04
Mar

The Virtual reality wars

With the gaming industry predicted to reach a massive revenue of £91.5 billion pounds, it’s not a surprise that gaming companies are finding new and innovative ways to keep the consumer happy and entertained!

There has been a buzz around virtual reality (VR) for the past few years. The technical definition is: “a computer generated simulation of a 3D image or environment that can be interacted in a physical or real way”

Some of this has come from the lengthy development of devices like Oculus Rift (the first VR in production), but also through a growing interest in what we'll be able to get VR to do in the modern era.

The idea of VR isn't new. It's been circulating in the tech space for a number of years, but recently, the technology has broken through some of the long-standing barriers... We now have the power in home computers for lifelike virtual environments and this makes it a much more exciting time for VR.

Sony Play station are developing their own helmet called “Morpheus”. Project Morpheus uses the same technologies, however. It tracks movement of your head and uses the PlayStation Eye camera, in combination with your regular PS4 controller, to present the VR experience, moving the visuals from your TV to your face. This is an extension of your PS4, which is likely to see it as an easy VR choice for many.

Sony has said that PlayStationVR will be launched in 2016, but there's currently no firm price or date. There is, however, a full line-up of content planned, with plenty of trailers released. On the cards for gamers are titles such as Golem and Ace Combat 7; we've experienced Drive Club on PlayStation VR and it was excellent and Gran Turismo Sport has confirmed support too, which is really exciting.

I was lucky enough to be able to go down to the Play station office in London to find out more. They said the biggest issue with creating a VR helmet, is once you are “in it” and playing the game, all sense of distance becomes irrelevant. Imagine being so submerged into a game and all of a sudden you bang into the side of your sofa…It throws your brain so off keel it completely confuses it. Which often leads to a disorientated and sick Feeling-Similar to turning around in circles repeatedly then trying to walk in a straight line! Not something that can be released into the commercial environment! 

Not only gaming companies are jumping on the VR bandwagon here. Other big global tech companies are realising this is the way forwards, and are all developing their own VR machines. One positive with a VR machine, is it doesn’t necessarily have to have a gaming platform linked to it, as it’s all done within the system. Google, Samsung and HTC are all in the process of creating their own VR world! 

This is an extremely exciting time for technology, gone are the days of Sonic, and Mario where you can only move left, right, up or down, we are now on the fringes of being completely submerged into the game and actually being your favourite player!

This is just the start for VR, and what’s to come is a giant leap in technology, as well as gaming. But with most technology, it will only get better and more efficient. Imagine what it could be like in 10 years?

The technology could become so advanced and so lifelike, we could start to have a distorted view on what is life and what is reality. Popping in the kitchen for a quick cup of tea before jumping into a war like VR scenario for the next 5 hours is a truly exciting thought! But with prices ranging from the £500.00 mark, we won’t be able to play for too long, as we will have to work to afford them!  

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