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The Impact Of Virtual Reality In the Industry: Or It Will Fade away?

Since the modern age, technology has been playing a significant role in our lives. How we live and how we work, these are the most crucial aspects that are being affected by technological advancements. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning have played a significant role in defining the various paths for improvements. Alongside with AI, virtual reality and its cousin technology, augmented reality, has been a trending topic since recent impressive advancements were initiated.

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So many solutions are generated which are allowing us to explore the immersive computer-generated world through VR. Devices are getting more powerful day by day, and hence, the demand for VR applications has increased throughout the industry.

Impacts of VR In The Industry

Virtual reality, with its tremendous applications, has created a massive following in the different fields of industry. Some of them are:

  1. Training and Teaching Industry: Walmart has announced that it is using 17000 Oculus Go Headsets to train their employees. Along with that, the US Army has also signed a deal with Microsoft to use its HoloLens technology in its Military training. (Source)
  2. Consumer Entertainment: VR apps have enabled the use of consumer headsets and widely impacted the use of this technology in homes.
  3. Social Industry: Interaction of the people through virtual calls where they can engage better with each other is an example of how VR is playing a significant role socially.
  4. Vehicle Industry: Manufacturers have been working hard to launch level 5 – fully autonomous vehicles as quick as possible.

Impact on the Gaming Industry

Apart from these, VR has affected the gaming industry to a large extent. Developers have worked hard to introduce more of its applications. Let us look at some of the crucial areas of the gaming industry that have reached another level due to the integration of VR.

1. Higher Engagements

VR headsets allow us to enter the virtual world of gaming. There are some other gadgets like hand controls that enable us to touch different objects of that particular world. This created an immersive environment for us, and the use of headsets blocks all the outside visuals, which takes us deep inside the simulated world. It doesn’t only demonstrate to us what is happening, but actually, we can feel it.

2. Advancements in Game Designs

Two decades before, VR technology launched and failed in the gaming industry. However, in 2016 with the launch of Microsoft HoloLense, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Sony’s PlayStation VR, the stage was set for designers, and they have really delivered.

3. Opportunities For The Brands

With the growth of video games using VR technology and the expansion in the audience playing such games have attracted many brands to get involved in this industry. Just like Mountain Dew is sponsoring competitive gaming, other companies sponsor popular streamers if you play their games.

“The integration of intensive VR applications is bringing more business to this industry. So many brands have analyzed the market they possess relating to the AR and VR technology. Near about 2020, we will witness the ratio of companies investing in a simulated world of gaming will be more than double.” Sarah Barley – A Business Analyst at Crowd Writer

VR seems to have changed the world since the 1950s. Every decade it has been launched with some advancement but they all failed to meet expectations. Let’s hope the NextGen VR launched in 2016 will keep up with the human experience and expectations and will not fade away like the previously launched VR in 1996.

Amanda Jerelyn

Author Bio: Amanda Jerelyn has just completed her Masters from the University of London. She works hard to keep her updated with the changing world and advancing technology. Amanda is currently working as a Marketing Executive at Academist Help, and she loves to interact with students to help them with their career.

Forge Reply Announces Theseus for PSVR

Forge Reply Announces Theseus for PSVR

The independent studio, Forge Reply just announced that they will be releasing a new PSVR game this summer. The small studio is taking a cinematic approach to VR in their upcoming game, Theseus. This game is built completely for virtual reality, Forge Reply is building a new action adventure game that will make the player feel completely immersed in this new and amazing world.

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A Modern Take on The Classics

Theseus is a new and modern take on the classic Minotaur and the Labyrinth myth from ancient Greece. To introduce the game Forge Reply has released an announcement trailer that gives players an intense look into what their game is all about. Check out the reveal trailer below to get a good look into what this upcoming virtual reality experience is all about.

In Theseus, the player wakes up alone in a new and terrifying location with only the voice of a mysterious woman to guide them. The protagonist will wander the halls and alleys of the ancient Labyrinth looking for a way out or meet their demise in the giant maze. Unfortunately they are not alone in the stone hallways, the Minotaur is there and not terribly happy that someone has invaded his home.

