Virtual Reality Gaming: What You Need to Know
It’s absolutely impossible to talk about video games today without focusing on virtual reality (VR). If you have been breathing over the last year, then you have heard about VR. Just because you have heard of it doesn’t mean you fully understand it, however. If you fall under this category, then pay attention, as there is quite a lot of information that you need to know about VR.
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What VR does to the Gaming Experience
The most important thing you need to know about VR is what it is and what it does to the gaming experience. First of all, VR is the computer generated simulation of a 3D environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real way. In other words, VR makes you feel like you are actually “there.” All of the current VR devices basically require you to strap a screen to your face. From there, the device does all of the work to trick you into thinking you are looking at a real environment.
So, how does this affect the overall gaming experience? If you want an example, imagine playing a platforming video game where every area you explore feels like you are actually traversing the area. You actually feel like you are the main character exploring the land. It’s almost hard to put into words the experience that VR gives gaming because it’s unlike anything you have ever seen. Simply put, VR immerses you into the video game beyond what a normal first-person perspective would give you.
The Virtual Reality Gaming Devices Available in 2016
The great news, if you are interested in VR gaming, is that there are several VR headsets available right now as well another one coming out later in 2016.
- Oculus Rift – The Oculus Rift has been available since March 28, 2016, and has received favorable reviews. This VR headset is loaded with an OLED display, integrated headphones with a 3D audio effect, a 1080 x 1200 resolution per eye and a 90 Hz refresh rate. Unfortunately, the Oculus Rift is not a standalone device and needs to be connected to a PC running Windows to work. It’s also worth noting that you should have a computer with a powerful GPU.
- HTC Vive – The HTC Vive came a little bit after the Oculus Rift as it was released on April 5, 2016. Much like the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive comes equipped with an OLED display, 90 Hz refresh rate and 1080 x 1200 resolution per eye. Also, just like the Oculus Rift, you will need a computer with a lot of power.
- Samsung Gear VR – Although the Samsung Gear VR is a mobile VR headset designed to work with any compatible Samsung device, games can still be played on it. This VR headset is fairly ancient compared to the other ones, being released on November 27, 2015, but it’s still a good Virtual Reality Gaming device.
- PlayStation VR – Now we come to the VR device that could take the technology to another level. As of right now, the PlayStation VR is not available, but it will ship on October 13, 2016. Outside of Sony developing it, the main reason this could be the best VR device yet is because it will be compatible with the PlayStation 4. Keep an eye out for the Sony PlayStation VR.
The Best VR Games Available
Now that you are aware of the best VR headsets available, you need to know what some of the best games are:
- Dear Esther – One of the best elements to VR is the joy of exploring “virtual” worlds. This is exactly why Dear Esther is such a cool experience. The game is built on exploration. During the game, you explore around a Scottish island and find all that it has to offer. This may sound stupid and pointless, but think of it as a vacation!
- Euro Truck Simulator 2 – This game is a simple yet effective way to show off how cool VR gaming can be. Euro Truck Simulator 2 has a fitting title because it gives you the experience of being a truck driver. With the use of VR, you can look all around your truck even going so far as sticking your head out of the window!
- Dragon Front – If you like Magic: The Gathering and RISK, then you will absolutely love Dragon Front. The main point of the game is to reduce the HP of the opposing player through cards, much like Magic: The Gathering. With that being said, the straightforward defense and damage metric feel more like RISK. However, the combat of this game takes the cake because it comes to life with the capability of VR.
The Cost of Virtual Reality
There is no way to sugarcoat the fact that VR can get very expensive. The Oculus Rift debuted at $599, the HTC Vive debuted at $799, the PlayStation VR is set to be $399 and the Samsung Gear VR debuted at $99. Outside of the base prices, it also needs to be considered that extra components are needed for each device. For example, you need a compatible Samsung device for the Samsung Gear VR, a PlayStation 4 for the PlayStation VR and a PC for the Oculus Rift. When it boils down to it, you should expect to pay a pretty penny if you want to experience high-quality VR gaming.
With all of the VR devices that have been mentioned, online gaming is available. This means that the risk of a cyberattack on one of your gaming accounts is a possibility. You may not think it can happen to you, but it most certainly can. However, there is a way to remain safe when playing certain VR games online and that’s using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). What a VPN as recommended by Secure Thoughts will do is create an encrypted connection to ensure the utmost security and safety for you when playing online VR games.
You now should have a pretty good idea of what Virtual Reality Gaming is all about. Do you think you will invest in a VR headset? How excited are you for the PlayStation VR? Please let us know in the comments section below.
About the Author: Cassie is a freelance blogger and writer who is a video game enthusiast. She is a big fan of Virtual Reality Gaming and is extremely excited for the future of VR.