We’ve been hearing about it for a long time now. We’ve seen it in action. We’ve been waiting for it to reach its final stage, and we’ve been waiting to try it ourselves. The Oculus Rift breathed new fresh life into the world of Virtual Reality. Many are calling it the ‘next big innovation’. Obviously, The Oculus Rift isn’t the first of its kind, (there were a few others before it, and major fails mostly). It definitely isn’t the last either; we’ve been getting a lot of rumors regarding Microsoft working on their own VR Headset as well. Heck even Nintendo is rumored to be getting into the mix, we have to wait to see how well that goes, though. We already know that Sony is developing their own Virtual Reality Headset known as Project Morpheus, when showcased at E3 it wasn’t much different than the Oculus Rift. Both support 1080p per eye screens, however it the looks department, Sony’s Headset definitely takes the lead in terms of looks though if you read some of the reviews, the LCD screen of Project Morpheus isn’t as capable as the OLED screen of Oculus Rift. Since neither of them are in their final stage and things are bound to be changed, we can’t declared one as ‘better’ officially yet.
Before moving onto the actual topic, here is a short history about Nintendo’s infamous attempt at ‘Virtual Reality’. It was a portable console, appropriately called the ‘Virtual Boy’ which promised True 3D. Being released in 1995, it was a total commercial failure. It’s even in the top 5 worst selling consoles of all time. Only 22 games were officially ever released for the failing console. It was discontinued in 1996.
I mentioned the failure of the Virtual Boy to show the audience how far technology has come, in about 25 years.
What I’m going to discuss with you fellow readers here, is whether the Oculus Rift (or other future VR Headsets) will be able to ‘immerse you’ into the game you’re playing. We’ll be taking a look at them according to genres, the famous one at least.
So the Real Time Strategy games, such as Dota 2 and Command & Conquer series. These games are mostly played from an aerial/birds-eye view. The player controls the character or ‘units’ on a field which resembles a board. The games themselves somewhat resemble olden game boards, such as chess and droughts/checkers.
The VR is in these types of games is limited, since you’re always staring at the game from the top. Though, recently, the games have started to become more and more detailed and ‘3d’ish. Which is obviously better if you’ve a larger and higher resolution display. However, Oculus developers recently added a new feature in to the headset, which allows the player to tilt their head in any direction to ‘zoom in’ or ‘zoom out’. Similarly the player can turn their head side ways to take a better look at the distant areas. Once you think about it, the application of VR in RTS games is more than previously thought.
First Person Shooter, or FPS, is obviously the genre VR is going to be the most popular in. In these games, the developers want you to feel and observe what the character in the game is doing. They want you to dive deep into the game, and what better way to do this than using VR.
It’s no question that no matter what you do, you’ll enjoy the sense of reality in a game. My personal favorite genre to try VR in is this one; I recommend the same to you. If you EVER get a chance, do NOT miss it.
Third Person Shooter, this is a category that needs to be tested before it can be given a verdict. Personally, as I type this, I don’t think that VR was ever designed to be used in a TPS game. Just look at the games and how they’re played. Other than depth of field and a few 3D perks, there aren’t any actual applications which would facilitate the gameplay.
So for me, this category is not gonna make it. What do you think about this one specifically? Leave your thoughts.
Now, you’ll be thinking that I’ve just sub-divided the TPS category, since most newer TPS games give you the ability to drive cars or other vehicles. Of course I agree with you, but the difference come when you get a ‘detailed’ and polished interior of the car, along with realistic engine sounds. Listening to them through a 5.1 surround pair of headphones and gazing at that interior and the road from the ‘cockpit’ of the car using a VR headset is going to be truly amazing.