Independently Developed

This new independently developed virtual reality game looks like an intense experience and we can't wait to get our hands on it. It's great to see the new and exciting ways developers are approaching the VR medium. With PSVR being the first consumer level experience for this tech, it is a smart move for Forge Reply to make it the first system to receive Theseus. Expect a lot more information as we get closer to the release date along with gameplay videos to get an even better look into the game. Make sure to keep checking back with Gigamax for more on this interesting VR game!

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The Invisible Hours to be at Festival de Cannes 2017

The Invisible Hours to be at Festival de Cannes 2017

The Invisible Hours is a new complex murder mystery recently announced by the indie developer, Tequila Works. Designed specifically for VR, players will have to solve a crime in a world they are totally immersed in. A recent press release from Tequila Works officially announced that the game will be present at NEXT during Festival de Cannes 2017.

NEXT is focused on innovations in VR technology this year, specifically focused on how the medium impacts a narrative and storytelling. The Invisible Hours will be at the innovation hub from May 17th through May 21st at Palais 1, Aisle 14.

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An Intricate Web of Interwoven Stories

The Invisible Hours leads players through a "intricate web of interwoven stories" inside a vast mansion that contains an unnerving truth. On their website, Tequila Works boasts that the game is "one of the deepest narrative experiences in VR to date."  The game contains seven characters that move and exist in the world even if they are not in the player's line of sight. This means that there are seven intersecting stories that the detective must be concerned about at the same time. The player must consider these seven stories carefully and be at the right place at the right time in order to solve the mystery.

Thankfully for the player the protagonist is invisible (see what they did there) to the seven suspects. This gives investigators complete freedom to observe the character and explore the mansion at their own pace. Tequila Works says that "The game is a gripping mystery, and to find all of its deepest secrets will require careful observation and exploration."

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Big Names Featured

Another piece of exciting news is that the game features a star studded cast of characters from across film, theatre and television. Some of the people behind the game include director Rob Yescombe (Farpoint), and starring Mark Arnold (Desperate Housewives), Katherine Carlton (Downton Abbey), Uriel Emil (Homeland), Grahame Fox (Game of Thrones), Bentley Kalu (Marvel's The Avengers), Patrick McNamee (Inspector George Gently), Henning Valin (The Killing) and Fiona Rene (Sinister Squad).

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The game is going to come out this year and will be available for Oculus Rift, PSVR, and HTC Vive. If you'd like to see more information on the game you can check out Tequila Works website. We here at Gigamax Games are pumped about this upcoming release. Anything involving VR is unique and hopefully this game will be truly innovative. Don't forget to keep checking back on GigamaxGames.com for more information on The Invisible Hours as it becomes available.

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Fallout 4: Walking Through The Wasteland In Virtual Reality

Fallout 4 in Virtual Reality

Bethesda Game Studio’s announced their plans to take on Fallout 4’s wasteland and create a fully playable Virtual Reality experience. The project was announced at Bethesda’s 2016 E3 press conference with not much information leaking after the fact. Imagine, Fallout 4 playable in VR from start to finish. Now, some new information is available and producer Todd Howard assures us, “VATS in VR is awesome.”. http://bit.ly/2kJT7pU

No VR games on the market today are anywhere near the size and depth of Fallout 4. Usually linear or arcade like, a fully open world with all the complexities Fallout 4 has to offer will surely be an industry first. This Bethesda hit has already offered countless hours of highly immersive gameplay. The option to play in VR will surely bring us right back to this incredible game.

The release is still to be determined for Playstation VR, but it seems to be an obvious choice for Bethesda. Fallout 4 sold over 640,000 console digital copies on the first day. Nearly a third of their total units sold on launch. It would be a shame to leave out a third of their audience when offering such an incredible experience. However, there could be some performance issues when it comes to the Playstation VR. This consumer level VR device is substantially less powerful than most PC setups.

