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Focal Point: What Was The Highlight Of GDC 2017?

Focal Point: What Was The Highlight Of GDC 2017?

We ask our industry panel - the brightest and sharpest VR professionals from around the world - one question about the VR industry, business, technology or trending stories every week.

 

Question: This week we had both the Game Developers Conference AND Mobile World Congress to cover, with some amazing announcements, first looks at new hardware and insight into how the VR industry is shaping up in 2017. What stood out for you at either show? What caught your attention, made you excited or rethink your strategy – and why?

 

Justin Corcoran, CEO at Phosphor Games Studio 

“GDC this year was a fantastic show, full of exciting news in VR. We were especially excited to hear more from Microsoft and other - can't be named at the moment - big players about their VR plans, and to get our heads into some inside-out/6DoF wireless headsets. There’s going to be a lot of growth in the variety and power of HMDs over the next 12 months!”

Microsoft aren't the only big players with plans for VR.
 

The drop in price for the Rift and Touch is excellent news for consumers.
Jonathan Wagstaff

Jonathan Wagstaff, Country Manager - UK & IE at CONTEXT 

"The drop in price for the Rift and Touch is excellent news for consumers and at $598, the bundle is now substantially cheaper than the Vive. Throw in a free copy of Robo Recall and you're looking at a very competitive offering.

“Robo Recall is one of the best and most refined Touch games out there right now and captures both the arcade-like gameplay that early titles for a new format need when breaking new ground, without that early-access/indie feel. It also has some brilliant humorous touches, such as robots screaming, "The blue screen!" as they crumble under a shower of bullets.

“The Vive has done a great job of capturing the early adopter market, but now Oculus is in a much better position to push the Rift out further to those sitting on the fence with some budget to spare - and also to dominate bricks and mortar PC retail. What remains to be seen however, is whether the impending ZeniMax suit will prove disastrous for Oculus and put off retailers and consumers."

Is the excellent Robo Recall enough to pursuade punters to choose Oculus?
 

We could expect a shift in market share in favor of Oculus.
David Gattig

David Gattig, CEO & Co-Founder at Avrlon 

“The price drop of the Rift will have the biggest impact on our future strategy. According to the latest numbers by Superdata, Oculus has sold 355,000 units and is still trying to catch up with HTC who sold 420,000 units. 


“With the price drop, the Rift plus Touch comes in at a total of $598. Additionally, the Rift started officially supporting cheaper PCs that are priced around $499. The whole package now costs just a bit more than $1,000.

“Furthermore, Oculus can nearly look eye-to-eye with the Vive in terms of quality. Now with the significant price drop, low-spec support and lightweight Touch, we could expect a shift in market share in favor of Oculus. “As a consequence, we’ll put even more efforts into optimising our experiences for the Rift, include additional Q&A time in our planning and, probably most important of all, switch to Rift for our B2B projects.

 

Oculus now is running just to catch up.
Stephanie Llamas

Stephanie Llamas, Vice President of Research and Product Strategy at SuperData Research

“Oculus's public image and sales are undoubtedly hurting. On the dev side, they’re going to have difficulty getting studios onboard - particularly with exclusives - since there is now a perceived risk in aligning with them. They will need to fund as much of the development on the platform as possible to attract the best content; more so than before.

“This is a reason for their decision to reduce the price of their hardware but, in the end, this is not good for them. The price drop implies something is going wrong. And the people who can purchase a high-end VR device aren't going to be swayed by a hundred dollars. Oculus now is running just to catch up.”

Editor

Steve is an award-winning editor and copywriter with 20 years’ experience specialising in consumer technology and video games. He was part of a BAFTA nominated developer studio as project manager for the UK’s first fully interactive digital TV channel. In addition to editing TheVirtualReport.biz, Steve contributes to PocketGamer.biz, PCGamesInsider.biz and BlockchainGamer.biz, as well as creating marketing content for a range of SMEs and agencies.

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