On Saturday, Oculus CEO Bredan Iribe unveiled the consumer Rift headset that will ship with an Xbox wireless controller and optical sensor. Iribe announce that they will pre-approve all apps, include comfort ratings and tax for monetization.
At the presentation the CEO showed off upcoming VR games, and previewed its Oculus Touch handheld motion controllers. Oculus has revealed that it is working with popular game studios like EVE’s CCP games, Gunfire Games, Insomniac Games and has set aside $10 million for indie game development. In a method similar to the Apple App store, the VR headset will pre-approve all the apps available in the store.
“We are going to monitor the content and make sure that it fits the policy,” said Iribe.
Iribe added that he wanted to maintain a clean and safe environment that everyone can know, trust, just like other popular app stores. Google also follows a similar model. Oculus will also give a comfort rating during the course of the approval process. The comfort rating is given on the basis of whether certain apps will make a user dizzy or scare them. Iribe mentioned that Oculus is an open platform, allowing people to make experiences outside the Oculus Home Store. These could be more interesting than the content in Oculus.
The company would adopt a monetization strategy similar to iOS and Android app stores. Iribe stated that you can’t imagine that it’s a very standard business model. Google and Apple charge a 30 percent tax to apps and in-app purchases in their platforms. However, Oculus has not revealed the exact cut that it would take, but it is likely that the company would provide incentives to sell as many VR apps as possible. Developers are unlikely to go to VR makers like HTC or Sony as Oculus is expected to have the biggest audience.
Currently, Oculus is revealing three games that the VR headset will support: “Chronos,” a third-person role-playing game, “Eve Valkyrie,” a first-person shooter game, and a Rift exclusive “edge of Nowhere.” Apart from games, Microsoft will provide native support to the Rift when it ships in early 2016. Oculus already supports Grand theft Auto V that offers an immersive gaming experience.
Though VR gaming could offer a completely new experience, it will have certain limitations in the case of fighting games like Mortal Kombat X. Isometric shooting games like Hatred and turn-based games like XCOM will also have nothing to gain from VR compatibility. Earlier, Microsoft promised a new gaming experience through Kinect 2.0, which did not go well, and had to sell the console without the sensor.
Oculus has revealed that the touch controllers are still in the prototype stage, and are ready for the demonstration at the E3 conference in Los Angeles. Facebook-owned Oculus believes that the partnership with Microsoft will be short-term as it does not fit into its long-term strategy. However, for the time being it is likely to benefit both parties.