Virtual reality is a new and exciting technology that lets users feel like they are inside the game. It can be used to simulate physical environments and provide an immersive experience for gamers, whether alone or with friends. The only downside: it’s not cheap!
What is virtual reality gaming?
Virtual reality gaming places the player inside the game. Depending on what hardware is being used, this can mean treading across a battle zone or exploring the depths of deep space. The idea is to provide an experience that’s as close to real-life as possible – one that will take gamers out of their comfort zones!
The technology works by stimulating the user’s vision and hearing senses as if they were inside a virtual environment. On a technical level, this is usually achieved using a headset that projects images straight to their eyes or headphones that play back binaural sound.
What equipment do I need for VR gaming?
PC at present only PCs run high-end VR games.
Virtual reality headsets place the wearer inside the game. The vast majority of VR games only work with specific hardware, so check what’s compatible before you buy.
A PC powerful enough to handle VR gaming
Gamepads some VR games are controlled using a gamepad while others require an accessory like Oculus Touch or PlayStation Move controllers.
A PC powerful enough to handle VR gaming is expensive. Expensive hardware isn’t always necessary for small, simple games like mobile VR apps, but when it comes to high-end games such as Elite: Dangerous and EVE Valkyrie you need the best graphics card you can afford!
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Pros and cons of virtual reality gaming
Pros of VR Gaming
The main benefit is immersion players feel like they’re in the game. This helps to make games more exciting, while developers can use VR tech to create unique experiences that would be difficult or expensive to recreate outside of a virtual environment.
- More immersive than traditional gaming,
- can be played anywhere with an internet connection (even on public transport!),
- encourages active movement without relying on complex controllers,
- more likely to get you up off the couch!
There are other pros too:
Stepping into your game – rather than controlling it from the outside. Improved physical feedback – some hardware devices vibrate when you’re hit or near enemies, for example. Higher levels of teamwork – being able to communicate with players who aren’t in your room makes team-based games more tactical. A new way to play with friends – VR games can be played with others around the world, whether they use a headset or not!
Cons of VR Gaming
One of the biggest problems is motion sickness. If VR hardware isn’t calibrated properly you could feel nauseous, dizzy and even vomit as your brain struggles to match up what you’re seeing with how your body is actually moving. Your stomach will thank you if you take regular breaks while playing high-end VR games .
High prices can also put people off, especially since some systems require multiple accessories that may cost more than a traditional console or PC setup. And let’s not forget that these headsets block out natural light, which could affect users’ sleep patterns .
- Not all games support room-scale movement (yet),
- some experiences are too intense for some gamers,
- only certain models of phone/PC are supported.
Is virtual reality gaming worth it?
Absolutely. VR technology is still in its infancy but it’s improving all the time and there’s no reason to believe games won’t continue to become more revolutionary and immersive as time goes on. Over £4 billion has been invested in VR firms over the past four years, so clearly big businesses think we’ll soon be hooked on this incredible new experience!
When did virtual reality gaming start?
The idea of VR gaming is older than you might think! In 1968 the View-Master was patented by William Gruber, while Nintendo’s Virtual Boy made its debut in 1995. In 2012 Palmer Luckey launched the Oculus Rift, kicking off the modern VR revolution. The first Kickstarter campaign for a commercial version of his headset raised an incredible $2 million – and since then over 30 firms have introduced their own VR headsets. How powerful does my computer need to be to run virtual reality games?
Games like Elite: Dangerous and EVE Valkyrie will require at least an Intel Core i5 4590 processor with 8GB RAM and an NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD 290 graphics card (or equivalent). Mid-range games like Battlezone and Superhot need less powerful hardware, while simple apps like Tilt Brush can run on almost any modern Windows PC.
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What are the best virtual reality headsets?
Oculus Rift: one of the most popular high-end headsets with a huge library of compatible games (most notably EVE: Valkyrie, Elite Dangerous, Project CARS )
HTC Vive: this headset allows for more movement than the Oculus Rift thanks to its front-facing camera
PlayStation VR: essentially a PS4 with built-in software for gaming in virtual reality
Samsung Gear VR: designed to work with top Samsung phones
Google Daydream View: another phone-powered headset that’s also compatible with some Pixel phones
Zeiss VR One Plus: supports most smartphones and is relatively cheap, but doesn’t support room-scale movement like the Vive and Rift do What’s the best virtual reality game?
