Oculus’ Sean Liu talks about why content is king for VR, and for Oculus

Trusted Reviews spoke to Oculus’ Sean Liu, director of hardware product management at the VR outfit at a recent Oculus preview event in London. While he talked at length about some of the challenges of the second generation of virtual reality, the overall message is clear: content is king.

VR has had something of a troubled genesis after several consecutive years pitched as the ‘Year of VR’ failed to deliver mainstream adoption of virtual reality. However, Oculus are continuing undeterred, and as you can see from our hands on time with the Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest that they’ve made strong progress.

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We asked Liu about how the VR giants are hoping to enthrall consumers with their newest devices.

“I remember when I first had the DK1, and I built a game for it,” says Liu. “I think a lot of us had these hopes and aspirations of what VR could be, but building towards that has been challenging.”

“First and foremost it starts with content,” adds Liu. “The problem is, how do you get really compelling triple A content? It creates a challenging chicken-and-the-egg problem where as a developer, it’s hard to say, I’m going to go commit X number of people and X million dollars on a title when you don’t have the reach of this new ecosystem.”

On the flip side, Liu adds that on the hardware side people are asking “How do i actually get reach out of our devices?”. The answer to this lies partially with the content partnership team, but also with planned cross-buy and cross-play for both the Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest.

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“Coming from the DK1 days to where we are today, has been amazing.” Liu enthuses. “We’re really glad there are other players in the space, obviously there’s Sony, who are also pushing on the content side. And that’s good not only for showing off what the devices can do, but it’s also giving customers a sense of that VR is really coming here to stay, it’s getting the best content, and now’s the time to get a device.”

Liu admits that many of the consumer launch devices might have left some cold on VR, but claims that adoption at this stage is primarily about content. “Build it,” Liu didn’t say but would have if he’d been in 1989 fantasy baseball movie Field of Dreams, “they will come.”

“We’re excited about the lineup that’s happening. We have a partnership with Star Wars that’s led to Lord Vader Immortal, we’ve taken some of the best titles from the Rift and are now launching them with Quest.”

Liu reckons that for people on the fence about VR, the time is now, and content is going to be the decider.

Sold on VR? Coming around to us? Let us know.