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.
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