Virtual Reality is in a pretty advanced state these days, with full, lush and immersive worlds being at users’ fingertips on mobile systems and at home, through pricier options like the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Playstation VR. Gamers can be whisked off to another world that is, at times, so realistic that the disconnect between your brain and body can literally make you sick. The system is, of course, still not without its fair share of issues, the aforementioned nausea being one of them. At a press conference leading up to the annual Computex convention, NVIDIA’s CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, took to the stage to talk about these problems and to drop a bit of a bombshell; he does not think that VR will truly be up to par for another 20 years or so.
One of the bigger issues he addressed was resolution. No matter which system you use, this is a problem, for now, simply due to the fact that current screen tech can’t squeeze enough pixels onto a small enough display to make a head-mounted display for VR that looks completely detailed and realistic. While that could change in the near future with the introduction of 4K smartphone screens, He also spoke about the problems with wires, and how they hamper immersion, and the fact that current VR headsets are far too cumbersome to make virtual reality feel like actual reality. While there are some looking to fix this, it’s true of every major VR system out right now. Finally, he touched on the fact that current VR simulations simply aren’t high-powered enough. The environments aren’t detailed, beautiful and believable enough just yet, and the worlds in VR don’t always adhere nicely to a given physics system. While somebody using TriniusVR to immerse themselves in a good game of Crysis 3 could argue against those last two points, it’s not hard to back them up elsewhere, and such an experience is hardly adequate.
Interestingly, he didn’t have anything to say about how to solve these problems. Given NVIDIA’s expertise in the graphics space, one would think that he would have something to say, but when somebody asked him frankly about his plan to fix these issues, he simply said that “…we have hundreds of projects in the company… most of them get thrown away.” While this does mean that NVIDIA is working on solutions, it also means that, even with all of their experience, they have yet to really break any ground.