Virtual Reality Still Just Around the Corner as Developers Try to Eliminate the Final Kinks

For years now virtual reality headsets for gaming and movie-watching have been just around the corner.

For years now….

Tech lovers have long been strapping clunky early models of virtual reality sets to their faces and forgetting in the midst of their excitement that their neck is screaming in agony and that a red rectangular mark was stuck on their face by the time they removed the headset.

This all goes without mentioning the fact that for many consumers, the headset was ripped off in a mad dash to the bathroom to vomit after motion sickness settled in.

Game enthusiasts never needed a special headset to spot the empty promises that were constantly fueling their hopes that virtual reality would finally actually come around the world’s largest corner.

The dominating presence of virtual reality developments at the Game Developers Conferences in San Francisco, however, sparked a new wave of hope that the wait for virtual reality sets would soon be over.

This was mainly because it seemed like every major tech giant in the virtual reality race had stunning new developments to demo for the anxious public.

Oculus, Sony, and Valve all had virtual reality sets on display at the conferences, and the industry’s power players were happy to discuss the new technologies on the way.

“There is a legitimate opportunity,” said Oculus CTO John Carmack. “Make something great, and there will be opportunities there to move a number of units, to be the breakout ‘thing.’ To look back and say, ‘Well, clearly that was the obvious thing to do’ when it wasn’t the obvious thing to do.”

With a new wave of buzz around virtual reality, it’s no surprise that developers are already working on some of the first games that consumers will get to play with the headsets.

Serious Parody CEO Daniel Hinkle has been eagerly working on games for the Oculus Rift, but other developers were hesitant to hop on board.

While the tech giants did unveil impressive advances at the conferences, there are still serious concerns about the actual functionality surrounding the devices.

For one, the devices are still making some people sick.

In the midst of assuring tech lovers that virtual reality was on the way and praising the daring pioneers of the technology, Carmack also pointed to the current downfalls and obstacles that are plaguing the devices.

Carmack laid out his “nightmare scenario.”

“People like the demo, they take it home, and they start throwing up,” Carmack said.

It’s a very real reality.

For those who managed to get their hands on Ocular prototypes in the past, the motion sickness struggle was proven to be very real.

“The fear is if a really bad V.R. product comes out, it could send the industry back to the ’90s,” he said.

Carmack wasn’t the only one to discuss this fear.

Gabe Newell, the president and co-founder of Valve, described the VR demonstrations as “the world’s best motion sickness inducers,” the NY Times reported.

In addition to motion sickness, some users are still unhappy with the size and weight of many VR headsets, which ultimately prohibits them from being focused on the exciting digital realm before them for too long.

This comes along with serious concerns about the price point.

Khaled Helioui, CEO of European game studio Bigpoint, was unhappy with the fact that the headsets will cost $200 or more.

Samsung’s Gear VR is currently priced at $200.

Other tech giants haven’t announced their prices, but it isn’t likely that the $200 price tag will get slashed by competitors.

“The message that sends is, ‘Hey, you need to be wealthy to play our games,’ and I have a big problem with that,” Helioui told Mashable.

For that reason, consumers shouldn’t expect to see any Bigpoint games coming out for the VR sets just yet.

Helioui hinted that he won’t allow it until the price points come down.

Consumers, on the other hand, don’t see the big deal.

“I wouldn’t mind spending up to $300 for a VR headset,” one reader commented.

The Mashable reader also suggested he wouldn’t be willing to go much higher than that but as the tech world has already shown in the past —if the device catches on, people will be willing to dish out an extra hundred bucks or so to make sure they don’t miss the initial wave of a gaming revolution.


10 of the World’s Biggest Recent Hacks and Data Breaches That Deserve Your Attention

Play station hack

Sony PSN

It was a particularly rough year for Sony. Its PlayStation Network was hacked shortly after hackers also released tons of emails from Sony executives, which was allegedly a response by Korean hackers to the new film The Interview. Over the holidays, a group found a way to block thousands of PlayStation and Xbox users from getting online. The worst part for Sony is the fact that this wasn’t the first time hackers messed with the online network. Back in 2011, a group called Lulzsec hacked the gaming giant and forced Sony to shut down its PlayStation Network and Qriocity music service. This impacted roughly 77 million users and left them offline for more than 40 days.


Massive American Business Hack

Just last year, hackers pulled off what was one of the most frightening security breaches yet. The hackers took aim at some of the biggest companies and corporations in America, including Nasdaq, 7-Eleven and more. The massive security breach allowed the group of hackers to steal 160 million credit and debit card numbers and impacted a whopping 800,000 bank accounts. Officials said it was certainly one of the largest hacking schemes to ever be prosecuted in the U.S.

