Gamers warm up to virtual reality at E3
Expo abuzz with strides made in VR tech
Facebook-owned start-up Occulus VR drew increased crowds at this year's E3 with its latest virtual reality headset Occulus Rift, in a sign that the gaming community is warming up to the idea of totally immersive experiences, Reuters reported.
Last year Occulus' stand was on the periphery of the conference, but Facebook's purchase of the VR company in March for $2bn appears to have made a difference to attitudes towards the next-gen technology.
Virtual reality is not new, but shrinking revenues in console gaming have driven game developers and console makers to look at alternative offerings to stem consumers' drift to more casual experiences on mobile devices.
VR has not garnered much enthusiasm in the past because of heavy headsets, and graphics issues, such as motion blur, that caused disorientation. But Reuters cited game developers that applauded improvements in the Rift headset.
"It's just the beginning," said Brendan Iribe, chief executive of Oculus who is busy hiring technologists of different stripes to hone the Rift unit. "We're all learning and making a lot of mistakes along the way."
Sony also had a VR prototype on offer at E3. Its headset, called Project Morpheus, allowed gamers to try out a luge run in highway traffic. Electronic Arts (EA) also has an R&D team looking into VR and Assassin's Creed publisher, Ubisoft, is reportedly working on its own offering.