HTC: Oculus Exclusives Are ‘Hampering Developers’

by Jamie Feltham • March 13th, 2017

Vive-maker HTC has been adamant that it’s against exclusive content in the VR ecosystem thus far. In fact, it would go as far as to say rival Oculus’ exclusive games are “problematic” for the industry.

Speaking to Gamespot, Vice President of Global VR Content Joel Breton said that Oculus’ own approach to exclusivity with its Oculus Studios games was “hampering developers’ ability to create large communities by blocking them out from other platforms.”

Continuing on, he explained that even though these games might not exist without Oculus’ funding, making them exclusive was “problematic” for developers in the long-term as they can’t develop “relative to the market size” and that Oculus was “putting more cash in than the market can ever recoup, or the developer can ever recoup” thus studios might struggle to adapt with future titles. He said studios were “going to struggle because they’re not able to develop at the size and scope that the market is at.”

robo

The just-released Oculus exclusive Robo Recall was developed with a budget close to the original Gears of War and given away for free.

He pointed to Owlchemy Labs’ Job Simulator [Review: 8/10] as a case for bringing titles to all available platforms. “They are certainly a success story in early VR of finding a good concept that they can develop within the scope and budgets that make sense for today’s market,” Breton said.

Now that it’s funding and developing games with its Vive Studios banner, though, it’s time to put its money where its mouth is, and the company certainly looks to be doing so. Breton said that HTC is looking to bring its first Studios title, Arcade Saga, to Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR). He said that Sony “expressed a willingness to let us do that.”

The game, which was revealed alongside the announcement of Vive Studios itself late last year, already launched on the HTC Vive and came to the Oculus Rift a few days later, but bringing it to Sony’s headset means porting it to another platform entirely, rather than just translating it from one PC-based VR headset to the other. Arcade Saga is a fairly simple compilation of three arcade classics refitted for VR including brick breaking and futuristic bow and arrow shooting.

HTC considers Arcade Saga as a first-party developed game, meaning made internally. As for second-party content, which is made by partners and funded and published by the company, Breton said that developers are free to do what they like. He pointed to Grab Games’ Knockout League, which HTC co-published on Vive, but is also available on Rift. It’s up to the studio itself as to if it comes to PSVR.

Breton disagreed that not creating exclusive content could hurt HTC’s headset in the long run. “Here’s the bottom line,” he said. “We’re not using content as a weapon. We’re using content to help create and sustain the VR ecosystem.”

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  • NooYawker

    “We’re not using content as a weapon. We’re using content to help create and sustain the VR ecosystem.”
    This!
    But at the end of the day Zuckerberg can’t keep throwing money at devs to create exclusive content for much longer. As the market grows it’ll get too expensive.

    • JustNiz

      Bullshit. Oculus is only doing it as a lame attempt to make an artificial demand for their store. They know that the moment they stop, Oculus storefront will be history, because if you can just buy all the same games on Steam and totally uninstall Oculus’s spyware, why wouldn’t you?

      • PeteB

        Wasn’t aware Oculus Home is “spyware”. How’s that again?

        You’re right on Steam though. I started with a Vive, then picked up a Rift with the price drop to check it out, and besides the annoying nose gap letting light in and subpar tracking with only 2 sensors, I’m hesitant to buy any title through Oculus Home because of unpredictability (nevermind the Zenimax thing looming). OTOH I’ve had Steam for 10 yrs and know that if I purchase a VR game on there, it’s not going anywhere.

      • NooYawker

        I don’t even use HTCs software. Just steamVR. So you make strong point.

      • Tage Wood

        Because Steam VR is horrible to use. I avoid it as much as possible as Home is much more user friendly.

      • James Andre

        And you don’t think steam is spyware? Its the norm in society… even your smart TV spies on you.

    • Carl Wolsey

      Exactly, it’s a false ecosystem, your game has to make its own money.

  • 1droidfan

    This was exactly what I said on here on another post and was argued incessantly that I was incorrect. When you subsidize only certain developers and games like they are doing, you basically punish the people who are doing it for real. Those people wont make any money because you are giving away titles that are far superior, and cost many times over what yours did. The reason we see so many 10$ game type demos is thats all people can expect to risk because the user-base is low and the free content is such a high quality. Really there are only a hand full of great AAA VR titles and I dont expect many people to taking that kind of risk anytime in the near future when consoles offer a much higher return for the same economic expenditure.

    • Blinkwise

      I think if you have a good idea, oculus will subsidize you. The “people doing it for real” are pushing out mostly shovelware and the ones that are doing a good job are being picked up by oculus or HTC (see overwatch or raw data). Oculus is only doing good here, even if the other side is jealous their ecosystem is a garbage pit of shovelware.

