Recently, Virtual Reality (VR) has seen an immense resurgence and has become a huge powerhouse that doesn’t seem to be stopping. I’ve had the chance to work in VR as well as see what all of the fuss is about. Before I went into a virtual reality headset, I didn’t think that it was really anything that big at all, but once I got into a HTC Vive, it really changed my perspective for the better. Fortunately, I don’t get motion sickness at all so I’m able to be in VR headsets for an extended amount of time.
As we all know, Virtual Reality is quickly becoming the future, as this is where the larger game companies have been moving over their man power. There was a Valve employee that estimated that roughly a third of Valve is working on VR and VR-related projects. I feel that this technology is quickly becoming one of the most popular game consoles. Or at least it will be eventually. With the hefty price tag of $800, the HTC Vive is no dollar store item. But this hasn’t stopped people from getting their hands on the technology anyways. As of just recently, the University of Advancing Technology has acquired one and made it available to the students to use. Only one evening was enough for me to gather these thoughts and come up with an idea of how this is going to go. Now obviously I’m not a Valve employee, nor can I see the future, so take everything I say with a bit of skepticism, just in case.
Everybody has heard of VR by now, as the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift have taken the market by storm. Before this point most people only had an idea of VR from movies such as James Cameron's Avatar, which technically wasn't really VR anyway. The essence was there however, using technology to put yourself in another place, world, dimension, etc. This post would mostly be dedicated to the Vive, as I feel that it has more to talk about.
VR headsets will probably be the biggest new addition to entertainment in the next two years. There are tons of upcoming virtual reality experiences between Oculus Rift, HTC Vive & Steam VR, Project Morpheus, Microsoft HoloLens, and smartphone experiences like Google Cardboard. VR really is the next big thing, and because of the depth of the immersion, in some ways I mean that quite literally.
So there was a lot that happened at GDC this year. DirectX and Vulkan 3D APIs that I talked about in the last post just scratch the surface. Among everything that happened at GDC, Valve arguably had the most extensive and most industry-changing announcements. This blog post on the Valve website goes over most of the stuff that they announced in more detail, and the Steam Universe website has plenty of awesome info about each product as well as some sweet pictures that I'll post below.