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  1. Chemy JMHT's Avatar
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       #1  

    Tim sweeney: Oculus vr's 'walled garden' approach gives htc vive an advantage



    Epic games co-founder and Unreal Engine creator Tim Sweeney recently said in an interview that the HTC Vive virtual reality headset is outselling the Oculus Rift by 2-to-1 worldwide. Why? Because Oculus VR is following Apple’s software distribution model that many describe as a walled garden, which means the company’s device supports software sold through a proprietary store by default. By contrast, HTC doesn’t use that method for the Vive, providing a completely open platform where owners can purchase games and experiences from many different online markets.

    “When you install the Oculus drivers, by default you can only use the Oculus store,” he said. “You have to rummage through the menu and turn that off if you want to run Steam. Which everybody does. It’s just alienating and sends the wrong message to developers.”

    Sweeney believes that an open platform will always win because customers have a bigger, better selection of software. As long as the Oculus Rift continues to rely on a closed software system, the HTC Vive will continue to outsell it, he said.

    The HTC Vive is powered by Valve Software’s SteamVR platform. The Steam platform just surpassed 14 million simultaneous users, making it the most-used PC gaming platform to date.
    “Any software that requires human communication is completely dysfunctional if it’s locked to a platform. And everything in VR and AR will be socially centric,” he added. “Communicating with other people is an integral part of the experience.”

    Sweeney isn’t exactly quiet when it comes to closed marketplaces. He’s very vocal about the Windows Store and Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform app setup, which is designed to provide apps and games across multiple Windows 10 devices. Like Apple’s App Store, software sold in the Windows Store cannot be sold anywhere else. Even more, software must meet specific requirements before it can be sold in Microsoft’s marketplace.

    Sweeney brought up the iPhone as an example. Apple created a great chat platform, he said, but it didn’t succeed because it was only offered on iOS-based devices. Despite the iPhone’s popularity, by the third quarter of 2016, Android dominated the mobile operating system market with an 87.8 percent share, followed by iOS with 11.5 percent. The top mobile communication apps like Facebook and Twitter are multiplatform because they’re not locked to one specific marketplace.

    Despite Sweeney’s argument about Oculus VR’s closed platform, Epic Games is currently developing a game specifically for the Oculus Rift. He indicated that the studio likely wouldn’t have started on Robo Recall had Oculus VR (which is owned by Facebook) not stepped in to fund the game’s development. Still, he has no problems stating that the Oculus Store should be offered on PC and other VR devices.

    “Oculus would do best if they tried to bring users into their store by supporting HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, and any other PC hardware that comes out,” he said. “I think if they don’t do that, they’re going to pretty quickly fail, because you’re not going to want to buy a multiplayer game that you can’t play with half of your VR friends.”

    The allure of “walled” marketplaces is that store owners like Microsoft, Apple, and Oculus VR can offer exclusive titles not found anywhere else. These closed stores also offer a sense of security in that store owners scrutinize every submitted piece of software. Google does this, too, but Google Play is known for housing malware-infested apps from time to time, and the problem is even worse on third-party Android storefronts.

    Source: Epic's Tim Sweeney: HTC's Vive VR Headset Outselling Oculus Rift 2-to-1 | Digital Trends
  2. Russell Holly's Avatar
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    #2  
    Eh, I feel like his reasoning is only valid if someone has compared the two in-depth before buying. I think more people buy the Vive because it offers a more compelling VR experience out of the box and that's what most people experience in demos.
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  3. Chemy JMHT's Avatar
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       #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Holly View Post
    Eh, I feel like his reasoning is only valid if someone has compared the two in-depth before buying. I think more people buy the Vive because it offers a more compelling VR experience out of the box and that's what most people experience in demos.
    I was also thinking how Microsoft has tried to do the same that Apple does with the Windows Store, so it is not a crazy idea at all.

    But being open is helping HTC, now having third parties making accessories and add-ons will help a little the sellings.
  4. pjs37's Avatar
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    #4  
    Eh,
    I stopped paying attention to this guy. He got so worked up about Microsofts store that he had created this internal fantasy that people took as fact that MS was purposely destroying programs like Steam to push their own store forward, which has proven completely unfounded. Again (He said the same thing in Windows 8 days)

    Now he is starting up with Rift. Which works fine on Steam VR btw, unlike an iPhone and iOS which he used an example and are locked into a specific app store.

    No the reason for the lower adoption rate is like other said it lacked a complete experience and they really under-estimated the draw something like Roomscale got for people. No touch controller out of the door too. But by no means is it doing terribly?
  5. GustavMahler's Avatar
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    #5  
    The thing is that being a closed platform can actually give an advantage to this device rather than a disadvantage.
    Exclusivity.
    The same with apple-you belong to an exclusive platform.
    It comes from the evolution-wanting to belong to a certain group, rather than a 'general' open platform, that on top of that can also can feel less luxurious, since less games are developed especially for it.

    But without those psychological elements and objectively speaking (as objectively as possible, since it's not easy) the Vive is the winner in terms of content and development for the platform here.

    But those are just my 2 cents
  6. Chemy JMHT's Avatar
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       #6  
    Well the guy has history, maybe it's how the Oculus way of doing things makes him feel about it.
  7. pjs37's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Chemy JMHT View Post
    Well the guy has history, maybe it's how the Oculus way of doing things makes him feel about it.
    Most likely but now half the time he says something he has a Richard Stallman style vibe behind him.
  8. Chemy JMHT's Avatar
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       #8  
    Well the market will tell who is right, but this guy made money creating non open source software so it can be only the speech.
  9. Russell Holly's Avatar
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Chemy JMHT View Post
    Well the market will tell who is right, but this guy made money creating non open source software so it can be only the speech.

    And, to be honest, I'm happy there's still people out there defending open source anything. It's an important position, and far too frequently the less popular one.
    Chemy JMHT likes this.

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