VR gaming at the Insomnia62
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Insomnia62 has come and gone to cheer up this Easter’s long weekend in Birmingham, so it is time to wrap up on one of the best things it brought this year: virtual reality (VR).
As the VR industry keeps expanding, it is only natural for gaming, one of its prime applications, to grow with it. Game companies know this very well, and this is why at this year’s Insomnia there were more than 15 different VR applications you could try. Let’s have a look at them.
The hardware colossus has once again formed a partnership with third parties to enhance player’ experience. This time is with Novatech, specialist manufacturer of gaming PCs, and the results show a truly high-graphics VR experience. After being ahead on the VR race showcasing the last Olympics through their own headset earlier this year, Intel
At the Insomnia62 they offered a truly immersive roller coaster experience. Supported by a gaming chair with a vibration feature, motion sensors and artificial wind engines, the ride was rightfully frightening, almost as if your life was actually in danger. Intel also sponsored a VR formula-one-like game, similarly equipped with a gaming chair to simulate the movement of the car and a gaming steering wheel to maximise user experience.
Another successful partnership, the VR experts of Vive united forces with gaming PCs manufacturers Alienware at the Insomnia62.
The results were quite promising here as well. The Vive-Alienware partnership showcased their hardware on three VR games at the festival: Naked Sun, Party Ware and the infamous Ready Player One.
Naked Sun, as most of VR games at the moment, is a futuristic rail shooter set in a typically dystopian future where humans are fighting a losing battle against evil AI. The game is being developed by Door Z Studio and will be released for most VR headsets in 2018.
Party Ware is basically a Nintendo Wii game adapted for VR. You can play several minigames with up to 6 players. Fun, but perhaps an overly explored idea?
Ready Player One is a title that doesn’t need an introduction, but the VR experience was actually pretty good. You can find more about the game and the film (and their potential manifestation in our world) here.
Facebook-owned Oculus Rift did not need any partner to showcase some VR marvels. Focusing solely on Robo Recall, yet another shooter, Oculus attracted swarms of people to their headset, with queues to try the game going on throughout the whole event.
This perhaps won’t come as a surprise to those who follow the VR gaming scene. According to the latest Steam Hardware & Software Survey, Oculus Rift continues to increase the gap with the HTC Vive, remaining one of the leading VR devices on the market.
Of course, this is not definitive proof that Rift is outselling Vive since Steam’s hardware surveys are entirely optional and there are many others factors that might be altering the survey.
Moreover, this month is going to be a big one for Vive, starting pre-orders for their upgraded Vive Pro. It will be an interesting challenge to watch.
Last but definitely not least, Sony went all-in this Insomnia, showcasing ten games and around a dozen VR playing stations. To give an overview, the playable games at the festival were Arizona Sunshine, Sprint Vector, Superhot, Rick and Morty VR, Persistence, Moss, Blood and Truth, and Starchild.
The PS exclusives among them are Moss, Blood and Truth and Star Child, sign that Sony is taking this VR business quite seriously.
A great selection of games from Sony overall. From shooters to story-driven to just-to-have-fun games, the Sony VR collection already counts more than 100 games, making the Play Station manufacturer the leading player in terms of VR quantity of games.
But if Sony was leading at the Insomnia in terms of quantity, it is hard to select a winner in terms of quality. Both standalone VR headsets and console-based ones are evolving quickly, in graphics’ quality as much as content and game storylines.
This year will definitely see the next level of VR gaming, and Insomnia62 was a tasty preview of what the future of VR holds.
To read more about our coverage of Insomnia62 you can follow this link.