With so much hype surrounding virtual reality gaming over the last few years, there’s a lot to take in. Since Oculus received such overwhelming support on their kickstarter and got the ball rolling for the VR industry, several other companies have developed their own VR tech and the marketplace is poised to become highly competitive once the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are released later this year. While these two tend to take up a big portion of the spotlight, there are a few other options to keep an eye on. Playstation VR is set to be released in March 2016 for console exclusive gaming, and Google has already released their Cardboard viewer for a creatively inexpensive VR experience.
Every so often, a new piece of tech is developed that promises to change the way that we do everything, and often those promises go unanswered. If you’re one of those eternal skeptics who has resisted all of the hype up to this point, just give in. It’s okay, you can stop managing your expectations and let yourself get excited. Having been fortunate enough to try the out the Oculus Rift myself, I can tell you, VR really is going to be the next big thing. With so many of the world’s largest and most creative companies working together to throw mountains of cash at the virtual reality industry, the end results are bound to be exciting.
VR technology has many practical applications and will undoubtedly have an impact on several industries, however the driving force behind all of this innovation is gaming, and the impact that it will have on gaming is going to be huge. All of your daydreams about running through Hyrule or fighting zombies are actually going to become a reality. Finally, you are able to step inside the world that developers have created for you and actually get to viscerally experience games, and that is what will to push gaming into the future.
If you tire of buzzwords easily, then 2016 is going to be a rough year for you, because you are going to be hearing the word immersion –a lot. After all, that’s what all of these systems are aiming to do. To fully immerse you in a virtual world to the point that you really feel like you’re piloting an X-wing or street racing in Italy, and to have you completely forget that you’re standing at the front of a two-hour long line at CES with a Rift strapped to your face and your mouth hanging open. If you’ve never gotten a chance to see what Oculus or HTC has to offer, you are going to be surprised about just how good they are at doing this.
There have been so many developments in the VR gaming recently that we wanted to take a moment to highlight some the things that we are most excited for.
VR on Mobile
Almost shockingly, VR games on mobile devices function well and are actually a lot of fun. While the selection of games is somewhat limited right now, this will change as developers see that there is real potential in the market for mobile VR games. Between Google Cardboard and Samsung’s Gear VR, there are some viable options for phone powered VR games. If the $599 dollar price tag for an Oculus is a little outside of your budget, you should consider spending a few dollars on a Cardboard viewer, or download the instructions and build one yourself. It will be very interesting to see the games that are released once developers become confident in mobile VR.
Every review and piece of game play footage available paints EVE: Valkyrie to be one of the most in depth and immersive games set to be released. Set to be bundled with every Rift sold, it promises to give early adopters of the Oculus’ CV1 a strong showing of what virtual reality is capable of. If you haven’t seen any of the gameplay footage yet, check out the video below.
There is not a lot of information floating around about Portal 3 yet, but with the last two installments being as amazing as they were, expectations are very high. It will be interesting to see how Valve will incorporate portals in a way that doesn’t make the user motion sick, but even if the entire game is portal free (like some rumors suggest), it will still be one the most highly anticipated titles for the Vive.