The Amazing Tech of E3 2015 – Part One – Virtual Reality Headsets
E3 is all about the games… most of the time. But, the games only get better with the help of better technology. This year, new technology was everywhere as virtual reality makes leaps and bounds forward. In fact, there was so much, we had to break this article into two parts. I had a chance to take a look at some of the virtual reality at E3 2015, and mentioned some of it on the last episode of the show. Here’s a quick rundown on what we can expect to bring technology and immersion to the forefront of gaming.
Virtual Reality Headsets
Headsets were everywhere this year. They vary in strength, visual range, and resolution, but each one is adding to the availability of virtual reality to the masses. Let’s take a look at some of them that were on the show floor. (Click the headset names to be directed to the product website.):
- Microsoft HoloLens – The HoloLens is less virtual reality, and more holographic heads up display. It’s kind of the bigger, meaner cousin of the Google Glass. Besides gaming capabilities, its main focus is to be an all around computing headset. If it works as proposed, it should be a best. But, just like anything else from Microsoft, we’ll just have to see if it’s amazing, or awful.
- Sony Project Morpheus – Sony Playstation, of course, has its own headset. Announced after the Oculus Rift started making waves, it’s supposed to work with the PS4, but since they haven’t set a release date for the thing, we may be looking at PS5 compatibility.
- Oculus Rift – The aforementioned Oculus Rift was the first in the new wave of VR headsets to really start breaking ground and showing that VR is possible now. A few tweaks have been done to its design, but overall it’s still the same product that was shown a year or so ago. Let’s just hope that it fully delivers on all its promises, as some have suggested that the Oculus is lagging behind its other VR counterparts in the display area. .
- Merge VR – Merge VR is a headset for VR use with your smartphone. Slide the phone in, and boom, instant VR. Now, because it uses your smartphone’s display, it’s not going to be quite as intensive as other players on the list, but it will be great for people who may not want to shell out all the money for the bigger systems, especially if they already don’t own the consoles associated with them.
- AntVR All in One – Ant VR promises to be everything. Play games, watch movies, and connect to almost every major platform. Sounds too good to be true, right? Yeah… well it only claims to have a 100 degree field of view, which isn’t very big. It’s also pretty clunky, its response time is slow, and the display is not very crisp. AntVR tries to shove too much into one headset, and none of it is very well done.
- iWear Video Headphones – Vuzix comes into the mix with its iWear headset, which includes headphones. It’s not a complete VR headset, as it doesn’t have the 360 degree view as you turn, but it is compatible with several devices, and it has a 720p display.
- StarVR – Starbreeze brought it big with their StarVR system. Debuting with The Walking Dead, StarVR has a 210 degree viewing field, which lets you see in your peripheral range as well as your full focus range to try to combat motion sickness. Seeing as how that’s been a real hurdle in the VR community, I would say that’s a good thing. The only real problem I see with this setup is the fact that they had people sit in wheelchairs to play it. Not sure what that’s all about, but I heard screams. Could’ve just been the zombies, though.
So, those are all the headsets that I was able to see. I wasn’t actually able to get on any of them except for the AntVR, as all the rest had lines 3-4 hours long or appointments only (very telling, no?). Check back for our next article on the tech of E3, which will go over some of the cool peripherals to use in conjunction with the VR headsets, new controllers, and a phone you won’t want to miss.