VFX-1 (1994) vs Oculus Rift (2012-PRESENT)
Without trying to give away my age too much, does anyone remember Forte’s VFX-1 HMD?
I came across it at the last Bossa Studios Oculus Rift event.
At the time I thought that this would be the new future of gaming, even if it had this floating screen (resolution 640×480, 256 colors)* with a big black canvas around it. It was quite laggy from what I remember, the gameplay was good enough, but nobody I knew could afford it really.
Oops. VR future and all dreams kaput!
Well we all moved on with our (gamer) lives after that (and secretly saved the money in the hope to buy this stuff one day).
A New Hope IV: Then thanks to Palmer Luckey and Kickstarter last year we now have hope again (and less money to spend, yay!) and might ‘oculus’ into a brighter 3D game future, where none of us want to escape from it after tasting the forbidden VR fruits.
The image of ‘The Lawnmower Man’ from 1992 comes to mind were Jobe Smith ‘moves’ into the VR world and his whole body collapses at the end.
(I said spoiler alert, well too late!).
Who wrote this script again?
With the new kids on the block on Kickstarters like vrAse, 360specs, castAR and my own upcoming HMD support device we are all seeing the VR future accelerating rapidly and hopefully making it available for the masses much sooner.
There are also some interesting new input devices coming to support our love for VR.
The question remains, will VR or VR/AR combos remain a niche (hardcore) gamer experience or will it open up to the masses with help from Google (Glasses), Sony PS4 and Microsoft Xbox One maybe?
So for me and others in the industry like Patrick O’Luanaigh CEO of nDreams ‘2014 will be the year of Virtual Reality’. How exciting!
Well, I’ll see you in the VR future next year then, maybe sooner!
* One more HMD to remember at the VFX-1 time is the I-Glasses (resolution 640×480, 16 colors) and then again quickly forgotten.