As far as Associate Vice President Raymond Pao knows, no one has yet tripped over the cable in the public demos, even after his team intentionally stopped holding the cables for the gamers.
“People are conscious. It could be to do with the games’ design, but it’s certainly not as hazardous as we thought it’d be.” That said, Pao also welcomes the idea of hanging the cable from above, but he’ll let users decide on this one.
During my visit, I got to try three cool new games by Futuretown, a Taiwan- and Canada-based studio that’s developing exclusively for the Vive.
Johan Yang, the CEO and co-founder, made that decision when he met Peter Chou last year and experienced the Vive for the first time.
“We don’t want to make a compromise for the sake of compatibility with other platforms,” Yang said, “So our games are designed with the Vive’s every single feature in mind.”
My colleagues and I were blown away with Futuretown’s games.
We started off with an easy one called Cloudlands, which is simply a VR mini-golf game.
The game has the right balance between fun and intensity, as long as you remember to shake the controllers to reload your pistols once in a while.
What got me all sweaty was the third game, Jeeboman, which lets you beam yourself between rooftops in a psychedelically colored city and shoot down enemy drones that come up to your face, with the added challenge of having to pick up batteries, ammo and health packs in order to survive.
As developers, Yang’s team have naturally tried their hands at other VR hardware, but they were left unimpressed, due largely to the lack of a room-scale experience and intuitive in-game interaction.
It wasn’t until last June, when the Oculus Rift finally started supporting controller tracking, that the company even reached out to Yang’s team to discuss the possibility of porting their games to the Rift, which we now know won’t be happening anytime soon.
For Yang, that’s a deal breaker, especially when he’s aiming for about 30 minutes per session in his own games.
Looking beyond gaming, Yang believes VR devices will get so compact that they’ll become standalone computers, to the point that they’ll eventually replace our laptops and thus let us set up a virtual workspace wherever we go.