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Tim Sweeney: Virtual reality will be bigger than smartphones

Tim Sweeney, a legendary game developer, said in an interview that virtual reality technologies will have higher influence on video games than the smartphones had. At present the VR technology is mostly aimed at game developers, researchers, enthusiasts and early adopters, but eventually it will not only appeal to loads of people, but will have an extremely strong influence on the world of gaming.

“It is technology that I think will completely change the world,” said Tim Sweeney in an interview with Polygon. “I think it is going to be a bigger phenomenon than smartphones. You have to put it in perspective and realize we’re in maybe the [first-generation] iPhone stage right now where you have this really cool device, but it has some real flaws that prevents it from being a pervasive device for everyone.”

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Mr. Sweeney did not reveal whether Epic is working on a title that will support virtual reality helmets, but confirmed that his company is researching the VR technology using the Oculus VR headsets. Keeping in mind that Epic has developed a number of demos for Oculus using the latest Unreal Engine 4 tech, there is little doubt that the company is interested in the VR gear in general and will add support for the tech into future titles.

“We are doing a huge amount of research in VR, working with Oculus kits,” he said. “We see this as a technology that will influence every game and every platform.”

It is pretty much obvious that virtual reality games should be completely different than games designed today, so there are plenty of things for game developers to learn. However, it will also be possible to create all-new types of video games and revolutionise gaming in many ways once the VR gear becomes widespread.

KitGuru Says: It is rather funny: virtually all leading game developers consider virtual reality an extremely promising technology. However, before VR headsets become popular (and that will take years), just a few companies will invest some moderate money into VR games.

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