Ripard Teg predicts EVE Valkyrie to be Oculus Rift’s killer app. He doesn’t even use his normal weasel words to softball the prediction. That’s something he normally does so that he can still claim being right if something does come to be, or to waive off claims that he was wrong if a guess doesn’t come to be. To make such a straight-up, unequivocal prediction, that’s unusual for Ripard. Ripard is a dude who is always right, even when he’s wrong. (He’s still a good guy though, and he’s still an excellent CSM representative.)
He must have been damned impressed by EVR at Fanfest 2013 to be this excited and positive about the game.
What is a killer app? Basically it’s must-have software that drives sales of a given piece of hardware. Usually the software is an exclusive on said hardware. Space Invaders was the Atari 2600′s killer app in 1980. Halo was the XBox’s killer app in 2001. There are lots of other examples, but those are two of the best known examples.
I’ve never played Valkyrie. I can’t say if it’s a killer app or not. All I’ve seen of Valkyrie (since the Fanfest presentations) is the new announcement trailer. If the very quick snippets of in-cockpit gameplay that we do see, if that is actual gameplay and not some gussied-up, fancified, not-actual-gameplay trailer magic, then the game does look pretty f-ing amazing. And if the footage in the trailer is actual gameplay, then it’s alpha-gameplay and is only going to look better at release. So Ripard may be on the money proclaiming Valkyrie the killer app for the Oculus Rift head-mounted display.
(For the sake of the rest of this post, I’ll assume that what we see in the trailer is actual gameplay.)
Valkyrie will not be without competition, though. So making bold statements about killer apps could be premature.
One space combat simulator is already supporting the Rift, though it can’t be considered serious competition. The game is Vendetta Online. Similar to EVE Online in a scaled-back way, and it does not seem to have progressed much, technologically, from its 2004 release date. It kinda looks terrible.
GoD Factory: Wingmen is the strangest entry. It’s space combat, but it looks wholly bizarre in terms of ship design. Some people will no doubt find it attractive. I find it a little off-putting. They currently have an alpha release available for download. And you can watch a gameplay video.
One title that will most definitely be competition is Strike Vector. The demonstration video is spectacular. Nice graphics, and then fifty seconds in they start showing us the ships in flight, zipping in and out of those industrial structures. It looks like a rush.
And then there is Star Citizen, which everybody, except myself, seems to care about. The combat will support Rift. What it will look like is anybody’s guess?
Will Valkyrie be a killer app? We’ll have to wait to see. There’s already one solid contender in the space sim category, and another people expect much of. I’m not even considering games from all the other categories (racing, mecha, FPS.) Hell, Euro Truck Simulator 2 looks like a nice relaxing way to spend a couple hours with an Oculus Rift.
If CCP can add some EVE Universe integration into the Valkyrie experience, then they’re giving themselves a leg-up on the competition. Oculus Rift into a living, breathing existing universe, or a simple arcade game. The former I would play, I would buy a Rift for; the other, meh.
You can read more of Poetic Stanziel’s opinions at his Poetic Discourse blog.