This report was adapted by Cantech Letter from a piece prepared by Sophic Capital. For the original report, and more in-depth research, please visit Sophic Capital’s website, here.
Playing around with Virtual Reality
We spent our second day at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) queued for hours waiting to try high-end VR gaming platforms. More accurately, we wanted to see the content available for Oculus, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive since we know their head-mounted devices (HMD) are now consumer-ready and ready to begin shipping in the coming weeks and months. Unfortunately, we couldn’t book an appointment with Valve to probe the platform; however, we have one today, and we’ll report our findings on Monday.
Biting the bullet with Oculus
After waiting in line for 75 minutes at the Oculus booth, we got to play a much hyped game called Bullet Train. We can only describe Bullet Train as INSANE! By far, this game was the best virtual reality experience we’ve ever had. Created by Epic Games, Bullet Train involves shooting resistance forces infiltrating a subway station. Between lobbing grenades, blasting shotguns, and catching bullets and rockets to fling back at the enemy. Oculus’ graphics were pristine; the Touch controllers were light and intuitive; everything worked perfectly and gets our vote for Best in Show so far. But…
Skepticism exists surrounding Oculus’ demo
We talked to two VR game coders. Both had tried Bullet Train and came away as impressed as we did. However, when we asked whether or not the recommended Oculus computer would support Bullet Train, both coders thought that it wouldn’t. They believed Oculus HMD would need far more horsepower. For our demo, the Oculus box was out of sight, so we have no way to confirm what powered our Bullet Train experience.
Multiplayer Oculus gameplay
We returned to a second lineup at the Oculus booth and waited 45 minutes to play EVE: Valkyrie, a space dogfight shooter game by CCP Games. We played it at E3 last year, but not in multiplayer mode where we fought alongside seven other players to defeat the enemy. We found the experience underwhelming. Not because of the graphics, audio, or synching, but because it didn’t feel like we were playing as a team. Still, it was fun, but having the ability to communicate and coordinate attacks with our teammates would have made a far better virtual reality experience.
PlayStation VR has the best physical design
After EVE: Valkyrie, we strolled over to the Sony booth and waited an hour to try PlayStation VR, formerly known as Project Morpheus. Slipping on HMD made us appreciate the thought that went into its design. Unlike Oculus’ Velcro straps, PlayStation VR had elastics that allow one to easily and comfortably affix the HMD to our head. A dial at the back tightened the elastics, and a button at the front adjusted the fit on our face (very elegant indeed). Then, we had a chance to interact with the motion controllers. We cycled through five orbs, each constructed from a different material. We could bounce the orbs off our head, slap them around with our hands, and even stick our head in a watery orb and exhale bubbles (we can’t figure out how Sony does that!). We had five games to select from, and we returned to London Heist, a title we’ve played before. Unfortunately, the gameplay wasn’t smooth; for some reason, the gun would randomly drop, requiring us to search the van while thugs on motorcycles fired bullets at us. If you have never experienced VR, London Heist gives you a great overview of the emotional intensity that VR imparts. However, this assumes that you didn’t play Bullet Train on Oculus first.
Experiencing Vive without HTC and Valve
Today, we will visit Valve to ask questions and experience Valve games. Yesterday, we wrote about how we tried Vive at Ossio, a 3D audio company. We also got to try a vertigo inducing, horrifying VR experience called The Walk, which involves walking a tightrope between New York City’s Twin Towers. Complete with a thick cable on the floor to simulate the rope, you start The Walk standing at the edge of the South Tower, looking straight down into the concrete abyss. Our knees literally knocked, and walking the cable stuck intense fear and sweaty palms. It demonstrated why VR is the next stage in gaming – because it can be so real that it invokes intense emotions.
The information and recommendations made available here through our emails, newsletters, website, press releases, collectively considered as (“Material”) by Sophic Capital Inc. (“Sophic” or “Company”) is for informational purposes only and shall not be used or construed as an offer to sell or be used as a solicitation of an offer to buy any services or securities. You hereby acknowledge that any reliance upon any Materials shall be at your sole risk. In particular, none of the information provided in our monthly newsletter and emails or any other Material should be viewed as an invite, and/or induce or encourage any person to make any kind of investment decision. The recommendations and information provided in our Material are not tailored to the needs of particular persons and may not be appropriate for you depending on your financial position or investment goals or needs. You should apply your own judgment in making any use of the information provided in the Company’s Material, especially as the basis for any investment decisions. Securities or other investments referred to in the Materials may not be suitable for you and you should not make any kind of investment decision in relation to them without first obtaining independent investment advice from a qualified and registered investment advisor. You further agree that neither Sophic, its employees, affiliates consultants, and/or clients will be liable for any losses or liabilities that may be occasioned as a result of the information provided in any of the Company’s Material. By accessing Sophic’s website and signing up to receive the Company’s monthly newsletter or any other Material, you accept and agree to be bound by and comply with the terms and conditions set out herein. If you do not accept and agree to the terms, you should not use the Company’s website or accept the terms and conditions associated to the newsletter signup. Sophic is not registered as an adviser under the securities legislation of any jurisdiction of Canada and provides Material on behalf of its clients pursuant to an exemption from the registration requirements that is available in respect of generic advice. In no event will Sophic be responsible or liable to you or any other party for any damages of any kind arising out of or relating to the use of, misuse of and/or inability to use the Company’s website or Material. The information is directed only at persons resident in Canada. The Company’s Material or the information provided in the Material shall not in any form constitute as an offer or solicitation to anyone in the United States of America or any jurisdiction where such offer or solicitation is not authorized or to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such a solicitation. If you choose to access Sophic’s website and/or have signed up to receive the Company’s monthly newsletter or any other Material, you acknowledge that the information in the Material is intended for use by persons resident in Canada only. Sophic is not an investment advisory, and Material provided by Sophic shall not be used to make investment decisions. Information provided in the Company’s Material is often opinionated and should be considered for information purposes only. No stock exchange anywhere has approved or disapproved of the information contained herein. There is no express or implied solicitation to buy or sell securities. Sophic and/or its principals and employees may have positions in the stocks mentioned in the Company’s Material, and may trade in the stocks mentioned in the Material. Do not consider buying or selling any stock without conducting your own due diligence and/or without obtaining independent investment advice from a qualified and registered investment advisor.