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John Carmack Believes Oculus Quest Will Directly Compete With Nintendo Switch

During his keynote at the recent Oculus Connect 5 event, Oculus VR chief technology officer John Carmack said he believes that the upcoming Oculus Quest headset will be competing with the Nintendo Switch console. Despite not being a VR device, the Switch offers portable gaming functionality – something that Oculus Quest will aim to provide as well. Both platforms aren’t typically seen as direct competitors, but only time will tell if they will end up going head to head in the retail space.

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43 comments

    1. Yeah I literally had the same thought, I mean it’s neat if they’re going for a portable VR thing that’s not just a phone add-on (I assume) then that’s nice, but yeah it’s not like you can wear thing on the bus or train going to work or something. Plus a Switch can fairly easy slide into your pocket (if you have nice pockets at least) or your bag in no time. I think a VR headset might be a bit more bulky putting away.

    2. I mean I also don’t play Switch on the bus. While it’S way more likely, it’s surely a very interesting thing to go on vacation and take your VR console with you wherever you are, so it’s definitely a direct competition.
      Noone said it’s a dangerious competition though. But it comes after similar demands like delivering the deepest possible experience with a portable device. And it additionally makes VR, which used to be a very bulky and stationary solution and might still be inside some people’s heads, a very lightweight and portable one.

      But just like VR in general I wouldn’t expect this to be the Switch killer. PSVR didn’t even manage to cannibalize the PS4 although it’s on the same system and would be kinda likely especially as PSVR used to be way more advertised and got some huge exclusive games. Still the interest stayed very low in general.

    3. Watch his keynote, where he said this. He’s not talking about directly competing or beating it by interpretation; He’s talking about Quest’s target market, the type of people who would spend a few hundred dollars on a mobile gaming device. It will in fact be in that market.
      It’ll be funny to come back to this in a year or so.. Quest isn’t going to beat Switch’s sales any time soon.. But it’ll end up being a pretty popular game device. No doubt about that. Just have to try it to believe that.
      I gave up on buying traditional games entirely once I got my Rift. I don’t see any reason to play them now that VR works as well as it does, I only want more new games to support VR. And companies that don’t get with the picture are missing out and falling behind. lol

  1. The Oculus Quest huh? I’ve heard of Oculus as a brand, but I’ve never heard of the Quest. I don’t think there will be much of a competition if they do end up “competing”

  2. I’d like to see him try and sell something that effectively slaughters a person’s awareness of their surroundings to parents having a hard enough time keeping their kids in line.

    1. And how many parents hand their kids a tablet or a phone to shut them up?
      On the other hand, young kids with developing eyes are not supposed to be exposed to artificial 3D.

  3. Hahaha

    Yeah, I’m sure everyone is willing to pay a fortune for the opportunity to carry around a VR headset that they can just slip on whenever they have a spare moment. I’m sure completely blocking your vision while outside your home will cause ZERO inconveniences or accidents.

    1. I was too hasty. This isn’t even really marketed as a portable device per se. It’s just the cheaper version of Rift that doesn’t require a PC. If anything, it’s competition will be it’s own big brother, the Rift… Although $400 is still a high price tage for anyone apprehensive about buying their first VR device.

      But yeah… This thing isn’t going to have any effect on the Switch. Nobody is going to own a PS4 and PC and then ask “Gee, should I get an Oculus Quest or a Switch because it’s gotta be one or the other.”

    2. It’s not like the Switch is exactly cheap itself; this thing is gonna go for around $400 in the US and if you count the extra stuff you need to buy for your Switch, that thing comes up to around the same price, too. Oh and it’s not like a Switch doesn’t have these same exact drawbacks when you take it on the go.

      1. Still tho the switch handles portableness better I can’t even see vr being portable gawd Pokémon go wasn’t even a vr game but it multiple people died (not paying attention to there surroundings) this would be a horrible idea vr portable would have to have lots of research put in it like detecting your surroundings and etc

        1. Honestly, til those are a thing, VR is not something you should play when you are alone whether you are at home or out and about, anyway. As long as you have a companion with you, VR is perfectly safe. As I said, it’s not like the Switch is exactly immune to these same exact issues. Playing a Switch can be just as dangerous as playing a mobile phone game like Pokemon GO.

      2. “need to buy for your Switch”

        Like what? Suddenly I’m reminded of people trying to say that the Wii cost more than a PS3 because you “have to” buy three more remotes and nunchucks and a wireless sensor bar and three hundred other things that are totally optional.

        1. A Switch LAN Adapter for superior online play, a Pro Controller if your hands are too big for the Joy-Cons, a Micro SD Card because Nintendo still thinks 32GBs is okay, & a carrying case designed specifically for your Switch so you can safely carry it around with you. These might be optional to you but others would disagree.

