Video games are a constantly evolving medium, growing and changing in response to the technological advancements around us. Through such innovation and the ambitious vision of industry pioneers, a number of developers are actively redefining the landscape of gaming, expanding the boundaries of what video games are and what they could be. A couch and a controller may be gamers’ primary instruments now, but the tools of the trade may soon get a futuristic upgrade with the inclusion of virtual reality headsets.
Companies like Oculus VR and Sony are spearheading the conquest of science fiction turned science fact with devices that immerse players into digital worlds like never before. The Oculus Rift and Sony’s rival device dubbed Project Morpheus seek to add an entirely new dimension to the world of video games… And so far, it’s rather impressive.
Specs and Speculation: Tapping into 3D Gamers’ Imaginations
Arguably similar in style and functionality, both prototypes utilize high-definition 1080p displays complete with motion tracking and stereoscopic sound capability. While the Rift’s OLED screen has an advantage over Project Morpheus’s LCD counterpart including a slightly larger field of vision, Sony’s all-around headset tracking may be more accurate and responsive than the Rift’s front-and-side-only LED tracking points. It’s difficult to determine which device will win the crown of VR supremacy considering both the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus are still unavailable to the general public, but that hasn’t stopped a number of developers from putting the gadgets to the test in creative new ways.
For example, 3D video expert Oliver Kreylos has successfully managed to transport his body into a fully-realized virtual environment with the use of an Oculus Rift and three Microsoft Kinects. With no shortage of ingenuity, this Holodeck is just the tip of the iceberg for Morpheus and the Rift. The Deep, a shark attack experience created with Project Morpheus is another testament to the possibilities of virtual reality in gaming; thrusting players into a suspenseful Jaws-like scenario complete with a menacing Great White Shark.
What Will the Future Hold?
With an impressive a showcase of what these VR headsets can do, it’s hard to imagine the video game community not taking notice. Not to mention, with industry titan Sony entering the running, there is a good chance that other companies will begin to explore the possibilities of virtual reality as well. What is currently somewhat of an obscure departure from traditional industry trends, VR could very well turn into a viable avenue for mainstream game and console development especially considering the promising price points.
In the words of Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey, “We’re not looking to make a rich person’s toy.” PlayStation executive Shuhei Yoshida also echoed a sentiment aimed toward affordability explaining that Sony often prices its gaming hardware lower than other non-gaming devices, and that this trend will continue with Project Morpheus. A push toward new technology, innovation, and accessibility could very well revolutionize how we play video games in the near future. We are one step closer to having virtual reality in our living rooms and it all starts with the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus.