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How did VR gaming come about and what is its future?
(PR) 05:24 PM EDT - Apr,20 2017

VR refers to computer technologies that utilise virtual reality headsets in order to generate sounds, realistic images and a whole manner of other sensations. This is done either to replicate a real-life environment or create imaginary surroundings.

It is also used to simulate a user’s physical presence in the real world and because of this gaming experiences from massively multiplayer online role-playing (MMORPG) to first person shooter to online roulette sites have been enhanced more than many gamers could have ever envisaged.

Players using VR equipment can explore the artificial world and interact with features or items that the headset has seemingly created. VR itself is said to date back as early as the mid 19th century when a French playwright used avant-garde work to try and bind illusion and reality.

Though fast forward almost a century and VR as we know it today emerged in the 1930s with its concept described as a goggle-based virtual reality system with holographic recording of fictitious experiences. In 2010, the first prototype of the Oculus Rift was designed and whilst this headset was based on the shell of an existing VR headset, the Oculus Rift featured a 90-degree field of vision which at this time was unseen.

Seven years and a $2billion sale to Facebook later and VR and Oculus Rift have come on leaps and bounds. The likes of Sony are now on board with a VR headset for the Play Station 4, Google have released a headset compatible with smartphones and HTC also have their own headset complete with controllers.

The future of VR is huge and last year there were over 230 companies across the globe developing products and technologies relating to VR. Facebook alone had over 400 employees solely focused on VR development and Apple, Google, Amazon, Sony, Microsoft and Samsung each had dedicated augmented reality and VR projects. It’s fair to say that VR and gaming are a match made in heaven.

Several VR head mounted displays were released for gaming purposes in the early 1990s and these proved very popular. Nintendo released the Virtual Boy, iGlasses were developed by Virtual I-O and Victor Maxx had developed the Cybermaxx. This was just the start. Now VR gaming options include the Wii Remote, Kinect for Xbox, PlayStation Move and PlayStation Eye. Each of these can accurately track and send motion input of the players to the console.

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are commercial tethered headsets specifically released for VR gaming and there are now several VR versions of popular video games. Vendetta Online was the first MMORPG game to support the Oculus Rift and since then, a number of devices has been released to coincide with the headset as a means to enhance the gaming experience. It’s a very exciting time for games and the VR industry as with advancing technologies, the devices and experiences from them are only set to get better and even the gambling industry are getting in on the act. VR gambling wagers are set to rise by a staggering 800% in the next half-decade. Currently, almost $60million a year is being placed on VR gambling and that number is to ameliorate to $520million by 2021.

Developments in VR gambling will allow players to have a more immersive casino experience and technology giants from Samsung to Apple to Facebook are more than ready to not only support the relationship but undoubtedly cash in on it too.

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