volja 2016 biti godina virtualnu stvarnost gaming skida?

Will 2016 be the year virtual reality gaming takes off?

Prvi talas VR slušalica propao, ali ubrzo je Oculus Rift, HTC Vive i PlayStation VR će se naći u prodaji - i oni će biti mnogo, mnogo bolje


Powered by Guardian.co.ukOvaj članak pod naslovom “volja 2016 biti godina virtualnu stvarnost gaming skida?” napisao je Alex Hern, The Guardian u ponedjeljak 28. decembar 2015 11.00 UTC

Virtualna stvarnost dolazi. 2016 ćete oslobađanje prvi ozbiljan potrošač VR slušalice za 20 godina.

U prvom kvartalu ove godine, VR pioniri Oculus (podružnica Facebook, od do $ 2 milijarde (£ 1,3 milijardi) otkup mart 2014) će pokrenuti potrošača verziju svog Rift slušalice na svijetu. U aprilu, Tajvanski HTC će pokrenuti Vive, drugi PC periferne razvijen u saradnji sa gaming firmom Valve. I u nekom trenutku u godini - vjerovatno biti u prvoj polovini - Sony će lansirati PlayStation VR, dodatak za Playstation 4, koji će donijeti VR u dnevnu sobu.

Te slušalice nisu prvi koji će tržište, po dug put. U 1995, Nintendo je izdao Virtual Boy, jednoličnom slušalice koje je obećao da će ponuditi pravi 3D grafiku u gaming po prvi put. A glomazne, montiran na stolu uređaj koji se prodaju za $180 ($280 u 2015 dolara, ili £ 189) i dali korisnici cijepanje glavobolje, prodao jedva desetinu onoga što Nintendo nadao i bio je prekinut manje od godinu dana kasnije.

Virtual Boy je bio najistaknutiji neuspjeha prvog talasa virtualne stvarnosti, ali svi dijele istu sudbinu. Tehnologija jednostavno nije bio tamo: ekrani nisu bile visoke rezolucije dovoljno da se stavi da u blizini očiju, oni nisu mogli osvježiti dovoljno brzo da predstavi glatku sliku, i procesori iza njih nije mogao gurnuti dovoljno piksela da donese uvjerljiv svijet. Neuspjeh 90-ih godina talas virtualne stvarnosti je tako potpuna da je za generaciju ubijen na terenu.

Veći dio kredita za oživljavanje VR mora ići na jednu osobu: Palmer Luckey, osnivač Oculus. Pokrenut javnosti sa Kickstarter kampanju, njegova Rift slušalice podigao $ 2.5 miliona u 2012. Ona je krenula talas interesa u oblasti koja se nastavlja do današnjeg dana. Autsajder u tehnološkoj industriji, Luckey nije potpisnica primljene mudrosti da VR bio budala igra. Mislio je da je cool, i tako je i više nego 9,000 drugi.

Palmer Luckey, suosnivač Oculus.
Palmer Luckey, suosnivač Oculus. Fotografija: Bloomberg putem Getty Images

Ali jednako važna, zaobilaznim putem, je pametni telefon. Iako niko ne bi pogodili kao Steve Jobs je stajao na pozornici i demonstrirao prvi iPhone, tehnologije potrebne da se napravi vrhunskih smartphone ima izuzetnu sličnost tehnologije potrebne da bi uvjerljiv VR. Visoke rezolucije ekrana, precizne senzore pokreta i kompaktne forme su sve velike u modernom smartphone, ali oni su prvi korak u stvaranju virtualne stvarnosti, dobro, stvarnost.

Ovo je prvi put prikazano u 2015 kao Google kartona i Samsung Gear VR bootstrapped jeftin-i-vesela oblik VR pomoću pametnih telefona. Do dubljenje telefon u ekran glavi, nude pristup jednostavan virtualnih svjetova. Google kartona, na primjer (doslovno laser-cut komad kartona, koristi za održavanje kompatibilan smartphone u mjestu) je dao daleko za besplatno uz New York Times u novembru, uparen sa VR aplikaciju iz papira koristi "za simulaciju bogato impresivne scene iz cijelog svijeta".

Ali, gdje je dolazak rod slušalica se razlikuju od njih je u kvalitetu. Jednostavno rečeno: oni su zaista, stvarno dobro.

Moderna smartphone pruža snažnu bazu na kojoj će se graditi virtualnu stvarnost slušalice, ali ne može držati svijeću na namjenski uređaj. I VR slušalice su bolje jednako brzo kao pametni telefoni su poboljšanje. Kada sam prvi put koristio Oculus Rift u 2013 Bio sam Underwhelmed. jedinica, koji je bio drugi javni prototip, bio nezgodan i ružan i prije nego što sam stavio na. Nošenje se činilo kao da neugodno skijaške naočale zatezanjem na moje lice, i rezolucija ekrana je dovoljno niska da se činilo da zuri u svijetu kroz mreže vrata. The demo – which featured me strapped into a roller-coaster – did little to help, with its comparison to a fairground ride serving only to emphasise the gimmicky aspect of the whole thing.

