vontade 2016 ser o xogo de realidade virtual ano despegar?

Will 2016 be the year virtual reality gaming takes off?

A primeira onda de auriculares VR fracasou, pero logo o Oculus Rift, HTC Vive e PlayStation VR estará á venda - e eles van ser moito máis, moito mellor


Alimentado por Guardian.co.ukEste artigo titulado “vontade 2016 ser o xogo de realidade virtual ano despegar?” foi escrito por Alex Hern, para o The Guardian hoxe 28 de decembro 2015 11.00 Tempo Universal Coordinado (Universal Time Coordinated

A realidade virtual está chegando. 2016 verá o lanzamento das primeiras graves Headsets VR consumidor por 20 anos.

No primeiro trimestre do ano, VR pioneiros Oculus (unha subsidiaria da Facebook, desde a US $ 2 millóns (£ 1,3 millóns) buyout marzo 2014) lanzará a versión do consumidor do seu auriculares Rift ao mundo. En abril de, HTC Taiwán lanzará o Vive, outro PC periférica desenvolvida conxuntamente coa empresa de xogos Chave. E nalgún momento o ano - probablemente a primeira parte - Sony lanzará o seu PlayStation VR, un add-on para o Playstation 4, que traerá VR á sala.

Estes auriculares non son os primeiros en mercado, por un longo camiño. En 1995, Nintendo lanzou o Virtual Boy, auriculares monocromática que prometía ofrecer certos gráficos 3D en xogos por primeira vez. A torpe, dispositivo montado en mesa que foi vendido por $180 ($280 en 2015 dólares, ou £ 189) e deu usuarios dores de cabeza de crack, que vendeu algo máis dun décimo do que Nintendo esperara e foi descontinuado menos dun ano despois.

O Virtual Boy foi o fracaso máis destacado da primeira onda de realidade virtual, pero todos tiveron o mesmo destino. A tecnoloxía simplemente non estaba alí: pantallas non eran de alta resolución suficiente para ser colocadas tan preto para os ollos, eles non podían actualizar rápido abondo para presentar unha imaxe suave, e os procesadores detrás deles non podería empurrar píxeles suficientes para facer un mundo convincente. O fracaso da década de 90 onda de realidade virtual foi tan completa que matou o campo para unha xeración.

Moito do crédito para o renacemento da VR ten que ir a unha persoa: Palmer Luckey, o fundador da Oculus. Lanzado ao público cunha campaña Kickstarter, seu auricular Rift levantouse US $ 2,5 millóns en 2012. El partiu a onda de interese no campo que segue ata hoxe. Un estraño para a industria de tecnoloxía, Luckey non era parte da sabedoría recibida que a RV foi un xogo de tolos. Penso que era legal, e así fixo máis que 9,000 outros.

Palmer Luckey, cofundador da Oculus.
Palmer Luckey, cofundador da Oculus. Fotografía: Bloomberg vía Getty Images

Pero tan importante, dunha forma indirecta, foi o smartphone. Aínda que ninguén imaxinaría que como Steve Jobs estaba no escenario e demostrou o primeiro iPhone, a tecnoloxía necesaria para facer un teléfono de nivel superior ten unha notable semellanza coa tecnoloxía necesaria para facer convincente VR. pantallas de alta resolución, sensores de movemento precisos e factores de forma compactos son todos grandes nun smartphone moderno, pero eles tamén son o primeiro paso no sentido de facer realidade virtual, ben, unha realidade.

Isto foi ilustrado en primeiro 2015 como Google Cartón ea Samsung Gear VR bootstrapped unha forma barata-and-alegre da VR usando smartphones. Por entalhar un teléfono nun display head-Mounted, ofrecen acceso a mundos virtuais simples. Google Cartón, por exemplo (literalmente unha peza cortada con láser de cartón, utilizado para a realización dun teléfono compatible no lugar) foi dado de balde co New York Times en novembro, vinculación con unha aplicación VR do papel usado "para simular escenas ricamente inmersos de todo o mundo".

Pero onde a seguinte colleita de auriculares distintos destes é de calidade. Simplificando: son realmente, realmente bo.

Un teléfono moderno proporciona unha base sólida sobre a que construír un auricular de realidade virtual, pero non pode soster unha vela para un dispositivo dedicado. E Headsets VR foron quedando cada vez mellor tan rápido como smartphones teñen benvida a mellorar. Cando usei por primeira vez un Oculus Rift en 2013 Estaba decepcionados. a unidade, que foi o segundo prototipo pública, era torpe e feo, mesmo antes de poñelas. Vestindo parecía lentes de esquí incómodas presas na miña cara, ea resolución da pantalla foi baixo o suficiente para que el se sentía como ollar para o mundo a través dunha porta de malla. 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. Fotografía: 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, whose Volume: 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,", Di el.

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, con todo. 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) prezo, is comparatively cheap.

Como resultado, “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, con todo, 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”.

Even now, 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. Agora, 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.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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