The Japanese VR Ecosystem


You tested several Japanese VR products at Machi Asobi. Two years ago at Unite 2015 you also experienced Japanese VR content, but what do you think about today’s state of Japan’s VR content?

Palmer Luckey:

What I am feeling has not changed from two or three years ago. I think Japanese VR content is high quality. Especially the Japanese VR indie developer community is making high quality VR content. There are a lot of people in America and Europe owning VR headsets, but the number of actual developers in relation is extremely low. I think there are a lot of VR content developers in Japan. In Japan almost every (PC) VR headset owner is a developer, or has a very high chance of becoming one.


About the high quality, what exactly do you think is the strong point of Japanese VR Content?

Palmer Luckey:

I haven’t seen everything, so this is going to be just my impression of what I was able experience. In Japan many developers are placing the focus on the characters. They are paying a lot of attention towards character animation, expressions, voices and about the general mood. I think this is what sets Japanese VR content apart. In the West the development is more focused around the quality of the graphics and of the effects. There is not much consideration being given to the characters, and the animations and voice acting often are low quality.

I think Japanese developers have high expectations of new devices. I think the Japanese are going to be the first to try new devices like smelling devices or haptic feedback devices and devices like the HoloLens. The Japanese market might even try devices unfit for the general consumer market. In the early Rift DK1 days there was a controller called the Razer Hydra, it allowed for hand tracking in VR. Most content that used the Razer Hydra was made in Japan. There was a device called the Noviet Falcon for which all content was created by Japanese developers. No one in the West used it, but in Japan lots of content was made for it.

Why the Closure of Oculus Story Studio is Good News for VR Filmmakers


There are people saying Japan is lagging behind Western VR content in terms of getting into stores, what do you think about this?

Palmer Luckey:

Commercial VR content production right now is in a very difficult phase. One cannot say for certain that a dev team that currently has success working in VR will have long time sustainable success. For example, Survios, the studio that created Raw Data, seems to be doing fine. They have announced to have made [more than $1 million USD in a month] of game sales and have simultaneously received a investment of over [$50 million USD]. Looking at it narrowly you could say they are successful. If you take a look at the bigger picture they still need investors to make good content. So it could be said that they are not yet successful on the balance sheet.

I previously said Japan’s indie devs are strong. On the other hand, the number of Japanese studios distributing commercial VR content is very small. There are some Japanese companies that entered the VR market early such as Sony, Colopl, Capcom, and Bandai Namco. I really appreciate Capcom’s Resident Evil 7. In contrast to that there are overwhelmingly many companies making commercial VR games in the West.

Photo courtesy MoguraVR


In Japan there also are many developers that want to found a startup to develop commercial indie VR games, what can they do to succeed?

Palmer Luckey:

I wish I could give a perfect answer to this question, but it is difficult. One problem is that Japanese content is mostly only attractive to Japanese consumers and not Western consumers. If you make content aimed at a Japanese audience the people in the West who make up the biggest part of the VR consumers may not purchase it.

But there still are four pieces of advice I can give. The first one is ‘Think realistically when developing.’ Don’t expect to sell hundreds of millions of units, the VR market is still very young. You have to realistically think about how much money you will make.

My second piece of advice is ‘Find a Partner that does not have the goal of making money.’ A good example of this is many companies trying to use VR as a way to promote this movies, animations… they have a big marketing budget and they do not expect to make money directly via that budget. Working with such companies is a great way to fund your title. As an example think about developers receiving money from Red Bull to display the Red Bull logo in their game.

My third piece of advice is ‘Think carefully about where to distribute your content.’ Delivering the content on PSVR and on the Oculus Platform is not a low threshold. Even Steam might be difficult with Japanese only content. I do not think Steam as a platform is bad, just as a business they are making decisions that don’t seem to care about that market. Creating a new platform for Japanese VR content could be a solution. I don’t have the answer, the platform problem is a difficult one.

