[News] Virtual Reality Tech

Just a few more years and I can live in Whiterun. Or; The difficulties of gaming around a cat.

I get excited when there are new advancements that mean improving the quality of gaming.

Eurogamer allowed me  to get up close to some of the gadgets that might be making an appearance in your home, in the future. Caught up in the rush of anticipation of getting my grubby paws on the Oculus Rift, I wanted to share with you some of my favourite pieces of technology that could possibly change the way you game.

Razer Hydra [Current Price £89.99]


Razer have had something in the works for a while now. Originally dubbed Sixense TrueMotion this new piece of Tech promises to bring motion sensor controls to the PC. The current release is wired, but a wireless version is in development, and even though it resembles the Wii-mote, it’s far from it. The Wii utilises an optical sensor, which means that the cat laying over that hastily blue-tacked sensor strip on your TV is probably going to effect your gameplay. According to their website, the new Razer Hydra will be “Ultra-precise”, with up to 1mm and 1 degree tracking. Razer Hydra uses a magnetic field to detect the whereabouts and orientation of your controllers, meaning that your feline friends wont be getting in the way of you hacking and slashing through a horde of zombies.

You can take a look on Youtube to see this product in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cs2kuOdgtL8

Virtuix Omni [Pre-order Price $499]


This omnidirectional treadmill, currently in development by Virtuix, allows users to simulate walking in-game. The Virtuix Omni uses a slippery concave platform, and when paired with special shoes that reduce friction, and a support belt that negates the players weight, you can then take a virtual walk through Skyrim.

This is made to be paired with other VR devices, and negates some of the Oculus Rift’s problems.
You can’t use virtual reality headsets whilst stood, for fear of falling or crushing everything underfoot, not to mention the sense of nausea or motion sickness. The Omni promises to broaden virtual reality gameplay horizons and keep you and your small animals safe.

I managed to take a peek at this bad boy in action, during Eurogamer, but did not manage to actually try it out. I think the developers were having too much fun playing Team Fortress 2 to let anyone else on. Watch the above video and you’ll get the picture of what the omni will be providing. Despite the overwhelming possibilities of house-mates or loved ones scaring the beejesus out of you, the Omni seems to be something you should keep your eye on.

Oculus Rift [Price TBA]


Enter the biggest contender for our hearts and wallets, the Oculus Rift.

A virtual reality headset that’s already stirred up quite a bit of commotion, exceeding its initial Kickstarter goal of $250,000 by receiving $2,437,429 from backers.

Designed with gaming in mind, this high-resolution, wide-field visual display boast an ultra-low latency tracking system that will offer a truly immersive experience for those who will play games that support the Oculus.

The developer behind the Oculus Rift wanted to create a headset that was effective in delivering a truly immersive experience whilst still being affordable for consumers. There are other VR headsets out there, with similar and more advanced features than that of the Oculus, but when prices are as high as $20,000, the headsets become limited to the military and scientific community.


I managed to get to grips with the developer headset at Eurogamer. It wasn’t very cumbersome, and any weight that you might have first noticed soon becomes unnoticeable as you become involved with whatever game you are playing.
Unfortunately the developer’s Oculus is a sub-par product when compared to the full consumer version,
“…[The] consumer product will improve on virtually every aspect of the developer kit, which is essentially just an early prototype of the consumer version. This includes comfort, immersion, features, software support, etc… for the absolute best virtual reality experience possible.”

However, that being said, I still had an incredible experience, and I cannot wait to pair this with an optimised horror game. Just think of the possibilities!

The Peregrine [Current Overseas Price $150]


Ok, so it’s an oldie, but it’s not graced our shores, and I wish it had. I am a stickler for new technology, (or anything that makes it look like I’ve fallen out of the minority report), and I love to try new things. When a relatively old concept got a brand new face, I got interested.

Made to function as a wearable interface, not as a typing replacement but rather a wearable tool which you can execute certain gaming hotkeys on. Breathable, and made for comfort, so no sweaty palms for us. Apart from looking like something straight out of sci-fi, it has customisable functions that you can calibrate to your exact needs. The Peregrine is also hand-washable, just in case you spill your drink on your own hand. It does have some cons though, because of it’s limited applications I think it’s not been as successful as everyone would have hoped it could have been. Some people have been questioning the learning curve involved with adapting to the Peregrine, but it will all be linked to how quickly the user can adapt to new technology, with professional gamers taking as little as a two hour gaming session to adapt to the Peregrine.

(Please watch to 1:30 on this video, this bit could have gone horribly wrong.)

Unfortunately, it’s still only available in the U.S and Canada, but if it ever becomes available here, I’d be too tempted to get it.

Thoughts? Comments? Have other techno finds that you want to share?
Use that comment box below.


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