VR needs to go wireless to become mainstream - and other safety concerns when playing in VR -

I'm not an expert on video technology. I have no real clue how anything really works above and beyond the most basic level. I know that you need to have a really good PC to run VR games and, depending on the headset, between two and eight billion HDMI and USB ports. With a Vive you also need a LOT of space in order to feel confident you won't a) destroy everything of value in the local area, b) DIE. I'm not sure how many 'mainstream' consumers know or will be ready to accept the sheer amount of faff there is associated with VR.

As much as I've enjoyed using the Vive, it's a chore to get ready to use. Even if you take the bold step to assume your play room isn't strewn with danger that you need to clear out the way (if you have kids, your floor is most likely trying to land a part in the next Home Alone movie), simply putting the thing on your head and then a pair of headphones and then grabbing the controllers is tricky. My time with VR has been in the office, with someone else usually stood in the room to shout at me if I do anything stupid (like make a swing for a TV or try to lean on a virtual object). When I played on my own the whole thing was far less freeing.

Maybe this will vary depending on how cautious you are in everyday life, but when I knew I was on my own (having finally managed to get all the kit on and working), every movement was more reserved. In the impressive The Gallery: Call of the Starseed, one of the few VR games that feels like more than a tech demo, you're initially asked to break a load of bottles. Ideally you smash them to pieces in a blur of frenzied attacks, but so afraid was I of smashing a controller in two that I ended up just dropping the bottles onto the floor. I'm the kind of person who gets nervy playing a game while wearing headphones, so complete visual and audio blackout is somewhat disconcerting.

And this doesn't even take into account the cables. There's a massive cable running from the Vive (and Oculus) that trails behind you like a wedding veil made from anacondas. Every time you move it tightens its grip until you feel forced to spin in the other direction to avoid an accident that could well be deemed 'death by misadventure' in the coroner's report. It's fair to say that I don't feel at ease while playing in VR, and it's got nothing to do with the unnerving game experiences.

Cables have to go, too. You can't be tied to something AND expect people to wander about. Maybe VR with room movement and virtual controllers will simply never feel 'safe'. Maybe holding a control pad while sitting down (see RIGS or Battlezone VR) is the way VR will take off, even if it's not as immersive. Sitting down also limits the chance you'll step back to avoid falling off a virtual cliff, only to not virtually fall out of your open second-floor flat window.

I think VR is already a wonderful experience, and I'd buy all the equipment if I could afford it, but I'm convinced it needs significant enhancements to truly become commonplace in living rooms. For VR to go from cool gimmick to essential gaming tool it has to work for hours at a time. Standing up and fighting with cables is fine for small tech demos, but I expect people will naturally move to seated play when 'proper' games start to arrive. Humans are lazy, after all.

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