Hey Tempers! It's Prans, your new editorial writer. I’ll be entertaining you with my weekly editorials, so stay tuned! Feel free to add your thoughts on each issue in the comments section. Now, without further ado, let’s dive into our first issue! It's already mid-2015, all the buzz from E3 has settled and the future has never been so near for us gamers. Or has it? What with VR , AR or mixed reality, we’ve got a lot to digest. What screams “WE ARE IN THE FUTURE" to us most? Virtual reality of course! 'Weird headsets mounted on their heads, looking around aimlessly with peculiar expressions of amazement and disbelief’... that's how people stuck in the past see us. But on the other side of the headset, a totally new, unexpected world lies for us all to explore. For those of you who have experienced VR, this feeling will be familiar. It’s the closest to immersive gaming we have to date and it sure feels like an other-worldly experience. But for those who haven’t experienced it yet, worry not as Google Cardboard offers an inexpensive way to access the technology with your smart phone. With over a million downloads from the Play Store, it’s easily the mostly used and most accessible method for virtual reality. Having personally tried it, it does indeed give an insight to that sought-after experience. But if you want more ‘hardcore’ gaming, you’ll opt for the Oculus Rift, currently on DK2, but the consumer model is set for a release in the first quarter of 2016. With many competitors on the market (Sony’s Project Morpheus, Valve and HTC’s Vive, Fove Inc.’s headset, Starbreeze’s Project StarVR and the cryptic Magic Leap), each with their own vision, the VR development scene is sure set for a massive boost. However, that’s where the hype comes to a halt. Virtual Reality is still in its early development stages. It’s not as widespread as consoles and has far less concrete software. Granted, we’ve seen promising titles for the Oculus Rift at E3 such as EVE: Valkyrie or Chronos. Google Cardboard has some really interesting games (Vanguard V and Lost in The Kismet are my favourites). The Oculus Rift DK2 has amazing demos too. But that’s about it. Our experience lies within demos, development kits (accessible to, well, developers, mostly) and pizza box headsets. Quoting John Carmack from his GDC 2015 talk, for technology like VR to really take off, it has to have at least a billion users. The technology has to be available and used by as many people as possible for it to be really adopted. It isn’t hard to see that we are years away from such a scope. One major drawback is that even moderate periods of VR gaming are followed by motion sickness and overall discomfort. Standford University researches showed that our brain can’t distinguish between actual reality and virtual reality, probably due to the lack of a 'physical barrier’, leading to motion sickness. The idea of doing a barrel-roll at the speed of sound might seem exciting but experiencing it first-hand? Uh-oh… Or what about driving a Red Bull X2014 Junior in Gran Turismo at 200+mph? The majority of gamers are bound to feel uncomfortable when exposed to such situations because we are not accustomed (not ready?) for controlling video games this way. As such VR games need to have their limitations, and I’m not sure we know what those are yet. But as often with new technologies, the path that virtual reality takes might surprise us. New or unexpected game genres might totally adopt it and become indispensable without VR (think educational ones) or the technology might be taken up by another field altogether (free range farming, anyone?). Videos are indeed adapted for it, imagine this with VR!. Being in its early stages, VR’s future is broad but also uncertain and we have yet to experience it as it was meant to be. Had enough of VR? On to AR then! Having given us a sci-fi-esque Minecraft demo at E3, the Microsoft HoloLens sure made us drool. Microsoft itself describes the experience as mixed reality, which is basically a revamped version of Augmented Reality, where in addition to having holograms, you’ll be able to manipulate them through gaze, voice and hand gestures. We’ve also recently been treated with a video of another of its possible application, in this case, teaching medicine. It aims to be a game changer and if it delivers what expected, it sure will be. However, the majority of us hasn’t been able to try it out, so we’ll have to rely on second hand information to have an idea of what to really expect. And from these we’ve learnt that the field of view is actually very limited. So we can’t expect to have the same view on the holograms as in the video below, yet, not without moving your head around considerably. It’s still in its early prototypes and too early to speculate what’ll become of it or even what really to expect of it... Both VR and the HoloLens are promising technologies for gaming. However, their application isn’t restricted to gaming and may in fact be better adapted for other uses outside the gaming world. Should they prove their worth by delivering what’s expected of them in regards to video games, then we’re up for some real changes in gaming and we are the witnesses of their evolution.