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Epic Mickey Producer Calls VR A Fad

Warren Spector, the man behind the Epic Mickey franchise, isn’t entirely convinced by Virtual Reality headsets such as Morpheus and Oculus Rift. Spector joins Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime in criticising the current technology and believes that it is simply nothing more than a fad. Spector claims that people generally look silly wearing the head-gear and there’s also the fact of nausea to content with. However, he thinks there is potential in Augmented Reality like Microsoft’s upcoming Hololens.

“I’ve been pretty consistent in my belief that VR is a fad. I think it’ll generate some interest among the hardcore gamers. And I see amazing possibilities in VR for social media and virtual meetings and training and crazy stuff like dealing with phobias. But for entertainment? I’m just not seeing it. I don’t think most humans want to look stupid (everyone looks stupid in a VR headset) and they don’t want to isolate themselves from the world. I mean, if someone’s sneaking up behind me with a baseball bat, I want to know about it, you know what I mean? And let’s not talk about nausea.”

“It’s weird, I worked on a couple of games that supported available VR headsets back in the ’90s and I was really jazzed about it. Now, I’m kind of over it.”

“AR, on the other hand – that seems pretty exciting. There’s some potential there. Even the low-hanging fruit of AR gaming seems compelling. Bring on the AR.”

44 thoughts on “Epic Mickey Producer Calls VR A Fad”

  1. Nintendo Tetrarch Quadramus-NX

    >>>I’m glad VR exists, I can’t wait for all the damage done to the surroundings and others>>>

  2. You know what else was a fad? Epic Mickey.

    But seriously, I’ve never used any VR products but I would love to see what they’re like first hand.

  3. Reality is Dolphin Revolutionized Cafe NX

    Im kinda in between of thinking is VR a “gimmick” or a cool new way to experience gaming.

    Theres video on Youtube of original Zelda using VR and imo i think it would be cool to actually feel like exploring the worlds and dungeons, feeling the height difference between you and the walls, such a things imo seem cool new way to experience games in 1st person, but what about games that use 3rd person perpective?

    I think VR is a cool and works only if the game is using 1st person view, but for rest of the games like 2D platformers and 3rd person action games it doesnt seem to work as well. Metroid Prime games would be awesome with VR but games like Bayonetta wouldnt work with it. I think VR should be add on and not main part of gaming, i can definately see it existing as an add on to enchance some gaming experiences but as a main mandatory it will never work though. Just my thoughts.

  4. Between VR and Motion Controls, we are living in a world with gaming ideas that are indeed fads. I enjoyed Motion Control for a while with Mario Kart Wii, but then ultimately stuck with the Gamecube Controller. I think that just leaving things the way they have been, is the way to go.

      1. I never had trouble with the Motion Controls in MarioKart 8 but I see where you’re coming from. However, I have to express firmly that motion controls made the Metroid Prime series even more amazing and I’m glad they came out with the Prime Trilogy so that I could all enjoy all the prime games in that way. Never going back.

  5. Motion Controls and VR are fads. I say leave things the way they have been and Gaming should be good to go.

    1. Reality is Dolphin Revolutionized Cafe NX

      I dunno about that, mainline gaming should stay it is, but motion controls and VR can definately enchance your gaming experience as an add on (just like touchscreen in some cases). MetroidPrime games work best with Motioncontrols and VR would just make that kinda experience even better. But i agree that most of the games should stay true to traditional form of gaming.

  6. People didn’t look very cool when swinging around their Wiimotes around the room while playing games like Epic Mickey either, though.
    I personally haven’t had the chance to try out VR headsets yet, but I’m definitely looking forward to finally test it out first-hand. I don’t believe VR headsets are going to be a main accessory every console gamer will own or anything, simply because it just isn’t optimally suited for every type of game, but I do believe it’s going to be a nice peripheral that will make it possible to immerse into games on a whole new level for those who choose to buy it. It’s success is pretty much dependant on the developers, as in, the amount of games that will compatible with the headsets, if not entirely made for VR from scratch.
    Also, comparing VR from the 90s to todays technology, in terms of how exciting it is, really doesn’t seem to make much sense to me.
    And about the nausea thing, well, as long as the game is well made and displayed with a high enough frame rate, things seem to be fine – that’s what I’ve heard from people trying out the newer VR games showcased at events and whatnot, as I haven’t tried it out myself yet.

