John Hanke, the CEO of Pokemon Go developer Niantic Labs, offered his thoughts on how Virtual Reality is a step back for society. According to GI.biz, Hanke said VR has the potential to be “too good” and might lead to people wanting to spend extended periods of time in digital worlds.
“My thing about VR is I’m afraid it can be too good, in the sense of being an experience that people want to spend a huge amount of time in,” he said. “I mean I already have concerns about my kids playing too much Minecraft, and that’s a wonderful game. We’re human beings and there’s a lot of research out there that shows we’re actually a lot happier when we get exercise, when we go outside–and outside in nature in particular,” he added. “I think it’s a problem for us as a society if we forgo that and spend all of time in a Ready Player One-style VR universe.”
Hanke has been critical of VR in the past. Speaking to Recode last year, Hanke said VR can be an isolationist activity. “In a VR situation, you’re isolating yourself from everyone around you and entering this completely virtual space,” he said at the time.
Going back to his talk at the Mixed Reality Summit, Hanke said augmented reality–which is at the core of Pokemon Go–has a “huge amount of potential” to do things that have a positive impact on humanity. Niantic has said one of its goals for Pokemon Go is to help make the world a better place.
“There is research about the health impact of Pokemon Go in particular but you can expand that to apply to all AR games,” he said. “These games can encourage people to be more active than they would normally be. As a parent, part of my motivation for building this kind of game was to try and get my kids out of the house. I think there’s a ton of good that can be done.”
Also during the talk, Hanke said he foresees a day when AR and VR “converge into a single set of experiences.”
In all honesty, this comes as quite a shocker to me. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands is now the fastest selling game of 2017 so far.
The only reason I’m surprised by this is because the last Tom Clancy game, The Division, was ridiculed so much after launch that I was shocked people were not more hesitant to purchase a new TC game. But to my surprise, Ghost Recon has had the biggest first week of any other game this year, and becomes the second fastest-selling Tom Clancy game ever, after The Division.
Not that Wildlands is a bad game, but considering some of the titles that have been released in the last few months it’s ironic that the one with the least rapturous critical reception should be the biggest seller. However, most of the big titles so far this year have been format exclusives while Wildlands is on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Horizon Zero Dawn only held the record of fastest-selling launch title for a single week, although it dropped only as far as number two in the all formats chart.The biggest new entry of the week was the console release of Lego Worlds, which unlike the normal Lego titles is more of a Minecraft style affair.
For once there are no major retail releases this week and that probably means Wildlands will keep its number one spot until the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda the week after.
The Xbox racing game franchise Forza joins games such as Halo, Minecraft, Gears of War and Age of Empires in Microsoft’s billion-dollar club.
The Xbox exclusive racing series in December topped $1 billion in lifetime sales since the first game’s release in 2005. Turn 10 Studios, a Microsoft owned company, released Forza Horizon 3 last year, the ninth game in the series. The original Forza Motorsport was released with the launch of the Xbox 360 console.
Racing games have become a staple of game consoles, an accessible genre that can appeal to casual gamers and hard-core racing fans alike. They are typically used to push the limits of the graphical realism that console can produce. Microsoft’s billion-dollar club is led by Halo who has grossed more than $5 billion and been the poster boy Xbox game since the release of the original game in 2001.
Microsoft’s Age of Empires franchise, usually a computer game series, also has sold more than $1 billion. In 2014, Microsoft bought two franchises with more than $1 billion in sales: Gears of War and world-building game Minecraft.