Producer Opens Up

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Source: http://bit.ly/2kXxQEe

“Fallout is going great. There’s a lot of work to be done, but it’s super exciting. We are doing the whole game. You can play it start to finish right now, and the whole thing really works in terms of interface and everything.” Producer Todd Howard explains. He continues on, “I will say that Fallout works because of the interface. The Pip-Boy is on your wrist and we’ve been able to present so that it works the way you expect. You look and there it is. The fact that the gunplay is a bit slower than in a lot of games has certainly helped us but we have VATS, so you can pause or slow down the world. I assure you, VATS in VR is awesome. We love it.” http://bit.ly/2kJT7pU

This move offers some hope about the future of VR. Instead of becoming a gimmick, it seems as though developers are willing to take the chance. The newly refined VR systems are beautiful pieces of technology and Bethesda's move to create this experience for Fallout 4, is a refreshing sign.

We'll keep a close eye on the latest developments surrounding Fallout 4 in Virtual Reality. Check back soon for more!

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Sources:

http://wwg.com/2017/02/21/fallout-4-will-be-playable-from-start-to-finish-in-virtual-reali/
http://www.psu.com/news/32258/fallout-4-vr-release-date-playstation-vr-update
http://techreport.com/news/31466/fallout-4-wasteland-is-coming-to-vr
http://fortune.com/2015/11/16/fallout4-is-quiet-best-seller/

 

The Year of Virtual Reality – Gigamax Breaks It Down

The Year of Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality has long eluded the AAA gaming scene. Some VR technology has reached the consumer. However, technology like the ‘3D Head’ or Nintendo’s ‘Virtual Boy’ were just not practical for the gamer at the time. A truly powerful gaming Virtual Reality headset has only recently began to reach the mass market. The Oculus Rift, Gear VR, HTC Vive and the Playstation VR are just some of the major VR headsets that have revolutionized the video game experience. No longer are we gamers stuck looking at a 2D world through a pane of glass. There’s so much more!

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Nintendo 'Virtual Reality'

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'3D Printing'

The idea of a great Virtual Reality setup is exciting, but how well did these technologies sell in 2016? This is an extremely important question to ask for a couple reasons. First, if this technology sells well out of the gate, it’ll entice technology manufacturers to continue and improve on the hardware. Secondly the more units sold, the more game developers will begin to work on exciting and lengthy games specifically designed to be played in VR. For any owners of the Playstation VR, they know the struggle of looking for a new VR game that will offer a complete gaming experience. Many games feel like a tech demo rather than an actual game.

Exact sales numbers are hard to come by, which isn’t usually the best sign. From reports, we can compile a rough estimate on the total units sold for the most popular models.

Breakdown

Sony announced that PSVR outsold every console on the market in Japan in less than a week, selling over 51,000 units from October 13 through October 16. An analyst firm, IHS Markit marked down 1.4 million units sold this year. A HTC Vive rep has claimed the company sold over 140,000 units. One million people have used Samsung’s Gear VR according to multiple statements by the company. Manufacturers of VR gaming headsets have been undoubtedly elusive when it comes to exact sales numbers. We can assume, millions of consumers have access to a gaming VR headset, a decent foundation to build from.

Let’s circle back to Playstation VR real fast. This is truly a Virtual reality headset for the mass consumer. When it comes to the PSVR, anyone with a Playstation had the option to make the purchase and begin gaming. Even with the Oculus, before the new reduced PC Spec update, an individual needed a robust gaming PC to use it. Even now, PC's a few years behind the curve won’t be able to deliver a solid VR experience. Samsung’s headset had a substantial reach as well, but didn’t have comparable power to Oculus or PlayStation’s gear. Playstation VR may be most successful consumer level Virtual Reality gaming headset on the market today.

