How to: use virtual reality games
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.