    • No Spam

      Do you use Dropbox? Snapchat? Spotify? Any other venture-backed company whose product is “subsidized” by investors who are trying to grow a market (like file sharing or music streaming) through low prices or free offerings? Do you think it’s free to store gigs of data?

      Do you think it’s “fair” to Symantec, or Yahoo, or CD-making companies because they can’t afford to lose hundreds of millions of $$ to compete against the strategic investments of VCs? Are they being punished because they’re doing it “for real”?

      Why are some forms of competition OK, but others are not?

  • jimrp

    He spent the money. I dont see PS mention in here. Im guessing its just FB. Stupid FB for spending money on development that would otherwise not be there.

    • PeteB

      His argument falls a little flat anyway, while they’ve got Vive Studios, and Viveport exists as a separate digital marketplace from Steam to buy Vive titles – and you don’t get a Steam key if you buy a Vive game from Viveport. Not to mention Viveport’s monthly subscription service they’re trying to get off the ground.

      No, HTC – just like Oculus – is desperately trying to carve out a space for itself in the VR landscape as something more than a hardware OEM, because they know a glut of SteamVR HMD’s are coming from LG and others which will relegate the Vive to being one of many.

      • Crunchy005

        Well Viveport is open for developers to put content on it, same with steam. Blame the devs for only putting it on viveport, but there is far more stuff only on oculus store that’s forced to only be there, than there is on Viveport which doesn’t force the devs to be exclusive to.

        • James Andre

          Nobody forced them to only be there they agreed and got paid quit your whining… If they want to be open then they can be on there they just can’t get Oculus money to help develop their games.

      • jimrp

        Business 101.

      • Bob Oblong

        who cares. VR library is so oversaturated with shovelware … and it’s all out there pirated. The joyfull honeymoon of VR is long gone. VR is like a prostitute. She’s been f**ked so long so regular she can’t enjoy sex anymore. Bajillion bow and arrow games, wave shooters, bowling games, ping pong, golf ……. you fill in the blank devs aren’t coming up with original ideas.

        Just pirate the sh$t and forget about it….. Everyone on Vive just pirated Roborecall anyway, so there’s no money for them to make. If Robinson didn’t have Facebook shell out the expensive Denuvo licensing it would have been pirated day 1 too on SteamVR. But who gives a chit about that title anyway. No motion controls, it’s garbage. People already long forgot about games released last week !

        ^ Thats the exact same reason we can’t have other multiplayer hits like Hover Junkers. Over saturation of games available there’s 0 players to play with. Few days after release, 20 other Early Access games out.

        • Rhas ‘Churol

          VR hasn’t even existed long enough for that to happen yet. Not even a 10th of the gamer population has gotten a VR headset, and not even a 7th has even SEEN a VR headset in person.

          Someday the number of players will catch up to the number of titles. For now, though, it’s still experimental.

  • Feverdog

    It’s not really that much different to the number of ‘crappy’ low quality released on Steam that are for Vive only initially, where they say they’ll add support if the title is successful. Developors may often only have time and money to support one tested system or add official support for another system later in the day, I’m not keen on the idea of exclusives, but the funding to make some decent titles is definitely needed, instead of encouraging lots of shovelware tat to come out

    • elev8d

      HTC is funding games and backing developers. They aren’t telling those developers they can’t release their products on Oculus Home. Valve is bringing developers to their offices and providing assistance from their own teams, and they are also not telling developers not to release on Oculus Home. But I get it, Oculus would have to hire and dedicate people to officially support the Vive and they want to see Oculus market share grow, so they are investing in exclusives.

      • JustNiz

        > They aren’t telling those developers they can’t release their products on Oculus Home.

        THere would be no point. No developer would freely choose to develop for Oculus API becase that would limit your product to one headset and a far less popular store. Any sane developer would develop for OpenVR because it already supports both Vive and Rift (and probably also any other headset that comes along) so that means they get multiple headset support with hardly any extra effort, so more than double their market exposure. They would also sell their game on Steam not Oculus Home because there are far more VR users on Steam than Oculus Home. The only people developing for Oculus Home are those that have been paid to do so by Oculus in a lame attempt to make fake demand for their store.

        • elev8d

          There’s a good percentage of Oculus users not on Steam. Porting a SteamVR game to the Oculus store isn’t a huge effort and can bring in more users/sales.

          • PeteB

            “There’s a good percentage of Oculus users not on Steam.”

            CItation needed. Because anyone enthusiastic enough about VR on a PC to absorb the relatively high cost of it right now is also going to have Steam.

