One of the many questions facing current virtual reality (VR) technology is just how long people can spend inside a head-mounted display (HMD). Older Oculus Rift hardware such as the first development kit (DK1) was prone to causing simulation sickness with many users, making shorter sessions essential. But, as the tech has improved, it’s becoming more and more viable to spend longer periods of time inside VR. In fact one of the key forces behind Valve’s VR efforts believes that players will be able to spend their usual gaming times inside VR.
The company’s Chet Faliszek said as much on Twitter this week. He began by saying: “The idea VR is only for short durations is broken. As cool new content goes from a weekly thing to daily, extended sessions are regular.” When one follower made the suggestion that the assumption over length might be to do with press demos being so short, the developer replied: “That influences it and older hardware was more fatiguing.”
“Extended sessions = regular gaming times,” Faliszek later clarified. “I still game for hours most nights.”
Valve is of course one half of the equation that’s working on the HTC Vive along with the Taiwanese smartphone maker. The company’s SteamVR system provides the kit with Room Scale user-tracking in which players can walk around a real world area of up to 15-feet by 15-feet and have those movements replicated in-game. It also includes a pair of position-tracked controllers. Release dates and pricing for the device are yet to be announced although a limited launch is expected before the end of the year. Following that, a full release of the HTC Vive will set for the first three months of 2016.
VRFocus will continue to follow Valve’s work in VR closely, reporting back with the latest updates on its progress.