    3. If anyone causes an accident with this, then that’s on them. It’s not even that hard to understand. People just need to use common sense.

      Think about when and where it makes sense to use this and then do it. If you seriously use this in a place you could damage it or anything else knowing your vision is limited, you really are asking to have it broken.

  4. I think John Carmack needs to buy himself a clue, get his head out of his ass and face up to the fact that the Switch is the only system that matters right now and no, his little VR nonsense is not gonna get any rub off the Switch no matter how hard he tries to put them against each other.

  5. Wait…how?
    Also, portable VR? Do you want to get people killed, because that’s how you get people killed.

    1. true even Pokemon Go got people killed, and it was not as bad as a face strapped piece of crap

    2. When you think about it, any electronic that you can carry around can get you killed. ESPECIALLY if you are an idiot and you aren’t paying attention to your surroundings. Besides, common sense will tell you to never play a VR game that requires movement if you are alone and/or in public.

  6. I think this is a pretty great idea. Yeah, it’s VR, so it’s a different experience and whatnot. But, it’s going for portability as well which I appreciate.

    A standalone VR headset at $399 with the advantage of being portable sounds good to me.

    1. The people attacking this thing sure do like ignoring the fact the Switch has the same potential issues as this VR headset. I honestly think some people here are just letting their Nintendo boner get the better of them.

      1. Don’t know why so many are against VR. It’s just another option.

        I doubt many of these people would even bother with an Oculus Rift or PSVR either. So, I wouldn’t expect them to understand. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  7. I mean they’re different methods of gaming with entirely different audiences. One you can play on the go or on tv while the other is way more limited on where you can go with it, and that doesn’t even begin to go into the types of games you can play with them. This would make more sense if it was Oculus vs. PS4 VR

  8. Boy I can’t wait to play with a VR device on my head in the packed Intercity train during my commute. NOT.

  9. Does this device have a front facing camera with sensors to tell you when you are close to a car, the road, or other people to avoid bumping into them?
    No! It completely obscures you from reality. So how is this portable?

    If they are saying they want to compete for indie games, then OK… But as a portable, for as long as you can’t walk along the road with a VR headset strapped to your face, I don’t see how it will happen

  10. This is ridiculous, how can he think this will compete with the switch.
    I mean VR seems all good and well, but I think there’s a way to go yet before it becomes amazing.
    If what he’s implying was to happen there would be a lot of people with f***ed eyes and horrible line imprints on their head.
    VR will be good at home when it’s good enough, but not standing/swinging around in public like a goon, and putting yourself and others at risk of silly accidents. Man come in!!

  11. That’s a strange statement. I get that they want to market their new console, but it just sounds forced. Nintendo made the Switch to appeal to a much broader audience. Quest will only draw in a very niche audience, many of which already have VR hardware that’s just as good, if not better. Quest is also going to be more expensive, and correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like it’s aiming to have its own exclusive library of games, which is ballsy. Since it’s VR, it’s also not going to have anywhere near the same caliber of games that traditional platforms offer.

    VR needs time to grow, and this is a big step towards the technology we all envision, so I hope they do fairly well. I honestly don’t see it happening, though.

  12. This is a completely different market I think. Yes both gaming and both portable, but not at all the same. I see them as similar to each other as Console Gaming is to Mobile Gaming, they don’t really effect each others bottom line.

  13. This is just me, but I have never cared for VR and my interest has only gone down over time.

  14. Well it better have killer games that can compete with Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, Xenoblade and 3rd party games like Bayonetta or Persona/Shin Megami Tensei otherwise its no competition at all.

  15. VR might be portable in the sense that you can carry it around, just like the GameCube was portable. But the Switch is a play-on-the-go device and VR will never be that. Augmented reality stuff like Google Glass maybe, but not VR. Also, logic tells you that this is going to cost WAY more than a Nintendo Switch, probably $500. And the games you wanna play the most will not be VR games anyway. Yet another company that doesn’t understand their own product.

  16. Watch his keynote, where he said this. He’s not talking about directly competing or beating it by interpretation; He’s talking about Quest’s target market, the type of people who would spend a few hundred dollars on a mobile gaming device. It will in fact be in that market.
    It’ll be funny to come back to this in a year or so.. Quest isn’t going to beat Switch’s sales any time soon.. But it’ll end up being a pretty popular game device. No doubt about that. Just have to try it to believe that.
    I gave up on buying traditional games entirely once I got my Rift. I don’t see any reason to play them now that VR works as well as it does, I only want more new games to support VR. And companies that don’t get with the picture are missing out and falling behind. lol

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