Niantic’s John Hanke Urges Game Developers To Prioritize AR Over VR; Here’s Why

Both Niantic's prominent titles, Ingress and Pokémon GO have been well received by its fans thanks to its core system being that of an augmented reality game. Although VR is considered to be the new rising mode of entertainment, Niantic's CEO, John Hanke has shared his insights regarding the negative impact of the latter and emphasized how AR support should be given a priority over VR.

John Hanke: Augmented Reality Over Virtual Reality

During the Mixed Reality Summit event, John Hanke expressed his concerns regarding virtual reality and its implications towards the future generation; saying that: "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 Pointed out that "it [VR] is a problem for us as a society if we forgo that and spend all of time in a Ready Player One-style VR universe."

With the release of PS4 Pro, numerous game developers have been working their way to dominate the new trend of console entertainment. Despite the decline in sales of VR headsets, developers are still incorporating VR feature on their games. One particular title is Capcom's Resident Evil 7, which showcased a new aspect of the survival horror genre. Due to the gaming community becoming more inclined on the VR platform, Hanke has urged game developers to prioritize AR over VR, stressing that it is more productive to take gaming outside rather than in a virtual reality universe.

Advantage Of AR

Hanke also referenced the recent studies, which show the health benefits of AR games - pointing out that it encourages exercise and strenuous activities while having fun, insinuating that AR is better than VR in this regard.

While Niantic's CEO has made clear on his standpoint, game developers that will heed his advice must take into consideration the flipside of AR. It should be worth noting that there are also some drawbacks from augmented reality games especially when it comes to accurately locating the player's position. Furthermore, Pokémon GO is still plagued with spoofers, which have yet been resolved by Niantic.

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