Game Developer Conference 2016 could give an exact roadmap for VR

Since its first mass introduction in the early 1990s, the term virtual reality has been in existence ever since the early 1950s and has stayed even after they were extinct for a while. The headsets from Sega, Nintendo and some others which were super nauseating was one of the main reason for their closure. But when Oculus announced its Kickstarter in 2012, a revolution started with it and virtual reality (VR) became the next big thing to watch out for. It’s been four years since and Oculus is now part of Facebook and half a dozen other companies have a potential Oculus killer in making, but is VR yet the next big thing that everyone has been waiting for? The ongoing Game Developers Conference (GDC) starting from this year, has introduced a special VR conference hailed as Virtual Reality Developers Conference, a spinoff if you may call it, will be held for the first two days of the five days and has been one that the developers are looking forward to the most. Samsung has zoomed ahead with its GearVR for its range of mobile phones and Oculus too announced the date for the consumer rollout for its Oculus Rift on 28 March, followed by HTC and Valve’s collaboration project Vive and Sony’s PlayStation VR, a lot more VR content is in development than last year. oculus-rift-brendan-iribe Sony on the other hand will be showing its VR advancement with a session about its PlayStation VR, showcase a multiplayer VR demo and may even declare the price and the release date. The VR conference will not only give the attendees a look into the VR technology and the content in development but will also help the excited developers who are still novel to this space an expert aid with a number of sessions lined up for two days. Building game designs for VR, understanding the brain and how to make it work for VR, use of VR to create cinematic experience and how VR can be used for a cause are some of the session descriptions that are going to held which will allow more and more studios, individuals to turn to VR as the development platform going forward. With VR still hot for the gaming industry, it will still be a difficult task for everyone to own a head mounted device with them priced on par with consoles or even higher. That is not it, after the purchase one has to have a super charged PC that will support these graphic hungry HMDs that don’t come cheap. But if we go by the pre-order numbers of Oculus and Hive which are priced at $600 and $800 respectively, all initial orders for both were sold out within minutes. HTC ValveThere is still a lot of scepticism among the loyalist of the traditional games about the VR and how it may be gorged by extensive users but with content as unique as the Job Simulator where one can live and work in the universe as imagined in the year 2050 or set the stage on fire with Rock Band VR we may be able to do lot of fantastical things using this platform. Games like The Climb from Crytek or the more popular ones like Temple Run VR and Daylight have made case that the technology is here to stay and grow. Adr1ft creator Adam Orth is one such guy who will be present at VRDC to answer the queries about the emerging medium. “It’s still so new, and there are still so many challenges to overcome,” says Orth. “For instance, if someone is doing something simple as using a shovel in VR, how would that look and feel? It wouldn’t look and feel like it does in a typical game. I’m looking forward to that, the challenge of creating normal things in abnormal scenarios.” The initial year of public offering will be a testing year for all the companies and give a way of how to take things forward. But this year GDC may see a lot of naysayers turning to other side of the VR debate and adopt the technology and set the pace for the device as to how quickly or slowly will it be received; not just among the industry professionals but also by the masses.