          • elev8d

            I don’t have figures for you, I just know when I go on the Oculus reddit, there are definitely a few people that fanboy and say they’ll never install Steam or that there is no reason to since there is enough Oculus content. My guess is at leas 10-20% of Oculus users never got around to installing Steam. But if you want to prove me wrong, go ahead a cite a source yourself 😛

          • CQCoder

            So let me get this straight. You believe there are Oculus users (as you make a shot in the air about 10%-20%, because, you know, all Oculus users are on reddit), who have spent somewhere north of $1500 on hardware, are NOT installing Steam…that’s…Horse%$@@. I’m sure there is some tiny % of them that feel the need to prove some point by not using it, but there is no way it’s in the 10-20% range. That’s just fantasy. You act like the only thing they are playing is VR – which is silly. But feel free to keep trolling.

          • Kalle

            CQCoder: Well, I’ve got 160+ games on steam, one of them is a vr game, rest of all games and experiences I have on OH. And I use it quite alot. So Yes, I think there are definitely those who don’t use their Oculus in Steam. I have no idea how big percentage it may be, would be nice to see a poll or some real statistics.

            As I see it I think the consumers in the long run are the winners with more active stores. (sadly it’s shit now when OH is not officially supporting Vive, but it will change soon). Steam almost got a monopoly when it comes to pc game sales, and that’s rarely good, even though I like Steam, weird huh? 😉

          • CQCoder

            Kalle,
            Yep my point exactly. I have a Vive so my games are 95% off steam. I love Steam – it’s a monopoly to a degree, but I would take them over a _publisher_ monopoly any day.
            I may not have been clear in what I was saying. I FULLY expect that Oculus users are _not_ getting games off steam (though I think that is expanding – competition is a good thing). I also fully expect that most Oculus users are Steam users in general, regardless of what software they are getting from it.
            I look forward to OH supporting Vive – that would be awesome and I’d sign up in a second. I’ve never been an ‘us or them’ person on the game front. It’s silly. We all want the same thing – great games and great prices!!!

          • Frogacuda

            Installing Steam doesn’t mean you automatically show up in Steam’s survey. It’s based on who’s on in a certain timeframe. I’d say an overwhelming majority of Oculus users probably have Steam installed, but as a group they’re certainly less likely that Vive owners to be logged into Steam at any given moment, which is going to bias the numbers.

          • elev8d

            So you have no proof and you accuse me of trolling. Oculus users on Reddit are much more likely to be aware of SteamVR than those that just picked up a Rift at Best Buy or received one as a gift. Anyway, since this is a hot debate, figure I’d pose the question to the VR community. I’ll let you know what the results are if they respond. Just to be clear, I use SteamVR and don’t use Oculus Home and don’t really feel the need to use Home. My thoughts are there are probably many users on their side that feel the same and are too lazy to get around to it. I do understand your argument, but I think it’s based on the assumption that everyone that uses VR has a computer with Steam already on it.

          • elev8d

            I just ran a poll with VR community for 24 hours and caught a sample size of 263. Here are the results. You will note, 17% of respondents do not currently use their Rift. Note that the numbers add up to 101% due to rounding error. Assuming a population of 200k users, a confidence level of 95%, and margin of error of ±4% the results are posted below.

            Do you use Steam with your Oculus Rift?
            – 83% Yes, I do currently play SteamVR games on my Rift
            – 11% No, but maybe I will in the future
            – 7% No, I have no plans of using my Oculus Rift with SteamVR ever

          • Frogacuda

            Maybe “not on Steam” is the wrong phrasing. Perhaps “Not accounted for in Steam surveys because they use Steam a smaller percentage of the time” would be a better way to put it.

            I’m not refuting that Vive is outselling Rift, as I do believe that’s the case, but just that we don’t really have solid data to indicate how much.

          • Crunchy005

            A fairly absolutist statement, I’ve met a chunk of people with oculus headset while in VR who had no idea what steam was.

      • Frogacuda

        They’re funding developers at market scale, though, which is more like a loan. It’s not like what Oculus is doing, where they’re paying AAA devs to make marquee games that have no prayer of making their money back, in order to get people in the VR tent.

    • JustNiz

      Nearly everything developed for Vive uses OpenVR (the VR API that SteamVR uses) which automatically already includes support for Rift. When developers say they will add Rift support later, what they actually mean is that they will add support later for seated/gamepad play and/or touch. The rift headet already just works.
      Oculus’s own API doesn’t support any other headset, so anyone developing for Rift by using it and not OpenVR also gets locked into one headset only, and also gets locked into Oculus’s store, whereas OpenVR doesn’t lock you into Steam.
      This is why Oculus is anti-user and bad for the wider VR community.

      • Kalle

        Oculus is just trying to get their store going, they are competing with this tiny company called Valve who has this little store called Steam. Oculus want people to use their platform and that’s where the exclusiveness come in. Not very hard to understand, quite logic actually.

        OpenVR is not really “open” in that sense, It’s only Valve who can modify it and the source code is not open at all. It’s free to use though, which is nice.

    • Crunchy005

      Welcome to an open market as opposed to a more closed one. Early android app store was like steam and apple store more like oculus. It’s kinda what happens. But revive is amazing so I get better full rokmscale with both steam and oculus library yay.