Two years later, using the final pre-release version of the Rift at an event organised by Facebook, and I finally saw what the fuss was about. Wearing the device that will hit shelves in less than six months, I sat in a spaceship, gazing around at the cavernous hanger within which it sat. A string of lights turned on in front of my ship, which began accelerating faster and faster until, suddenly, it emerged from the side of an enormous capital ship (which I could see if I craned my neck behind me), and I was left floating in the calmness of space. That was when the enemies ported in …

A gamer with the PlayStation VR headset.
A gamer with the PlayStation VR headset. Fotografija: Chesnot/Getty Images

The game, Eve Valkyrie, has been in development for two years, beginning as a tech demo for the platform in 2013. It’s now set to be a launch game for the Rift and for Sony’s PlayStation VR, and for anyone who’s harboured secret dreams of dogfighting in space (a group surely larger than ever following the release of Star Wars).

But there’s a problem: you will have to take me on my word. VR is notoriously hard to actually sell. A video of Eve Valkyrie, watched on your screen, will look like nothing special – just another space game. Because, without the VR, that’s all it is. A video of me playing Eve Valkyrie would be even worse: a technology reporter sitting in a chair, gurning and writhing, with a bizarre black box strapped to his face. Even if I look like I’m having fun, it’s not the best way of selling the hardware.

Game developer Mike Bithell, čije Zapremina: Coda will be one of the launch titles for the Playstation VR, agrees with the concern, but thinks that the wow factor will be enough to overcome that initial hurdle. “You undoubtedly look very silly wearing these things, but if they can get folks trying them on in shopping malls, or party games that demand to be played with friends, I can see it going big,"Kaže on.

Because of that, the early penetration provided by cheaper versions of VR such as Google Cardboard could counterintuitively spoil VR’s chances of taking off. Many who were unimpressed by the smartphone-strapped-to-your-face approach will be unwilling to give VR a second chance, even if future versions are considerably better.

Not everyone is concerned about an initial hurdle, međutim. Brian Blau of analyst firm Gartner dismisses the worry: “I believe that once people get a basic understanding of the device they instantly understand its power, even without trying one on. The notion of a wearable computer isn’t science fiction these days and people have a good understanding of what VR could do for them.”

For Blau, the real difficulty comes in the next step: “The VR experience is completely dependent on the device and the quality of the content. I’m convinced that the initial devices being released in 2016 are good enough, but it’s the content that must keep users coming back. Is there enough good VR content in the pipeline to keep users engaged with the devices over time? From early indications there are some great VR games and video experiences so I’m not worried, but ultimately this is a question that we can’t answer until we see how the general public reacts to these new types of personal computing devices and content.”

Even if it overcomes those hurdles, there’s another one waiting around the corner: cost. Both the Rift and the Vive require a top-flight gaming PC, which costs about £1,000, to power the devices – which themselves are likely to start around £300. Against that, the PlayStation VR, which only requires a £300 PlayStation 4 on top of its own (unannounced) cijena, is comparatively cheap.

Kao rezultat, “it’ll remain a super exciting early adopter tech until the price comes down”, says Bithell. “It’s important to remember though that, while the price will be high, we’re not talking ‘buying the first 3D TVs to hit the market’ prices here.” The prices will be probably high enough, međutim, to prevent an immediate repeat of the last great crossover hit from gaming, Nintendo’s Wii.

That’s a shame, because some of the most interesting uses of VR are a long way from traditional gaming. As well as the burgeoning field of 360˚ cinema, which places viewers in the centre of the shot and allows them to look around as they see fit, there’s the looming presence of Facebook in the field. The social network is not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of gaming – but that’s not what Mark Zuckerberg cares about either.

“Imagine enjoying a courtside seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face – just by putting on goggles in your home,” he wrote when he announced Facebook’s acquisition of the company. “Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones.”

But that’s further down the line. For the next year, the question will be whether a virtual reality headset can take its place on the gaming stage – and if so, which one. Bithell thinks so. “As products, all three are solid and ready for that audience. While I’m not expecting to be throwing my TV in the tip next Christmas, I think they’ll have a strong start, then it becomes about sustaining that success with software and further iterations on the tech.”

Gartner’s Blau thinks that “a single year isn’t enough time to get an overall picture of the future of VR”, but that it is “certainly enough time to fully understand how the first few years of VR technologies will do in the hands of consumers”.

čak i sada, with months to go until release, the state of virtual reality tech impresses me. I’ve written it off before, worried that over-promising and under-delivering would combine with the “dork factor” to produce something dead on arrival. Sada, I’m only sure of one thing: I want one. If you want me, I’ll be the one in the corner, gurning and writhing with a smile on my face.

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