From what I’ve seen at gamescom I can only testify that VR is in its early infancy. There are some great concepts out there, but until this gets to the masses, it will take a while. If only because of the prices for VR gear and the inconvenience of setting this up in the living room. The Vive for example, you need to have multiple cables from the computer, you have to mount these room sensors, you need a super gaming PC at home (which is expensive), and you need to tackle the cables in order not to get entangled in them. This is something only few can buy. I cannot remember the last time something this inconvenient, where you had to rebuild your living or gaming room with cable holders and a peripheral for 800$ won the mass market. So we’re far from mass market. Trade shows, as eye catcher, or multimedia shows in museums or something yes, sure. But again, not wide spread yet.
Nonetheless, everybody wants to get on the bandwagon. On that note, 3D and VR sound is more a thing of the playback device. The audio engine in the game or VR experience has to properly translate audio sources into 3D sound and space, do HRTF and such things so the sound really feels immersive. Currently all the game engines I tried (Unity, Unreal…) do not sound that great when on headphones, not to speak of VR headsets.
But, you’re right, if we are to develop sound for VR experiences, we need means of testing how the sound will feel and export it into a supported format, or read such formats for editing. But just exporting such a file will do not much good, we need testing within Nuendo, how the sound will sound when turning our heads. Not only VR, also better integration in game engines and middleware would be great so we can test sound before we deliver it to the client. Then they have to create a game build, send it to us, we can play it and re-create a game situation to judge the sound. Then we have to go back. It’s cumbersome. And here, workflow is crucial. How could such a workflow look like so it makes sense? More than just linking a Nuendo project to WWise and have roundtrip editing. I guess an exporter is quickly written. But giving you the advantage of testing sound while editing would speed up workflow a lot.
I’m intrigued and looking forward to what Steinberg will come up with.