Arty, ultra evil, I

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Prans, Jul 5, 2016.

Jul 5, 2016

Arty, ultra evil, I by Prans at 11:28 PM (3,992 Views / 6 Likes) 27 replies

  1. Prans
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    Reporter Prans Geek, gamer, human

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    Once again E3 has come and gone, and we’ve had time to digest some of the year’s biggest gaming highlights. One aspect that stands out is that the major gaming companies seem to be investing heavily on a technology in particular. Yes, you’ve guess it; Virtual Reality. About a year ago, as part of my first editorial I wrote an article about VR and the future of gaming and boy, has the scene evolved since! As such, it inspired me to write a followup on the current state of VR, what has changed since and what needs to be changed.
    We’ve moved from the Oculus’ DK2 to actual (not cheap, $599) retail hardware, the Microsoft Hololens is now shipping its dev edition, Valve reportedly has a third (!) of its employees engaged in VR and more prominent figures are jumping into this newly found reality. These efforts seem to bring the technology to a wider audience, giving shape to John Carmack’s prediction on the matter that VR technology requires at least a billion users to take off.

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    We’ve now passed the stage of demos and concepts to actual, full-blown games many of which have been released (Chronos is a thing now!) and many more exciting titles are around the corner. Even renowned titles like Resident Evil and Final Fantasy are integrating the technology in their next title.

    ff15 vr.jpg
    All of these aspects sound fascinating and indeed promising on paper. Or in writing, for that matter. However, one thing that most of us are not discussing about is the inevitable hazards that accompany VR gaming. Maybe not enough gamers have experienced it to voice it out or maybe it’s just us practicing the ostrich policy in favor of the much coveted immersive gaming. This lack of focus on VR hazards (VzaRds?) is actually concerning, considering the serious impact it can potentially have on our health and the industry itself. Forget tripping over wires or punching the wall or hitting your head on furniture. There are more pressing issues.

    The problem at hand is VR sickness. Similar to motion sickness and seasickness, the mechanism behind VR sickness lies in the inconsistencies between the visual and vestibular systems. In virtual reality, however, "the brain is expecting everything to be in sync, but things are not in sync,” says Mayank Mehta, a neuroscientist at UCLA studying the effects virtual reality exposure on the brain; the virtual world is "incomplete.” And you most likely know what ensues; headache, nausea, which culminate into emptying your stomach’s content. Now with titles like Resident Evil 7, you can literally puke and soil your pants at the same time. Sounds funny in writing but understandably horrible to experience, and not an inviting one at that. Such side effects may effectively turn-off your VR-gasm, ward off potential adopters and on a global scale, not a lucrative investment for gaming companies.

    However, the major concern is that when it comes to understanding VR’s effects on the brain, scientists "don’t really know what’s going on". That’s basically what Mayank Mehta confessed in a Live Science interview. Recent studies of lab rats at the UCLA Keck Center for Neurophysics have revealed negative side effects including "cybersickness" and abnormal patterns of activity in rat brains, including 60 percent of neurons that simply shut down in virtual reality environments. How bad is this? "We don't know the long-term consequences," Mehta says. If a new technology’s influence on our biology isn’t totally clear, and has even showed side-effects, doesn’t it call for wariness? "I would say this is reason for caution, not business-as-usual," Mehta advises.

    Speaking of business, what about the financial aspect of VR? Quite literally, it is an investment from the part of the gamer, costing almost as much as current-gen consoles, not to mention that you need one to enjoy high-end VR. Take a look at the infographic below:

    Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 14.57.20.png

    The cheapest way to VR high end as of now (soon) is the PSVR. However, with only a bunch of games available at launch, does it justify investing in an add-on? Moreover, the lack of cross-play could hinder the growth of the VR in terms of fanbase. VR gamers are currently divided between the PSVR, Oculus Rift and Vive and soon, the XBox’s own VR will join the race and possibly Nintendo too! If you own more than one current-gen console/PC, your investment goes up and up if you you want to experience VR on each. Thankfully, Oculus recently ditched its DRM check so you don’t need both Oculus and Vive for your PC… Oh and what about Project Socrpio’s VR? That too shall have a dedicated headset? My, my! The prospect of all those spending might drive gamers away from embracing those headsets altogether or more viciously, set up breeding grounds for piracy...

    mario game over.png
    Nonetheless, the side-effects of VR gaming are known and some steps have been taken to make the user experience more enjoyable. Some of these measures include restricting the time spent with VR headsets, lengthy disclaimers à la Samsung Gear VR and increasing the screen’s refresh rate. These are hopefully early signs of improvement in this mostly unknown industry.

    rsz_1rsz_akgrxqrcqaadx3k.jpg

    VR has, and will, undeniably influence the way we game for years to come. But high headset price, known side effects and basically venturing in uncharted areas, could these mean a short lifetime of such a promising gaming method? Do these foretell a similar fate to yesteryear’s popular self-igniting “hoverboards”? Most likely not. Gamers have been dreaming of such immersive gaming ever since gaming was a thing. And they won’t let go of such an anticipated gaming experience. At its core, the aim of gaming is to have fun and if VR is the new way to game, then the whole experience has to be an enjoyable one. Allow extended periods of play, remove the nausea-inducing causes and lower the entry-point costs, then it’ll readily be adopted. Else, only those who can afford VR headsets and make do with the side effects will adopt it and create a gaming community segregated into the VR haves and have-nots... Okay. That’s too apocalyptic of a scenario, but you get the gist.

