AMD VP says Fallout 4 VR will change the industry
It's no secret that Bethesda has been hard at work on a VR version of Fallout 4, but if their strategic partners at AMD are to be believed, it could be bigger, badder, and more important for VR as a whole than anything we've seen yet.
During a recent keynote speech at the VR World Congress, AMD's Corporate Vice President Roy Taylor stated, “Fallout 4 VR will be a title that changes the industry," going as far as to call it “the Mario, the Sonic the Hedgehog” of the VR industry.
This is particularly high praise, not simply because it compares Fallout 4 VR to some of the earliest titans of the video game industry, but because it comes from Roy Taylor himself. In addition to his role at AMD, Roy Taylor is one of the most prolific supporters of VR, and has spoken numerous times concerning the future of VR as an industry, including in an interview with our own Nicholas Scibetta.
Considering AMD's recent partnership with Bethesda, Taylor has likely had a chance to experience Fallout 4 VR to a significant degree, so we can hope that it lives up to his claims. However, that same partnership means you should consider the claims with some degree of skepticism, at least until we learn more about Bethesda's newest VR experience. It's likely that Taylor is sincerely impressed with Bethesda's port of Fallout 4 to VR, but it's also important to note that supporting Bethesda, as well as VR as an industry, is a key part of his job.
According to Pete Hines, the Vice President of PR and Marketing at Bethesda, Fallout 4 VR will be making an appearance at E3 this year. Hines was famously quoted in a conversation with YouTuber HipHopGamer, stating, “I talked to Todd the other day and I was like, ‘Hey how’s Fallout 4 coming?’ And he said, ‘Pete, Fallout 4 VR is the most incredible thing you’ve ever seen in your life. You can’t even imagine what it’s like playing in VR and how realistic it looks everywhere you turn your head. It’s gonna blow your mind. It’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen.’ … We will have it at E3.”
With Todd Howard, Pete Hines, and now Roy Taylor all singing Fallout 4 VR's praises, it definitely has our attention. Considering the title is supposed to be a port of the entire game to VR, it could definitely be one of the most impressive VR titles to date. That is provided they integrate enough modern VR touches like motion controls, room-scale VR, and multiple locomotion options to make it a true VR competitor.
Virtual reality has been off to a great start, but one of the biggest weaknesses of the platform as a whole is a lack of longer VR experiences. Considering the size of Fallout 4, it could potentially offer a VR game that could last hundreds of hours, especially when you factor in the massive modding community behind Bethesda's titles.
AMD Doubles Down on Wireless VR
According to MCVK, Roy Taylor also spoke at length about AMD's recent acquisition of Nitero, a company that specializes in the development of chips that support multi-gigabit data transmission and integrated beam forming. The goal is transmitting high-resolution video with the absolute minimum amount of latency between high-end VR headsets and the desktops used to render a VR environment.
This is the same company Valve invested in earlier this year, and with both AMD and Valve on board Nitero is likely to supply a significant amount of wireless technology to VR headsets in the future.
The goal for AMD, as Taylor puts it, is to get rid of all the “pesky wires” that are “an inhibitor to what should be giving great freedom of movement.”
It's not necessarily a revolutionary idea, considering the recent limited release of the TPCast for the HTC Vive and the looming rumors about Oculus' Project Santa Cruz. Yet, as Oculus, Valve, and now AMD all throw their weight behind wireless VR in one form or another, there's little doubt that wired VR experiences are soon to be a thing of the past.