Tech & Gadgets

The Amazing History Of Virtual Reality Gaming

By on

Today we have the Sony PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift, but it wasn?t always that way. Virtual Reality (VR) is the latest and greatest technology to grace the IT industry. It creates a virtual environment that is so real, it blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. The objective of virtual reality technology is maximum immersion in a digitally created world where the player can fully interact with the virtual environment. The development of VR technology has been many moons in the making.

It wouldn?t be a surprise if the idea was conjured by Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci centuries ago, but the makings of VR technology came to fruition back in 1968. It was at that time that the eponymous Sword of Damocles was created. This rudimentary technology ? cutting-edge at the time ? featured a wireframe three-dimensional environment that was simulated on the user?s POV. It was created by a visionary computer graphics engineer named Ivan Sutherland and his assistant, Bob Sproull.

Sega Scope 3D Virtual Reality Takes a Shot at Making It Real

The Segascope 3D glasses were primitive by today?s standards, but they were state-of-the-art at the time. No images are projected onto the lenses; instead they featured a quick-close shutter system that worked in consonance with the cathode-ray tubes on TVs at the time. Several video games ran off this technology including Missile Defense and Maze Hunter. Around the same time, innovative new 3D technologies in virtual reality were taking shape. One such technology in 1987 was known as EyePhone, courtesy of VPL Research. It utilized hand and finger movement tracking in a wearable glove known as a DataGlove.?This was attached to the headgear.

While this was rather rudimentary, it served as the foundation for many later virtual reality headsets. It should remember that during the 1990s, the cost of this technology was prohibitive. Only a handful of arcades were able to showcase this technology. Back in 1991 a company by the name of Virtuality designed several highly advanced machines. These machines featured LCD screens with incredible resolution. Movable technology and seated technology options were available. One of their games was VTOL, a flight simulation experience, and the other was Dactyl Nightmare.

1991 was another big year for virtual reality headgear. Sega jumped into the market again with a $200 virtual reality headset. It was supposed to be released in 1993, but it only found its way to market in 1994. Unfortunately, it tanked. The Sega Genesis virtual reality as it was known had little processing power, and no real records of any games associated with it found their way to market.

Virtual Boy Hits the Scene and Deafening Silence Ensues?

 

Nintendo created Virtual Boy. This virtual reality system was released in 1995, but there was little appetite for it. The goggles were not actually wearable devices; they were desktop-mounted items. The graphics required the use of red LED screens, but they were inherently flawed because they caused nausea. For Nintendo, this was almost as bad as it could get. Sales numbers were low and the console never made it out of the gates. As you can see from the above picture, this was a clunky, user-unfriendly device with little appeal.

Several other VR innovations came after that, including CyberMaxx Virtual Reality Headset and VirtuSphere. The ultimate virtual reality headset always appeared to be a quantum leap beyond what was currently available. However, VR really got started when Oculus developed an elegant contraption. Oculus Rift is an audio-visual masterpiece. The technology is so impressive that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg bought out the company. It has a valuation worth several billion dollars, and several high-profile games are now available with it. Already, we are seeing world-class video games utilizing this technology. The applications of VR in gaming are not limited to shooter games; adventure games or sports and?casino games like poker are using virtual reality headsets to create the ultimate immersive experience.

HTC Vive Blows Away the Competition

HTC Vive has been labeled one of the most immersive virtual-reality experiences on the market. Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems with VR technology is the feeling of motion sickness that many players complain about. If you can hold back your nausea, the realism of HTC Vive is incredible. This is new age technology at its finest, and you certainly don?t want to be trying this out in public for fear of making a fool of yourself. The immersive effect is superb, and users will forget about ?reality? and completely live the VR experience. You use control pads and the headset to navigate through your New World. The future of gaming is here, and there are more applications than we ever thought possible?.

About the author

To Top