What do Sony, HTC, Samsung, Razer have in common?
Nope, not smartphones! I’m talking about two wonderful letters – VR, that stand for Virtual Reality, that all these companies are successfully working on.
I remember watching movies of 80th-90th, where people living in the future (and according to that movies that future is close to our days) were playing games wearing some helmets and I didn’t even think that it’s possible to realize. I could not take it seriously then – just a fairy tale.
However everything changed in last several years. Oculus Rift, HTC VIVE, Samsung Gear VR, Sony’s Project Morpheus – these are just a few names that come to my mind when I talk about virtual reality, but use Google and you will find more names. Not all of the devices are available for users today and the price range is also very different – starting from 30$ (Google Cardboard) – till some 500$ (Avengant Glyph).
In last two weeks we had few big announcements – Sony held a press conference in Tokyo and announced the new name of their VR goggles that we knew as Morpheus Project would be PlayStation VR. The goggles are expected to be released at the beginning of 2016. As you understand to use Sony’s headset, you will need to buy Sony PlayStation as the compatibility with other devices is doubtful.
At the same time, we expect HTC and Valve to release their Steam VR also known as HTC Vive. The companies promised to release their goggles at the end of this year, but as it turned out this release date is valid only for developer’s edition. Everyone else should wait till next year. By the way, one of the most interesting ideas in SteamVR is that your movement will also matter, just put 2 sensors in different corners of the room, and it will track your movement.
Another chance to dive into VR world is to buy new Samsung VR – it was announced that the new device will be sold at the price of 99$. However, to use Samsung’s device you would need to buy one of their 2015 flagman smartphones Note 5, S6, S6 Edge, or S6 Edge Plus. Taking into consideration that each of these phones costs more than 500$ (if bought without contract) that VR headsets a bit expensive. But again, if you already own one of these smartphones, you are in one step from virtual reality.
It looks like that the future really has come – next year might become the year of virtual realities. If all the companies that promise to release their VR gadgets keep their promises, and the developers release enough of interesting games and software supporting virtual reality, 2016 will entirely change our computer experience.
Till some few weeks ago, I saw those goggles only on the internet – in different kind of news or YouTube videos, but out of a sudden in one of the malls I saw a stand with Oculus Rift logo on it and couldn’t ignore it. I truly enjoyed the demo I played – flying in some small village choosing the direction with my eyes. That was truly amazing; I spent an hour talking with the guy at the stand who turn out to be a developer discussing all the possibilities this technology opens for us. I personally can’t wait till all the devices are released to buy a VR helmet (or two) and dive into the new world.
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- On September 25, 2015
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