With the upcoming release of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, video games and their consoles seem to be the hot topic of the day. It’s a safe bet to say that gaming has never been as big or as popular as it is today, and if the creative geniuses at Oculus VR have anything to say about it, it’s only going to get bigger and better. For years, gamers all operated in much the same way – you hooked a console up to your TV and then you used a controller to control what happened on the screen. Unless you were using a handheld device like a GameBoy, you always had to look up at a television screen, and after a few hours, your neck and/or thumbs might have felt a little sore.
Whatever game or system you were playing, though, you weren’t actually in the game. That could all be changing in the coming years, thanks to a device known as the Oculus Rift.
The Oculus Rift
The Oculus Rift is the next generation’s leader in virtual reality headsets. While certainly not the first virtual reality glasses, they are purported to be the first of their kind to actually place you into the game. Here’s just a few of the differences between the Oculus Rift and some other VR glasses:
- Stereoscopic View: Images are presented in the manner in which your eyes naturally view images, unlike viewing a television screen.
- No screen: When using the Oculus Rift, you don’t see the edges of a screen…at all. The Oculus Rift gives you a viewing angle of 110 degrees which is beyond the limits of our peripheral vision.
- Head Tracking: Gamers can look around the virtual world the same way they look around their own world.
While other virtual reality glasses cost an arm and a leg, the designers at Oculus want to make these glasses available for the average gamer. If their Kickstarter page is any indication, they won’t be wanting for customers. Oculus set a goal to raise $250,000 in 2012, and today, they have collected just over $2.4 million.
Oculus hopes to release the Oculus Rift to gamers everywhere beginning in 2014, and it is being developed for PC, Linux, Mac, and surprisingly, it will also be targeted for Android users.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the Oculus Rift will weigh approximately the same as a pair of ski goggles. Business Insider got their hands on the device and tested on co-workers with amusing results:
[Image via begeek]