GDC’s annual State of the Game Industry survey of developers is out ahead of the 2019 Game Developers Conference in March and it offers some some new data about developer sentiment relative to the VR/AR market.
You can check out last year’s report here showing Vive continues to drive the most interest among developers. On this year’s survey, the question “ Which platform(s) are you *currently developing* games for?” saw 33 percent of VR/AR developers pick Valve/HTC followed by Rift at 30 percent. In addition, though, 21 percent of VR/AR developers said they were working on the still unreleased Oculus Quest. Developer kits for the $400 Quest aren’t available publicly so it’s a notable showing for the standalone VR system ahead of its launch. I should also add that the “Other” category was also selected by 42 percent of VR/AR developers.
One other key question in the survey, which allows for multiple answers, asks “ Which VR/AR device(s)/platform(s) most interest you as a developer right now?” Valve/HTC also leads in that category, with 36 percent, though Quest still made a strong showing with 22 percent of respondents picking the headset.
Below are the answers to this same question over the last three years.
AR vs. VR
On another question, only 17 % of developers said they are currently working on VR headsets. That’s 10% more than game developers currently working on AR headsets. Likewise, 14 percent of developers said they anticipated their next game would be released on VR headsets while only 6 percent said the same of AR headsets.
The First Head-Mounted Displays – The Telesphere Mask and the Headsight. You might think that strapping a display on a person’s head is a relatively new idea, but it is not. The first head-mounted displays were developed as early as the 1960s. The Telesphere Mask was the first example of a head-mounted display, which provided 3D stereoscopic and wide vision with stereo sound. However, the device lacked certain immersion, because of it being a non-interactive medium. In 1961 two Philco Corporation engineers, Comeau and Bryan, came up with the Headsight. A head-mounted display, much like the Telesphere Mask, the Headsight featured magnetic motion tracking technology, which was connected to a close circuit camera. While the goggles can be named a precursor to modern virtual reality technology, they were not developed for entertainment purposes. Instead, they were developed for the military with the idea that a person would be able to immerse themselves in the remote viewing of dangerous situations.
Another question, though, tried to get developer sentiment over the long view, with 34% believing AR would be the dominant “immersive reality” technology in five years. That’s compared with 19 percent for VR.
You can check out the survey yourself by filling out the registration form on the GDC site.
Tagged with: GDC, State of the Game Industry, survey