Have we gotten close to Sword Art Online? Does the Oculus Rift’s simulation compare?
If you have been following the anime scene in the last year, there was an anime called Sword Art Online (SAO) based on the popular light novel by Reki Kawahara. This story takes place in a Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. The players connect to SAO via a VR Helmet know as Nerve Gear that stimulates the players’ five senses. In SAO the players were able to feel, taste, smell, hear, and see.
The Oculus Rift only simulates what you see. If you add a good set of headphones, you can simulate sound. A great example is a video on YouTube of a 90 year old lady trying out the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset.
This lady felt like she was in Tuscany, Italy with only the sense of sight being stimulated. During the video she was asked if she feels like she can reach out and touch the post. She responded “You bet your bottom dollar”.
VR Video Games?
I see this device as the starting stage of something ground breaking for the videogame industry and the players. Many companies have released VR headsets. I remember back in the late 1990s and early 2000s I wanted to buy a VR head set, but the price range was around the $1,000 dollar mark and up, which is far out of the reach of most gamers. Additionally, the video quality at that time was very poor.
The people at Oculus VR are aiming for a $300 price point with plans to improve on the screen resolution currently sitting at 1280 x 800. The previous generation of headsets had twice the price point, with half the resolution (640 x 480.) At this time most of the support for the device is on the PC and Mac. With the coming of the next generation of systems, things may change. Will Sony and Microsoft plan to integrate this device to their next gen systems to allow the use of all the features that the Oculus Rift provide? Will we be limited to just being able to view the games and not control them with the head tracking controls? Or will there be more functions and immersion with the use of Move and Kinnect? Add your thoughts and theories to the comments section!