My fourth piece of advice is ‘Keep in mind the future of VR is going to be mobile.’ By mobile VR I do not mean Gear VR or smartphone-based VR. I am talking about a headset with a integrated CPU and GPU. No matter how popular PSVR or PC based VR will get I don’t think they will be able to reach a market of hundreds of millions of users. When creating content one should try to make it able to run on a CPU & GPU of mobile hardware. Ultimately this will be the best way to reach a wide audience and to making sales. This is especially true in Japan where PC gaming is not as popular as in the West. Targeting only PC gamers in Japan means you will have only a very small market.

VR’s Mobile Future


Do you think integrated VR headsets will become mainstream?

Palmer Luckey:

I think future headsets will be integrated. It will take some time but I think in ten to twenty years 90% of VR users will use integrated headsets. Integrated VR headsets will be much better than those using smartphones like the Gear VR. The performance will not be as good as PC VR but it will have satisfactory performance. In ten years from now mobile VR headsets will be better than current PC VR headsets. They will offer a perfect experience just like current PC VR headsets.

If you are looking to start a business in VR from now on, you should take a good look at the future of mobile VR headsets.


Oculus had developed an integrated VR headset prototype called ‘Santa Cruz’. When do you think that technology will see its success?

Palmer Luckey:

I think so. We can now make hardware that is even better than Santa Cruz. I previously said it would take ten to twenty years, but I believe that integrated VR headsets will become the mainstream of the VR market in the next few years.

Hands-on: Oculus' Wireless 'Santa Cruz' Prototype Makes Standalone Room-scale Tracking a Reality

– – — – –

More From ‘Palmer’s Post-Oculus Interview’ Series:

This article comes from MoguraVR, the exclusive Japan regional partner of Road to VR.


This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.

  • Davo

    Cross dressing or Cosplay Palmer ?

  • I’m hoping VR will push character animation forward, the tech exists for us to climb farther out of the uncanny valley!

    • Get Schwifty!

      You and me both…

  • econik

    As an American VR user living in China, WHERE can I find Japanese VR games/apps? Apparently, the Japanese are making a lot of content. I’d be willing to try. Anyone else? Who’s coming with me and where are we going!?

    • Get Schwifty!

      Yeah I would definitely like to check out some of the content if it will run on Vive/Rift…

    • ✨EnkrowX✨

      From what I understand most of it isnt commercially available. A lot of cool demos at cons, Bamco set up a VR arcade with custom content, there is a VR experience being developed for Gundam Cafe, etc.
      None of it is available for download or purchase, though.

  • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

    Ok I’ll read it and see if they’ve put any difficult questions to Palmer.

    No difficult questions for Palmer to answer.

    @Palmer Luckey Now that you’re free to dress how you like and to talk about whatever you like, I have some questions for you. I dare you to answer them.

    Why did you lie about being a Trump supporter in your Facebook statement last year?

    If your answer is along the lines of ‘I am not a Trump supporter’, then answer me this; There is footage of you on YouTube at a Trump rally wearing a pro-Trump CAN’T STUMP THE TRUMP t-shirt. Search for ‘Chaos in Costa Mesa After Trump Rally’ and skip to 1:52.

    You also financed an alt-right, pro-Trump group called Nimble America. The hashtag on the billboard read cantstump.

    You also donated $100,000 to Trump’s inauguration.

    Are you sure that you aren’t a Trump supporter?

    I’ll let you answer that before asking another.

    • Ghosty

      Who gives a shit who he supported… It’s his right just as it’s everyone else’s right to support whomever he likes… Give it a rest it’s not a big deal!

      What I would like to know is what he plans to do now? Do you still plan on doing something in the VR scene?

      • NooYawker

        While I think the OP is beating a dead horse your response shows people actually have no idea what he did. It’s not who he supported but his actions pushing racism and fake news that angered people. Either you really are that clueless or you simply agreed with him.

