One of the greatest principles in gaming is that the hardware is important, but it's not so important that it can succeed in isolation without games. Oculus and IndieCade
are looking to get together and start a game jam to help take care of that one particular issue with Oculus' own hardware.
IndieCade had made quite a splash at E3 with its booth showing off a variety of independent games, and Oculus had made a likewise splash with the Oculus Rift
peripheral, perhaps one of the best efforts in the field of virtual reality for the last several years. But as impressive as the Oculus Rift is, perhaps the biggest issue facing it is the lack of games that will work with it. This is where IndieCade comes in, working with Oculus to get a whole lot of developers together to create a string of games all geared toward virtual reality.
But this game jam isn't just a shot to get a lot of developers together in one place to crank out some code, oh no...this particular game jam comes with prizes. Indeed, over $50,000 in prizes will be on hand for the winners, as judged by Oculus and IndieCade. The winners will also get trips out to Oculus' headquarters where said winners will meet the Oculus Rift development team.
This is the same problem that Nintendo
is looking to fix with the Wii U system, with the key difference that Oculus is likely looking to get games on the ground before the hardware rolls out. The more games that will work with the system, the better off the end result for Oculus, which is likely to make more sales when there are more games that work with the system than don't.
It's going to be exciting to see what games come out of the game jam, which is set to begin August 2 and run for a full three weeks, so by the end of August we should be starting to see what came out of the event. First person shooters? Horror? Puzzle? What will emerge, and how will they look in the Oculus Rift system? There's a lot at stake here, and the quality of the games is likely going to have a little weight in people's decision making process in terms of buying an Oculus Rift. Of course, what else it can do will also have some weight in there, but as is commonly the case, the more games--the better the games too--that work with the system, the better off sales will likely be for that system.
In just a few weeks, we're likely to get a good look at the potential fate of one of the most intriguing new peripherals of the last several years. Will the Oculus Rift come out of the game jam a must-have, or just another fad?