Developers are taking sides in the battle for virtual reality dominance.
Frontier Developments, the studio behind the acclaimed space exploration game Elite: Dangerous, tells Eurogamer that it’s focusing on Valve’s SteamVR platform — which powers the HTC Vive headset — over Oculus Rift. That means PC gamers can’t expect Elite: Dangerous to work with the Oculus Rift when the consumer version of the headset launches on March 28, and it might mean more sales for the Vive.
With two rival PC-based VR systems hitting the consumer market this year — and PlayStation VR also on the way for PlayStation 4 — it’s going to be interesting to see whether other developers choose a side, particularly given the technical demands of creating VR games that look and work great.
Frontier said that it hasn’t signed any type of exclusivity deal, and the decision has been made purely to make Elite: Dangerous as good as it can be on VR devices. Despite Frontier demoing Elite: Dangerous with the Oculus Rift at numerous game shows over the past couple of years, official support ended with the headset’s SDK (software development kit) 0.5, which was superseded by SDK 0.6.0 back in May.
“We’ve supported VR for a few years now,” read a statement, “and Elite Dangerous is arguably the world’s leading VR-ready game. We want to give players the best possible VR experience however they play … and that means focusing our efforts. Right now, we’ve chosen to focus on SteamVR. We haven’t cut an exclusivity deal with any VR manufacturer, and we’re still working with Oculus on Rift support.”