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My VR headset gets closer

Posted October 29, 2015 into Games by John Birmingham

Couple of years ago, okay, maybe ten years ago, we had a chat about VR gaming and why there were no decent HUDs available. This was years before Oculus Rift was even a thing, let alone before the Zuck bought it for two billion dollars.

It seems the day is getting close now when consumer grade VR gaming will be in our lounge rooms. Ben Grubb and Tim Biggs platyed with Sony's headset and wrote up a nice report for the Herald today. There's still issues, espcially with fitting the device, doubly so for people with less than perfect vision, but the interface seems to be almost good to go and the UX is compelling.

I had so much fun playing the demo of London Heist Getaway — it's a completely different way of playing a video game that got the adrenaline pumping. The two Move controllers become your left and right hands and can be used to pick things up in the car you're travelling in (in the passenger's seat of course).

Apart from throwing things at the driver, you can reload your gun with magazines and then shoot at your opponents using the gun. It felt liberating to play this game without being confined to a PlayStation controller. I could freely move my hands around (looking ridiculous to the real world). I'm hoping that other controllers come out in the future that make the game feel even more real.

I wonder though whether this will remain a niche product, simply because of safety problems and simple friction. It's obvious from reading the review that you rerally are completely cut off from the real world. A simple coffee table in your gaming space could end up being stupidly hazardous while you navigate the battlepace in something like COD or MW. If you have to fit the headset and move furniture around, it sounds like it could be even worse than the 3DTV debacle.

On the other hand, sit down games, like flight sims, mech sims and driving titles seem well suited to the UI. Running and gunning not so much. That wouldn't bother me, because I'm not much a shooter. But I wonder how a hybrid like GTA would go. There's a lot of driving in that series, but also a lot of walking and running and moving through complex urban spaces. Could be great. Could be awful.

Ben told me via Twitter this moring that there digital fencing systems on the way, to define a safe area in which you can move around. But how many people have that much clear space in their lounge rooms. (Strangely enough, I do. But I'd guess most don't.)

12 Responses to ‘My VR headset gets closer’

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 29, 2015

"But how many people have that much clear space in their lounge rooms" -perhaps it will need to be played ... OUTSIDE!

IN a similar vein Gizmodo had a piece by Darren ORF reviewing the new app Oculus released and how he watched Netflix in VR and now reality seems hollow and pointless.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon puts forth...

Posted October 29, 2015
i'm going straight out to buy a warehouse. This could be used for something like laser skirmish. But you just have an empty warehouse and all the obstacles are CG in the headsets. It would be like printing money with no overheads. You could have different scenarios with the flick of a program - different worlds - anything.

pi puts forth...

Posted October 29, 2015
That's the point. You don't need a warehouse, all you need is a garage. As long as the software can 'soft' show you that you're approaching the bounds of your allowed space, I can't see it being a problem. With online gaming, you don't need a warehouse with everyone in it... you need 20 people playing in their garages against one another.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted October 29, 2015
Terrifying. Deeply disturbing.

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Nocturnalist would have you know...

Posted October 29, 2015

MECH SIMS!

Just the thought of it puts me in need of double-capacity Clan heatsinks.

Sudragon reckons...

Posted October 31, 2015
for the full immersive experience, hook computer up to the reverse cycle A/C to simulate heat buildup.

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TeamAmerica mumbles...

Posted October 29, 2015
@JB- I belong to a website founded by Rob Long, the producer and scriptwriter of the tv show Cheers, and presidential speech writer Peter Robinson. Anyway, it is a conservative site with a strict code of conduct to promote civil discussion. One of its editors, Claire Berlinski, suggested that they might invite some good liberal writers to provide an alternative perspective, and to avert a tendency to be insular and to assume the worst of those you disagree with. Anyway, I took the liberty of suggesting you, so someone may contact you. So if she contacts you, this is Ms. Berlinski's bio: https://ricochet.com/profile/1025/

Nocturnalist mutters...

Posted October 29, 2015
+++to provide an alternative perspective, and to avert a tendency to be insular and to assume the worst of those you disagree with+++

I thoroughly approve of this, for whatever a bit of validation by Random Internet Guy is worth.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted October 29, 2015
I think of it like ecological niches. Factors l converge to present an opportunity that some BYT will exploit.Or to be a bit Macluhan The medium will dictate the content usually in unpredictable ways. As computational power boomed in the late 70's Space Invaders & PacMan moved aside for platform games. Broadly available faster ping speeds allowed for WoW. Graphics cards & quality monitors / flat screens allowed immersive1st person shooters. Smart phones were not invented to play candy crush or angry birds, coders wrote for the capacity available. 99.9 % of games written sink unheard of, occasionally one will go mega, spawn a million clones & forever change what we think of as gaming.

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pi has opinions thus...

Posted October 29, 2015
I want this stuff, and for it to be utilised in a space environment like my garage. Forget about sitting and looking around plugged in to your pc, if you can walk around, and the things start looking more and more realistic, it will radically affect online behavior.

I can see why facebook bought into this. The whole 'telepresence' thing a la 'snow crash' will be possible.

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pi asserts...

Posted October 30, 2015
The social aspect, v1 :

http://www.roadtovr.com/oculus-social-alpha-is-now-available-for-gear-vr/

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Sudragon has opinions thus...

Posted October 31, 2015
It's not a VR headset, but it might be relevant to your interests.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHdShyF9x7U&feature=youtu.be&t=117

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