  • VR Geek

    I think Facebook/Oculus have been applying console tactics to VR which at this point most would agree is the wrong strategy. Mark seems a little headstrong and instead of easing up on broken strategies (eg. they insisted on seated, forward facing VR as the primary focus), he instead pushes harder. He is out of touch but I am sure he thinks his strategy is sound.

    • No Spam

      Wait. Oculus supports full room scale and 360. Yes, that’s a turn-around from forward facing/standing, which was a turn-around from seated.

      How is that an example of pushing harder on broken strategies? Sounds like he recognizes broken strategies and changes them…

      That’s (one reason) why Facebook is so big. Facebook missed mobile, then changed course and now it’s their dominant platform. They missed messaging, so they bought WhatsApp and doubled down with Messenger. They missed micropublishing, and bought Instagram.

      Facebook is a lot of things, but “out of touch” with market/financial dynamics is not one of them.

      • PeteB

        FWIW Oculus supports room scale if we’re talking small bedroom. Vive will do 18’x18′ and beyond. And Oculus needs 3-4 sensors with annoying USB cables and extenders going all over the place.

        I have both Vive and Rift. The Rift loses tracking sometimes where the controllers just float off, the Vive never does.

        • Crunchy005

          “The Rift loses tracking sometimes where the controllers just float off” – Lol the vive used to do this actually, my friend preordered the vive and the first few drivers this would happen on occasion, HTC fixed stuff like that fairly quickly. it was always funny to just watch my hand fly away from me then pop back.

        • James Andre

          Haven’t found a game yet that I need and 18×18 play space. I find roomscale to have a major drawback when trying to play in a large area.. when you get to the edges you have to pause the game and walk back to the center so that you can go to the next room. Don’t get me wrong… I do love the freedom to move around but at some point you always need some locomotion. I’m looking forward to VR treadmills. I think Katwalk VR may have the best setup so far but they are all too expensive for now.

    • OkinKun

      Nothing about it is “console tactics”. That’s just a lie, and I see nothing wrong with their methods.. They’re using TIMED-store-exclusivity, not console hardware-lock exclusivity. These are games they’ve put money into, and they’re doing exactly the right thing by asking for a period where those games release on their store first. Perfectly within their rights, and it’s helping bring more games to VR, no matter how HTC tries to spin it.

  • Nicholas

    Not too concerned about exclusives, but multiplayer games can certainly suffer if they don’t support multiple platforms – there just aren’t enough online VR players to go around if they carve up the ecosystems. Only a few VR-specific games have managed to sustain usable player bases as far as I can tell.

  • Hawk1290

    Providing financing for games that wouldn’t have otherwise been created doesn’t hurt the ecosystem. Supporting your product with paid content doesn’t hurt the ecosystem. Preventing other users from using your application does. I have an Oculus, I enjoy the hell out of it- they need to implement a system that allows others to make use of “Home”. I don’t blame them for avoiding that because it’s spending time and money on products they don’t sell, but it may bring in sales that wouldn’t have existed otherwise. We’ll see where it goes.

    • Full Name

      Yes, it is key that they open up home to Vive users. If they don’t want to sell on Steam, that is fine of course. There are plenty of online game stores that require you buy/install through their app already, so if they at least offered that, it would be within the norm.

      I think the point about hurting the eco system (as a whole) is that if Oculus/FB keeps funding games, up to the tune of $10 million in some cases (Robo Recall surpasses this and is given free to new Rift owners – when in reality they would need to sell one to every single owner at a pretty high price, just to break even). It does boost Oculus’ position, and probably helps inject some excitement for the medium, but on the other hand, it makes it impossible for most anyone else to compete, which hurts companies like Vive, and could ultimately remove competition from the VR.

      • DougP

        Re: “If they don’t want to sell on Steam, that is fine of course. ”
        It’s not about avoiding Steam, well … I suppose it is…but that’s the long game, it’s about “buying market share”.
        They want people buying their headset, so they’ll install their software/store & wind up getting all games via their store (long-game, owning distribution).
        Thing is – Steam is already the standard distribution platform for PC games. There will be tremendous pushback.
        Fragmentation on what *store* you go to to buy a game, who your *friends* are, multi-player fragmented.
        Because you’ll continue to have PC non-VR gamers NOT needing/wanting to go to Oculus Home.

        It’s NOT good for a fledgling VR marketplace & fragments the PC VR gaming community. All with the goal to buy marketshare.

  • Frogacuda

    Hoo boy, that’s a laugh. Oculus-partnered developers can’t develop relative to market size? They’re developing at ten times market size, that’s the whole point. Oculus is funding developers at levels that exceed the direct commercial potential of their products in order to expand the market.

