How can you feel like you’re really inside your favourite video game? For nostalgic gamers, taking screenshots to use as wallpapers and printing posters are still enough to create a satisfactory gaming atmosphere. On the other hand, I’m not talking about just printing out glorious posters and gory screenshots of your latest exploits in the land of the dragons on an advanced piece of printing equipment such as an all in one laser printer to put up on your wall, but really feeling like you’re inside the pixels. Gamers are taking advantage of the latest technologies to really immerse themselves into the game and go beyond posters and screenshot atmosphere.
Oculus Rift might be the answer. It might not mean much to you now, but if you are passionate about video games, this new innovation might just take your world by storm.
A new virtual reality headset for video games, the Oculus Rift promises to achieve everything that its predecessors could not. Virtual reality technology for gaming is not new, and similar projects have already been put forward in the past, but none have ever been successful enough to endure.
Two main problems can account for this lack of success. First, previous virtual reality products for gaming offered only a limited and distanced view of the game; and, second, they all showed a problem of latency, or, in other words, a delay between the player’s movements and the graphics that fail to follow these movements instantly and seamlessly.
With its 110 diagonal degree field of view that is designed to widen the user’s perspective, its 640 x 800 pixel screen that is intended to enhance the gaming experience, and its vast reduction in latency, the Oculus Rift is especially designed to overcome these two previous problems. The conceptual design of the product shows a futuristic-looking box that gets wrapped around the head and through which an entire new world comes into play. That is what Oculus Rift exactly wants to achieve with its innovative baggage: a cutting-edge gaming experience whereby users feel as if they were actually inside their own game.
Software developers have already shown support for the project. Scaleform, Epic Games, Unity, and Valve, among others, have all proclaimed the vast potential they see in Oculus Rift. The headset’s presentation on the funding site Kickstarter only proves its initial success, with donations skyrocketing to £160,200 after only a few hours on the site. With enough funding, the company plans to propose a final prototype to game developers before the end of the year so that they can build an enhanced product, which then can finally be introduced to the public.
Much of the success virtual reality technology has seen thus far lies mainly in the military field, as soldiers have found it useful for teaching and training. Virtual reality technology for gaming, however, has never witnessed any real success in the consumer market, which is why one still needs to be wary of how much positive feedback Oculus Rift can get from consumers. However, if successful, this might mean the real end of desktops, laptops and other hardware for game users.
With its wider view and minimized time lag, the Oculus Rift is thus determined to achieve what players have always expected of virtual reality gaming: the feeling that they are really part of the virtual world they are playing in. Only time will tell if this innovative product will make a splash with game lovers.