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  • VR is almost upon us! Weve all heard of the Oculus, the Vive, the CARDBOARDbut

  • how do these contenders compare? The cheapest has to be Google Cardboard. It’s

  • literally made of cardboard and can be printed out from templates online. However, you can

  • buy one directly from Google for just $15, complete with eye-pieces. For the screen itself

  • youll need a smartphone running either Android 4.1 or IOS 8.0. It must have a screen

  • size of between 4 and 6 inches- though looking at reviews, 6 is recommended for a wider visible

  • area and even then, can’t compare to the more expensive headsets. And don’t expect

  • to be playing modern games on this device, either. You can download numerous different

  • titles from the Google Play store, many of which are little more than gimmicks. There

  • are 3D videos and pictures, with 3D Street View being a nice touch. Of course, there’s

  • also a 3D rollercoaster experience. There are a couple of games featured, as well as

  • bizarre and originalexperiencesthat are best kept a surprise in this early stage

  • of VR adoption. One I find most interesting is Beerbox which is an Augmented Reality experience

  • that simulates being drunk. Although this is gimmicky, it shows the main advantage that

  • devices such as the Cardboard have over more expensive ones: theyre portable and may

  • end up being used more for AR than they are for games.

  • Next up is the Samsung Gear VR, which is a combination between the Google Cardboard and

  • the more expensive devices. It’s $100 for the shell and is powered by a Samsung phone,

  • but the device is more strictly regulated than Google’s and has support from Oculus.

  • What this means is that it will support the same things as the more expensive Oculus Rift,

  • but is more limited by the phone’s processing power and lacks the motion tracking and controller

  • support. This means that for now, most of the software is basic and gimmicky apart from

  • a couple of flashy titles, but as hardware advances well begin seeing today’s VR

  • games trickle down to this device and you can be safe in the knowledge that it’s a

  • well-supported machine. In conclusion, this device looks like the current best compromise

  • for most people wanting VR today. Some games, like Eve Gunjack, look very impressive. However,

  • don’t see the Gear VR as a miracle device. Overheating and fogging up are both problems

  • and youll never manage the same level of immersion and polish as you can get from the

  • more expensive productswhich I’ll cover now.

  • The Oculus Rift is the Daddy of this generation of VR devices, with roots as far back as 2011,

  • where the then-18 year old Palmer Luckey developed a basic prototype in his parent’s garage.

  • Say what you like about the politics behind this device, but VR’s adoption was certainly

  • accelerated by the success of this kickstarter and the backing of big names such as John

  • Carmack. It’s due out at the end of March 2016 for $600 and requires a powerful PC.

  • This will put it out of reach of a lot of people, but those who can afford it will be

  • treated to some of the best looking VR experiences possible. But don’t expect the best of them

  • to be out on release day. Big names, like Crytek and Insomniac games, will be releasing

  • their titles later and I expect these to be more polished, professional and complete experiences

  • than existing tech demos. The success of VR gaming rests on these big titles and could

  • change the gaming scene overnight. It’s apparently a very comfortable device, letting

  • you adjust it to fit your face and has detachable headphones so you can choose to use your own

  • if you’d rather. The HTC Vive shares a lot in common with the

  • Oculus Rift, but has some important differences. Both devices have controllers to help navigate

  • 3D worlds, but the Vive also uses lasers to track your movement about a room. It’s essentially

  • the Nintendo Wii, requiring more space but opening up more opportunities than its rivals

  • can. There’s a golf game that makes full use of this technology. It’s important to

  • note that this device is backed by Valve, so expect a lot of Steam-games to support

  • the Vive as well as Half Life 3. I went there. It also features a front-facing camera, something

  • the Rift doesn’t and will hopefully stop you from running into stuff. Unlike the Rift,

  • it doesn’t come with built-in headphones but instead ships with earbuds, though both

  • devices will let you plug your own headphones if you’d rather. Whereas the rift costs

  • $600, the Vive costs $800, making it the most expensive and will be released in early April,

  • a week after the Oculus Rift. And lastly, the Playstation VR, previously

  • known as Morpheus. This is the Playstation 4’s answer to Virtual Reality. Its resolution

  • is about 20% lower than the Rift and Vive, but runs at 120 Hz instead of 90 for the PC

  • headsets. The first games aren’t expected to run anywhere near to this amount though,

  • and will instead rely ontweenframes which are created using information from the

  • frame before and after to make more and to make the experience feel smoother. I predict

  • that this will lead to small amounts of distortion on narrow, fast moving things such as ropes

  • and swords and will add a small amount of delay if it borrows information from the next

  • frame, but it should hide drops in frame-rate. Tekken, Gran Turismo and Final Fantasy will

  • all support VR. The price hasn’t yet been announced- some sites have listed it at around

  • $400, though another leaked that it would be $800. Long story short, we don’t know

  • though clearly a lower price would help such a device to become mainstream and would give

  • the Playstation 4 a huge advantage over the costly PC options. March 15th will be a big

  • date for this device and will hopefully reveal a lot more.

  • In conclusion, it’s a very exciting time for Virtual Reality. And no doubt the technology

  • will mature quickly, rendering this video horribly obsolete and my speculation, childish

  • and uninformed. I can’t wait.

VR is almost upon us! Weve all heard of the Oculus, the Vive, the CARDBOARDbut

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VR Comparison

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    黃建彰 posted on 2016/05/10
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