Bethesda's Todd Howard Thinks VR Is About To Get Good


Todd Howard, the head of game studio Bethesda Softworks, recently sat down for a talk at Gamelab, wherein he said that he was excited for VR entering its second generation and can't wait to see the third, since that's historically the point at which a new technology or gaming niche becomes popular. He chatted excitedly about putting the studio's premiere titles, Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim into VR. His stance on augmented reality was a bit more lukewarm, and he didn't mention any particular products in that area. As an aside, he backed up his studio's lawsuit against Warner Brothers over its Westworld mobile game by saying that he has indeed played it because of the lawsuit, though he didn't specifically note whether he finds his company's infringement concerns to have merit.

Howard's comment that the third major iteration of a new concept is the popularity point may well apply to VR; the first generation was shaped by the likes of the mobile Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR, as well as the PlayStation VR in the console space and the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in the higher-end PC-based VR space. All of these could stand to see improvements in resolution, tracking technology, and user interaction, which could come in the dawning second generation. Already, there is working going on concerning bumping up the resolution and field of view of contemporary VR headsets to make using them nearly indistinguishable from looking with your eyes. Some clever tricks, meanwhile, have been developed to help fight VR sickness and make the experience as seamless as possible, and those may well come into play this generation. Price has historically been a major barrier to entry for VR, but as mobile VR improves and traditional VR gets cheaper, that could melt away in the near future. Following these trends, Howard's assertion that VR could become popular and hit the mainstream in its third generation is entirely plausible.

Bethesda has thus far brought three of its titles to VR; the well-received Fallout 4, the modder-besieged Skyrim, and the studio's own take on the beloved Doom franchise, which it inherited from id Software. With the way that Howard was talking about VR, more are almost certainly on the way, though it's anybody's guess as to what titles will get that treatment. Upcoming online game Fallout 76 and the DOOM sequel are natural competitors, as is the upcoming The Elder Scrolls mobile game subtitled Blades.

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Senior Staff Writer

Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, Voice assistants, AI technology development news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]

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