Sony’s Incredibly Rare 20th Anniversary PlayStation 4 Separates Game Lovers from the Game-Obsessed

Sony's 20th Anniversary PS4

Sony released a special, incredibly rare limited edition version of the PlayStation 4 in honor of the console’s 20th anniversary less than a week ago and while some avid gamers are in love with the design that pays homage to the original PlayStation, others are struggling to understand what all the hype is about.

Only 12,300 of the limited edition consoles exist and anyone who didn’t place their order by December 6 will have to make their way online to sites like eBay where the consoles have been sold for roughly $20,000. Yes, four zeroes—no typo there.

But is it really worth it?

The limited edition console has the same sleek design as the PlayStation 4 but comes in gray, the same color that the original console was in.

PlayStation 4 pays homage to original console

It also boasts the original PlayStation logo with gray controllers and even a matching camera, an addition that doesn’t come in your typical PlayStation 4 bundle.

The console also features a plate that lets buyers know exactly which console they received out of the 12,300 that are available and has small Xs, squares, triangles and Os engraved all over it.

For those who don’t know, those are symbols on the buttons of the PlayStation controller.

So is the gray PlayStation 4 really worth thousands of extra dollars?

For some gamers, the gray paint job isn’t enough to get excited about.

“As nice as it is, my initial hype dropped very quickly,” said one Engadget reader. “It’s a grey PS4… that’s it. Yes it’s rare and limited and all that, but what can it do than [sic] any other PS4 can’t?”

The reader went on to slam consumers as “total idiots” for dishing out so much extra cash for what some see as nothing more than a change in color.

Others just simply didn’t like the gray color at all and wished the limited edition console would have went a little outside the box with color choices.

For some gamers, however, the emotional attachment to that gray paintjob was well worth the extra money.

There is something about seeing the color of the original PlayStation slapped across the latest generation of the console that melts the hearts of those who are openly and honestly game-obsessed.

The gray color isn’t just about a difference in appearance in this case.

It’s about bringing up the pixelated memories of the early Street Fighter and Final Fantasy games, having a newfound respect for earthworms after playing Worms Armageddon, the nights spent tormented as a child after playing way too many hours of Silent Hill and Resident Evil and the time you nearly broke your television because you just couldn’t get past the second level of PaRappa the Rapper.

For those gamers, the limited edition console isn’t just painted gray, it’s honoring the emotional attachment that some have formed with the PlayStation brand as a whole.

“I love the nostalgia design-wise, our generation and those a bit before us can appreciate that,” said Marlon Tiller, an avid 22-year-old gamer who grew up with not only the latest PlayStation consoles but also the latest consoles from Xbox and Nintendo. “New kids are going to miss out. They’re definitely not gonna get it. For me, when I saw [the 20th anniversary edition console] I could hear the old PlayStation startup screen sound in my head.”

Of course, for those who are not nearly as attached to the console and never attempted to deliver a high kick to the back of their best friend’s head after playing Tekken, white and black PlayStation 4’s will still be sold at their usual price of roughly $400.


Play Station 4’s ‘Share Play’ Could Open Up New Era of Gaming

Sony could be on the brink of introducing us to a new era of gaming where people no longer have to own a copy of the game in order to join their friends in the digital fun.

In a matter of days, an update will be available for Play Station 4 that will enable a feature called Share Play.

Share Play will, somehow, allow users to play games with their friends regardless of whether the other players have their own copy of the game.

Sony hasn’t released any specifics about how the technology will work, but it has finally announced a release date for the new update.

The update will be available on Oct. 28 and will come with a variety of new features in addition to Share Play.

According to a recent tweet from the Play Station account, the update will also come with a USB music player.

Tech Crunch revealed that the USB player will be able to play MP3, MP4, M4a and 3GP while users are playing video games.

It will essentially give gamers the ability to create their own gaming soundtrack as they make their way through their favorite games.

There are some downsides to the new Share Play feature, however.

Sony recently confirmed that Share Play will come with certain limitations and guidelines.

The feature seems to serve promotional purposes as gaming will be limited to 60-minute sessions through Share Play.

In other words, the Share Play will be more of a tease for the friend who doesn’t have a hard copy of the game.

The good news is that the limitations on Share Play won’t be applied differently based on titles as some gamers expected.

This means friends can have 60-minute gaming expeditions with even the newest Play Station 4 games.

For now, Sony hasn’t released many other details, but the concept of allowing friends to join in on gaming sessions without owning a copy is something to get excited about – even if there is a timer on how long that experience may last.