Overview

So what this all means is that 2016 built the foundation of a successful future for Virtual Reality. Technology and video game developers have taken note, but seem to be waiting anxiously to flood the market with hardware and software. A representative from Oculus made a remark saying that they are far from reaching saturation, meaning every person that wants one, doesn’t have one yet. 2017 has a lot in store for Virtual Reality. Let’s all hope they continue releasing substantial AAA games for the hardware so our expensive headsets don’t go to waste and don’t fade away, becoming nothing more than a novelty.

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Virtual Reality: The Next Frontier

Virtual Reality has always been an eluding dream for gamers of all kinds. We had some novelty VR experiences out there, at Disney, Arcades and other attractions. They were cool, exciting, but the user had little to no control over their experience in that interactive digital world. These past couple years has finally broke that trend, letting VR users explore and open and interactive world. Many of the systems out there, Oculus, Vive even cheaper versions like Google Cardboard was this technologies segway into the consumer market. The virtual world was nearly upon us.

VR gaming offers the user an experience that was next to impossible to achieve without this incredible technology. The first time I put on my Playstation VR and became completely immersed in the gaming world, I was shocked and bewildered. I fell in love with this incredible way to game. The second I unboxed my Playstation VR I knew it was going to be something mindblowing. It looked like a fighter jet helmet when you first opened that slick packaging it came in. (This really doesn’t have anything to do with the system or the technology, but the box it came it is something to note. It was a sleek white box and to open it, you pushed the top back and it kind of looked like a treasure chest. The only thing that would have made it cooler would be a light shining up and “ahhh” was sang when it opened.)

PSVR - Impression

The first game I played on the VR was “No Man’s Sky”, before you look it up, no, it is not VR compatible. But playing non-VR games on Playstation VR is still an experience. It opens the game screen up inside the visor, basically acting like a personal IMAX theater. I purchased my VR at the midnight release and had work early in the morning so I started the download of Eve Valkyrie(a Playstation VR compatible game) and wanted to at least try the thing out before I went to bed, so ‘No Man’s Sky” was my go-to.

First, I looked around at the world of this alien planet., a bit disappointed I was still playing in 2D. I walked around a little bit, with each step becoming a little more amazed by this technology that was strapped around my head. Before long, my character wandered off a cliff and plummeted into the water below. Instinctively I threw my hands up, controller goes flying, thinking I’m actually falling off a damn cliff.

My first run of a VR compatible game was right after work the day of release. Valkyrie was downloaded and I was ready for my first go at a true Virtual Reality experience. It was everything I could have imagined and more. I was completely immersed in this world filled with spaceships and enemy threats,. The first mission had me flying this incredible craft through the void of space and I was watching my hands minic my controls as this spaceship pilot. I saw my shoulders, the inside of my craft from every angle, and tracking targets to the left and right of me with my eyes and head., It truly made me feel as though I was in this craft, billions of miles away flying through space. As cool as it was, I do have to admit there are areas which the technology and games need to improve.

Limitations vs. Functionality

The Playstation VR functioned great, easy to set up and delivered an extremely thrilling Virtual Reality experience. However, the resolution was something that threw me off at first. I was a bit confused, expecting to see a 1080p screen in front of my eyes and instead saw this slightly pixilated, holographic world that surrounded me. When I say ‘slightly pixilated’ I am more referring to the way a holographic playing card looks when you shift it to perform its action. It was strange and took a little time to get used to. Yet, after putting a few hours in, I completely forgot about the slight imperfection in the screens resolution.

There is one thing I need from my Playstation VR that it just can't deliver on, a full fledged single-player adventure game. Granted, it has been only a few weeks since the hardware became available to the masses. Resident Evil 7 is something to look forward to, but the games that are coming out which have VR aspects are usually only available on some levels. Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, Tomb Raider, Battlefront just to name a few games that are coming out with VR missions. But these are really the only things that I have against Playstation VR, other than that it’s a good buy.

Thank you all so much for reading, hope you enjoyed my impression of Playstation VR and Virtual Reality gaming in general. We as gamers have come so far and the technology only continues to get cooler. Can’t wait to see how this technology progresses in the next few years. In all honestly, the next few months have a lot in store as well. Check back soon for more reviews, tech and industry news!

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