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    As a final note, if you are curious about this article’s title, it’s an anagram for "Virtual Reality", as is "fed us its 'real’ touch" for "Oculus Rift headset" but also "caused truth of lies”. Which one will it be, or more verbosely, what will you make of it?
     


  2. Abcdfv

    Member Abcdfv What comes around goes around.

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    I make of it that you've been playing too much zero escape.


    "Two milkmen go comedy", anyone?
     
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  3. xBleedingSoulx

    Member xBleedingSoulx GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Am I the only person that isn't on the VR hype train? It's lame and gimmicky atm and still has a long way to go before it's true VR.
     
  4. Silverthorn

    Member Silverthorn Spiky!

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    While I can agree that the technology isn't quite there yet for true broad adoption, and that some aspects can be called lame at the moment, I would not call it gimmicky.
    The technical problems need to be adressed, the price will need to go lower than that and more content needs to be created for VR.

    But i wouldn't say it's bad that there's a hype train.
    Having a decent number of users already will help the technology develop faster.
    Some people might want to discover VR right now because of its novelty, rather than wait for it to be perfected, and that's fine with me.
    I don't have the money for it, and I can wait, but I'm more than happy to see people embracing it.
     
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  5. Veho

    Global Moderator Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    I love VR headsets but this whole conviction that they must come as part of the whole setup with controllers and cameras and cost $999 and require a dedicated room to set up will prevent them from being adopted and supported for years still.
     
  6. dimmidice

    Member dimmidice GBAtemp Maniac

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    I really couldn't care less for VR. not until we're at the level of "move your entire consciousness into the game"
     
  7. xBleedingSoulx

    Member xBleedingSoulx GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    That's what I want, true VR style. Atm it's just like strapping a TV to your face.
     
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  8. ric.

    Member ric. Drivin' to meme country

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    I don't want to be that guy but what's the deal with the title?
     
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  9. petethepug

    Member petethepug PUG

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    Nope I'm not to excited about it either. The VR is good but I don't really see a use for it, seems more like a Wii Hardware upgrade that allows you to control two Wiimotes, and share the TV close to your self to bring an illusion of head movement.

    Woah wait a minute... :unsure:
     
    Last edited by petethepug, Jul 8, 2016
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  10. Nyap

    Banned Nyap HTML Noob

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    VR is a gimmick that's gone way too out of control
     
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  11. tbb043

    Member tbb043 Member

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    A gimmick and a fad. Give it a few years and it will be as relevant as kinect or waggle controls.
     
  12. Kurt91

    Member Kurt91 GBAtemp Fan

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    Wait, scientists tested the effects of VR on rat brains? How on Earth did that come about?

    "Yeah, you know those several-hundred-dollar, state-of-the-art technology headsets that you just came out with? We're going to need to order a handful of them, but we need you to minimize them down so they'll fit on a rat's head."

    What VR programs did they have the rats play with? Did they have their first go on a virtual roller-coaster as a human-sized rat? At some point, were these little critters suddenly realizing "HOLY SHIT, I'M HUGE!!!!"?
     
  13. Ikki Barri

    Newcomer Ikki Barri Advanced Member

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    Well, I found this. Gives a little information.

    http://blogs.plos.org/everyone/2013/11/11/a-rats-journey-through-virtual-reality/
     
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  14. Veho

    Global Moderator Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    They let them play this:
    [​IMG]

    "HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT? THE SHOE'S ON THE OTHER FOOT NOW, PUNY HUMANS!"
     
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  15. petethepug

    Member petethepug PUG

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    This would be a perfect Indie Game for NAMCO :D It shall be called; Rats in Miami, to bad I don't have a tiny rat VR Console.

    I bet the rat would think its Jesus :O.
     
    Last edited by petethepug, Jul 9, 2016
  16. Prans
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    Reporter Prans Geek, gamer, human

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    I talked about it at the end of the article :)
    _________________
    @Kurt91 you might also be interested in learning that someone has a concept for virtual free range chicken...
     
  17. leon315

    Member leon315 POWERLIFTER

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    I'm still waiting for VR porn...
    So where's VR porn?!
     
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  18. Cyan

    Global Moderator Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    Am I the only one here waiting for Virtual reality and headsets for 20 years?

    Of course it's "just screen in front of your eyes", that's what VR is....
    that's what it is, and what I wanted for a long time. I tried it 20 years ago and it was very bad. I can now see the potential and hope it won't end like virtual boy. It's up to end users and developers to make it a reality (hint ;) )
     
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  19. Silverthorn

    Member Silverthorn Spiky!

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    I think it's already there, you're just not looking.
     
  20. DarthDub

    Member DarthDub GBAtemp Regular

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    I know the otakus would get one..
     

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