  7. I think vr is a fad also. But have to say the hololense looked cool. Still be able to interact with your environment and see computer images. It is not bulky all the other headsets.

    Minecraft demo looked cool.

  8. I’d be curious to know if he has actually tried it. Given the advancements in technology and what they’re doing with VR these days, it doesn’t look like just a fad – and everyone who I’ve heard from who has actually used it says that you need to experience it to understand just how cool it is.

    1. Also, I find it funny how he feels AR gaming is the next big thing, yet when I look at it as it is now and it’s applications, it just screams “gimmick”.

          1. I will, however, retract part of my statement regarding AR as a gimmick, since the majority of how it’s been used has been seen as such, but what is now being done with the Hololens has pushed it leaps and bounds ahead of what we thought was possible.

  9. AR, to me, really seems the most balanced. But as others here basically pointed out: tech works, & can work well, but only in certain situations. Wiimotes worked well for Wii Sports & Shooters, but the GCN controller or Classic Controller worked best for pretty much everything else. Still, I think VR would only truly work if it were implemented like it is in fiction (Johnny Mnemonic, The Matrix, The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest), as a seamless illusion where our consciousness was fully submerged, not simply fed images via a visor or helmet. 1 day, maybe, though I doubt humanity will survive ling enough to realize that, & if it did, humanity would likely be lost anyway. Some say we might already be hooked up to VR.

    I confess, I was amazed by 3DS’ 3D effect; it was really neat that the screen looked like a window into a virtual world. But I’ve yet to play a game that really utilized that. & very few seemed to project the images “outside” the screen (I only recall the swordfish in AR fishing). & it couldn’t compete w/ the holograms like in Star Wars chess; movies, TV, my own imagination…I’m so spoiled.

    The AR cards, however, seemed to exhibit some potential. But, relying on cards & w/ such a small screen & wobbly hinge, that feature also failed to meet my expectations. & while the effect could sorta be achieved via a real-time camera feed & superimposing virtual images (à la The Denpa Men), negating the need for cards, it was nothing more than a trick. But the Hololens does seem to take AR in the right direction, feeling way more realized, & reminds me of some tech in Earth Final Conflict.

    Anyway, I’m still waiting for the day when I can look back & say: “I remember when holodecks used to take up an entire room instead of a booth. Now, your great grandpa used to say nearly the same thing about computers before they shrunk into PCs. Oh PCs, you ask? Well, those were…”

    1. All I have to say is that it has been done right and to great success. The motion controls introduced in Metroid Prime: Corruption and the Trilogy, thank God, were amazing and it felt right throughout the games. I would also say that the 3D effects of the 3DS were put to great use in games like a Link Between Worlds and Mario 3D Land. I agree with all the AR stuff though. It’s fun in the bites that I have sampled but I have not really seen it taken to the level of the Denpa Man or Kingdom Hearts 3D and it feel worthwhile. As for VR, I have only experienced the Interstellar special, which despite not knowing where my feet were, was pretty cool, and gave me chills when I felt as was more in an Alien setting. Plus we both know what everyone keeps calling gimmicks, simply aren’t gimmicks when they are done right.

  10. I agree. AR would need to move past the gimmick stage of the wiimote, however. BTW, why aren’t the wiimotes supported on Splatoon already.

  11. The current VR isn’t really VR though, It’s just an optical illusion while holding a controller.

  12. WHAT is all the hatred against the VR!? I think it’s awesome!!
    They just hate it because they’re afraid it’s gonna blow them away, or something like that. It HAS to be something like that! When in the history of video games has someone hated something like VR!?!?!?!!?!?!?