    He’s basically saying Oculus developers have it so good they’re going to get spoiled. Hilarious.

    • Full Name

      He is saying that *some* developers get to create high quality/very costly games, but others are not, and especially those that try to support multi-platform. This makes many developers drop out of VR all together, and it weakens the position of other VR companies like HTC, which means you could find yourself in a situation where Oculus is the only game in town, and they have no interest in pushing technology development or lower pricing that much. Oculus would likely not have had Touch at this point, if it wasn’t for the fact that Valve and HTC forced their hand. Also, there is no reason to think they can or will continue to subsidize game development if everyone is forced to make the games for their system anyway. Even now, it is only a sub-set of Oculus developers that get any considerable help from Oculus.

      • MikeVR

        “Oculus would likely not have had Touch at this point, if it wasn’t for the fact that Valve and HTC forced their hand.” haha! too funny…

        • PeteB

          Funny because true.

          • MikeVR

            nah

          • No Spam

            False. Look at my comment a couple above you. Photographic proof that Touch was already in prototype in June 2014.

            Read Engadget’s verbal history of HTC and Valve for the timeline of Vive: the first super-secret NDA demo of Vive was in October 2014 – and it was super secret to keep it a secret from Oculus.

          • Sam Kennedy

            Zuckerberg himself tried Valves prototype VR room in January of 2014 and that was after it was installed in Oculus’s own studios , zuckerberg demoing Valves prototype is what led him to be convinced to buy Oculus in the first place, it wasnt even their own technology that convinced him. Your timeline is off as well, because the folks at Oculus had tried Valves prototype at Valve Headquarters well before it was eventually installed at Oculus’s studios.

            Your going based off when the public knew about the Vive or when an NDA was lifted. Valve was sharing ALL of their plans with oculus before Oculus was bought by facebook. The main issue with your version of events is, if Oculus was prototyping wayy before Valve hand controllers than why where they not ready for so long and why didnt they release them. Its not like people didnt know it was a thing Valve didnt event hand tracked motion controllers and people where already using Razr Hydra’s with DK1 and DK2. Your being silly if you dont think Valve forced Oculus’s hand , even if Oculus did prototype hand tracked motion controllers their commentary about them wasnt resoundingly positive and there was no indication they would even come any time during cv1 (and i honestly doubt they would have) if the Vive wasnt released and showed the public its potential.

            The problem with your comment is your acting like hand tracked motion werent already a thing in the VR world and they where, oculus just wasnt placing that much importance on them for CV1 UNTIL the Vive dk1 demo’s went out and they realized how important / how much buzz it was getting. Exploring hand tracked motion controls and releasing them to the public are 2 different things. Maybe they where downplaying it because they already had dev’s making controller games, but if the timeline is as you say and they knew they where going to release it with CV1 at the time those dev’s could have easily adapted.

          • polysix

            agree with the history, anyone in the know about VR knows that a lot of the valve tech was passed on to oculus pre-facebook (inc positional tracking, low persistence, dual screen idea – inc sourcing which Alan Yates at valve did for oculus!, and yes initial input/controls called ‘cutlass’ that were early prototypes of what oculus touch ended up resembling). Cutlass was abandoned due to tracking issues (bad shape) while oculus stuck with that shape/type, hence they needed more work to track than Vive does (still) and aren’t as robust (still) to occlusion.

            That and more was shared for free with Palmer and co, pre-facebook, but after FB bought oculus they stopped being so open (oculus) so Valve had to stop sharing, along with the fact oculus had just had a massive payment/buyout for tech, much of which, originated with valve.

            All of this is true.

            The guy above though is saying that touch as a product was already on the way, before publically vive/vive wands ‘forced them’ to release, we know Palmer was working on input way back but took way too long. I do think we’d have touch by now with or without Vive, and it would still have been a bit late as it should have been packed in with the rift! What vive did was make them lose sales from thousands (hundreds of thousands) of early adopters like myself who had been heading to whatever little oculus could put out as they trickle fed us. Valve made them face up to it or lose sales/market share (which has happened) which is the BEST thing for VR, it stopped Facebook having a monopoly on PC VR (to put it mildly), and now if facebook (*shudder*) wish to remain in the PC VR game they MUST deliver their A-Game in gen 2, not just some barely adequate crapola with shit input like the original rift release.

            I’m now waiting for gen 2 , sold my vive, dk2 and psvr and tried rift cv1 wasn’t good enough, even with the new price cut, as the HMD itself has too many issues (even vs DK2 which had great blacks and no god rays) so whoever gets gen 2 right first, no god rays, good comfort, higher res etc is going to have a massive lead/impact on the market, it could be valve (HTC/LG etc) or it could be facebook or maybe someone new but I doubt it.

            Facebook will always have a mountain to climb now with negative perception, and negative facts/caught lying too many times, and because it’s facebook which most core pc gamers hate (for good reason).