        • Ghosty

          No I know exactly what he did I just dont give a fuck… Tell me you’ve never made any mistakes before! Judge not…

          • NooYawker

            That’s fine you don’t give a fuck. But don’t say it was a mistake, that apologist bullshit and don’t say things like “it’s everyone right to support whomever he likes” knowing full well that isn’t the issue at all.

          • Mr. New Vegas

            Mistake? He didn’t nothing wrong, no mistakes and the only racism he pushed is in minds of crazed SJWs and Libs: Because in their minds supporting ANYTHING on the right side of political spectrum makes you AUTOMATICALLY racist.
            Im waiting to buy VR v2 and Choose Oculus both because I prefer the controller and because FINALLY we had ONE normal non liberal tech guy and now hes gone because the liberal mob hates democracy and freedom of speech, they wont allow any republicans in their little world, most Republican have to hide unless they so big that just dont care like that guy on Facebooks board of directors, hes way too big to get pushed out

        • 1droidfan

          The mainstream media promotes racism and fake news, so not really seeing what your point is.

          • NooYawker

            This guy again LOL.

        • Get Schwifty!

          Well of course you could argue that CNN as an example is very guilty of these exact same tactics with constant race baiting and “features” designed to elicit a calculated response… just saying, it’s not limited to groups like Nimble America, etc…

          • NooYawker

            I’m not even shocked people compare CNN to nimble America and say they do the same thing. Sad, but not surprised.

          • Lucidfeuer

            You’re the dangerous nut here, wait till people realise that alt/extreme-right wingers are not the only ennemies of the common majority people.

          • NooYawker

            Extreme leftists are dangerous, I know that. The difference is extreme leftists are fringe groups not accepted by liberals. Alt right and extreme right are running the Conservatives.

          • Lucidfeuer

            That’s not true anymore. Alt-left represents the majority of liberals and that’s why the majority rejected liberals in the last election and will continue to do so. Some people fall into the trap of rejecting them so much that they fall in the inverse extreme, but they both really are the two faces of the same coin, and the volume of people who were ready to either vote Trump or at least not vote against him speaks volume about how large (at least in politics and medias) this alt-left is represented, thus creating this massive rejection.

          • NooYawker

            What do you consider the alt left? Because to me Jill stein, Susan Sarandon and their ilk are leftists. If you think they’re even in the realm of the majority you’re sadly misinformed.

          • Lucidfeuer

            Jill Stein? She’s not even in the democrat party. When I say the majority, I might have badly chosen my word: they are the over-representation, maybe not the majority of neo-democrat people.

            What I retrospectively consider as being the alt-left is made of the main representation of neo-liberal social agendas. Mainly sexist “feminists”, sexuaphobe LGBTQs, and racist” anti-racists” in the representation.

          • NooYawker

            People pushing equal rights are extremists? So who in office running things are these alt left. Because I can list off dozens of extremists in the Republican Party.

          • Lucidfeuer

            I’m genuinely curious: are you pretending or do you really not understand in 2017, that people pretending to push for equal rights have created more discriminations, dissonances and delusions than they have brought progress? Being so extremely hypocrite up to the point of becoming dangerous that, yes, even though everybody is aware that there are extremists in the Republican Party they’d rather make the mistake to vote for them or not vote against them even when they’re as ludicrous as Trump. That’s the whole point of this defiance against liberals, some falling in the opposite trap/problem, but hopefully most people being as aware of the dangers of the alt-left as they are of the alt-right.

          • NooYawker

            I know it’s difficult for peopleike you to understand that liberals believe everyone has a right to live and be treated as a human being. And you can’t use your religion as an excuse to refuse service, jobs etc to people you deem freaks or sinners. But you divert. Who’s an extremists leftist voted into office.

