VR Could Change The Way You Watch Fighting Games

VR Could Change The Way You Watch Fighting Games

Don’t think of how VR headsets could change the way esport games are played, but rather, imagine how they could change they’re viewed — in particular, fighting games. Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono explains how. In an interview in the latest Weekly Famitsu, Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono and Namco’s Katsuhiro Harada briefly touched on this topic.

“For fighting game competitions, even though people come to see the match live and even if they’re at the actual venue, everyone ends up watching a screen,” Ono said, adding that even then, some people might have difficulty seeing the action, depending on where they are seated.

That’s why, Ono continued, he thinks it would be good if spectators wore VR head-mounted displays, because that way they could have a front-row seat for the match. The fight would be happening right in front of you.

If you think about it, the idea does make a lot of sense. I don’t think this would work with, say, StarCraft. But watching fighting games on VR headsets sounds like a clever idea. Keep in mind, though, he’s talking about spectators wearing the headsets and not players.

Harada seemed to agree, saying, “I’m also thinking about being able to use VR for watching fights, and I want to do something like that [in Tekken 7].”

Continuing, Ono added, “I think this is better suited for watching characters fight right in front of you. Actually playing would be difficult.” Ono is probably right, especially with Street Fighter.

Putting aside the cost of getting headsets for all the audience members, it would be interesting to see if everyone getting together and watching a fight via VR would have the same communal experience as everyone watching a giant screen. I guess we’ll eventually find out.

For home viewing, VR would definitely seem to be the way to go.

Top image: Nawanon |Shutterstock


  • Couldn’t you just have a screen in front of every seat and it would be to the same effect?

    • You do realise there’s a little more to VR than just a screen in front of your eyes, right?
      You’d effectively be in the game world watching the fight.

      • No. In this instance they are just talking about a screen in front of you.
        Street Fighter, for example, is only 2.5D. A entire new game would have to be created for true VR.

  • What’s the point of turning up then? It’s like going to a party and then everyone sitting in a separate room the entire time. Sure, there’s the stuff outside of the event but on the whole the social experience is the reason you go to the venue rather than watching a stream at home.

    This kind of talk is why I feel like VR isn’t going to succeed in the way people want it to. A lot of it seems like it’s people asking “We have VR now. What do we actually do with it to justify its existence?”. The same problem happened with 3D and the glut of movies that shoe-horned it in to try and make it feel like something people should have.

    • You could have virtual box seats and you and all your mates could be represented in the same space so you can still socialise along side everyone else there.

    • Well, you could still talk to each other. VR doesn’t necessarily make you deaf to the world around you, only blind. And since when do you need to look at other people to talk to them?

  • It could be really cool, but not very practical on a large scale e-sports type event. The logistics behind providing 10000 VR headsets would be pretty insane. And as mentioned above, half the fun of going to a live event, is being part of a live event. If it’s the best view that you are after, you’d be watching at home anyway.

    However, say if watching from home, the idea of being put in the game world, watching life size 3D avatars fight it out while you’re sitting on the sidelines watching could be amazing.
    I think VR could be really good for the streaming world.. imagine being able to fire up “god mode” and fly around a virtual map watching a CS or LOL match.

  • You could easily just introduce a FPS spectator view and use have free look enabled on mouse?

    All of this could already be achieved…these VR goggles are just one or two monitors (depending on tech) really close that can simulate stereoscopic depth perception and a gyro/head tracking to replace your mouse look. Keep in mind stereoscopic depth perception is only effective for close objects and most depth is calculated from monocular cues). I can’t speak for how stereoscopic depth perception appears for these headsets but I can say that in 3D movies they greatly exaggerate it which makes certain objects really “pop” out in front; this is unrealistic and the realistic goal is to have minimal “pop” as possible and essentially have it look as “2D” as possible.

    It really is a scam calling them VR…the video game itself is the virtual reality – these headsets are just an alternative way to view/experience the virtual reality and thanks to some good marketing hype isn’t being seen as the expensive gimmick it is.

  • I’ve said this for sporting events. They can setup a camera rig at a premium seat in an arena and then charge you a fee to logon and stream from that seat through VR… or maybe even have a choice of a couple in house cameras which you can flip between when watching live.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!