Study Break: 4 Future Gaming Devices That Bring Games to the Real World
A few short weeks ago, E3, one of the largest video game trade shows, took over what seemed to be the whole internet — filling our news feeds with debates over which system will prevail in the “console wars”, Destiny and Halo teasers, and much more.
As a proud geek, I loved all of it; and it should hopefully come as a relief that this will not be just another article about whether the Xbox One or PS4 will be the better console, but rather a look at a few products that I believe will shape the future of gaming.
Get ready to ditch the joysticks and get off the couch if you want to move around your favorite games. I present to you, the Omni Virtual Reality Treadmill, a drastically different approach to the traditional treadmill, brought to you by none other than a Kickstarter campaign.
It’s an entirely different approach to movement than the Kinect, PS Move, or Wii; pair this specialty treadmill with the Oculus Rift VR headset and you are now in total control over your favorite character. Not only that, but the Omni software also keeps track of different fitness statistics, such as calories, miles walked and more, bringing a whole new challenge to the idea of playing your favorite title all night.
Don’t get too ahead of yourself, though. At nearly $450 — plus all the extras — these may be slightly out of the average consumer’s budget.
So you have your treadmill and you’re ready to get online and go Kilimanjaro on everyone in Halo 4, right? Wrong. What fun is Halo without actually feeling like you’re being shot in the back by a 12-year-old in real life? No fun, that’s what.
I bring you the ARAIG (As Real As It Gets) Multi-Sensory Feedback Suit, and wouldn’t you believe it, it’s a Kickstarter campaign. Now, this won’t make it actually feel like you’re being shot by a bullet out of a top-of-the-line UNSC rifle, but it will provide a much better response than a slight rumble in your hands. Offering real-life vibrations and stim reactions on multiple parts of the body, this is definitely another big step towards total immersion in gaming.
Lastly, the top layer of the armor they call the “Sim-Skin” will be customizable, meaning in the future there may be hundreds of combinations available to armor yourself to match your character in the game. It might not be the best thing to wear around your girlfriend, though. Even if you are the Dovahkiin.
Now you’re armored up, on your Omni, and ready to game now, right? Still a no unfortunately. Because you’ll look like a chump without this next piece of gear.
The one and only Delta Six, a multi-platform gaming rifle, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s on Kickstarter. Designed to bring a realistic feel to first-person shooters, this gaming gun does it all and it does it well. Featuring realistic reloading, extremely reactive zooming, and strafing — it even has a grenade launcher and silencer. This thing blows modern gun-style controllers out of the water.
These are all great products aiming to bring a more immersive gaming experience to the players and I love it. However, I like to think of these products as the first generation of many to come.
I think of these as the first cellphones of the gaming industry — the price tag is a bit high and there are still some kinks and bugs to work out — but before you know it they will blow your mind. That’s why I’m excited to see not only the final launch of these products but how fast they evolve and how they change the gaming industry in the next 5, 10, or 15 years.