The new generation of gaming is coming at us hard and heavy, we thought the big news was over when the announcement of the Wii U, Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Steam Box was all said and done. However, the gaming industry keeps slapping us with even more “in your face” tech. Virtual Reality, which had been dormant since the initial concept was thought up around the late 70s (in a serious manner) is making a major comeback, so much so that it’s looking to go the way that science fiction fans have always hoped they’d live through. The Oculus Rift & Project Morpheus are looking to give gamers (and as mentioned perhaps even science fiction fans) an experience that they’ve only dreamed of with their newly advanced tech, but with these advanced pieces of VR hardware one begs to ask the question, is the concept of a fully realized, full-body virtual reality experience such as that seen in popular anime/manga series Sword Art Online heading towards our way sooner than we thought?
For those unaware, as mentioned, Sword Art Online is an anime and manga series where main protagonist Kirito & Asuna are forced to literally fight for their lives in a 100% fully realized virtual reality online game, known as VRMMORPGs, the game takes name from that of the series title. The world is so legit that players re able to cook, touch, feel, and do other regular human abilities all while trying to climb their ways to the top of an enormous tower. There lies their only escape from the game, killing the main boss who rests at the top. But, in order to get to the top they have to go through dozens of levels within the tower known as “floors” which features highly over powered enemies an bosses, but if they die, it’s not just game over for that session, but they also die in real life as well.
While it would seem that experiencing virtual reality the likes of which seen in Sword Art Online is quite sometime away, it may not be as far off as we think. Game developers across the world including Sony are already implementing VR tech into their games, modern day titles such as Portal have already gotten a revamp for VR with more being revamped for the technology as we speak. Hell, there are even developers who are at this very moment making games exclusively for these new VR headsets and such, as mentioned Sony has confirmed that it’s developers have begun work on titles that need their Project Morpheus in order to fully function. or work completely, However alongside this third party titles will be receiving Morpheus support. Some Morpheus titles will also be able to work with the Playstation Move, as well as the Dual Shock 4 for those thinking traditional gaming wouldn’t be an option when using Morpheus.
Games aren’t the only thing being developed to help up the awareness of virtual reality, game programmers are designing new tech that even furthers the development and progress of virtual reality the Priovr & Virtuix Omni are full body components for Oculus Rift the give players the feeling that their bodies are actually the controllers. The latter has been successfully tested with cult hit Mirror’s Edge and has thus far been given positive feedback. These new peripherals will only improve and further give the impression of a truly realized virtual world as the years go by. I’d even say that with the surprising rate that progress has gone fully realized VR such as Sword Art Online could be within our grasps by as soon as 2025-2030, if that long even. As virtual reality tech goes on in time who knows just where it could take us? With Sony working with NASA to launch a virtual tour of Mars alongside the release of Project Morpheus we could see VR reach new heights in not only gaming but in real life as well. Here’s hoping we’ll be around to experience these advances as they take place.