Are these next couple of years the first tentative steps in making the promise of VR, something pretty much everyone has thought about since there were video games, a reality?
Valve seems to think so. They say a consumer priced, VR headset with the specs listed below, can be a reality by 2015.
- 110 degree FOV
- 95 hz refresh rate
- 1Kx1K resolution per eye (or about the resolution of a 2160x1600p panel
- 3 ms pixel persistence (low persistence)
- 20 ms latency
Here’s an interesting PDF on the technologies involved and the work Valve has been doing to make this happen: (warning PDF!) http://media.steampowered.com/apps/abrashblog/Abrash%20Dev%20Days%202014.pdf
As pointed out on the PDF, and by the Oculus Rift people, this type of experience will require the evolving ecosystem of PC gaming and PC gaming hardware. Consoles can apply next gen, but for now, this is looking like the next big thing to hit the PC this generation.
From the presskit PDF I personally find a lot of the low level processes that are running even before we are conscious of them to be fascinating. The visual cortex, apparently does a LOT to the visual input before it even gets sent to the brain.
Another interesting thing about VR is the pace at which it’s been developing. Even the crude developer kits form Oculus Rift out there in the wild are said to be able to deliver incredible experiences. Also, my current gaming PC has the hardware muscle to output immersive experiences at the specs being targeted by Valve. It won’t run Crysis 3 at Ultra at 95 FPS 2560x1600, but it CAN at medium-high settings. And I’ve got GPU’s that are a generation old now, not to mentions that an even more modern game engine is likely to be even better optimized than Crysis 3’s engine was back when the game came out.
In 3 years then, hardware capable of driving these unique experiences should be even more affordable.
What do you guys think about VR? Interested in it? Have you tried the Oculus dev kit? Think it’s just a fad like 3D?