UploadVR Editor Predictions: GDC 2016

by Joe Durbin • March 14th, 2016

The 2016 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco California is upon us. The expo will officially open its doors on Wednesday, but until then there will be enough press conferences, private demos, and industry announcements to keep us appetized leading up to the main event.

This year’s conference is a huge moment for virtual reality – the addition of the VRDC sub-conference is proof enough of that – and it is arguably the last chance for the major headset manufacturers (Oculus, HTC, and Sony) to communicate major news to potential customers before their devices launch. As such, the presentations that are given, content that is presented, and press releases that are circulated will likely contain major revelations concerning the future of the companies and the entire VR industry as well.

It’s anyone’s guess to what a company like Sony – who has remained silent for show after show concerning major pricing and release details for its PS VR headset – will choose to make of its time at the conference. Fortunately, the editors at UploadVR never miss a chance to guess at potential VR news. Here are the top three GDC Predictions from the team:

Ian Hamilton – Tech Editor

1. It’s about time we learn the price of PlayStation VR. We’ve been expecting it to be cheaper than the Rift and Vive and there’s no better time than to announce it now before the other headsets start shipping. I think that a box containing the headset, move controllers and a bundled game will be priced at $400, but a bundle continuing that box and a PS4 will be set around $700. That said, I wasn’t exactly right at guessing the price of Rift and Vive so we’ll see. 

2. I think we’re going to be surprised by how many multiplayer VR games are going to be planned and just how much fun it will be to see and chat with another avatar while inside a virtual world. Multiplayer games are harder to make but I’m betting they’ll be the most popular VR software.

3.  Lots of attempts are made at conveying what a VR game feels like, but nothing will compare with mixed reality streaming. There’s a good chance we’ll see some incredibly impressive ways of showing you through a video announcement what major VR launch titles feel like to play.

David Jagneaux – Games Editor

1. Sony will announce a price point and release date for the PSVR. Options will include a bundle that has the headset and the Move controller peripheral with one game for $400 and another bundle that has the headset, Move controller, PS4, and one or two games for $700.

I also think No Man’s Sky will be announced as having PS VR support that will be available on the headset at launch.

2. Oculus will announce/reveal an MMO-esque game for the Oculus Rift. It won’t quite be on the level of Sword Art Online and it won’t be a launch title, but it will come out in 2016. It will probably be first-person and will incorporate a ton of social and sharing features.

3. This is my big one: There will be a full Portal, Half-Life, or Left 4 Dead game announced as an exclusive for the HTC Vive. This probably will not be a direct numbered sequel for these games, but it will be a full VR game beyond just a demo experience.

Will Mason – Editor-In-Chief

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1. PSVR will be $350. and that will include the headset and the move controllers. There will also be a PS VR/PS4 bundle priced at $700.

2. HTC and Valve will showcase some sort of social VR content for the Vive.

3. We will see an expansion in how the Rift is supported by the Xbox One. I think this could happen in a variety of ways but stay with me while I try to explain at least one crazy theory. Phil Spencer hinted recently that the Xbox One would have upgradable hardware capabilities. So if you can allegedly take Xbox One and juice it up to make it a more powerful PC, then you can hypothetically make it powerful enough to run a Rift natively.

There you have it folks! Step right up and place your bets.

Do you think these predictions are gold or garbage? Let us know in the comments below and we’d love to hear your own top three predictions for the show as well.

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