B.C. company leading the way for virtual reality
Published Wednesday, May 25, 2016 11:54AM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 26, 2016 11:55AM PDT
Vancouver is becoming a hotspot for virtual reality.
The technology has come a long way, and now the hardware is getting into the hands of consumers. A recent VR convention held in Vancouver was sold out.
A Qualicum Beach company called Cloudhead was recently named by Time Magazine as having one of the best HTC Vive launch games. It’s called The Gallery: Call of the Starseed—Episode 1.
The game is a 1980s-based fantasy adventure that puts you right into the game where you can interact with your surroundings.
Players are fitted with a VR headset with laser tracking and motion sensors that allow you to move within the game.
“B.C. has become this hot point for VR tech and a movement in virtual reality,” said Cloudhead CEO Denny Unger.
Vancouver has major gaming companies here that attract a lot of developer talent, and now the hope is the next generation of video games will be VR.
Just this spring, two companies released the first VR headsets for the consumer market. Both were started by Kickstarter campaigns.
The Oculus Rift was first at a cost of about $774. The HTC Vive then hit the market at a cost of about $1,100. Both systems will also require a very capable PC with all the bells and whistles to handle the processing of the VR games. PlayStation VR will be released in the fall and is expected to retail about $709. It will operate on the Sony PlayStation 4 game console.
Unger says it’s still a niche market since it can be costly to get into it, but if early interest is any indication, it’s about to take off.
Whether the novelty will last or the price will scare consumers away remains to be seen, but the price of VR equipment is expected to go down as demand grows.