            If Oculus had sold to almost anyone but facebook they wouldn’t have half their troubles, even google or microsoft buying them out would have been a better choice as far as perception goes.

          • No Spam

            The Valve Room demos didn’t have hand tracking. They used inside-out tracking with fiducial markers on the wall which couldn’t be adapted to hand-held controllers.

            Lighthouse wasn’t prototyped until after the Facebook acquisition, and the original Wand prototypes used Lighthouse receivers strapped to a Valve gamepad. The “cutlass” model also used Lighthouse, so it was also post-FB acquisition.

            My point is not to say that Oculus invented hand tracking. It’s not even that they did it first, or before Valve. Simply that it was an independent effort and not a response to Vive.

            Your last paragraph is just rife with speculation. Oculus placed a ton of importance on hand tracking, that’s why it took so long. They weren’t just “exploring”, they were iterating and refining, and clearly took a lot longer than they thought or hoped. I’m sure they wanted to release with Touch, but couldn’t get it to the level they wanted in time – and they had to get enough manufactured to avoid another shipping snafu after the disastrous HMD launch.

            And if you think a controller game in development for over a year (think Chronos, Defense Grid 2 VR, Lucky’s Tale, Edge of Nowhere, etc.) can be “easily adapted” to a prototype hand controller with an unfinished SDK, no tools, and an uncertain release date (think 3-6 months before Rift release), then you know very little about game design.

      • No Spam

        Sigh. I wrote a long refutation of the “no Touch except for Vive” comment, but it’s buried in UploadVR’s approval queue because it included links.

        Take a look at the Oculus blog post regarding the acquisition of Carbon Design (google for “oculus carbon design blog”, it’s the first link). Take a look at the first picture (you may need to right-click and open it in a new tab to see in full screen), there’s a guy sitting behind a desk with…a Touch controller prototype on his hand. This was June 2014, well before any Vive announcement or NDA briefing on the wands ever occurred.

        Touch was not a response to Vive. It had been in the works for a long time.

        • Full Name

          Please RE-READ my response. I said they likely would not have had it at THIS POINT. I know they played around with the idea for a long time, but they never put a priority on it – or alternatively – they are incompetent taking so long, but I doubt that is the case. If you follow the key-notes speeches and comments coming out of Oculus after the reveal of the Vive wands, it is clear that they were still trying to defend their approach of using the XBOX gamepad and downplaying motion controllers. Silently, they clearly were panicking a bit, and rushed it out as soon as they could – however still thinking, or at least saying that 180 degree tracking of the controllers were sufficient, until they got more push-back, and decided to work on tracking 360 which had big issues up until a couple of weeks ago.

    • Ryan Lafave

      when they are left on their own without funding, they wont understand how to organize their budget nor know what to expect from the tiny market. This is the point hes making, these devs will not know wtf do to with future games when oculus isnt throwing then hundreds of thousands of dollars. meanwhile, open VR devs will have experience with the true market for their future games

  • AtmosContagion

    Really, all Oculus would have to do is toss some money at devs making stuff like ReVive and they would be golden.

    As long as they don’t try to lock everything down based on hardware again (they back tracked on this pretty quickly after they implemented it last summer and haven’t done anything similar since) having Oculus fund a few titles here and there exclusive to their storefront, not the hardware, I think it’s perfectly fine.

    • Kalle

      A fact is that just before Oculus locked re’vive out of Oculus home, the creator of Revive went out publicly on reddit and said he would bypass Oculus Home so it wouldn’t be needed after a buy. You could basically run the Oculus Home games on Steam without the need of Oculus Home in the background. This would be a deathsentance to Oculus Home so they locked it down until they fixed so that wouldn’t be possible.

      (Included a link to the reddit post in a reply I did 24 hours ago, but it’s still pending… So just google this: “HOW TO: Add Oculus revive games to your Steam Library Cross Vr” and the reddit thread should show up as the second hit.)

  • DrakeDoesn’tWrite

    I’ve said what he’s saying from day 1. The focus needs to be on Growing VR. You are not going to do with VR what Apple did with the iPod. The competition is already here and on Equal Footing. It’s also stupid because I can play The Best Oculus game on my Vive.

  • Mermado 1936

    Oculus=Shit

    • PeteB

      Actually VR would be shit without Oculus. And I say that as a Vive owner.

      • Crunchy005

        Hard to say really, it’s all “what if” in the end.

      • James Andre

        yeah if Oculus kickstarter wasn’t such a success there might not even be a vive… there are plenty of articles stating that valve had not intention of making their own headset.. we all know HTC didn’t do all of this on their own 🙂

  • Mario-Galouzeau de Bocsa

    All I heard is VR users should get used to crappy content, because the market is too small to produce average to high quality games. But don’t worry, in the long run, market will grow. That is, if enough people decide to buy a headset, despite it’s crappy content and price ( no price cut for HTC ). With that kind of approach the long run could be very long indeed.