          • Lucidfeuer

            You either didn’t read or as I fear, don’t understand words like most liberals who twist the meaning of things until it becomes that extreme and dangerous hypocrisy of acting against those you pretend to defend. Nobody, as illustrated on this thread, believes that “liberals believe everyone has a right to live and be treated as a human being” this is bullshit, people are done with that lie, get that into your head. And if you don’t understand why this is the case, against I’m telling you: liberals are as fascistic, racist, sexist etc…as extreme right wing people. It’s up to you to figure out how and in what exactly.

          • NooYawker


          • Get Schwifty!

            When Obama had one of his acceptance parties in the living room of a core member of the 70’s domestic terrorist group The Weathermen I think it’s safe to say the far left is in no way apart from the “fringe left”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

        • Buddydudeguy

          Racism? Racism?? Muslim are not a race, it’s a religion and they are a cancer.

          • Lucidfeuer

            That’s because you’re a fucking spineless coward racist, ouin ouin “i’m not a racciisss”, yes you fucking are, the reason muslims are not a race is because races don’t exist, and whether you discriminate against a group because of ethnics, color or religions you’re a just a loser inbred enemy racist.

          • Buddydudeguy

            “I’m” a spineless coward “racist! HA Good one. K, lets go over this. First of all, Muslim is a religion not a race. You don’t get to change the definition of words to suit your own agenda. I don’t hate a skin color, I hate a culture that treats woman like lesser slaves, makes them subservient and to wear a cover to say nothing else about the rest of their ridiculous culture. You must be one of these pieces of dirt to argue with me. I can do this for hours. Bring it. Inbred “enemy” hahahaha. Is it possible you are one of these Muslim? You call those who don’t follow your garbage infidels and “the enemy”.

            “races don’t exist”. Are you stupid? Wait don’t answer that, rhetorical question. Black is a race, Oriental is a race. White is a race. You don’t get to change definitions to suit your self. Ya ya, I know, we’re all human, one big happy family. Meanwhile there is reality where we have labels which you apparently can’t handle.
            But ya, I’ll repeat my self here, I don’t hate any race, I have a extreme distaste for a religion that teaches intolerance, sexism, spousal abuse and religious extremism.

            “ouin ouin ” ya fuck you too dimwit.

          • NooYawker

            Discrimination isn’t pleasant is it?

          • Lucidfeuer

            I’m not an alt-left racist neither an alt-right racist. In case you didn’t understand.

        • nebošlo

          There was no racism, that part is purely made up. And without that, what he did is completely boring and uninteresting.

        • Toby Zuijdveld

          “It’s not who he supported but his actions pushing racism and fake news that angered people”
          [Citation Needed].

      • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

        That was only the first question. Calm down.

    • Justos

      This guy again LOL

    • victor

      You’re the only one who cares !!!….and he’s allowed to support whoever the f–k he wants, just like you!…and is allowed to lie about it too!….just like ALL politicians do anyways!!

    • joemitz

      1. Do you really think Palmer is going to read this comment thread? LOL
      2. Who gives a shit?

      • Get Schwifty!

        LOL I would be surprised if he didn’t read it…. he doesn’t have to work, why wouldn’t you read up to see how an interview you did was posted…. if I was going to have my picture put online wearing women’s clothes I would definitely check it out ;)

        • joemitz

          Ok good point there lol – hey may read it indeed. In that case, what up Palmer? How you been broham?

    • NooYawker

      If you think you’re going to change anyones mind with these posts you’re wrong. You’re just uniting them. I mean one guy just posted nimble America didn’t do anything racist. Keep this stuff on political sites.

      • Get Schwifty!

        Poor guy – I really wonder what is in Fleas past that he has this obsessive compulsion regarding Oculus/Trump….

    • Andrew Jakobs

      You’re really the moron here. every single time you keep bitching about this here.. Go somewhere else with your politics, as we don’t care if he was a Trump supporter or not. You’re the only one making it a big problem..

  • Well, he’s back!

    What he says confirm the impressions that he felt like with hands tied at Facebook.

