After a wait that seemed like forever, it’s finally here. The first Oculus Rifts are shipping to consumers and the reviews are beginning to come out concerning the quality of the games and what users can expect from the experience. Meanwhile, the HTC Vive headset, backed by Valve, is expected to launch in about a week and soon the market will find itself flooded by virtual reality devices. That means it’s time to start wondering about which device is going to be the right one for you, and what the effect this is going to have on the future of gaming.
First off, none of these devices is going to come cheap, but what do you expect when it comes to the latest and greatest in entertainment technology? The Oculus Rift is currently hovering at around $600 at retail, though the device is going for much more than that on the secondary market. And good luck getting your hands on one, as it’s not in stores and even those with pre-orders might be forced to wait a while for their device. The Rift also requires a fairly high-end PC in order to properly run the games. So, unless you’re already a PC gamer, there’s a good chance you’ll have to upgrade if you hope to experience the world of VR. And that will probably set you back an additional $800 at the minimum.
The Steam-powered HTC Vive on the other hand is expected to be the most expensive with an expected US retail of $799 and will require a similarly powerful computer for the full experience. The best deal might be through the upcoming Playstation VR, which will sell for $399 and naturally requires a PS4. But with more than 30 million consoles currently in the marketplace, there’s already a sizable established audience that may be a bit more willing to shell out for the new hardware given the easier entry point.
In the end, it’s all going to come down to the games. Developers have long attempted to increase the level of realism and interactivity in their titles and VR has offered and entirely new platform with which to try to achieve this. Some online social casinos have already been upping the ante through the use of live dealers to provide additional realism to games like roulette and Sic Bo. And by incorporating a first-person VR headset, we can only imagine how much more it could actually feel like you’re in Caesar’s Palace without ever having to go to Vegas. Beyond casual games, we’ve already been privy to a world of new possibilities for immersive gaming experiences that only show a fraction of what’s possible with the new technology.
There are already a wide variety of titles available (around 30 right now) for the Rift, and they include everything from space-flight simulators to puzzle games to pinball, showing that VR plans to touch on all aspects and genres of the gaming world. EVE: Valkyrie has consistently been one of the games at the top of people’s lists of must-plays with stunning graphics and gameplay that truly takes advantage of the new medium to give players the feeling of hurtling through space.
With so many advances already made within the world of VR, we can’t wait to see where it’s going to go from here. It’s only natural that there are going to be a few bumps with such a radically new device, so we’re willing to give a few grains of salt to the launch of a product of this magnitude. Get ready to strap yourselves in, and strap the headset to you face, because the next six months are going to be one wild ride in the world of video games.
What do you think about future of VR? Let us know in the comments below!