Virtual Reality is the holy grail of gaming, not just playing in a world but being in it. Most of us grew up with Virtual Reality being nothing more than something that seemed to pop up on every other sci-fi movie for years but to this generation of gamers, it's becoming reality.
In a recent announcement on CNN, Sony released details of its latest attempt at Virtual Reality, the HMZ-T1. Although it sounds like something out of the Terminator movies, the HMZ-T1 is a head mounted 3D viewer that offers gamers the chance to experience High-Definition 3D visuals that match the visual splendor of playing on a 62ft HD-TV.
The video below demonstrates how the ingenuity of one savvy gamer can lead to a unique game experience, even topping that of the Wii. In the video a guy is using a Wiimote and GlovePIE, combined with a few scripts, to create a VR experience in the popular multiplayer title, Left 4 Dead 2. You only need to watch for a few minutes before you get that "I want one of those" urges, and this is just a regular-joe. Imagine what a multi-billion dollar company like Sony can pull out the bag?
What's Next? Hoverboards and a Time Traveling DeLorean?
It is often said the science-fiction of today makes the technology of tomorrow and is this case, it has proven true. Not only can the HMZ-TI VR Headset interact with any blue tooth devices to add 3D visuals and simulated 5:1 surround sound but it can also directly interact with "All common household video games consoles". Gamers that are lucky enough to have experienced proper 3D gaming will tell you, it's not something to take likely and it really takes your experience to the next level, that's just using a TV and pair of dodgy sunglasses. If you combine the technology that Sony is utilizing with the HMZ-T1 with the gamers opinion of what VR should be in the video, you have an ultimate gaming device. In truth, the headset doesn't actually match the full terms of a Virtual Reality experience as it doesn't react based on your movement or location, it's more like having a huge TV miniaturized and strapped to your head, but the Wii, Playstation Move and Xbox Kinect have all shown that movement recognition technology is common place, I would expect them to integrate that technology with products like the HMZ-T1 within the next 24 months.
What else can they do with it?
It doesn't take much imagination to see where Sony can go with this kind of technology, Microsoft and Nintendo haven't announced anything similar to this, could this be Sony testing the waters for the next generation consoles? The HMZ-T1 has visuals and sound covered and the motion capture technology on consoles is improving constantly with things like Wii Motion Plus.
Assuming that they can use the Playstation Move technology in another form, a glove form for example, which is a pretty safe assumption to make, all they would need to do is reduce the cost of the HMZ-T1 headset. This is obviously easier said than done but as with most things tech-wise, time will see the price drop dramatically but how much time can we expect to wait before it becomes financially viable to put one in every household that's home to a Playstation product? We all expect a certain wow-factor from next generation technology but with a little VR injection, maybe the Playstation 4 can add some holy **** wtf factor.
When's It Coming Out?
Sony have announced that the HMZ-T1 Virtual Reality Headset will be available in Japan on November 11th and it will cost roughly $800. Industry experts are warning that other countries like America and the UK may get the cold shoulder if this product doesn't "Meet expectations". Sony never commented on release dates for anywhere else and have yet to confirm if the HMZ-T1 will ship anywhere out of Japan, the crazy console prices of this generation already caused a lot of stir and unforeseen problems, are gamers outside of Japan dedicated enough to spend $800 for a VR experience?
Move Over HMZ-T1, Here Comes The Oculus Rift
The Oculus Rift is the latest in virtual reality technology and, while it is initially slated to only hit the PC, there have been murmurs of it eventually coming to the PlayStation 4. According to Engadget, those rumors are courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment head of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida. In speaking with the website, Yoshida had this to say:
"We've got a couple of the development kits, and I tried it out and I love it."
At the present time, the PlayStation 4 does not currently support the Oculus Rift but it seems like its only a matter of time until it does. Sony has the development kits, and the head of Worldwide Studios loves it: it's only a matter of time before VR gaming on the PlayStation 4 is a reality.
What do you think? Whether it's the HMZ-T1 or the Oculus Rift, are you excited for VR gaming? Let us know in the comments!
Article by - Blaine Smith
Update by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 7/25/2013