The Future is Nigh

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Prans, Jul 24, 2015.

Jul 24, 2015

The Future is Nigh by Prans at 5:42 PM (2,221 Views / 10 Likes) 12 replies

  1. Prans
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    Reporter Prans Geek, gamer, human

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.
     
  2. GhostLatte

    Member GhostLatte Is Your Worst Nightmare

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    Hi Prans! I wish you luck being an editorial writer.
     
  3. Prans
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    Reporter Prans Geek, gamer, human

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    Thanks! I hope you'll like my articles!
     
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  4. Qtis

    Member Qtis Grey Knight Inquisitor

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    I expect a lot from the current "to be done in the future" technology and for it to get better reach in the next few years. I think the main caveats will be the standardised platform (or lack of one) that will either make it or break it. It's already being seen as a problem in the GPU market with technology such as Nvidia GameWorks breaking a lot of games for AMD GPUs, while looking even better on old Nvidia hardware. If such a thing can swim into VR and the likes, we'll have more of a monopoly than a competitive market with two or more competitors (hell, even AMD/ATI gave Nvidia and Intel a run for their money at one point).

    AR will most likely be more limited in the traditional usage environment, unless it can be integrated into VR or similar tech with an actual reason for existing. As is, technology such as AR can be very beneficial for education and the likes, but this use of the tech can go with a few annoyances such as lack of quick input and limited world enhancement. But this is mostly based on what we have seen so far. HoloLens and others can possibly even get me swayed to support more AR, but Minecraft isn't the reason why I'd buy it. (I don't really prefer Minecraft after years of RuneScape gaming back in the days, which gave me my fair share of building block games)
     
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  5. Prans
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    Reporter Prans Geek, gamer, human

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    @Qtis thanks for your comment!

    Yes, we all expect a lot from the, as you correctly put it, "to be done in the future" technology. And hopefully the hardware race won't ruin the fun for us.

    Integrating AR to VR sounds interesting. I hope someone comes up with a working model of said concept :lol: I'm not sold on Minecraft either but the possibilities portrayed by its demo were worthy of anyone's attention.

    Ah RuneScape, I remember just being able to create an account but never really playing it owing to our crappy dial-up connection...
     
  6. boomario

    Member boomario Nothing to say here.

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    I think VR tech is doing great so far but something on it still lacks attention, the way we interact with the virtual world still lacks development, 'm pretty sure no one here want to buy a different controller for every single game you want to play in this tech, and even if we use traditional controllers it seems like a limitation for the possibilities this thing can reach. Not to talk about the "exclusives" for it. If i bought a VR for one game then another game come out requiring another VR i would drop entire thing easily.
    About Hololens, it's a great technology for MANY things i've seen so far, and games are not one of them.
     
    Last edited by boomario, Jul 25, 2015 - Reason: fix'd
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  7. chavosaur

    Contributor chavosaur Austin Trujillo

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    The Hololens is something I have my eyes on... in... whatever.

    My only problem with VR and AR is exactly what you mentioned, the fact that its so uncomfortable. Ive played around with an Occulus dev kit before, and not only is it impossible to use for someone like me that wears glasses, but I also had to deal with pressure placed on my face from the unit, and overall discomfort during head turns. Things would blur and it would feel incredibly unnatural.

    Either way, great write up, I look forward to more~
     
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  8. Ryukouki

    Member Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Hololens actually looks awesome. I actually want one... even if it breaks my wallet.
     
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  9. Prans
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    Reporter Prans Geek, gamer, human

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    @boomario so far we know the Oculus Rift is cross-platform, so I doubt about exclusives but if each company makes its own like Sony's Project Morpheus, which will likely harbour exclusives, then it might become a pain for gamers and wallets.

    I'm looking forward to how the Hololens will progress and how it will actually be used.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    Thanks for your comment @chavosaur!

    Yes, I've had this issue too as a bespectacled person. Maybe it'll be time for us to adopt contacts? Or for the headsets to accomodate glasses...

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    I know what you mean! But we better wait and see what it grows to be (with its potential, not far from every tech enthusiast's dream).
     
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  10. Black-Ice

    Member Black-Ice Founder of the Church of Renamon

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    Nice read ^_^

    I'm holding out for Virtual reality fighting games but uhh, if my brain can't distinguish VR Tekken to real life fighting that may be a problem/.
     
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  11. Retr0Capez

    Member Retr0Capez GBATemp's Official Evil Genius

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    Nice, but where is the Gear VR in this? With Package disabler and Trinus VR on the Samsung, you can play oculus PC games on the Galaxy S6.
     
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  12. weatMod

    Member weatMod GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    "hololens" is a total misnomer , the video says "this is the world with holograms" no it's not, it's just AR
    and i call bullshit on half the shit in that video , they will never get half of those things working as easily and seemlessly as shown , it is just a shitty POC video that they will never deliver on until 20 years later
     
    Last edited by weatMod, Jul 27, 2015
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  13. Prans
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    Reporter Prans Geek, gamer, human

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    @Black-Ice better look out for you! :ninja:

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    To be honest, I didn't hear of this workaround. But does this method allow flawlessly playing the Oculus Rift games?

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    @weatMod it's true that we can't be certain as to how the HoloLens will actually perform but if you look around for reviews from people who actually experienced it (again second hand info), particularly from the Build Developer Conference, they do sound impressed by what they tired. But as you put it, most of the applications shown in the video are POC. But with what we have witnessed with the Minecraft demo, it promises a lot. Now let's hope it delivers...
     

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