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Carmack says VR devs are ‘coasting on novelty’ with ‘poisonous’ startup times

John Carmack stands next to a person wearing an Oculus Rift.

Chief technical officer at Oculus and id Software co-founder John Carmack isn’t happy with how far developers are pushing the envelope with virtual reality.

For the best uses of novelty in a virtual plane, check out some actually good VR games.

On stage at Oculus Connect last week Carmack accused developers of ‘coasting on novelty’ when it comes to making experiences for the company’s Rift hardware and that they ‘need to be harder on ourselves’.

In his closing address, Carmack said: “We are coasting on novelty, and the initial wonder of being something people have never seen before. But we need to start judging ourselves. Not on a curve, but in an absolute sense. Can you do something in VR that has the same value, or more value, than what these other things have done?”

On top of generally being underwhelmed by the range of experiences VR is currently shopping around, Carmack also highlighted some of the technical hurdles which are preventing users having a good time. Among these are the struggles people are having keeping loading times to under 29 seconds – the sort of delay you’d expect from a magic veil of unreality on your face.

“That’s acceptable if you’re going to sit down and play for an hour,” Carmack said. “But initial startup time really is poisonous. An analogy I like to say is, imagine if your phone took 30 seconds to unlock every time you wanted to use it. You’d use it a lot less.”

You can see the whole closing keynote below where there’s a good deal more chiding from the VR school headmaster.

Thanks for the heads up GI.biz