While virtual reality may seem like a relatively recent invention, it was actually first invented in the 1950s, with some elements of the technology dating back to the 1860s. That said, for many years it failed to take off as a mainstream format, possibly due to the fact that technology at the time meant that headsets were way too bulky for practical use. Nowadays, however, as companies are able to make even smaller and lighter hardware, virtual reality is beginning to take off and numerous major companies this year have either released headsets or plan to do so soon.
Virtual reality has many exciting possible uses, such as helping people deal with their phobias in a safe environment, making social media more immersive or even revolutionizing the online shopping experience. For the moment, though, the general public are most likely to encounter virtual reality in the gaming industry, with major video games such as No Man’s Sky released this year in both standard and VR formats. Here’s a list of ways to get your hands on the virtual reality headsets and games, in order to take part in the latest wave of gaming innovation.
Bitcoin is another virtual phenomenon that, while invented a while ago, is beginning to gain traction this year is bitcoin. Major companies such as Subway now accept payment in Bitcoin and it has been making waves in various industries online, such as internet banking and music sharing. However, Bitcoin has had the biggest impact in the gaming industry, due to the transaction speed and security it offers.
Websites such as www.bitcoinpokies.com, which are dedicated entirely to reviewing Bitcoin-based slots games, demonstrate the degree to which the cryptocurrency has influenced gaming. Appropriately, therefore, virtual reality gaming has also embraced the advantages of this new currency, with popular releases such as No Man’s Sky available to buy using Bitcoin.
The Old-Fashioned Way
One proof of how much more popular virtual reality has become in recent months is that even non-specialist major retailers such as BestBuy and Gamestop, are beginning to offer headsets and games for purchase. These are available to buy both in store or online and numerous articles have already been written outlining the pros and cons of the various headsets that have been recently released – such as the HTC Vive, the Playstation VR and the Oculus Rift. While it’s worth considering which games are most interesting when choosing which headset to buy, many major VR games such as Minecraft are available on multiple platforms.
Since headsets such as the Vive or the Oculus Rift generally cost in the hundreds of dollars, with even smaller phone-compatible headsets costing almost $100, buying a virtual reality headset might for many people be too much of a commitment, especially since the format is only just beginning to blow up. However, many companies are now getting around this issue by offering virtual reality gear to rent, so that people can try before they buy. For those who have a headset already, many major releases, particularly the Playstation VR games, are also available to rent.
For those looking to spend even less, there’s a way to access virtual reality games without spending a cent, at least for those who already have a smartphone. Google Cardboard is a virtual reality headset that anyone can build or, if less crafty, buy cheaply. The App Store then offers multiple VR experiences or games that can be downloaded for free. While viewing virtual reality on your phone screen might not be quite as impressive as a specially designed headset, it remains a fun and novel way to play games and is well worth a try.