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Gaming Companies to Launch Online, Mobile Games in Earnest with Virtual Reality Coming Closer
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Gaming Companies to Launch Online, Mobile Games in Earnest with Virtual Reality Coming Closer
  • By Cho Jin-young
  • August 21, 2015, 05:15
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Many game developers have started to develop games in earnest to release new products, using Virtual Reality (VR) technology based on smart devices.

According to industry sources on Aug. 19, Neowiz Games and other local gaming companies are currently considering whether or not to make games that use VR technology. Their consideration is due to the fact that the VR market is being created in the nation, as shown by the fact that the Oculus VR, a dominant player in the VR market, is scheduled to introduce the Rift, a head-mounted display, to Korea early next year.

First, Neowiz Games decided to offer the Oculus Rift to users of its new online action-RPG game Asker. To enjoy the game, they are only required to connect their PC to a VR device, put on a headset, and select the VR mode. NCsoft is also paying a lot of attention to VR, spurring the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology through its AI lab. An official at Oculus VR Korea said, "An increasing number of game developers are requesting our company to provide support for R&D in VR technology."

Samsung Electronics is demonstrating a VR version of popular mobile game Angry Birds in the Westfield San Francisco Centre, a shopping mall located in San Francisco. By wearing Samsung's first VR headset Gear VR, the wearers can get the feeling that they are flying, chasing the bird in games. Without expensive 3D TVs, it is possible to enjoy 3D games, which is grabbing consumers' attention.

U.S.-based gaming company Valve is actively seeking to dominate the VR games market by launching Steam VR, a platform for VR games only. It has already developed a head-mounted display called HTC Vive, together with Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC.

VR technology drew a lot of attention during this year's E3, the world's largest trade show for computer and video games, which was held in the Los Angeles Convention Center last June. At the event, Microsoft announced its partnership with Oculus VR in an effort to make its video game console Xbox One compatible with Oculus VR's Rift. The software giant decided to release Halo 5: Guardians and other video games for Xbox One only, using the Rift, which is planned for release in 2016.

Sony, on the other hand, is going to roll out a VR headset called Project Morpheus, which can only be played using its video game console PlayStation 4, in the first half of 2016. The Japanese company also showcased 4 trailers that give an opportunity to experience VR at the event. On top of that, the Walt Disney Company recently said that it will introduce virtual and augmented reality technology into its video games.

However, experts are pointing out that there is much room for improvement in the core VR headset technology, which determines how much the wearer can be immersed in VR. A comfortable headset, an improvement in rotational latency, and good image quality are required to get the wearer immersed, but current technology is unable to realize this immersion well enough to let the wearers believe that their experience is real. First, it will be necessary to reduce the size of VR headsets and make them lighter. Oculus VR and Sony Computer Entertainment have yet to reveal the exact weight of their products, since they are conscious of their competitors. To address the problems with headsets, Samsung is currently developing a successor to the Gear VR, so that people can wear the new model much longer.

Image quality is cited as the biggest factor that determines whether or not users can be immersed in VR. It is also decided by the refresh rate, the number of frames per second a monitor can display, and the resolution of a display. At least 75Hz in image quality – the ability to show 75 images per second – and a 1920×1080 resolution full HD display are necessary to prevent people from becoming nauseated.