Everything you should know about VR in gaming
The marriage of virtual reality and gaming has come a long way since the missteps of the unappreciated Virtual Boy console Nintendo released in 1995. Since then, many video game developers have doubled down to create worthwhile experiences with the hopes of persuading players to add a modern VR headset to their personal gaming ecosystem.
While today's VR headsets, accessories, and their accompanying mind-blowing interactive video games are better than ever, you won't want to be left behind when the next generation of VR gaming arrives:
Many of us have seen or experienced VR demos that showcase the platform's capabilities, such as riding a rollercoaster or walking with dinosaurs, but as interesting as those mini-games are, most of these VR experiences aren't likely to hold your attention over time as a traditional video game would. The good news is that major video game publishers are beginning to create dedicated ports of highly acclaimed console games that take full advantage of the special features VR brings to the table.
Here's hoping you have a strong constitution, because the all-time best "traditional" video game to come to VR is the incredibly terrifying Resident Evil 7. If players thought that navigating its realistically rendered house while dodging moist and moldy shark-toothed abominations on their TVs was scary, imagine how intense it would be to personally crane your head around cobweb-encrusted hallways in the hopes of avoiding the home's mutated occupants.
Other full-fledged VR ports of sizable console games include The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, Minecraft, and Subnautica, and while Resident Evil 7 is the creepy cream of the crop, it is currently only available on PlayStation VR.
Higher resolution VR headsets
Although the HTC VIVE Pro Virtual Reality System sports a gorgeous and industry-leading display resolution of 2880 x 1600 pixels, and the Oculus Rift's resolution is nearly as impressive at 2160 x 1200 pixels, the future for VR headsets is 4K and beyond. As big-budget VR games go multiplatform and more gamers adopt the technology, headset manufacturers are going to focus their efforts on creating VR headsets set at higher resolutions to attract gamers who want the most immersive experience on the market.
We strongly believe tech companies like Samsung, HTC, and Oculus will compete to create VR headsets with sharper displays and higher pixel counts, alongside hardware and software designed to keep users from feeling nauseated after being immersed in new and unbelievably lifelike virtual environments--similar to the way that competition between television manufacturers led to the rapid evolution of the now standard 1080p HDTV.
Innovative immersion accessories
Although many of today's VR games and experiences are operated with the combination of a traditional video game controller and the VR headset itself, you are sure to see a number of accessories in the near future to help make your VR gaming experience that much more immersive. Though there may not be a crystal ball to see what marvels are in the pipeline, here are a few of the most impressive VR accessories already out there:
If you absolutely love shooters and you've got cash to burn, this omni-directional treadmill will make you feel like you're running and gunning on the battlefield by forcing you to traverse the world of VR by literally moving one foot after the other. The idea is incredibly cool, and as much as video game characters run, Virtuix Omni players will likely receive tons of cardio exercise by jogging along on the huge treadmill in any direction within their favorite games. Because the system is pricy and takes up a lot of space, this action-packed VR accessory isn't for everyone.
When video games made the jump from 2D to 3D, developers were forced to grapple with the new problem of making it simple and intuitive for players to move their character around in a 3D world. The advent of modern VR gaming has put a new spin on the 3D navigation conundrum, but 3dRudder is a simple foot-powered controller that streamlines the process of exploring fresh VR worlds. Users simply rest both feet on the circular device and lean in the direction they wish to move their character, which frees up their hands to control other in-game functions.
This versatile accessory can be connected to a number of VR-specific controllers, such as blasters and ping-pong paddles to make your VR gaming sessions a more precise and engaging experience. The coolest thing about HTC's Vive Trackers is that players can attach them directly to their body, which allows VR games to track punches and kicks in real time to make dispatching incoming zombies and robots that much more fun.
Arnold Carreiro is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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