Sony says virtual reality is virtually a reality
'Got the power to do it,' says exec
Amid the reshuffle of company positions, Sony has talked up the future of gaming. Don't worry, though, it's not another PS4 or Vita story, but the Holy Grail of home entertainment, virtual reality.
Remember Sony's head mounted display which was on show at CES 2011? Well, apparently the tech is now evolved enough to deploy. Lawnmower Man, eat your heart out.
In an interview with Btween3d, Sony veep, Mick Hocking said: "Another thing that's coming back, which I'm very excited about, is the notion of virtual reality...
"We've now got the power to do it, we've got the screen resolution to do it, we've got the processing power to update fast enough so that we can have very, very immersive experiences on head-mounted displays in gaming in the not too distant future."
Exciting times, then. Perhaps Sony's new Augmented Reality technique will have a major part to play in all this.
Meanwhile, Andrew House, the new CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment International (SCEI), has reiterated Sony's stance that a next-gen console is currently unnecessary.
In an interview with CVG, House said he "still characterised this as the early period" for PS3, highlighting the fact Sony has only just started to explore potential for 3D.
House will replace Kaz Hirai, who will step up to become SCEI's Chairman on 1 September. ®
this is not VR
This is just a display
When you can touch , smell and taste as well as hear and see - then its VR
Whenever I see some supposed advance in VR, I always think of the Red Dwarf episode.
"There's only one reason you use the VR Lister, it's to have sex! It's revolting watching you jiggle about like that."
"It's not the only reason, I use it to play tennis at Wimbledon!"
"Only because you want to get off with that jail-bait ball-girl!"
Somehow I feel that, like VHS, the only way VR will ever take off is when the pr0n merchants get to grips with it, so to speak!
What's in a name?
Actually, "virtual reality" as it's historically conceived is pretty much just that: a head-mounted display showing first-person-view images. Of course there's some trinkets attached – the headpiece should include an accelerometer so the images change as the viewer tilts their head about, images should be 3D to further enhance the illusion of "being there", some sort of controller should be available to enable navigation around the virtual landscape, etc – but that's it essentially.
I reckon that were you to have invented the term "virtual reality", you'd have set the bar somewhat higher. Alas, you haven't; therefore any bloke who comes up with an accelerometer-enabled display and a good 3D feed is free to call the kit VR, and no one to say otherwise.
Age of the dorks!
Looking like a dork isn't a problem ever since the Kinect came out – no more than jumping around and waving your arms like a crazy chimp, that is.
Lo and behold! For the age of gadget-fueled dorking is upon us!
The 3D aspect is a continuing development in the gaming industry, apparently. However, one question is how much development is given to support a head mounted display? Personally I would love to see Linden Labs come out with support one in its Sadville viewer program as the 3D aspect of that virtual world is certainly well done at present.
Another question would be whether a wireless HUD using Bluetooth frequencies would be fast enough to support the use of fast rendering with or without accelerometers. (Cords so get in the way.) IMO development is still needed as are newer standards for the use of headsets in both soft and hardware for a truly realistic immersive experience- pr0n not withstanding. ;-0
Standards in specific views still seem to be based on degree of rotation per mouse click rather than on smooth scrolling. This leads to somewhat jerky views in virtualities and not realistic at all even using a standard computer display. This seems to be getting better as time goes on and our puters get faster graphic processors though.