How to: use vir­tual re­al­ity games

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

WE were promised it in 1992 when Lawn­mower Man hit cinemas, but vir­tual re­al­ity is fi­nally be­com­ing an ac­tual re­al­ity. Thanks to new gam­ing in­ven­tions, both com­pany-cre­ated and crowd-funded, gamers now have the op­tion of strap­ping on head­wear and in­ter­act­ing with vir­tual en­vi­ron­ments. Be­low are two of the big­gest vir­tual re­al­ity gad­gets to watch.


One prob­lem when play­ing vir­tual re­al­ity games is to know where you are in the real world, and if you’re about to walk into a lamp. The Vir­tuix Omni is de­signed to solve this prob­lem, and let play­ers walk, run, jump and crouch with­out fall­ing over or into some­thing. The new Kick­starter pro­ject, that met its $150,000 goal within days of its June launch, is a phys­i­cal plat­form with a sup­port struc­ture built around it. The plat­form has a grooved, low-fric­tion sur­face and play­ers wear spe­cial, pinned shoes de­signed to pre­vent slips, and a safety belt to pre­vent falls. The de­vice’s early-bird al­lo­ca­tion of 150 mod­els priced at $370 each sold out.


The Omni fol­lows the ex­am­ple of the Ocu­lus Rift, that raised $2.5 mil­lion on Kick­starter be­tween Au­gust and Septem­ber last year and is now in the hands of de­vel­op­ers. The vir­tual re­al­ity gog­gles are de­signed to be con­nected to PC games to let play­ers look around 3D-game en­vi­ron­ments by mov­ing their heads rather than their thumbs. Two games are al­ready Ocu­lus Rift-ready — Team Fortress 2 and Hawken — but its con­sumer launch and re­lease price is un­known.


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