Virtual reality, the long-awaited dream of gamers everywhere, has finally arrived. Compared to the earlier versions of virtual reality in the 1990s, today's virtual reality is far more immersive thanks to major advances in graphics, audio and computer technology. Here's a look at the top VR systems and the VR games 2016 has in store.
Virtual Reality Headsets
The four main virtual reality systems are the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, the Samsung Gear VR and the PlayStation VR. The Gear VR was released in November 2015, but the Rift and Vive were just released in April 2016. PlayStation plans to release its VR system in October 2016. While these systems are similar in many ways, differences do exist in terms of resolution, refresh rate, price and other factors.
Priced at 2200 AED ($599), the Rift has a resolution of 2160 x 1200 and offers a 90Hz refresh rate for smooth motion tracking. Because the Rift is designed with modern computer hardware in mind, gamers with high-end PCs will be able to take full advantage of the Rift's capabilities.
At 2934 AED ($799), the Vive is currently the most expensive VR system. Like the Rift, the Vive has a resolution of 2160 x 1200 and a 90Hz refresh rate and plugs into a PC. Big factors in favor of the Vive are 70 sensors that give 360-degree head tracking and Lighthouse room tracking, which lets gamers make physical movements in real life that correspond to the game environment.
Samsung Gear VR
This system is just 367 AED ($100), but its resolution clocks in at a high 2560 x 1440. However, the refresh rate of the Gear VR is just 60Hz. This system actually uses similar technology to what the Rift has and works by converting Samsung Galaxy smartphones to VR headsets.
With a planned price of just 1465 AED ($399), PlayStation's VR system has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, which is a little lower than the Rift and Vive. It offers a refresh rate of 120Hz, however, giving gamers ultra-smooth motion.
Current and Upcoming VR Games
All game genres are being released on VR, including simulator, FPS, RPG, action, puzzle games and more. Some VR versions of classic favorites, like Minecraft, are in the works. Immersive simulators, such as Elite: Dangerous, a space sim, are already available. A new spin on platformers is offered by Lucky's Tale, in which the player view floats above the main character.
Future VR games 2016 will deliver include Eagle Flight, in which players can explore Paris as an eagle, and The Climb, a first-person mountain-climbing game. As the technology continues to take off and more developers get on board, the already impressive selection of games will only get bigger and even more exciting.