It was in the 2000s when consoles began to rise up to gaming dominance, with many touting that the day of the PC was over. It was this awkward correlation between game and capability which many attribute to the gradual demise of the PC.
Last week was a momentous one in the slow evolution of virtual reality. The very first Oculus Rift headset was hand-delivered to a customer by the company’s founder, Palmer Luckey. The equally lucky recipient of this futuristic device will now be able to boldly go where no man has gone before – or at least outside the Oculus headquarters and CES shows, anyway.
Gaming in the Virtual World
The idea that you can immerse yourself in a virtual world and play games as if you are completely part of the action has been around for a long, long time. Virtual Reality (VR) has, however, proved to be an elusive dream as technology failed to match the ideas (remember the Nintendo Virtual Boy in 1995?). Then along came a start-up called Oculus Rift, a company which captured the attention of pretty much everyone, including Facebook who bought it out for a hefty $2 billion in March 2014. Then the competitors began to sneak onto the scene – HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, Gooble Cardboard, and Samsung Gear VR. VR was back, and this time the technology is ready to really make that immersive, spine-chilling, toe-tingling dream into a reality.
As incredible as it may seem today, three million UK households were still reliant on dial-up internet access as recently as ten years ago. Memories of patiently (or impatiently) waiting while data trundled down a phone line through a 56K modem remain fresh, even among consumers spoilt by 4G mobile connectivity and domestic download speeds measured in Mbps rather than Kbps.
You may not have heard of Microsoft’s new Universal Windows Platform, but it has potentially huge implications for the global software and gaming industries. For the first time, Microsoft has incorporated a closed platform-within-a-platform into Windows 10, with one API set capable of running on all Windows 10-powered devices, from smartphones and tablets to PCs and laptops.
Things were better in the old days, the purists always say. Gas lamps were better than sodium lighting, vinyl gave a purer sound than CDs, and computer games were more enjoyable when gameplay took precedence over graphics. The latter argument certainly has some merit – some of today’s PS4 and Xbox One titles do seem more focused on providing pixel-perfect backdrops than linear difficulty curves. But is it true that modern gamers are missing out on the sheer playable pleasures of old school titles?