The focus this year at the gamescom was once again VR. VR glasses shows you a virtual world with realistic images, sounds and other fascinating stuffs to replicate a real environment. It can also be a original copy of the real world, such as a museum where you can „walk“ through the museum and if there is something you want to look closer, you can zoom it, zoom out, rotate and so on. What about going into the space and shooting some aliens? Or maybe driving a racing car? What about hunting animals or fishing? Or playing war games in VR? You don’t like all of them? Well you can practise for you driver license or visit other countries to see tourists feature by sitting on your couch.
In „Virtual Reality meets Hochkultur“, an article published by Deutschlandfunk experts are even talking about using it in theatres. And if you are an artist you can also create virtual artworks. And that is exactly what I always said! Video games are art. Video games includes a lot of virtual artwork. Now all of a sudden virtual artwork is recognised as art because it is not coming from the game industry? But thanks god we have ZAV who tries to support the game industry as an art.
As you can see there is so much room if it comes to VR. I tested some of them for you at the gamescom. there are different types of VR glasses.
Samsung Gear VR: You need a Samsung mobile to plug it into the glasses. There for you don’t need a console or computer to use it. I played an space shooter games. I could should by touching my left ear or swipe left for rockets. It was actually fun and I liked the idea to use it without any kind of console etc. From the corner of my eyes I could see a bit from the real world. At some other booths of Samsung you can have a virtual drive in a roller coaster Cost: ~100€
HTC Vive: This one is the complete opposite of Samsung Gear VR. You need a Computer, your VR is also plugged into the computer and you have 2 controllers which look like weapons. Since the VR is connected to computer you can’t spin more than 360 degree. But this wasn’t a dealbreaker. Soon when you wear the VR and holding these 2 weapon-like-controller you really feel like a space fighter. Yes, it was again a space shooter game. The two controller where shown as my arms and hands. This was awesome. I shot some aliens but mostly I watched the virtual environment and my virtual hands. You can imagine how much funny things you can do with that. I wished they had a Starwas video game. I could so imagine myself holding a lightsaber and fighting like a Jedi Knight. May the force be with you after seeing the price. Cost: ~900€
I tested some others and the idea are all the same. I preferred the Playstation VR. You need a Playstation but your glasses are wireless. I drove a racing car. Well I actually was way to fascinated of the virtual world, the cockpit inside the car, the sky and what so ever. It was fun and I really enjoyed it till I got motion sickness. If you do that for the first time, you need to practise your brain and eyes first. They need to get used to it and understand that your body isn’t moving and it’s all a virtual world. But my motion sickness was totally worth. Cost: ~500€
The most used VR at the gamescom was by Oculus Rift and cost about 200€ less than Vive. Oculus belongs to Facebook they bought it 2 years ago and the Vive is powered by Steam (Valve).
If you just want a simple VR and you have a Samsung mobile than go for Samsung Gear VR. it’s simple and very fast to use. If you want to play with a video game console than go for Playstation VR because Vive and Oculus is incredibly expensive. After all its just a little TV. It’s all about how you merchandise it. If you thing the marketing of Vive or Oculus is worth 700€ or 900€ then I promise you will have a lot of fun with it.