Virtual reality systems have been unsuccessful in the past but now there is a console that will truly get technology fans and gamers excited. This console is called the ‘Oculus Rift’ and it is blending the ever contracting continuum between game and reality.
By Dan Kitchin
Developed by Oculus VR and funded partly via Kickstarter, the Oculus Rift is a virtual reality system. Created predominantly as a gaming system, the Oculus Rift has had some big names singing its praises including: Gabe Newell, co-founder and CEO of Valve, creators of games such as Portal, Team Fortress and Half-Life; Marcus “Notch” Persson, lead designer of Minecraft; and Masahiro Sakurai, Director of the Super Smash Bros. series, Kirby, and Kid Icarus: Uprising. With John Carmack – the mastermind who developed the technology that led to the creation of Doom and Quake – now Chief Technology Officer, the reputation that this gaming system holds is certainly very impressive and gamers around the world should definitely be aware.
It may be said that gameplay on the Oculus Rift console may not be as discrete as some gamers would like, but any complaints will be easily forgotten when you are transported into the first person digital world where your scenery is at your fingertips. If anyone is interested in how the system works or how it plays, I would simply suggest watching a few videos on YouTube from gamers such as PewDiePie (who focuses on horror games) or the Yogscast.
Virtual reality has been tried in the past, Nintendo’s Virtual Boy just to name one, but they have been, let’s just say, disappointing. It is only from 2011/2012 that we have seen the potential and technology for virtual reality to actually become a success story. It seems that the Oculus Rift is going to be a major player in the console world for at least the next five to ten years, with Sony hinting they might have complete support for the Oculus headset coming onto the PS4 in the future. The Oculus Development Kit prices at the $300 mark, which in all honesty is a fairly good price compared to other headlining consoles such as the PS4 or the Xbox One which are looking to hit the market at the £350-£450 range.