After the slow demise of home 3D, it looks like Virtual Reality is going to be the next big thing in home entertainment. Those chunky headgears we’ve seen in 80s sci-fi films are going to become a common sight in our living rooms.
Gaming is about to take a giant stride forward, giving developers an extra dimension to use when thinking about new ways of keeping us entertained. It’s not just about graphic detail though: the next generation of games is going to change the way we interact with the games we play and that’s going to be a game-changer.
Sony’s Project Morpheus, with its well-balanced headgear and great headphones, puts you in the middle of the action. Apart from being able to turn around and look in every direction (including up and down), what is revolutionary is the fact that you have to physically perform the action that’s required in that moment.
For example, in London Heist one of the characters gives you a ringing mobile phone: in a classic game you’d press a button and then a sequence would start showing you the phone call. In VR instead you have to extend your arm and lift the phone to your ear in order to listen to the conversation.
This eliminates the barrier that usually exists between the player’s world and the game’s world.
On top of that, the characters in the demo react to what you do: sitting down, standing up, they see what you do and react accordingly.
This poses new challenges to developers who will have to be careful not to force the player to do things that may have a negative psychological impact on them.
The scale of this revolution is huge: let’s hope software houses will make the most of it.