    • Crunchy005

      Super Hot VR is a ton of fun and not crappy. I’ve found onward to have great potential and it already has a ton of re-playability in it’s current form. Robo Recall looks good, haven’t played it yet. Rec Room is a ton of fun and they keep adding more. I love social VR stuff, VRChat is another good social game. Fantastic contraptions was a good puzzle game, I enjoyed that thoroughly. Ummm…trying to think of what else I have, there is a lot of things. Raw Data is a great game, me and my friend play together all the time. Smashbox arena I’ve been told is fun, I just haven’t bought it yet.

      • Mario-Galouzeau de Bocsa

        Superhot VR is exclusive, so is Robo Recall. I am not saying there is zero good games that isn’t paid with Facebook money : Onward, Raw Data or Fantastic Contraptions are good exemples but exceptions. It’s hard to live on that when you buy such an expensive headset.

        • Crunchy005

          I’m finding more and more over time, I actually really love the local multiplayer games. Mass exodus is a good title, the content is getting there and there are always new things to try. Holopoint is still a ton of fun and a good challenge, zombie training simulator, Arizona sunshine, Chair in a room, Abode(escape room) was fun. It’s getting there, Call of the starseed was a good game, a bit short but i got it free, and there is supposed to be an episode 2 they are working on.

          • Mario-Galouzeau de Bocsa

            Almost every example you gave is early access. Except Arizona Sunshine. And you have to be dying for quality content to find Arizona Sunshine good. I am looking forward Wilson’s Heart, Lone Echo, and more Oculus exclusives, rather than yet another wave shooter or party game. I think I’d sell my headset if that’s all to be expected in the year to come.

          • Crunchy005

            To each their own really. I did play the landfall beta and that was fun. I’m really waiting for star trek bridge crew. O and brass tactics. Also climbey is a lot of fun.

      • Dylan James Johnston

        Robo Recall , Arizona Sunshine , Super Hot , lucky Tale , Rec Room , Affected the manor , Dead and buried all great titles

        THEN you have

        Fallout 4 VR .Arktika.1. Lone Echo. DOOM VR FARPOINT
        The potenital is there . For all you vive fans . I Prefer Oculus it is better
        touch controllers vs htc vive controllers at moment no comparison .
        head sets are similar but i prefer the weight on back of my head instead of my face plus
        less weight and less padding . OCULUS JUST WANTS TO BE NUMBER 1 CAN YOU REALLY BLAME EM?

        • Crunchy005

          Oculus controllers are good, but not as good for shooters, the vive controllers feel more natural for that. Also the Oculus controllers only real benefit over the vive wands is capacitive touch sensors for fingers. Also there are already more hardware options coming out for Vive than oculus at this point, new controllers are being worked on for the vive which by the way had full roomscale and hand tracking way before oculus, no need to wait months on end for subpar tracking. LIghthouse system is superior to the Constellation tracking, which will be more CPU and bandwidth intensive as you add more and more devices. Less overhead in the vive’s tracking system than Oculus tracking system. Have yet to have a game I can’t play on vive even oculus exclusive games. Oculus has slightly better controllers and is a bit more comfortable, but you get a sub par room-scale experience with long cable runs and a smaller game library with very little showing up on the horizon as to hardware additions.

    • Robert Cole

      Picked up my second Vive in the New Year sales with GBP£100 off retail price. Good price cut if you look, from time to time

  • Xron

    So many Oculus haters, forget about hmd’s like PsVr, I admit that developing exclusives isn’t good for Vr consumers but I guess if Vive could spend as much cash while devoloping Vr platform as Oculus, they would do it… They just don’t want to enter as deeply with their cash, so they choose different direction (Open Vr) and use it as a marketing strategy aswell.
    Both companies are right, just ofc. for us consumers Vives strategy will give more in the long run.

  • towblerone

    Why should HTC share its in-studio titles with another platform when Sony has no issues hording their first-party or funded titles to give their VR headset more value?

    You don’t see Sony funding VR titles and putting them out on Rift/Vive.

    • Mario-Galouzeau de Bocsa

      Arcade Saga, giving Vive more value, really ? I never tried it, but it seems like a very modest game.

      My guess : it’s positive in terms of public image, appearing like the anit-exclusive system. I don’t know how much that game cost to HTC, but certainly not the kind of money FB is pouring into VR. Ergo, they don’t need to protect their investment, as it’s close to none.

  • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

    Don’t support Oculus. Google Oculus Trump.

  • Justos

    Translation: Those great games oculus are funding are making us look bad. We understand our current userbase, EXCLUSIVES ARE BAD, OPEN PLATFORM FTW!

