Has the Next-Gen of VR Arrived?
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True virtual reality has been as close as it has ever been in most recent years. With systems like the HTC Vive, we can move around a room and essentially live in a virtual space. With the PSVR, we have access to the largest selection of games to play in VR history. While not all are true VR, you can still play them on a virtual screen in a virtual space. There are also the headsets that allow us to turn our mobile devices into gaming centers. Cell phones that play games are still a fairly new technology. I remember the first cell phone my mom had that played Snake. I thought it was the coolest thing, and now adults are playing Telltale's The Walking Dead on their phones. The fact that we can convert this already pretty miraculous device into a virtual reality headset to teleport into virtual worlds is super cool.

I'm getting a tiny bit off point, but not really. What I'm talking about today is the potential for mobile virtual reality. But not in the way that it exists now, with plastic headsets functioning mostly as a holder for a phone that powers the technology. HTC Vive just announced a new partnership with Google. The tech giant has created a platform called Daydream that allows virtual reality devices to be truly mobile. Vive is one of the first companies to pick up Daydream, and they plan to create a stand-alone headset to utilize the program.

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HTC Vive is arguably one of the best VR headsets out there right now, so the fact that this king of VR is taking on one of the first stand-alone headsets is a good sign for the industry. They rocked the market with the PC-powered Vive headset, and now they're ready to take on the world with this stand-alone one. Considering the massive amounts of power needed to run the current Vive headset, it will be really interesting to see how long development takes on this stand-alone version. We've been consistently told that the technology and the hardware simply didn't exist. But as we all know, technology development moves at the speed of light. Could this be the true virtual reality I've yearned for since the very beginning?

I got really hyped when a somewhat similar product was revealed by Microsoft back in 2015. At first, the HoloLens seemed to be the beginning of stand-alone virtual reality. But in truth, it was only mixed reality, and the thing has yet to even be released. There are rumors that the HoloLens won't even be a reality until 2019. HTC's new standalone VR headset is being marketed as releasing later this year. Considering we haven't even heard of this until now, that timeline seems like a dream. But as the technology is titled, hopefully our Daydreams will become a reality.

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The stand-alone VR headset from Vive, with its utilization of Google's Daydream platform, might be the reality that .hack fans everywhere have been waiting for. The World is coming everyone, let's just hope our virtual reality worlds don't trap us there and threaten to kill us. Or in the case of Dreamfall Chapters, hopefully we don't get so hooked on our second lives that we neglect our first ones. All science fiction points to virtual reality being a slippery slope to chaos and destruction of our world. But you know what, I'm willing to take that chance. Bring in on HTC and Google! I'll be a guinea pig for your new technology, risks be damned!

What do you think of HTC's newest Vive VR headset announcement? Are you looking forward to it, or are you tempering your excitement? Let me know in the comments!

April Marie
April Marie
@Legiodith

Contributing Writer
Date: 05/19/2017

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