The prospect of total immersion video gaming is a concept that has been around for a number of years now. Those wishing to quite literally step right in to a virtual world to explore or participate in whatever the game being played has to offer has been something that developers and players alike have been craving for a long time. It’s true there have been previous attempts at coming up with innovative VR gaming creations such as Nintendo’s Virtual Boy, the VFX-1 or the Cybermaxx which all came about in the mid-90’s. However none of these have had any real impact on the gaming market. But here we are 20 years on and the idea of virtual and augmented reality is still high on the agenda and it appears that we are almost there.
Although its official release always appears to be getting pushed back, American virtual reality tech company Oculus VR are putting the finishing touches to their exciting new VR head-mounted display. This next generation virtual reality headset will use head tracking to allow you to look around your virtual world. No longer will your gaming experience be limited to simply the edges of the screen that you play them on, now you’ll be able to completely immerse yourself into the sights and sounds of the game you’re playing.
The Oculus Rift isn’t currently the only VR headset in development. Sony are also busy prepping their very own VR-based accessory for the Playstation 4, dubbed Project Morpheus. From what we here about the project it seems that Sony are very keen for this to become simply more than just a gaming add-on. They’re already thinking very hard about the impact this will have on gaming, how games will be played in the future and how they should be developed in order to truly benefit from these new virtual reality-based innovations.
Meta One/Meta Pro
Something a little less immersive which doesn’t completely block out your senses and take you wholly to an alternative virtual world is the idea of augmented reality. The most prominent augmented reality-based product we’ve seen in recent times was the short-lived Google Glass but it’s the likes of the Meta One and the Meta Pro that is looking to advance the way in which augmented reality can be utilised to improve our gaming experience. Chiefly the Meta One is a smaller headset which combines the efforts of lasers, cameras, spatial recognition, a compass, gyroscope and accelerometer to project and assimilate itself with its surrounding.
There is a lot of effort going in to develop both virtual and augmented reality-based products for the future of gaming. Whilst to many it may seem like another 3D-based gimmick which may struggle to take off many gamers still crave for a time when they can quite literally enter the world of their favourite game and experience the sights and sounds of their virtual surroundings as they were meant to be seen and heard. And when sites, developers and games like Royal Vegas pays out $7mil to online pokies winners then you want to feel like you’re physically there to experience it all, feeling like you’re actually at the table of one of the world’s most prestigious casinos, taking a walk around a virtual museum or getting involved in an epic battle.