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back to article Hardware hacker rigs up VR for Skyrim

Bethesda's Skyrim is an immersive experience as it is, but combine it with a set of Sony VR goggles and Microsoft's motion-sensing add-on, Kinect, and you get one of the most fun-looking gaming rigs I have ever seen. In the video below, one PC gamer shows how to turn the Elder Scrolls into a virtual reality experience. His …

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Silver badge

Am I the only one who saw the walking action and felt tired, saw the first sword-swipe and thought "That's proper gaming out the window, then", saw the total equipment / cost and the overall result and thought "Why bother?"

Seriously, I've been waiting DECADES for a proper Quake / VR / Laserquest / Paintball tie-in, where you run around a real blue-background game arena and interact with / shoot your pals while the VR overlays a realistic 3D background over the whole thing and handles things like bullets so you don't *ACTUALLY* shoot your mates. It would be a great laugh to match up in de_dust against each other "for real". But since the late 80's, we've made ZERO progress on VR even with fancy gesture-recognition systems and orders-of-magnitude increases in computing power, etc.

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Stop

VR room

Well, there was the VR FPS room which had complicated mechanical tracks that meant you could run forwards and it would move you back to centre of room constantly. The walls had the visuals projected onto the screen and I think you wore a suit that jolted you when you got hit. Was on the BBC a while back (maybe somebody industrious could find the link).

That's much closer to the real thing than a pair of goggles and gesture recognition.

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Holmes

i refer you to the gadget show:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg8Bh5iI2WY

10:15 for 1st playtest

14:49 for Andy McNabb (sp?) giving it a whirl

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Agreed, as soon as i saw the walking movement it was all over, because walking all over skyrim like that wouldnt get frustrating at all... -_-

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Silver badge

Might help fatties

Sounds good..

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Re: i refer you to the gadget show:

Marvellous, top chap

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I'm not sure stereoscopic is the right word here. Stereoscopic usually refers to the use of two two-dimensional images individually relayed to eyes. The Kinect depth sensor allows for multiple viewpoints unlike traditional stereoscopic 3D.

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I'm guessing the stereoscopic part refers to the Sony headset, not the kinect

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I'm sure you're right. I should avoid posting comments first thing in the morning. Thanks for the correction.

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Bronze badge

The list of kit is missing one important item .....

..... a pc?

Fine, i will go be a pedant somewhere else

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Coat

Obese American

Time for obese America to get back into shape! Put that wad of cash up instead of that wad of junk food.

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The pursuit of flabbiness

Looks like there are a lot of walking whales elsewhere as well:

http://www.forbes.com/2007/02/07/worlds-fattest-countries-forbeslife-cx_ls_0208worldfat_2.html

A recliner that periodically gives a Tazer shot to the backside would be more useful and inexpensive than this setup.

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Re: The pursuit of flabbiness

Bah! stop ruining their USAian bashing fun with your "facts"!

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Anonymous Coward

Where is my

VR, erm... "naughtiness" simulator?

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Well, that looks like fun.

If you felt Skyrim just didn't have awkward enough controls, this is just the system for you.

I'd forgive them if you could shout "FUS RO DAH!" at the thing to send your enemies flying. I can't think what they're about to omit this vital feature.

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Go

Better than Skyrim!

Use this for sims, like MechWarrior! Rather than Kinect, you could hook it up to a joystick/throttle console and use that. MechWarrior 2 had support for motion-tracking headsets and would adjust the cockpit view based upon it -- your pilot would literally look around the cockpit as you moved your head. Falcon 4.0 is already famous* for having TrackIR/FreeTrack capability. But to actually simulate a F16 cockpit's equipment would be, well, difficult...

*Sort of.

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Silver badge

Doesnt matter what kit you use to dress up the graphics...

The game is still is as 2 dimensional as it gets...

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This is progress, but its still not quite a fun game...

Back in the early 90s a VR LCD (I think) headset controled by a hand controller cost in excess of $100,000. And the 3D graphics were rubbish and weren't even steroscopic.

This guy has knocked up his own system for around a couple of grand. Which is huge progress.

There are still two major hurdles that need to be overcome:

1. The walking is bloody ridiculous. This problem was solved by the gaming rig built on the BBC's gadget show, but that multidirectional Swedish treadmill cost tens to hundreds of thousands of pounds. So until someone makes one of those for around 800 pounds you can forget about VR home gaming.

2. Neither Wii MotionPlus, Sony Move, or MS Kinect can achieve proper lag free 1 to 1 tracking on the players hand in order to properly control the sword. Until this happens all the player is doing is effectively pressing an attack button by waving their arm. It is anyones guess how long it is before we see someone achieve proper lag free one to one tracking. But given that there is now a lot of competition and innovation in this space, I'd bet on years rather than decades.

If you get those two things sorted, and improve the body tracking and speech recognition a bit then you could have a pretty fun VR game (although improving the body tracking and speech recognition may prove much more difficult than either 1 ro 2).

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Reverse Augmented Reality?

Here is Theregister's original article about the Sony VR Goggles at http://www.reghardware.com/2011/10/21/sony_3d_goggles_get_priced_up_for_uk/ (sorry I can't put in a link till I have 100 posts).

In this article the author stated that a big problem with the goggles was that he could no longer see the gamepad, which he needed to look down at occasionally to find some of the buttons.

Sony might be able to get around this problem using augmented reality. But rather than overlaying a virtual object over real world video, they would overlay a video image of the gamepad into the virtual world seen by the goggle wearer. They would have to do the same for the wearers hands. Or if they could create a virtual image of the gamepad in the virtual world that the wearer could look down to see. Of course this would probably require pretty accurate and lag free tracking of both the gamepad and users hands... which doesn't seem possible at present.

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