  • Mike549

    I really hope he’s right that integrated headsets are the future. If we had a standalone wireless headset that required no sensors that could do what the PC ones do right now, that might be enough for mass interest provided it’s comfortable with maybe a slightly increased field of view.

    Like the guy from Unity predicted, for under $1000 maybe too, in the next couple years.

  • Foreign Devil

    There should be a basic physical fitness test done before being allowed to wear skimpy cosplay outfits. this goes for guys and girls. My eyes! Some people have no shame.

    • I give Palmer his props for not worrying about how he will be “perceived” by others. There is great freedom in a lifestyle like that. So much of our time is spent worrying about what other people will think of this or that. Sometimes it’s nice to just live your life and not worry about all that crap.

    • crim3

      Do you mean that when watching that picture you don’t feel the urge to rub that hairy belly? You are so weird :D

  • registeredanon

    omg this is hilarious. Palmer truly is our guy

  • Get Schwifty!

    One thought I had here was this concept of fully integrated headsets… I suspect that what is going to happen is a high-fidelity headset that utilizes wireless, and some system of external cameras to both allow for AR and also allow full body representation (in some form) in the virtual space. This can only occur in limited areas like a living room setup or say a play area at an arcade, at least for full on VR. AR applications where body tracking is limited or not necessary are likely to be done with integrated gear as Luckey describes.

  • GrandMaster404

    Seeing how far left Facebook is I don’t blame him for leaving. The left are crazy and will burn down a Starbucks then go to the other Starbucks a block away and order a bubble gum frap. Some how they think legal migration equals racism but child rape is another gender. I feel sorry for the old left who had there old party hijacked. So many Democrats voted for Trump yet the media would never let you realize that. There where more votes for Trump then registered Republicans.

    • Graham J ⭐️

      You need help.

      • GrandMaster404

        Just speaking the truth sorry that offends you.

    • FloridaOJ

      What are you going on about? Lol. Save your political diatribe for your Facebook friends. This is RoadToVR. Also Libertarian > Republican

      • GrandMaster404

        Just saying I don’t blame him for leaving Facebook. I also like libertarian ideas but they are usually never an option.

        • Toby Zuijdveld

          Their social ideals are fine but their economic ideals are lunacy.

    • Sebastien Mathieu

      Trump! the soon to be impeached clown of a president….

      • GrandMaster404

        They said the same about Obama and never happened your never going to get 75% for the impeachment process. It’s to bad he had to leave because the political pressure my bet it was also coming from Facebook. Had he never sold he probably still be in charge.

        • Meow Smith

          Trumps a train wreck waiting to happen, if any one can get impeached its him.

  • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

    @Palmer Luckey “I know you’re there. I can feel you here.”

    Question 2 of 11.5: How friendly are you with Milo Yiannopoulos and Richard Spencer?

    Question 3: Trump, Bannon, Zuckerberg. You gotta fuck one, marry one, kill one, go!

    • Ombra Alberto

      You’re ridiculous.

  • Morality_Mortality

    Does Palmer ONLY do female cosplay characters ?
    “Not that there’s anything wrong that . . . “

    • Toby Zuijdveld

      There is DEFINITELY something wrong with this.

      • Daniel Gochez

        Seeing him using a bikiny top is something that can’t be unseen.

        • Get Schwifty!

          lol so true…. I mean, I can accept our gender equal culture… but – at least shave for it :)

  • RockstarRepublic

    Remember, if you have a position that is not in line with the lefts chosen position at any given time, you have a …and I quote “polarizing position”.

  • Graham J ⭐️

    Well there’s a picture that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

  • MW

    So,the man like to dress in womans clothes in public. And have fancy name for that (cosplay). What a strange society…

  • Sponge Bob

    great photos
    bearded overweight dude wearing stuff from Victoria secret
    not sure I would want to work for him … not that there is anything wrong with that…

  • Nimblerichman

    You gotta admit-that wonderboy is one sexy faggot!