The move into the virtual reality market has been substantial by most any measure, but one thing's for sure: there are certain points which must be achieved in order to get this off the ground to its fullest. We've been doing pretty well with the displays, thanks to the Oculus Rift
and even the Glyph system. We've got a bit of control thanks to the Virtuix Omni treadmill system. But what about the finer details, like the lift the gun and fire sort of details that no game can truly be played without? That may be where the PrioVR controller looks to step in, and given that it's already hit its target on Kickstarter with plenty of room to go, well, we may well have that oh-so-necessary bit of fine control.
The PrioVR is a complete wearable suit that offers motion control at a full-body level, and doesn't need a camera to carry out its work. Instead, it uses a series of sensors to ascertain both its position relative to the game in which it's being used, and where applicable, translates movement accordingly. The suit is set to emerge in three different versions with different features for each—also included is a “Lite” version that works over half the body, and is set to sell for $249—and so far the deals for the Core and Pro versions, boasting 12 and 17 sensors respectively, are sold out in the early going.
The PrioVR system was shown running a first person shooter title running on the Unity engine out at the recently-concluded CES
event, so it's clear that this is definitely coming into its own. Interestingly, this isn't the first time PrioVR's maker—YEI Technology—tried to get a Kickstarter going, but couldn't clear half of its goal, reaching just $111,237 out of a $225,000 goal. But things have somewhat changed in recent years, and personally, I look at the Oculus Rift as the reason why the PrioVR managed to land its newest Kickstarter.
The Oculus Rift captured a lot of imaginations when it first emerged, and following that, a variety of peripherals came out to offer the virtual reality experience right alongside the Oculus Rift. Competitors emerged for the headset, and the assorted other peripherals designed to augment the experience stepped into the fold and suggest that it may not be long before we have a complete virtual reality system that routes through a desktop PC
, or potentially even a laptop. This has the potential to not only revitalize the gaming industry, but also the movie industry, and even the faltering desktop PC industry. Now, it's entirely possible that one day tablets may be able to support the kind of processing power required to bring out those kinds of gaming experiences, but in the early going, VR at home is likely to be driven by desktops, and failing that, potentially consoles.
The virtual reality concept is going to be a game-changer when it comes to gaming, and we may well be looking at the start of such a movement right now. Only time will tell how it all comes out, but with the growing number of peripherals to support such a platform, it may be almost time for virtual reality to truly come into its own.