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Am I crazy? I don’t think AR is good for games

by Joey Davidson | August 4, 2017August 4, 2017 6:00 am PDT

Between comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook back in February and the recent word from Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, you’d think augmented reality is the next big slam dunk for tech.

Cook said that he thinks AR is a “big idea, like the smartphone.”

“I think AR is that big,” he explained. “It’s huge. I get excited because of the things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives. And be entertaining.”

Now, we have Zelnick responding to investors about the limitations of VR and where he lands on AR. He says he’s not as skeptical about AR.

“The concerns I raised regarding VR are not applicable to AR,” Zelnick offered. “In order to have an AR experience, you don’t necessarily have to wearing glasses or a headset. You’re not burdened by being in a particular location, and the discomfort factor doesn’t exist, necessarily.”

Zelnick went on to say that it’s “hard to predict what will excite consumers,” but that his company has developers working on it. “We’re proud of the innovations that our creative teams are focused on every day. So, more to come, but I don’t have any skepticism particularly, about AR technology.”

Take-Two is the parent company of Rockstar. Rockstar is making Red Dead Redemption 2, a game I would love to see in VR but not AR.

Am I crazy? I sort of think augmented reality in games is pointless. It’s niche, and I don’t really care for it.

When you watch stuff like a HoloLens presentation, it’s easy to get really excited about the use of augmented reality when it comes to industries like medicine, engineering or design. It’s incredible that augmented reality can afford people a potentially better way to do their work, and I’ll know there’s a future for the tech in the industrial and commercial segments.

In gaming? I just don’t have any excitement for it.

I see companies and CEOs getting bullish about AR, suggesting it’s the future of entertainment. They almost always point towards stuff like Pokémon GO for that concept in action. Pokémon Go was never fun because of its AR element. It’s a neat side trick, but it’s hardly the reason the game took off like it did.

Face it, Pokémon GO succeeded because of its license and premise. The brand is unstoppable, as always, and the premise was so dang promising.

Pointing to it as a success of augmented reality is misguided. It’s not.

The best AR game, and it’s hardly a game, for my money is WOORLD. From Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi, WOORLD uses Project Tango to let players build a virtual sandbox and go absolutely nuts. It’s fun, but it’s hardly a game.

I think AR has a future, but I don’t think it’s as big as some suggest in the world of games. HoloLens could be absolutely huge in the private sector. In entertainment? I’d say the same about AR on phones. For utility, it makes complete sense. For games?

I just don’t think it has any real staying power.


Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...

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