The upcoming Resident Evil 4 VR game will split the VR player base as a Quest 2 exclusive, as reported by Upload VR. One of the highlights of yesterday’s Resident Evil showcase was a quick glimpse of Resident Evil 4 VR, an interesting move into virtual reality for the much loved action/horror. Announced as coming for the Oculus Quest 2, it has since been confirmed by Oculus that the game will be exclusive to the Quest 2 headset.
This has caused consternation online and amongst the VR community. For those unaware, the Quest 2 is the second revision in Oculus’ stand alone VR lineup and was released in October 2020. The device, like the original Quest, needs no connection to a PC or console. As such, it has its own apps/games and storefront that can be accessed from the headset. The device has been a hit, selling more than all other Oculus headsets combined.
VR is still a niche
VR is still a relative niche technology and there are several options that VR adopters can go through when it comes to devices. Oculus have the Quest range but have previously had the PC centric Rift line that required a solid gaming PC. This again, comes with its own storefront. At the same time, Steam have supported high end VR gaming with Steam VR and association with the Vive/Index range of headsets. On the console front, Sony have its own range of games for the PlayStation VR headset.
Exclusivity has long been a concern amongst the fledgling VR community given the smaller install base – the most obvious being the Sony VR ‘exclusive’ with Resident Evil 7, a game with a VR mode still exclusive to PSVR. Still, this is something that has largely been recognised by VR producers and great efforts have been made to share content across devices.
The Quest range, for example, can be connected to a PC where it can access the Rift store and Steam VR, meaning there are few PC exclusives that can’t be played on those devices. On the flip side, there are some nifty work arounds to get Oculus Rift titles to work on Vive/Index headsets. This has been great for players as it means your device choice doesn’t lock you out of the VR library (with the obvious exception of PSVR titles).
Quest 2 exclusive splitting the player base?
The Quest range itself, given it is a standalone device, requires its own version of games if not being connected to a PC. This is because the specs, while impressive, are not as capable given it runs all games via the headset itself. It has meant that popular VR games need to be ported to the device to work.
This, however, is the first case of a major release not only being locked to the Quest headset range, but to a particular device. By making this a Quest 2 exclusive, it locks out all original Quest owners as well. Given that the original Quest device is less than 2 years old, you can see why it might anger some gamers.
From an Oculus perspective, we can see this makes some sense. The Quest 2 does have improved specs and is a more capable device. It is also the bigger seller and has the most momentum. Having an exclusive port of a beloved game is only going to drive those sales further. Yet, with VR being so niche, it begs the question of whether making such a high profile title exclusive to a certain iteration of a device is healthy for VR?
Time to buy Resident Evil 4 AGAIN…
Exclusives are always touchy subjects amongst game communities. Yes, they do help drive device sales and often mean games get funded that might not be financially viable otherwise. At the same time, they really do limit the audience of a game and nowhere is that more apparent than in the VR space. Upload VR do state that Oculus may work on a Quest 1 compatible version ‘in the future’ but of course, there is nothing tangible to confirm just yet.
As a huge fan of Resident Evil 4 and a Quest 2 owner, this author is quite excited by the news. Still, it is hard not to appreciate that the games potential will have a very limited audience. Making Resident Evil 4 VR a Quest 2 exclusive is going to hurt long time franchise fans.
Source: Upload VR
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Rudy Manchego has been gaming since the days of the BBC Micro Computer and spreads himself thin with a love of retro, indie and mainstream gaming. He’s one half of the Jambags Comedy Gaming podcast and likes nothing better than kicking back with a nice pot of lapsang souchong, a good game and a background podcast on the intricacies of Spanish cheese making.