Ever since developers and early adopters got their hands on the developer version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, there have been some ambitious projects that have popped up. The latest one takes a stab at porting the cult-classic free-running game Mirror's Edge to the virtual reality headset. Check out the video to see what the game could look like on the Oculus Rift:
The developer, who goes by the alias Cymatic Bruce, seems to be using a controller to handle the general movement of the main character. Thanks to the headset, one wouldn't have to deal with clumsy analogue stick to look around. Instead, players can simply move their heads around. The nine minute long video gives us a good look at one of the many things that is possible with the Oculus Rift.
The virtual reality headset has been gaining popularity ever since developers got their hands on the early-backer version of the device. Just recently, the guys over at iFixit released its teardown of the Oculus Rift and they were impressed. The headset got a score of 9 out of 10 for repairability and “can be taken apart in less than 10 minutes.”
It is worth noting, however, that the version of the Oculus Rift that was taken apart is the developer version that was sent out to backers of the Kickstarter campaign. Whether or not the consumer version will be this easy to take apart and repair will only be known once the headset has been launched for the public.
Playing Mirror's Edge with a virtual reality headset would be a treat
So far, everyone who has had hands-on time with the Oculus Rift at events such as PAX or GDC has been mightily impressed by the headset. It will be interesting to see how the developers handled the latency issues that are associated with virtual reality gaming headsets.
A programmer from Valve, Michael Abrash, talked about the latency issues back in January through a blog post on the Valve blog. The main takeaway from the post is the subject of latency. According to the post, latency is the biggest enemy of virtual reality.
Abrash wrote, “When it comes to VR and AR, latency is fundamental—if you don't have low enough latency, it's impossible to deliver good experiences, by which I mean virtual objects that your eyes and brain accept as real.”
The biggest problem from latency is perceiving virtual objects to be real. Real, in this sense, doesn't mean that they don't look virtual, “but rather that your perception of them as part of the world as you move your eyes, head, and body is indistinguishable from your perception of real objects.”
The Oculus Rift isn't the only virtual reality gaming headset around. Valve had revealed its plans for a virtual reality gaming headset in September last year, and it seems the company will face greater technical challenges when developing its headset as compared to Google’s Project Glass. While Google’s glasses will display texts and video conferences, Valve has greater technical challenges to overcome with augmented-reality games. It has to figure out how to keep stable an image of a virtual object (say, a billboard) that is meant to be attached to a real-world object (the side of a building) while a player moves around. Otherwise, the illusion would be shattered.
First Person Runner, first-person shooter, FPS, Game Developers Conference, Gaming, Gaming Headset, GDC, Mirror's Edge, Oculus Rift, Oculus VR, Virtual Reality Gaming, virtual reality headset, VR technology