Tim Sweeney, founder of the successful Epic Games, is convinced that virtual reality has a much more promising future than the fate suffered by 3D in general, especially at the domestic level, although it cannot be said that in the cinema it is causing a furor either.
It is obvious that the company responsible for Unreal Engine has a great interest in virtual reality taking off definitively and becoming a resounding success. And Sweeney is fully convinced that this will be the case, an opinion that we share without any qualms, although there are many obstacles that will be in the way.
3D TVs are a concept that has never been able to work well. You have a screen in a physical place and there is only one point from where it will be seen correctly for the viewer. If you are too far from that point, your eyes converge in the wrong place and the effect is wrong, and if you are off-center from that point the same thing happens. So everything about 3D movies malfunctions unless you’re in a magical position, and that’s the kind of abomination that the content industry and especially the movie industry never recognized. And after seeing ads for these products that in the end provided you with a flawed experience, your expectations are going to be very high. The moment you go beyond a 2D image on a screen, your brain expects that what you are seeing corresponds to reality, and if it is not perfect, it turns out to be incredibly squeaky.
With VR, you are always in that magical position, your eyes are perfectly positioned with respect to the screen and you have control of each frame for each viewer, something that does not happen when there are many people sitting in a cinema, so it can be carried out perfectly here. The only barriers to its improvement are hardware latency, screen resolution and the quality of objects. These are all human engineering parameters that can be improved over time. I think we are at a point where in 10 years, the quality of the hardware and the improvement that will have been achieved will be so high that it will be impossible to distinguish it from reality.
Undoubtedly, this last sentence is a very strong statement that we would love to see come true, but we are not so optimistic about the deadline in which Sweeney thinks. What do you guys think? Do you see it possible that in 10 years virtual reality has reached such a degree of realism and perfection?