    Ok there HTC. Which came first? The users or morals? I really doubt its the latter.

  • Ultimaniacx4

    I see where he’s coming from but it the argument is extremely weak. Basically “Their games are too good. We want some of that.” How about you guys also fund good games too? If they actually cared about the VR environment they’d put their money where their mouths are and fund big games too and make them open platform. All they’ve done so far is complain about how Oculus is wrong without doing even half as much as Oculus in terms of getting games developed.

  • Xodroc

    I feel the same way about PSVR and console exclusives in general. Resident Evil 7 on Steam without official VR support because Sony paid them to delay PC VR support.

    Not exactly leading the way by making Vive games universally compatible either, it’s usually hit or miss. Last time I checked, Vive owners are playing Robo Recall anyways(albeit not flawlessly).

    I was hoping OpenVR would be THE solution remap controls/rendering from one platform to another seamlessly thus eliminating exclusives, wishful thinking I suppose. It’s not like there won’t be better HMDs/controls in the future regardless of who develops them.

  • Me

    I can’t figure why people won’t say what really is wrong with exclusivities from Oculus: they’re hardware exclusives instead of just being store exclusives. That’s all, if some journalist would dare to say it loud and clear it might finally have an impact and shift things a bit.

    You know, there’s nothing wrong with store exclusives. Customers get to decide which hardware and which software they’re willing to invest in. It’s a customer centric approach. For instance, HTC does a terrible job with their own Viveport store, but Vive users are free to choose not to install it and just use steam instead. You are free to buy your games from any reseller, wether on a physical media or not. You can even buy keys from sites like GOG and such. It’s really a win-win solution.

    So why should VR users be artificially locked to a platform? How can this be any good for both the industry or the customers ?

    Well, the ONLY benefit that comes from this approach is to artificially increase the product value (of the Rift) by drying the market with dollars and build a closed ecosystem that will slowly kill any competing brand. Basically, it’s an insidious, fascist and anti-competitive way of doing business that shouldn’t come as surprise from someone as egotistic and hegemony-driven like Marc Zukerberg.

    Facebook and Oculus are no nice guys. They’ don’t give a F* about users interests, they smelled profit and an opportunity to further control what people are doing with theire lives with this next big thing VR is. They are in the process of killing the market in its egg before any serious competition is able to stop them. And they’re doing it with every assets they have: exclusivites, price cuts with hardware sold at a loss, huge PR moves and product placements everywhere. It’s already almost done.

    So people, open your eyes. And if you are really after an open market, if you’re a tech or VR enthusiast, but above all if you think freedom fo choice (or just pure freedom…) it something worth fighting for, it’s really time to stop whining and act. Spread the word, not in the VR community but with your relatives, your whole contact list: another VR approach is possibleand we have to support it. And on the industry side, stop playing nice or you’ll just die. It’s time for some real competition. No one will have Facebook’s money to fight alongside, so stick together and strike a deal with Microsoft or Apple or Amazon to fight Facebook’s forthcoming hegemony.

  • Adam Clefe

    No one cares about HTC, instead cry because no one wants your product and make excuses, design your stuff and have others not affiliated with oculus do so, they don’t have a ton of great stuff, nothing I’ve bothered to pay for. But I’ll stick with Samsung and oculus until Sony does something for experia or next equivalent phone.

  • CaptainAwesomer

    Does anyone buy VR games? It seems half the commenters here just pirate everything, and over on Steam a lot of people play for under 2 hours then refund.

  • Macchendra

    When browsing the Steam store, I pretty much skip over any game that is not exclusively Vive anyway. An Oculus icon might as well be a “nope” icon. Sitting and standing only? Nope. Gamepad? Nope. Your game can get by ok with 180 tracking? Big Nope.

  • Get Schwifty!

    His point is “well, if you develop for exclusives you will fracture the market, and hence make it unprofitable for anyone and most certainly Oculus devs…”

    Bullshit. Oculus like any “platform” is free to spend money for games for their platform and devs can choose to engage, and they can also choose to not go that route, it’s their choice and the studio decides what makes economic sense for them.

    This lip service spin of “create and maintain the VR ecosystem” is just that, coverage for the fact they would like nothing more than to be the only game in town if they could and despite how “proud” HTC is of Vive sales, they aren’t enough to jump start the market yet with much serious development which is why Oculus is pouring money into development also. Since HTC is supposed to be blowing the doors of on sales (yeah right, neither Oculus or HTC really is), then it really shouldn’t matter if Oculus makes exclusives since the supply of developers would over time support the larger available platform IF it is as profitable or more so than supporting Oculus exclusives currently (which it probably isn’t). There is no reason they can’t really do both with different games…. this is such a red herring IMNSHO for what they would really like, is for Oculus to fund content and then make it available for Vive directly (which it effectively is with Revive) under social pressure.