Meet the industry: time travel through the history of video games

With an exceptionally strong innovative drive the gaming industry pushes the boundaries of hard- and software every year. The industry has become one of the most significant ones in the entertainment sector. The industry generated 2.65 billion Euros in sales – and this is just in Germany. At the same time the music industry only made 1.12 billion Euros in 2013. Accordingly the gaming industry presents their novelties every year at gamescom, the world’s largest trade fair and event highlight for interactive games.

However, amongst all the state of the art technology some outdated tech is celebrated in hall 10.2, which does not need any light show or entertaining hosts to excite: the exhibition Retro Gaming. On 1,300 square meters plenty of associations, projects and private collectors once more showed the history of computer games. Visitors were able to marvel at dozens of game consoles, computers, handheld devices and gaming machines of the last four decades. Some of the highlights were classics like Commodore 64, Amiga and Atari 2600. We would like to take this opportunity to take you on a little time travel through the history of video games.

Real or virtual? Boundaries blur in the virtual reality

Some of you already had the chance at this year’s gamescom to test the virtual reality headset by Oculus Rift or the Sony Morpheus headset for PlayStation 4 and dive into virtual worlds.

Virtual Reality is no new trend. First virtual reality headsets were already developed over 20 years ago. However, the technology of the displays and sensors was not convincing and appropriate consoles were way too expensive back then. Meanwhile a lot has changed: Virtual reality headsets more likely look like ski glasses – with only one screen in front of a user’s eyes and motion sensors the gamer moves through digital worlds. The motion of the head is recorded by head trackers which transfer the motions from the real into the digital world. The experience is unique: The boundaries between reality and virtuality blur. Usually we recognize our surrounding through our senses eyesight, hearing, smelling, tasting and the tactile sense. With a virtual reality headset one dives into a second reality, because the sense of seeing, which we trust most, perceives the virtual world.

Together with the Cyberith Virtualizer moves of the entire body can be simulated in video games. The metal frame from Cyberith, in which the gamer stands, has sensors in the base plate, on the posts and ring. The movements are connected to the virtual world that the gamer sees through the virtual reality headset. The fascination a gamer experiences is called immersion. One’s own person is recognized less in the reality. Therefore the identification with the avatar increases. This sounds absurd at first, but means in the end, that we will no longer let Mario Götze shoot the goal for us but participate in the world championship ourselves.

Virtual reality games will become more important in the future and the trend is to involve more senses little by little. Besides the virtual reality headset itself as well as the Cyberith Virtualizer one of the innovations is the gaming vest from KOR-FX. The vest produces noises from the game and enables the gamer to feel the gameplay. We are excited to see what comes next and will keep you posted about the latest developments in the virtual reality sector.