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商业 - 科技

虚拟现实市场真正的主导者不是Oculus,而是这家公司

John Gaudiosi 2015年04月07日

Facebook旗下的Oculus VR、索尼、Valve、三星和HTC等公司目前都在开发虚拟现实设备,而这些公司的研发人员基本上都在使用旧金山联合科技公司提供的同名游戏开发平台,这家公司在虚拟设备领域的江湖地位由此可见一斑。

    旧金山联合科技公司首席执行官约翰•里奇迪略

   随着Facebook旗下的Oculus VR、索尼、Valve、三星和HTC等公司纷纷开发虚拟现实设备,旧金山联合科技公司(Unity Technologies)CEO约翰•里奇迪略深信,这家致力于打造同名游戏开发平台的公司将成为虚拟现实游戏和体验领域的领头羊。

    这位首席执行官声称:“迄今为止,在所有植入虚拟现实设备的内容中,至少有90%,乃至95%都是基于‘联合平台’开发的,我们公司的市场地位由此可见一斑。这些超强的头戴式虚拟现实设备,一定能彻底改变你的体验。如果你玩过Valve、Oculus或微软全息眼镜HoloLens的试玩版游戏,你就会知道,它们不只是好,而是好极了。我们会看到一个巨大的产业蓬勃兴起,该产业的核心正是‘联合开发工具套装’。”

    里奇迪略表示,在未来4到5年,虚拟或增强现实设备(简称VR和AR)将彻底改变娱乐行业。但支撑它们的技术还不成熟,目前也没有哪家公司真正推出过商业化产品。(索尼公司计划在2016年初推出Morpheus虚拟现实系统)

    自1997年以来,里奇迪略一直从事电子游戏业。担任艺电公司首席运营官期间,他帮助该公司成为全球最大的电子游戏企业。2014年10月,他加盟了联合公司。

    接受《财富》杂志专访时,里奇迪略表示,过去二十年来,虚拟现实已从他观察的游戏业众多创新技术中脱颖而出。

    他说:“触屏游戏已经推动全球的游戏玩家从大约2亿人增长到20亿以上,因为它大大降低了复杂度,让每个人都能玩。虚拟现实的任务是将玩家送入游戏开发者打造的环境中。这些强大的工具正在催生令人惊叹的体验,但目前我们所看到的,仅仅是这种创新的萌芽而已。”

    他说:“一开始大众可能还无法接触到高端虚拟现实设备,而三星的Gear VR是普通人都能玩到的。今后大家将看到,无论是在手机平台还是其他平台上,都会涌现出一些很出色的个体化体验。”

    近年来,里奇迪略一直与Oculus VR公司合作,致力于整合“联合5”平台和Oculus的开发工具包(实际上,在旧金山2015年游戏开发者大会举行的‘联合5’平台新闻发布会上,Oculus VR公司创始人帕尔默•勒基声称,这种技术在允许开发者为Oculus Rift头戴式设备和零售款Crescent Bay创造虚拟现实体验方面发挥了关键作用)。此外,“联合”平台还向那些收入或资金不足10万美元的个人和工作室免费开放。对其他群体,它的收费标准是每月75美元,或一次性收取1500美元的永久使用费。该技术平台的对手是Epic Games公司的Unreal Engine 4和Crytek公司的CryEngine 3。(财富中文网)

    译者:清远

    审校:任文科

    With new virtual reality devices in the works from Facebook-owned Oculus VR, Sony, Valve, Samsung, and HTC, John Riccitiello believes his company—San Francisco’s Unity Technologies, which makes a gaming development platform of the same name—will lead the way for virtual-reality gaming and experiences.

    “At least 90, if not 95 percent, of all content built so far for VR has been built on Unity, which gives you a sense of our market position,” the CEO says. “The promise of VR is in these super powerful headsets that change your experience. If you try a demo from Valve or Oculus or even the Microsoft HoloLens, they’re not just good, they’re staggering. We’re going to see a giant industry grow up and at the center of that industry is going to be the Unity development tool set.”

    Riccitiello says virtual and augmented reality—VR and AR for short—are going to change entertainment over the course of the next four or five years. But the technology that underpins them is still immature, and no company has actually shipped a commercial product yet. (Sony plans to launch its Morpheus VR system in early 2016.)

    Riccitiello has worked in the video game industry since 1997, where as chief operating officer of Electronic Arts EA 0.59% he helped grow it into the biggest game publisher in the world. He joined Unity in October 2014.

    In an interview with Fortune, Riccitiello says VR stands out from the many innovations in gaming that he’s observed in the last two decades.

    “Touch screens gaming grew the industry from an audience of about 200 million people to over 2 billion people because it dramatically reduced complexity and it made games accessible to everyone,” Riccitiello says. “What VR does is transport people into the environments that the game creators have built. Right now we’re only seeing the very beginnings of the innovations that are possible with such powerful tools and amazing experiences.”

    “High-end VR will probably not be accessible by the masses initially, while devices like Samsung Gear VR will be,” Riccitiello says. “What you’re going to see is some awesome singular experiences, whether that’s a great experience in mobile or on other platforms.”

    In recent years, Riccitiello has been working with Oculus VR to integrate its Unity 5 platform into the Oculus development kit. (Indeed, Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey was on stage during the Unity 5 press conference at the 2015 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco to discuss the role the technology has played in allowing developers to create VR experiences for its Oculus Rift headset and Crescent Bay, a retail prototype.) Unity offers free access to its platform for individuals and development studios with less than $100,000 in revenues or funding; for the rest, it charges $75 per month or $1,500 for a perpetual license. The technology competes with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 and Crytek’s CryEngine 3.

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