The trouble with seeing VR images on a non-VR screen is, well, they don’t really carry the same sort of impact. The new OrbusVR trailer is full of stuff that probably looks a fair bit more technically impressive on a VR headset, after all. But it’s still a good trailer, and if you already have a headset kicking around (and possibly collecting dust), this might be the motivation you need to put it on and try the game out for early access.
Fortunately, the trailer isn’t just limited to beating things up; it shows off the game’s combat, but also things like pet ownership, gathering, exploration, and social gatherings along the way. You can watch the whole thing just below, even if you have no interest in VR for yourself but want to see what the first game made specifically for it looks like in action.
A new research study conducted by University of Minnesota researchers Justin Munafo, Meg Diedrick, and Thomas A. Stoffregen says that head-mounted virtual reality is unintentionally sexist toward female users. At least, the paper, titled “The virtual reality head-mounted display Oculus Rift induces motion sickness and is sexist in its effects,” says “unintentionally”; the title and abstract alone don’t quite make that clear. Having procured a copy of the actual paper (unfortunately paywalled), we decided to explore the researchers’ assertion and break it down to understand just what’s at play here because my gut reaction was to be suspicious, likely the same as you.
See, I’ve been to a lot of VR demos, and I rarely saw people get sick from demos outside of the rare indie. In fact, I actually just had my sister try VR for about 20 minutes, and like me, she used to get sick from that stupid Kirby’s Air-Ride game — we both suffer from motion sickness. That made me wonder whether the results were more about VR’s first-person perspective, as I know more women than men who have their motion sickness triggered by the perspective, in which case, it’s not VR but the POV.
But now that I’ve read the paper, I have eaten my proverbial hat.
There’s no getting away from it, VR gaming is going to be an expensive hobby to get into. Between the high system specs required to run VR games at 60 frames per second and the cost of the headsets themselves, gamers could be shelling out a lot of money on hardware on the near future. The Oculus Rift’s hefty price tag of $599 caused something of a raucous online, but now it looks like it’s actually going to be the cheaper option for a high-grade VR headset as the HTC Vive has been given a release price of $799.
The Vive is being produced in partnership with Valve and is powered by Steam VR, and pre-order customers will get copies of two launch games: Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption. Though the package is $200 more expensive than the Oculus Rift, it comes with two wireless controllers and positional sensors that can track your movement inside an entire room, making games where you can move around inside a virtual environment possible. The two wireless controllers can also be used as accurate motion controls, becoming your hands inside that virtual environment. For the moment, it seems this is the closest we’ll get to creating something like the Star Trek Holodeck. Pre-orders open in one week on Monday, February 29th, at 10 a.m. EST.
The Oculus Rift won’t be the only gaming headset that people will be talking about in the near future. Sony announced this week that its VR headset, currently named Project Morpheus, will be released sometime in the first half of 2016.
Project Morpheus will be used with the PlayStation 4 and features a 5.7-inch display and improved motion tracking. It will face steep competition from the growing VR arms race, however. Like the Rift (which is coming out this year), it will go up against headsets from HTC/Valve (the Vive) and Microsoft.
Among MMOs studios, CCP is perhaps the most involved with VR; at last year’s GDC, the studio announced that EVE Valkyrie, its upcoming EVE Online crossover title, will support both the Rift and Morpheus.
[Source: Gamasutra #1
, Gamasutra #2