Monday, 27 August 2012 17:29

Will 2013 Be The Year Of The First Full Virtual Reality Game?

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OculusRift 1

For a very long time the gaming industry has struggled with finding a way to bring the gamer deeper into the gaming world. The problem has been that most of the push behind this has involved graphics. This particular gaming war started when we had multiple players in the game like Matrox, S3, nVidia, Diamond, and of course 3dfx. These companies all fought to bring the visual elements in our games to life. Unfortunately, there were casualties of this war and not just the companies that did not make it to the present. These casualties include audio, story line, AI, and other less recognizable items that all go to make up the games we play.

Now there is a new frontier for gaming and it is one that when combined with other emerging technologies could be the greatest revolution in gaming since the introduction of real-time 3d rendering.  We are talking about the potential for including tactile feedback, positional audio AND virtual reality graphics. This new gaming model would combine all of the pieces to the puzzle with the possible exception of smell. It is also a direction that some big game designers and technology companies have been working on.

This year at Quakecon we saw the Oculus VR goggles and their Oculus Rift in a demo that dropped players into the middle of an id Software inspired nightmare Doom BFG.  Meteor and Adhesive Games also announced support for Oculus Rift for their Free-to-play HAWKEN game. If you were to combine this with something like the ForcePad technology from Synaptics and positional audio possibly using Dolby’s Axon it would be simply stunning. Dolby’s Axon audio system allows the audio to change not only with respect to direction, but also distance. This would bring new levels of interaction to ANY game and would know touch gaming into the rubbish bin.

All of this might sound like it is fantasy, but all of the pieces are already hear. Axon was shown off in 2010 and is now out and available for game developers to use, ForcePad and related feedback technologies have been in limited use for years in gaming consoles while the Oculus Rift VR system is making the rounds and is expected to reach developers hands in December. This means that 2013 could be the year that we finally have games which can truly pull us in. Now all we have to do is make sure that the actual game does not get shoved aside in the effort to make it impressive as has happened in the past with 3D gaming and even high-definition audio. The good news is that with companies like Valve, id Software, and Meteor/Adhesive Games you can be fairly confident that we will have games that pull you in and make you want to stay there.

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Read 3460 times Last modified on Monday, 27 August 2012 17:39

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