The Virtual Boy gave the video game industry its first glimpse of virtual reality two decades ago. The device claimed “real 3D graphics” that would transport users to their own virtual world. It was intended to sell millions of units as a Nintendo product, just like the Game Boy and the Super NES.
The Virtual Boy, on the other hand, was a complete flop. The lack of realistic images, additional colors and head tracking were among the complaints made against the system by gamers. Its business failure would haunt the industry for years, persuading companies not to produce their own virtual reality gadgets even as technology progressed.
Let’s move quickly into the present day, where virtual reality is always poised to take the industry by storm. The stage is set to see who will dominate a new market, with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift competing with Sony’s PlayStation VR and Microsoft’s HoloLens. At Gamescom 2016, Europe’s largest games fair, there will be more VR-enabled games to try than ever before.
However, how will the rise of virtual reality affect the way we make games? Game designers are already planning the hurdles that producing an enjoyable VR game will bring, much like they did when games moved from 2D sprites to 3D graphics.
The possibilities of virtual reality have only just been explored, according to Phoebe Elefante, president of NYFA’s Game Design School in New York: and it’s just as likely (if not more likely) that a three-woman studio from Poughkeepsie will produce. the “killer app”, only seasoned gaming teams in large companies.
Having experience in the screen gaming industry isn’t always the best prerequisite for experimenting with this new technology, just like the way movies have moved from stage to screen. Because they don’t yet understand the possibilities of the medium, most game designers, especially those who translate games like Bioshock into VR, create on-screen stage games.
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