Virtual Reality is best described as a computer-simulated reality, which presents illusory persons, places, or things through the help of technology. The earliest term found for Virtual Reality was traced back to Antonin Artaud’s in 1938 when he suggested that objects and characters can have an illusory nature (La realite virtuelle). In 1982, Damien Broderick’s science-fiction novel, The Judas Mandala, used the term Virtual Reality, although did not exactly describe the type of technology that we have today. It was during the 1990’s when technology advanced and researching it became truly possible.
But when it came to gaming, Sega was the first company to revolutionize this technology with their Sega’s Master System 3D glasses during the 1980’s. Certainly, it was not comparable to what we have today, but it recreated the 3D effect in an interesting way and was incorporated in games such as Maze Hunter and Zaxxon 3D. Unfortunately for Sega, the glasses did not become a big hit as they had hoped and the interest, for Sega, was not revived until Sony’s Play Station 3 came out.
Nintendo had its own experience with Virtual Reality and released their Virtual Boy headset in 1995. The successful launch had them develop 3D games such as Red Alert and the Wario Land series. But due to players’ discomfort, the project was abandoned and it only came back with their Nintendo 3DS.
Perhaps you have associated the term Virtual Reality with Oculus Rift, the headset developed by Oculus VR. They started with a Kickstarter campaign that went insanely successful after they demonstrated their technology at several events. Most of its success was based on the titles that their headset supported, such as Doom 3, Mirror’s Edge, Legend of Zelda, and Dreadhalls.
Of course, many companies followed, such as Sony with their Project Morpheus. And now Virtual Reality became the future of gaming, but the question arises, what about Mobile Gaming? As for the mobile platform, there have been several pioneers that have developed their apps to support Virtual Reality such Cosmic Force’s Goosebumps: Night of Scares and Square Enix’ Just Cause 3: The Wingsuit Experience. The VR mode can be easily experienced with any VR headset or Google Cardboard.
But what is more interesting, now we have companies that make Virtual Reality controllers for mobile games! One ambitious company is called RevolVR which has created wireless controllers, the Dominator (a gun-shaped controller) and the Navigator (a mouse-shaped controller). These controllers will be available in 2016 and the website can be accessed by clicking here. They can function with and without the use of VR glasses or Google Cardboard, which is spectacular. Thanks to these fascinating companies for making the virtual world and virtual reality controllers accessible to mobile gamers. You can check the RevolVR controllers in action below.