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SteamVR is a brand new platform for purchasing and launching virtual reality software that was made publicly available on April 5th, 2016.
Though a fledgling platform, SteamVR already provides features that entice you to adopt it. It gives you a compositor, a efficient and clean sanity check that runs whenever the headset is running and finds tracking information. It provides the chaperone, which keeps you away from the walls. And it offers access to your Windows desktop from anywhere within VR.
But the importance, of course, is on the experiences it helps facilitate.
Many deride the length of the experiences, and many others refuse to replay an experience after they've "seen all it has to offer".
I disagree. I believe that virtual reality applications are worlds you want to revisit again and again. Many today are games, yes, but more importantly, all virtual reality apps take you to unique places.
A VR app is a world you want to inhabit and learn from, and whether it's a familiar world that you squeeze into during your lunch break or a multi-day journey through new places you've never been, VR is traveling more so than entertainment. Thankfully, the tickets are cheap.
E3 is like Christmas, but better.
To a gamer, the yearly smorgasbord of announcements & reveals is a presentation of epic proportions, and during E3 dreams come true. Our friend Crash Bandicoot is back. Kratos too. And now we've finally seen what Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus have been up to.
To developers and those working in the games industry, it's an event that's equal parts fun and stressful. Where your favorite things about it aren't what was announced, but who you met in interesting places, who you spent time with after the convention got out at night, and what tricks of the trade you could gleam from loose-lipped and hyped up devs.
This year at E3, we've been told we can command a starship with your friends over the internet, pick off a robot swarm as a deadly sniper, and suit up as Batman.
VR is here, and everyone has a unique offering. There are new VR experiences that are compelling in unique ways. Inner Activity, a tranquil meditative VR experience using beautiful spiritual symbols and the flora making up lush visuals, using a Subpack so you could feel the soothing music flow through you. In Raw Data, you and another player fight waves of cybernetic soldiers back to back with a pistol and a laser sword. In The Nest, you play the roll of a sniper racing against the clock to clear the city of robots from the titular Nest. These worlds will be places players will want to return over and over again.
Teleportation to another universe while in the middle of the Los Angeles Convention Center still sounds like futuristic idealism. But in 2016, that's reality.