Can you play virtual reality games on a phone?
Yes! There are lots of apps available for both iOS and Android smartphones that provide an immersive gaming experience. However, some high-end headsets, like PlayStation VR, require their own processing hardware which can’t be replaced with a phone – so check the system requirements before buying.
What’s the best way to experience virtual reality?
It really depends on your budget and how much space you have at home! Room-scale movement is great for more intense experiences but not everyone has room to dedicate to their new VR set-up. The best VR is when you’re in control of where you look – so if you’d like to move around and touch objects like a real caveman, we recommend the HTC Vive .
Can I play virtual reality games with friends?
For many enthusiasts, gaming with their friends is what makes it fun! So yes, there are multiplayer options available on most games. Plus, some headsets also feature social apps that let you chat face-to-face as if your friend were really there (like AltspaceVR or Bigscreen ). Of course, don’t forget to take care of those bodily functions before sitting down for an immersive experience – no one wants to be interrupted by a knock at the door mid-game!
What are the biggest virtual reality games?
Pokémon Go, EVE: Valkyrie, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, Superhot VR, Robo Recall, The Climb – these are some of our favorites! How much does virtual reality gaming cost?
The cheapest way to get involved is probably with Google Cardboard – this basic headset uses your phone as the display and is super cheap. Google Daydream View costs £69, while a Gear VR headset will set you back about £100 and a PlayStation VR bundle starts from around £250.
Are virtual reality headsets safe for children?
This depends on their level of independence and how responsible they feel! Headsets like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive need some form of physical movement in order for the movement to be replicated in the game. This could be a problem for small children, so you might want to monitor how much they play if they wear one of these headsets. For games that don’t require movement, you should have no problems letting them use a phone-powered headset like Daydream View or Gear VR.
The future of virtual reality gaming:
The world of virtual reality gaming is still in its early stages, but developers are working hard to create immersive experiences with high-resolution screens and realistic graphics. But one of the most exciting developments in VR is being researched by Facebook’s Oculus division they’re developing a headset called Santa Cruz that offers room-scale movement without the need for external tracking hardware. This would allow people to walk around their living rooms without worrying about knocking over the furniture!
It’s worth saying that this is still in its early stages and so very few games or apps have been developed for this kind of motion but it could prove game-changing when fully released. Other companies are also working on headsets that don’t require a phone or a PC, so this technology could very well be the future of VR gaming.
Tips for getting the most out of your VR experience:
“Be careful you don’t trip over the cat!” is the kind of advice you’re likely to hear from a friend before trying a VR headset for the first time. There’s a reason why they sound concerned – modern VR headsets are capable of taking you into some pretty intense worlds, so it pays to have an idea of what to expect before putting one on.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your VR experience: –
- Make sure you can see what’s in front of you while playing (like having a coffee table to walk around) and always keep an eye on how far away it is.
- Don’t play if you’re tired, dizzy or have consumed any alcohol or drugs. You must also stop playing if you experience motion sickness, discomfort or other health-related problems while using your headset .
- Check the game’s rating to see what kind of content it contains.
- Try out all the different movement options available in a game before starting – some games use touchpads on the controller or motion-tracking technology to move around, while others use your gaze to pan the camera.
- Start slow and try out a few shorter games before committing yourself to a long session. More is not necessarily better!
So there you have it – virtual reality gaming can be both an exciting and an expensive way to spend time with your family, but it’s up to you to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons!
In conclusion, virtual reality gaming can be both an exciting and expensive activity for some people. Although children are all allowed to play, it is the parents’ responsibility on how much time their child will spend playing them. There are many pros of VR games, but there are also many cons that must be considered before purchasing one. To conclude, VR gaming has its pros and cons. In the end, it is up to you whether you will want to try playing one or not.