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Virtual Reality: Flash in the pan or really the next big thing?

WRITTEN BY Shrek

Posted on May 20 2016


VR here, VR there, great, great, great. So Annoying. But is it really?

Some say Virtual Reality seems to be such a hot topic like 3D televisions were back in 2010. Now, a couple of years later, nobody really seems to care anymore. But is it really like that? Do HTC VIVE and Co have what it takes to change the game? To be a gamechanger? Or will the VR hype be over soon and we will get back to gaming as we are used to?

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Let’s just take a minute and have a look back to controlling methods of the last few years. There was the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Kinect. A really new way to control games for everyone! Remember the massive hype? But somehow it did not really come out and change everything as hoped. Same story with the Wii U. Similar outcome with control mats, Skateboards to stand on, instruments to hammer on and further innovations that filled a niche they created for themselves.

Keeping these niches alive permanently worked. Somehow. Kind of. At least for some of these products.

 

But what we learned from these projects is that success and failure of a new concept stands and falls with the range of food it feeds on: the games. That applies to currently available VR-systems, especially when concerning the not inconsiderably high cost of purchase.

 

So far? Hype, hype, hype with a chance of awesomeness

What does VR have to offer today?

First of all, the following must be pointed out: VR is an incomparable experience!
When you put on the head mounted device it feels like going down the rabbit hole. You deeply dive down into a different world. Literally. Words, even bloomy ones, simply cannot describe how immersive the virtual reality really is. No comparison with the difference between 2D TV sets and 3D models. VR is on a completely different level. The brain needs 2 seconds to understand what is going on. And then the fun begins. The game developer’s phantasies are the limit. VR is what comes closest to real role playing. You are not just playing a virtual protagonist. You have to be the protagonist. In order to move the character you have to become one with him. That is what the VR games aim at. And the technology as well.

 

The experience is so overwhelmingly fantastic like its meaning for the gaming world. The older chaps among us might remember the evolution and triumph of 3D engines. In the early days of game development we had only 2 dimensions due to technical limitations to build phantasies on. But that was about to change, when the door to the third dimension was opened. The simulated depth of early and today’s 3D games can only create a real feeling of three-dimensionality with much jugglery. And even if it works rudimentarily it cannot be compared to VR. Somehow the brain always seems to know that we are watching a flat or curved screen on our desk. But even the best tricks do not overcome the fact that we still use the same input methods as employees of an accounting company when pushing digits around in their Excel sheets: mouse and keyboard.

The motion controllers of today’s VR devices really do make their contribution to immersion. You really do have the feeling to hold a flashlight in your hands or to shoot with bow and arrow. No mouse, no keyboard and no console controller are able to give you this kind of immersion. VR is a new way we see and play games, not just make flat become 3D, it changes the way we play games, also the way that developer create the games.

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No.1 in Gaming, 1st VR Ready

Early in 2015, seeing the trend and the potential of Virtual Reality, MSI set up a VR lab and had a whole team researching on this technology. MSI VR Lab worked with key VR players and initiated new gaming notebook design and development programs solely for the optimization for VR devices.

Authorised by HTC VIVE, so far the most demanding VR device, and Intel VR, MSI is the first and currently the only brand which possesses such solid support. MSI’s GT gaming notebooks and Vortex have the highest performance which can support HTC VIVE VR gear running smoothly and steadily for a long time. It's also the best combination for users who want to carry the whole “VR experience” sets to different places. MSI is several steps ahead of all the others and the only brand in the market that offers the most reliable VR ready notebooks.

VR ready machine: http://vr.msi.com/index_VR_products.html

 

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What does VR have to offer today besides two available devices with accessories?

Besides a huge (!) amount of free demos for the different ecosystems, that shows what to expect, there really is not much that would justify the expensive acquisition costs. The system seller is not here yet. But the first VR games that do cost money are a fantastic experience.

 

Eve Valkyrie for example catapults us among the starships of a starfleet for some hot dogfights. Sounds familiar and not new? Yes. And no. The experience with a VR device makes you crave for more. A hunger that ordinary technology and gaming cannot satisfy. When trying to play Elite: Dangerous afterwards with no VR device on, you just cannot stop thinking about how awesome the game could be in Virtual Reality.

 

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Titles like Adr1ft only works in Virtual Reality. Would you like to float in space once? HTC VIVE and other head mounted devices are the only real opportunity within our atmosphere to get to know the feeling of being in space – besides a parabolic flight of course. And that is not even a game with really interesting gameplay (Adr1ft, not the flight). But even the pure experience is enough to make you hungry for more.

 

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Signs bode well, if this experience of depth will be combined with compelling gameplay soon. Very well indeed. At the latest with the next generation of cheaper and more optimized devices we will have it: our game changer.

 

 

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