Oculus Rift to Soon be Public RealityFiled inside: News
I have been in love with the prospect of virtual reality ever since I traveled to Disney Quest almost a decade ago. A lot of their more intricate “rides” and simulators revolved around using virtual reality helmets and screens to fully immerse the player in a three dimensional playground.
My favorite ride was based off Disney’s Aladdin, and had the player take a seat on a “bike like” object and adorn a thick looking virtual reality headpiece. You were fully engrossed in a 3D world and sat atop a magic carpet, using your “handlebars” to steer your way past your opponents in a race high above the sands. It was so amazing to be able to look left and right and see nothing but a graphically pleasing game world. It was incredibly immersive and definitely one of my favorite video game moments.
I’ve often thought about what the world of VR would look like in the modern age, and just how “advanced” it would be. Unfortunately, the world hasn’t seen a lot of advancement in this particular field, but all of that changed when a company named Oculus VR appeared on Kickstarter in hopes of funding a project called the Oculus Rift.
The “Rift” is one of the first cracks at perfecting a wearable piece of VR tech, and Oculus VR has been working tirelessly to ensure that their product is of the up-most quality. This is the first time we are are seeing some in-home virtual entertainment since we saw the Virtual Boy back in 1995. But the Oculus Rift isn’t some archaic machine that produces a head-ache inducing red monotone. The Rift is being developed for some of the most graphically impressive titles of the current generation, and the project is shaping up to be something that could truly revolutionize how we interact with our games and other forms of entertainment.
So what does it take to make this dream a public reality? Apparently, around 75 million dollars. Oculus VR has recently secured that amount in funding, and is using it to finally transfer their product to the general public. We don’t yet know when we will see the “helmet” make its way to market, and it could take years of extensive testing before the company is ready to place it on store shelves. Regardless, this is amazing news, and we should revel in the fact that the Oculus VR will soon be a purchasable device.
That leads us to a glaring question, will developers adopt this creation as a legitimate form of gaming entertainment, or will it be viewed as a gimmick, much like Microsoft’s Kinect. I’m not saying the Kinect doesn’t have a future in gaming, I’m simply saying that it hasn’t been used to anywhere near its full potential, most likely due to the “difficulty” in developing for it. The Oculus Rift appears to be a much “simpler” device to develop for, after all it is just a virtual reality helmet in its simplest form. So I am hopeful that game creators will adopt it as a legitimate product.
Whatever happens to the Oculus Rift, this is a massive step towards a future in which virtual reality is used in a variety of entertainment outlets. This isn’t just a tool for gaming, but it could pose a lot of interesting uses. Of course, us gamers will get the most entertainment value out of this kind of peripheral, as it further immerses us in the titles and story lines we already know and love. Imagine making your way through a Battlefield 4 multiplayer session with a 360-degree encapsulated view. This has the potential to put us into the action more then we could have ever imagined.
What do you think about the Oculus Rift, and what Oculus VR is working on? Is this something you would invest your time and money into, or do you see it as just another gimmick that will “die off?”