consumers believe in virtual reality."

Keeping the threat of bad VR at bay has also led Luckey to take a relaxed view on VR standards, as he feels it would slow innovation.

"If you talk to people who are actually doing things that are very novel and different from what we're doing, most of them are not very pro-standard," he explained.

"The standard is going to end up being defined by whoever sells the most headsets, and it would not be a good thing for them if the standard is games that don't include motion control, or games that require a very high field of view or that absolutely require position tracking."

However, at Develop's An Audience with Project Morpheus, representatives from Sony and early VR evangelists noted that the best VR content will be tailored for the platform, and that standards, such as navigating in a 3D space, will gradually have to be established, just as they have been for gamepads.