A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Entertainment

Virtual Reality headsets more accessible than ever

Riding through the air on a 50-foot roller coaster from the comfort of one’s own home is now possible thanks to Virtual reality (VR) headsets. The future has arrived.

Virtual Reality is a three dimensional, computer generated, seemingly real setting in which player can interact by using a headset and a controller with sensors. While it was once restricted to the well-to-do, it is now available for the average consumer. According to a report by Semico Research it is projected that Virtual reality headset sales will grow more than 50 percent in the in the next four years, due to its drop in cost and the increase in supply.

Unlike the HTC Vive and the Sony Playstation VR, which retail for more than $600, Companies including Samsung, Google, and Oculus have realized that in order for gamers to buy a VR headset, the price had to be more accessible.

Samsung Gear VR for the cell phone released on March 28, 2015 at the introductory price of $99.99 and has sold more than 5 million units. Although this headset is not meant for hardcore gaming, it can still be used to be transported to amazing virtual worlds.

Google Daydream View, released November 10,  2016, and Google Cardboard, June 25,  2014, are amongst the least expensive. The Google Daydream View is priced at a nice $79. The Google Cardboard is purely made of cardboard and all that is necessary for use is a cell phone. For only $15 it is still possible to get the full VR experience and have a great time with family and friends.

Oculus Rift, a well-known developer, first launched their kickstarter on August 1, 2014. They surpassed their original sales goal of $250,000bby almost 10 times with a pledged amount of $2,437,429. Released on March 28, 2016 the introductory price of the headset was, and still is, $599.  Although it is the most costly amongst the “cheapest” headsets, the oculus rift is considered the most exciting of the bunch.

Not only is VR on the rise but horror games have also taken advantage of this new technology. They immerse players in an abundance of worlds with bone chilling atmospheres and frightening events that will make anybody scream for dear-life. Alien: Isolation, Here They Lie, Monstrum, Emily Wants to Play, and Dreadhalls are amongst the most popular titles of horror games for VR. These games all consist of hair-raising settings and dreadful jump scares that leave gamers frightened for many days after playing the game.

Although horror games are the most popular, they are not the only VR games made for VR. There are games such as Subnautica, Pool Nation VR, Hover Junkers, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. These games are less about scaring the user but instead transporting them to fun and interesting worlds.

By allowing players to escape from the real world for a couple hours and letting them enjoy their Saturday afternoon in a world they have only dreamed of seeing, Virtual Reality, has created a new reality for the gaming world.

Google+