The New Age of Virtual Reality and Video

The New Age of Virtual Reality and Game Design

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Remember Stanley G. Weinbaum’s ‘Pygmalion’s Spectacle’ from 1935? In the short story, the concept of virtual reality was introduced for the first time. A goggle based holographic that allowed the viewer to be a part of a movie, with all the sensory stimuli, and active interaction with people and objects. His ‘prophecy’ has almost come true with our technological and scientific advancement.

Beginning in mid-1990’s, with the advent of head mounted displays (HMD) for gaming, the virtual reality experience has seen rapid and vast growth. Virtual Boy by Nintendo, iGlasses by Virtual I-O, Cybermaxx by Victormaxx, and VFX-1 by Forte Technologies were the pioneers of this technology in the field of VR gaming. As of now, we have Kinect, PlayStation Move/Eye, and Wii Remote; however, they are limited in the type and quality of games that can be played on them – virtual reality is only slightly real.

Over the past couple of years, and in particular at the 2015 Game Developers Conference, three big players have stepped up. Each one has promised a revolutionary tech in the domain of virtual reality gaming experience. The competitors are Oculus Rift (consumer version) by Facebook as parent company, Morpheus by Sony, and Vive by HTC and Valve. They have all presented their prototypes for full scale commercial launch in 2016, but there are certain setbacks for each one of them.

These companies have set a challenge for others. Console developers, threatened by this disruption, are jumping the bandwagon. Virtual reality game-play has been declared the future of gaming industry by gamers and developers, with graphic designers focusing their creativity, ideas, and efforts towards the development of virtual worlds futuristic interfaces for this new innovation. They are in a race for the most competitive, realistic, and intricately designed game. The pacemakers have started a showdown.

Morpheus enjoys the greatest advantage, perhaps. Paired with PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita systems, it does not require much else to be operated. Over 30 games have already been developed and tested for compatibility and game-play. Graphic designers are solidifying their positions for the established, renowned console.


As far as head start goes, HTC and Valve’s Vive comes second. Supported by the Valve’s SteamVR system, an OpenVR Software development kit, and Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 completes the basic requirements. Game developers can use these platforms to freely create and launch games for the new tech.

HTC vive

Now Oculus Rift’s sole disadvantage is the lack of a support system; however, their partnership with Microsoft and Xbox might change that. As of now, it will require a powerful computer, and the whole set might cost about $1,500 according to Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe. No final launch date or specifications for hardware requirements have yet been announced. Yet, it must be noted that the most popularity among game developers and tech buffs has been gained by Oculus Rift.

OR Inside

There is good news on the other front: it comes with an Xbox controller; not only that but Xbox One owners with Windows 10 will be able to stream all their console games onto the headset and have a virtual reality experience. The company, however, has also revealed prototypes of Oculus Touch – hand controllers that will give you close to real life control over hand movements in your virtual reality game. Don’t worry; you’ll still be able to retain all of the traditional analog stick and button input.

Oculus Rift

Several game developers have jumped on board seeing the opportunities with this innovation. It has opened quite a few gateways into the world of graphics and animation, and another competition has begun. Games are already in play for testing and development. The promised investment of $10 million by the company has roused the interest of developers all over.

Now, whether you should start up saving for your Morpheus, Vive or Rift is hard to say so soon. Stay with us and find out more as Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2015 unfolds the forerunner in this grand competition. E3 is a video game industry trade fair where developers and publishers announce and reveal their upcoming projects. This year’s distinguished event is taking place on June 16, 17 and 18. We will be talking about video game releases, graphics and animations, and game design.

This conference is exclusive for people associated with the video game industry. It will showcase the best game developers, graphic designers, and animators. As always, E3 will give way to new opportunities in the vast world of video games. Not only that, but it will exhibit the possibilities and promises of the gaming industry’s future.

Meanwhile, let us know what you think of these cool new gaming techs in the comments below.

Mehreen is a social media buff and design blogger, who keeps a keen eye on graphic design trends. She has a passion for experimenting with design ideas, and wouldn’t mind if it means going out of her way to find them in Timbuktu. Follow her on twitter for daily inspirations and findings.

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