When the Oculus Rift was first announced, I was initially skeptical about it. I thought that we might not have even discovered the right technology for it yet. However, my feelings gradually shifted from skepticism to cautious optimism as we learn more from the people who have tried the device. It’s not perfect. People still report experiencing nausea and the like, but it’s definitely one of the most developed prototypes we’ve seen. I regard the Oculus Rift the same way I perceive Google Glass. Glass and Rift won’t come out perfect during launch. Yet, I strongly believe that these devices will serve as a benchmark in creating the ultimate virtual/augmented reality software.
I recently stumbled upon this video from Mashable wherein a startup called Virtuix demonstrated their product ‘Omni’ paired with the Oculus Rift. The Omni is basically a treadmill-like “natural motion interface for virtual reality applications” that enable our real life movements to translate into the video game world. Check the video out here if you want to see for yourself. Regardless of the size, it was still pretty awesome and I felt the envy grow within me. It felt like being a kid in the arcade all over again, as I waited anxiously for my turn to play Ridge Racer.
It’s no doubt that it will take a couple of years until we truly get a near optimal virtual reality device. However, devices like the Omni and the Oculus Rift are visible show us how we are close to getting there. To share my excitement, here are some types of video games I’m excited to see used with virtual reality devices in the near future. What games are you excited to use virtual reality with? Let us know in the comments!
1. Boxing or Mixed Martial Arts
I’m a huge fan of EA’s Fight Night series and I would be more than thrilled to play one of the franchise’s games in virtual reality. While it would be cool just to have the Oculus Rift, it would definitely enhance the experience if I could jab, parry, and block the punches myself. Perhaps, my vision could go hazy and movement can be visibly sluggish if I am in danger. In addition, there could be a mini game that I have to play through using body movements to stand up from a knockdown. I have yet to try MMA video games, but I bet that they would be a good fit for virtual reality too. Not too sure about wrestling though, but I could be wrong.
2. Almost Every Sandbox Game Out There
Grand Theft Auto, Fable, Red Dead Redemption, and Elder Scrolls are the first video games that come to mind. I think that we’ve all dreamed about playing these games through virtual reality at one point. It would actually take me one entire post to write about all the possibilities if these games had virtual reality capability. The only thing that would possibly rival this is if someone finally creates a way to transfer our consciousness into a video game.
3. Playing Surgeon
One of my favorite games on the Wii was the video game called Trauma Center. It was quite hilarious how reckless my friends and I would operate on a person. Playing Surgeon Simulator teased a humorous experience on being a virtual surgeon as well. However, games like Trauma Center can get tense and serious too. I remember my friend literally blacked out because she was too overwhelmed with what was happening since the virus or tumor was killing our patient so fast. It would be great if they could immerse players to feel as if they were in the operating room. You have to look around and choose the right device. When you glance at your colleagues, you could see if they were calm or worried based on your actions. It would also be nice if you could instruct them what to do via voice commands and you could only do that if you’re a chief surgeon.
4. Racing Games
When I was younger, my mother bought me a Logitech Racing Wheel to complement all my racing video games. It even had those pedals and the gears! I would spend hours just doing the ‘ghost’ runs in-game. Interestingly, one writer commented that the Oculus Rift works extremely well with racing games. I’m inclined to agree with him since the racing wheel was a lot of fun on its own. Anything else to immerse myself in the experience would definitely be a great addition. The only thing missing then would be able to add in feeling the movement and speed of the car as you race.
5. Horror Games
If this happens, expect a lot of video game related injuries to occur because I’ll be running towards the wall like a terrified idiot. One of the scariest things about playing horror games is that constant fear of turning around. I also loved how some games relied on sound to help you navigate through the game. Imagine hearing breathing behind you, and your tempted to turn around to see if something is indeed behind you. If the Omni was integrated into this, I would probably lose a lot of calories trying to run away.
6. Shooter Games
Yes, how can I forget shooters? As a fan of shooting games, I’m excited to see how technology evolves to enhance games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Left for Dead. One thing I would want though is a higher level of immersion for Sniper games. When I used to play in the arcade, I would spend all my coins on this sniper simulation video game. I was even lucky to fire a real sniper rifle a few years back. Hopefully, the future will usher in virtual reality technology that will not only improve point and shoot games, but also military strategic games as well.