Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

More Troops Deployed for the Upcoming VR War

Posted by Rampant Coyote on March 5, 2015

Valve_ViveValve produced a prototype of their upcoming “full-room” VR system this week at GDC.  Sort of like the Microsoft’s Kinect answer to the Wii controls, the prototype is winning raves from those who have tried it. The Dev Kits are supposed to become available in a few weeks, and they are suggesting a launch by years’ end.

Oculus VR is preparing to launch their Gear VR in coordination with Samsung. Finally, a launch, of sorts…!  And Sony’s got its Project Morpheus stuff planned for the first half of next year. Microsoft recently unveiled its “Hololens”  for something of an “augmented reality” thing.

It seems like the battle lines are being drawn with the expectation that this will be the new killer platform. But then, a couple of years ago, it was all about microconsoles, and that hasn’t really hit the big time yet, either. (I still like my Ouya, though…)

Part of me is imagining some kind of terrible dystopia in the not-too-distant future where everyone’s even more wired into their mobile devices than they are now, only with goggles and gloves to isolate themselves even more from the “real world.”

But part of me imagines playing a dungeon crawler with VR gear for maximum immersion, and I think, “Wow, how cool would that be?”

And there’s a realistic part of me that remembers how sick I felt after 10 minutes using an early Oculus Rift dev kit. Although the “Lighthouse” motion tracking technology Valve promises (and is giving away freely for other companies to take advantage of) supposedly solves that problem.

I don’t know if this is going to be the “it” technology of the future.  It sounds like the kinds of games the companies want to see produced for VR are NOT the kind of games you’d expect – high-octane, fast-action first-person stuff. Instead, it sounds like using the VR to control a third-person camera to play around with a lower-intensity 3D experience might be the winning concept with current technology. I guess we’ll see.

I can guarantee that I’ll be there, at least as a customer, but I don’t know how long I’ll stay. Hopefully longer than 10 minutes at a time.

Filed Under: Tech - Comments: Read the First Comment

  • Xian said,

    Valve says they have fixed the motion sickness, but I would have to try it to believe it. I haven’t used any of the modern VR tech, but I remember a demo unit at SIGGRAPH ’96 – headache inducing and motion sickness in minutes. It did look cool though.

    I can definitely see the potential for immersion though. I remember going to an amusement park ride years ago. You were in a little cart putting along about 5 mph when they start showing video that even covered your peripheral vision, for example a roller coaster taking the plunge or a plane diving into the Grand Canyon. I could even feel my stomach lurch and was holding on for dear life, even though it was only the video speeding by, not the actual speed you were traveling.