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"With a modern PC, you have so much extra power, you don't need to be a hotshot programmer to make a game people love.”
- Oculus CTO John Carmack calls out the differences in power between PCs and the Oculus Quest
Speaking at Oculus Connect 2018, Oculus CTO John Carmack likens the power of the Oculus Quest to last-gen video game consoles, something devs will have to compensate for while approaching their own projects for the system.
Ars Technica has a solid roundup of several of Carmack’s talking points, but his comments on the hardware’s limitations are something developers should pay extra attention to.
Carmack explains that the power of the Oculus Quest is similar to the level seen in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game console generation, though it isn’t a 1:1 comparison exactly.
He warns developers that they’ll have to adapt their programming style in order to best make games on a platform with restricted resources, likening the mindset needed for creating games for the Quest more to developing Nintendo DS or PlayStation 1 games than modern PC titles.
"With a modern PC, you have so much extra power, you don't need to be a hotshot programmer to make a game people love,” says Carmack. “You don't really have that convenience on any mobile platform, really, but especially not on our platform.”
Carmack also notes that he expects the majority of the Quest’s usage to be for video games (the inverse of what Oculus has seen with the Oculus Go) and sees the Nintendo Switch as the Quest’s number one competitor since, in his mind, players see both portable devices as supplemental systems to a console or PC.
"I don't think there's going to be that many people who say, 'I'm not going to buy a PS4, I'm going to buy a Quest instead."