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Oculus: VR could be more about movies than games; “We don’t know what the killer app is”

Oculus Rift

When the Oculus Rift was Kickstarted, it was taglined ‘Step into the Game’. First and foremost, we expected, VR would revolutionise gaming. But two years and a Facebook buyout later, its scope has widened.

“We’ve said from the beginning we’re big gamers,” said Oculus’ Nate Mitchell. “But it may well end up being that VR is more about film than games.”

At CES in Las Vegas, Oculus have been demoing VR using, among other things, a Pixar-like robot fight scene in which users can follow the action around 360 degrees.

Mitchell told the LA Times that Hollywood studios were beginning to explore VR, and that it was “possible” that film might benefit from the technology even more than games.

“We don’t know what the killer app is,” said Oculus’ vice president for product.

Sundance Film Festival has selected at least 13 short VR movies for presentation this year, apparently. It’s going to be entertaining to see filmmakers grapple with the very problem developers have always had with their setpieces: ensuring the player’s looking in the right direction.

“After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences,” wrote Mark Zuckerberg last year. “Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face – just by putting on goggles in your home.”

Does it matter to you that Oculus are now spinning other plates, so long as they all keep spinning?