Gaming Roundup: Virtual Reality, Finally Within Reach

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The big news coming out of this week’s Game Developers Conference stemmed chiefly from Sony’s official announcement of their entry into the virtual reality ring with their very own VR headset, codenamed Project Morpheus, which they hope will become PS4’s killer app down the road. If early reports are accurate, the new hardware shows a lot of promise, but Sony’s not the only player on the field.

[“This is the key to a new order. This code disk means freedom.”]

Sony’s Project Morpheus has a lot of potential. In a lot of ways, it’s reportedly more refined than its more public cousin, the Oculus Rift. What do we know so far? Sony’s VR system will be compatible with the PS4, and the headset features a 1080p LCD with a 90-degree Field of View, and logically will combine with the PlayStation Camera and Move for optimal user tracking and motion control. The current build connects via an HDMI cable, but Sony’s ultimate goal is to ensure the system is wireless. The company also claims that the headset won’t put weight on a user’s cheeks or nose, and its design will prevent lens fogging.

How does it look? IGN got a hands-on look at GDC and came away suitably impressed. For prototype hardware, Project Morpheus sounds remarkably advanced—Sony’s Deep demo lowered gamers into the ocean depths in a shark cage to experience an impressively-rendered shark attack, a 360-degree experience that evolved dynamically as the user turned and moved. Interactive gaming is also functional, but a bit rougher at this stage in development. As for comfort, Sony apparently has nailed the feel of the headset—by most accounts, it sits virtually weightless on the user.

As for the other competitors in the VR ring — the Oculus Rift is still alive, kicking, and doing wonderful things, with the added benefit of being available to play around with right now (if you haven’t already, check out Arya’s take on the Oculus, above.) And of course, you know Microsoft isn’t going to take this news lying down—in fact, the day after Sony’s announcement, rumors immediately began to swirl of the software giant’s own VR headset in development, codenamed Fortaleza. We’re still a ways away from seeing the full potential of VR, but it sure is exciting to see these early steps fall into place.

In other gaming news this week, GOG shows Linux users some love, SimCity goes single player, and MGS V gets a launch date… sort of. Read on!

  • If you’ve been looking for yet another retailer to undervalue your used games, Walmart will begin accepting game trade-ins starting March 26.
  • Yet another reason to love Good Old Games, purveyor of old classics in this modern gaming era—GOG.com plans to support Linux for its titles wherever possible.
  • If you’ve been waiting for single player functionality before playing the new SimCity, good news—the game’s latest patch has introduced a single player mode.
  • Koji Igarashi, a key cog to many of the modern-era Castlevania games, is leaving Konami to start his own venture.
  • Diablo III’s gold and real money auctions houses have officially been taken down for good. So long, in-game economy-crippling gameplay feature.
  • If you’re looking to try and run Titanfall on an Xbox 360, you may be better off either upgrading to a One or not bothering at all. According to an industry insider, Titanfall on the 360 runs at 30 fps and sub-720p resolution. In fact, this news is probably what led to Titanfall 360 being delayed just yesterday.
  • Finally, if you’re waiting for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, you’ll be waiting a bit longer. Konami says the game should launch early 2015.

 


If there are games you’d like us to cover or blogs you think we should be following for more news, please let us know @tdelucci or @pritpaulbains.

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