2017 is almost here and will be looking to bringing us one step closer to the VR heaven we all wished we lived in when we first watched Tron back in 1923 AD. The only concern some people are having is will VR live up to the hype this time around?
VR first reared it’s head around 1994 on the mainstream ‘North American Arcade Scene’, offering players a short and expensive tech demo marketed as an ‘Experience’ but for the time people were mesmerized and a genuine feel of coming into a future that everyone dreamed about had finally come.
We were in pretty much the same situation that we’re in now. The handful of people who had tried virtual reality said it was mind blowing, while everyone else is waited for the home versions of the machines or the release of a consumer-grade headsets.
SEGA demonstrated such a device at 1993’s Consumer Electronics Show, but it was never released. The company said it was because the device was “too realistic” and it could lead to people hurting themselves, but it’s low system specs make this explanation sound fabricated and a more likely explanation is the hardware was too expensive for them to be able to release consumer versions without charging $2M per unit.
What is VR?
Virtual reality (VR) typically refers to computer technologies that use software to generate realistic images, scenes and characters, these are then projected to a headset that typically takes the form of head-mounted goggles with a screen in front of the eyes. Virtual reality artificially creates sensory experiences, which can include sight, touch, hearing, and, less commonly, smell. A person using virtual reality equipment is typically able to “look around” the artificial world, move about in it and interact with features or items that are depicted on a screen or in goggles simulating a user’s physical presence in this environment.
Range of VR head sets (2016/17)
HTC Vive £759 Amazon, Oculus Rift £549 Amazon, Sony PlayStaion VR £349 Amazon, Samsung Gear VR £99 Amazon, Google CardBoard £15 / £3.99 Amazon, Google Daydream View £69 Store, Microsoft HoloLens $3,000 Store, Razer OSVR HDK 2 £399 Store
Where will VR in the next 5 years?
With the range of VR devices coming out from different companies recently it is safe to say that VR isn’t going anywhere and as we move forward, devices will become more compatible, more portable and more powerful, but is it practical? People are now arguing that AR (Augmented Reality) will take over virtual reality but they are completely different.
What is AR?
Is a technology that combines computer-generated images on a user’s view of the real world, providing a composite view. An example of this would be ‘Pokemon Go’ a game that uses the real world environment via the phone’s camera bringing the world of ‘Pokemon’ to the real world. Of course AR isn’t limited to ‘Pokemon’ but Microsoft’s upcoming HoloLens (which will only set you back $3,000) will be the perfect partner in the office of the future, Being able to create projects without using any physical materials, planning landscapes and architecture and unlimited media and gaming integration make AR of a consumer friendly product that fully immersing yourself in VR with no real world interaction (except for collisions)
The future of VR
With leading game publishers like Steam having their own VR products and services we will definitely start seeing more player/spectator integration and new ways that people can interact with their favorite games. The only question left is: When Will We Get LogHorizen?!