Virtual Reality: The Future of Cloud Gaming Is Almost Upon Us
If you have had the opportunity to read any of my previous articles, you have no doubt come to realize by now that realism and the most immersive experience possible are the keys to the future of cloud gaming. While this may sound like it rings true for all types of video games, these factors are most important when it comes to cloud play. More realism and immersion allows for quicker response times to outside stimuli. And as any cloud gamer will tell you, due to latency and bandwidth issues, a split second can easily spell the difference between success and defeat.
So which technology do we look to, which will allow us this needed increase in reactive response? Two words: virtual reality.
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What Is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality, also known in some circles as immersive multimedia, is defined as “a computer-simulated environment that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds.” Hardware and software work in tandem to provide real-world responses to physical input, including moving your head and sighting specific objects.
What We Have Now
Current virtual reality hardware and software offerings are severely limited. Technology is just beginning to advance to the point where true virtual reality is possible, making the examples of yesteryear seem truly primitive by comparison. So while we may not yet have the ability to traverse virtual worlds in a way that is comparable to real life, offerings like the following may bring us to the true immersion needed to realize this dream.
No single piece of hardware related to virtual reality and cloud gaming has received more hype than the Oculus Rift. The Oculus Rift is a headset seen as one of the true answers to the best virtual-reality experience possible.
Facebook’s recent acquisition of the Oculus Rift has the games industry in a buzz. Will Facebook completely rebrand the Oculus Rift, lessening its potential impact on the gaming industry as a whole? According to Facebook, no, they have no intentions of doing so. Time will only tell where this cool new piece of hardware will truly make its mark.
The Oculus Rift is not the only piece of virtual-reality hardware that has the industry in a buzz. Industry-leader, Sony, has also decided to jump into the fray with Project Morpheus. First revealed at this year’s GDC (Game Developers Conference), Sony plans to use the Morpheus as an enhancement of their already solid game offerings, turning fun into amazing.
Games: Now and Then
Given that true virtual reality hardware is pretty much non-existent at this point, current games are extremely limited. Eve Online is a perfect example of a current game that will benefit greatly from advances in virtual reality. The creator of Second Life, a completely virtual world that players can live in, envisions that his next project will fully utilize virtual-reality hardware, making the line between virtual and real difficult to pin down.
More so now than at any point in history, we are finally poised to realize the true power of virtual reality. No matter which genre of games you enjoy the most, expect it to be enhanced by an order of magnitude with the inclusion of virtual-reality hardware.
By Joe Pellicone