Whatever happened to virtual reality?

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Panic Button
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Whatever happened to virtual reality?

Post by Panic Button » Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:28 am

In the early 80s the first 3D games came out. We had the Tomytronic 3D range of handhelds and the Vectrex 3D Imager which must be the first attempts at proper immersive 3D gaming. Then fast forward to the mid 90s and Nintendo bought out the commercially unsuccessful Virtual Boy. The early-mid 90s saw quite a lot of hype surrounding the technology and I remember VR gaming shops opened where you could play VR games at £10/hr or something. But with basic wireframe environments these also never caught on. Its now some 10 years+ later and the what with the increases in processing power, improvements in display technologies and miniturisation over the intervening period you would think it's high time for a renaissance in VR gaming. Given the popularity and plethora of first person 3D shooters now available, some with almost photo realistic graphics such as Gears of War, it shows theres now a massive market for 3D games and that we now have the ability to create rich 3D environments. So I'm sure it wouldn't be much of a leap to create great stereoscopic 3D games for the XBox 360 or PC.

Personally I'm getting bored of playing FPSs. Gears of War/Lost Planet/Call of Duty 2 & 3 may have slick graphics, but they don't really add any new gameplay elements to what is an oversaturated genre. Add stereoscopic 3D and new life would be breathed in to it. For many other tired genres as well, such as the beat'em up or flight sim.

And it's not like the technology isn't already out there to enable this kind of thing. So why aren't games developers looking at VR again?

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Elgin_McQueen
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Post by Elgin_McQueen » Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:38 am

Cause it sucked and was overly expensive?
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Confessor
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Post by Confessor » Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:39 am

I tried a VR game once. After 5 minutes I was going to throw up, my eyes hurt and I was wrapped in cables. Not my cup of tea.

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Post by pforson » Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:43 am

I remember at Uni they had a Virtual Reality machine. A really big thig that you walked into and a 3D town was projected all around you. You could then walk about it, turing down side streets and the like. I was quite impressed at the time.

I wonder whether they still have it and use it...

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Post by Antiriad2097 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:39 am

You missed out the Master System 3D glasses. Quite advanced for their time.

There are loads of cheap 3D specs on ebay for PC that work with many FPS.

Not quite VR though, as you can't move your head around, its just the normal 'straight ahead' view but in stereo. I suppose you could tape your face to the screen but it'd be unwieldy :D
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Post by Elgin_McQueen » Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:41 am

I remember using the virtual reality machine at Aviemore at Santa Claus Land or wahtever it was called, was ok I guess, a robot arena fighting game with guns. Cables were annoying though.
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Dudley
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Re:

Post by Dudley » Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:00 am

Confessor wrote:I tried a VR game once. After 5 minutes I was going to throw up, my eyes hurt and I was wrapped in cables. Not my cup of tea.
This is pretty much the real reason. The graphical problems would have gone away but no-one's properly solved this.

Plus the decline of arcades for other reasons and the fact it's too expensive and cumbersome for simple home use means there's not the money in it.
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will2097
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Post by will2097 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:09 am

Behold: http://www.jagfest.org/uk/JFK2007/index.shtml

They are threating Missile Command to play on it too!

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BennyTheGreek
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Post by BennyTheGreek » Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:54 pm

I played a sort of red baron ww1 flying game at the Trocadero Centre at London in about 1992...and the bloke there said I was the most successful player cos I was the only one actually looking around me in 360 degrees rather than just sit and stare straight ahead...

I was chuffed and it was really good fun ....but it was £3 a go....and London aint cheap when you are a northerner on holiday

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Re:

Post by sleeper77 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:43 pm

BennyTheGreek wrote:I played a sort of red baron ww1 flying game at the Trocadero Centre at London in about 1992...and the bloke there said I was the most successful player cos I was the only one actually looking around me in 360 degrees rather than just sit and stare straight ahead...

I was chuffed and it was really good fun ....but it was £3 a go....and London aint cheap when you are a northerner on holiday
Yes I remember playing that game in the Trocadero and then in Southampton just before VR went out of the window.

The reason I didn't move my head round too much is because of the front of the VR headset with the screen. It was really heavy, and if I did move my head too much my nose would hurt for about an hour because of the weight of the front casing. Painful.

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Sureshot
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Post by Sureshot » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:55 pm

VR was crap. I remember playing it in Sega World once, and for 2 quid I had the pleasure of having 2 TV screens strapped to my face, showing brain-melting blurry images for around 3 minutes.

Lawnmower Man it wasn't.

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Post by woody.cool » Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:30 pm

Whatever happened to virtual reality?
It never really happend - it only virtually happened! :lol: :lol:

I'll get my coat, shall I :P

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merman
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Post by merman » Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:08 pm

Virtuality, the company who did the most famous VR machines (Legend Quest, Dactyl Nightmare), went out of business... With greater power in consoles and PC's, the market moved away from immersive technology.
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planetmatt
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Post by planetmatt » Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:32 am

VR is awful and still hasnt progressed to being playable without making people vomit. I plated the Red Baron one back in the day and the delay between moving and vision was pretty bad.

Last year I went to Disney World and to the DisneyQuest arcade. They had a much newer VR implementation featuring a game where you had to fly Aladdin's magic carpet. The image quality is much better than 15 years ago but that lag is still there. Both my wife and I felt really sick for the rest of the day. Worse than any rollercoaster.

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Post by paranoid marvin » Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:34 am

The only way to really do is like in Westword,except without the killer androids
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