At E3, Not Everyone Diving Headfirst into VR

While the lines to try virtual reality have been among the longest at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the buzzed-about technology isn't necessarily a dominating force at the game industry's annual gathering, not when there are dozens of other queues -- and immediate financial prospects -- for traditional games.

Sony and Oculus VR, the startup that launched the latest VR obsession two years ago and was purchased by Facebook earlier this year for $2 billion, haven't announced plans to bring their respective headsets to market. That hasn't stopped the companies from touting VR with demonstrations in front of and behind closed doors at E3.

There are only a handful of VR creations from smaller developers on display at E3, such as "Words With Friends" co-creator Paul Bettner's cartoony platformer "Lucky's Tale," indie developer Piotr Iwanicki's time-bending shooter "Superhot" and former Microsoft creative director Adam Orth's space odyssey "Adr1ft."

"I've always wanted to work in VR," Orth said. "From the very first moment I had the idea for this game, I said it's gonna be in VR. What surprised me the most were the emotions that I feel from actually being in the world. You're able to have these moments where the player goes, 'Oh, wow!' They're not manufactured at all.'"

Richard Marks, the senior director of research and development at Sony Computer Entertainment America, has been showing off the latest demos for Sony's prototype Project Morpheus headset, including a street luge game that simulates careening down a traffic-filled roadway as players lie on a beanbag in the real world.

"I think retailers are still struggling to wrap their minds around it," said Marks, who unveiled Morpheus at the Game Developers Conference in March. "E3 is just a different place. The developers at GDC were all excited to make stuff for it. It's so new. By next...

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