For those on the cutting edge of gaming, there are two words that are able to get a lot of mouths talking: Oculus Rift. The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality device that has been in testing. Those lucky enough to get to experiment with the device have brought nothing but curiosity back for the gaming community. Will this be the device that finally offers players a chance to have a truly sensational virtual reality experience? Or will this end up among arcade or theme park attractions as have other virtual reality devices? Whatever the answer, the Oculus Rift will possibly facing some competition in the near future.
Sony, the company responsible for Playstation, has announced the Morpheus headset. This headset will be an add-on to the Playstation 4 and will be used to give players a virtual reality experience from their PS4. Sources say that the Morpheus will offer games made specifically for this device rather than simply integrating a first person experience onto Playstation 4 games. There is no word on a price or a release date, however, a few titles are in the works for it.
The Oculus Rift has been talked about by gaming sites all over for some time now. Gaming news sites have covered demos of several games implemented onto the Oculus Rift. YouTube also provides a multitude of videos uploaded showcasing the abilities of the device. Although some people have expressed dismay over the device, there is one thing that all reports about the Oculus Rift have in common: excitement. With the presence of a possible competitor to the Oculus Rift, this excitement can only increase.
The Oculus Rift has also announced a “Dev Kit 2” (short for developer’s kit) for those who wish to experiment with the device. The pre-orders went live on March 19th at 11:00 am EST. This kit is certainly not intended for use by the casual gamer, but it does allow indie developers to get their hands on what may be a powerful tool for their own games. However, priced at $350, the device is only slightly less than a current generation home console. Is this an indication of what players will have to dish out for the public use version of the device?
Players, developers, reporters and anyone with even a casual interest in video games instantly take interest in the subject upon hearing about the Oculus Rift. A true virtual reality experience in gaming could change the entire face of the gaming industry. Similar to the way that audiences saw an explosion in the popularity of 3D movies after the re-emergence of 3D in theaters, gamers may see a similar boom in virtual reality games, provided that these devices are successful. But what does this mean for the players? Will the Oculus Rift and Morpheus cause a virtual reality war similar to a console war? Or what sort of issues could arise from only one of the devices becoming a success and the other a failure? If the Morpheus will only cater to Playstation products, then will the Oculus Rift lend itself to an even greater games library? The only thing for certain now is that with the Oculus Rift finally encountering another possible competitor in the market of virtual reality gaming, players will begin to see an entirely new avenue of gaming open up to them.
Opinion by Michael Foster