  13. “I don’t think most humans want to look stupid (everyone looks stupid in a VR headset) and they don’t want to isolate themselves from the world.”

    1. Any video game can be said to put you in “isolation”, even MMOs since you technically “are physically playing by yourself”.
    2. That’s one of your main beefs? That you’ll look stupid? How about how stupid people looked waggling the Wiimote while playing Epic Mickey?
    And btw, you can’t get the AR stuff you saw with the Hololens at E3 without wearing one of without “looking stupid”.
    This guy is an idiot, so it’s not surprising he’s joining Nintendo’s views on the subject.

    1. Also, does he assume that tech will just make the magical leap from the base idea to what we want it to be eventually in a decade or two? It happens in iterations, so while the tech may not be fully ready yet, it’s certainly getting there.

  14. Ridley 4 Smash DLC!

    And I should listen to the opinion of someone who fucking ruined Epic Mickey with the sequel why!? *facepalm* Shut up, IwataReggie.

  15. VR sounds cool at first, but so did the Kinect and 3D. The VR that people want is SAO grade material in their minds. It’s just going to be seen as a cheap gimmick until technology advances more.

    If your gonna do something, do it to your best.

  16. I… suppose I agree -in regards to the current VR. I don’t think that will last forever. I should hope, though, that VR will charge radically over the years.

  17. The “VR” they’re promoting at this point is total bullshit and yes, it’s a complete fad, a ridiculous peripheral that will go the same way Move and Kinect did.
    You can’t launch a console with certain capabilities and then decide to alter that three or four years into its life cycle, adoption of the new device is not going to take off unless you make it a primary necessity in all games, which in itself runs the risk of making the fanbase feel alienated and cheated into buying something they may not want.
    The most likely scenario, however, is that nobody is going to care, devs aren’t going to put extra effort on giving their games VR capabilities that they can’t be sure a sizable amount of people are going to have access to, much less make a VR exclusive title because that would horribly diminish their target market, and conversely the consumers aren’t going to shell money out for the device if all it sees is an occasional or superfluous use.

  18. My opinion could not be more opposite.

    AR is and always be a stupid and useless gimmick that loses its novelty within a day or two in the gaming space. The 3DS came with a few AR games packed in, and I tried them all a few times and got bkred of them, not because it was not high rez enough or tracked with the environment smoothly enough, or because I had to hold up my device to look through rather than have it projected on a tranparent screen mounted on my head. It was because the concept proves how dumb it is within the first few minutes. It stops being FUN faaaast. Wearing the AR screen on your head does nothing to fix that.

    I think AR has a tremendous future in non-gaming though, like interior decorating, tourist navigation, mobile-game style time wasters, and an unending flood of novelty reality bending apps. (Give your Friend Mickey Mouses Head, etc)

    As for VR … gamers don’t want to isolate themselves from the world??? What Planet does this guy live on? OF COURSE we do!!!

    Escapism has got to be the #1 reason why Human Beings play Videogames At All. Seriously … when someone sits down to play an Elderscrolls or Fallout game for 100+ hours, they are not looking fir a Social Experience, and don’t WANT to give a damn about the rest of the world while playing it.

    I would feel no more stupid standing in a corner with a visor on my head playing an awesome VR Action Adventure game than I did pointing my SNES Super Scope Bazooka at my TV back in the day, or having geniune fun flailing my arms around to play Wii Sports.

    Having the Real World dissapear for an hour or two while I partake in an exciting adventure in a DIFFERENT World is the way I’ve wished I could have played ALL my favorite games since I was a kid. **** the Real World. When I’m gaming, it is being willingly put on hold for a little while.

    Lastly … being worried about people sneaking up on him with a baseball bat while wearing VR gear has nothing to do with the value and potential of the technology and EVERYTHING to do with some severe parinoia he should really seek professional consultation about.

    … that or he pissed off the wrong people, which would Also Not be VRs fault.

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