The prices of equipment required for virtual reality coming down to affordable levels.
A couple of years ago you needed to have a monster of a gaming PC and a very expensive VR headset to experience the joys of virtual reality.
Now you can pick up the Oculus Rift for a much lower price and it can be driven by a fairly midrange computer. With this surge in popularity for virtual reality tech, companies have been eager to cash in on the hype.
The VR headset encapsulates your field of view in a virtual world, and the new motion controls allow you to interact with the environment in a much more natural manner than with a console controller.
But there are still a host of other ways that can make the experience even more immersive.
One such way is by moving your body through a virtual reality chair.
This is a relatively new concept, and we haven’t heard anything significant in its development. That said, however, there are a couple of ideas out there that aim to make it to mass production.
The Need For Virtual Reality Chairs
Recent advancements in sensor technology have allowed virtual reality games to respond to a person’s physical movements.
The reality, however, is that there are very few people who have significant places that make this concept somewhat practical. People want to be virtual reality, but that doesn’t mean that they’re willing to spend hours on end just walking around their rooms.
So there’s still a certain level of disconnect between a person’s physical body and the virtual world when it comes to detecting a change in position/direction.
The fact that your body is still but you’re moving in the virtual world can sometimes lead to nausea. This is a problem that virtual reality chairs are aiming to address.
They allow a person to sense and feel a change in position/direction when the corresponding move is made in the virtual world.
There are very few, if at all, virtual reality chairs available to gamers today. Fortunately, some companies have taken the initiative and come up with some great virtual reality chairs.
Let’s have a look these virtual reality chairs for gaming on computers.
Virtual Reality Chairs For Gaming On Computers
Since there aren’t any virtual reality chairs for gaming at the moment, the market is quite open to new ideas as to how these can look and function.
We would say that these products are still in the phase of innovation, and that’s precisely what Roto have done with the VR 360 virtual reality gaming chair. And we have to say, their vision of a VR gaming chair is pretty promising.
What’s more, it’s not some lab prototype either; it’s going to start shipping to its first customers in February 2018.
Roto has made a point of bringing positional and directional awareness sensory feel to the user. How have they achieved this?
Well simply, they’ve equipped the VR 360 gaming chair with a motor that is able to rotate the chair a full 360 degrees around its own axis.
The base of the chair is fixed, while the seat can rotate the 360 degrees mentioned above. So depending on the game and the direction that the player takes, the chair replicates that in real life by turning itself.
This simple mechanism makes the VR experience that is much more realistic, as there’s real feedback now on change of direction. This helps align the body’s response to visual feedback as well, so there’s no need to worry about nausea either.
If you want a similar experience but without a gaming chair, you have to rely on positional sensors. The trouble with those is they indeed work, but in practice, they are much more hassle than they’re worth.
Gaming VR headsets use a lot of wires, and if you’re moving around wearing that headset, there’s a great chance that you’ll merely trip on of these cables.
The Roto VR 360 addresses those concerns and instead provides your body with the sensory feedback it requires without you having to move a single inch. This chair also takes the space of any other regular chair, which is another advantage over positional tracking which often requires you to specify a large area.
Roto themselves say that this chair has been designed to address some of the glaring shortcomings of modern VR headsets. It moves you around according to the VR world visuals, and that reduces the chances of nausea that is commonly associated with VR headsets.
Roto has employed a clever technique to operate the chair’s motor through manual user input as well. Located just under the seat are pedals which the user can operate using their feet. The chair rotates in the direction which corresponds to the pedal that is pressed.
Now we come to the tricky bit: the price.
This is a pioneering piece of VR hardware, and we’ve already seen that stuff like this doesn’t come cheap. Not in these early stages anyway.
The chair was announced with a price of $599, which doesn’t sound too bad at all.
Well, that’s not the case now as the price has gone up to a solid $999, which is quite expensive.
Still, we don’t think that it’s an outrageous price tag for such an innovative gadget. In fact, we’d say that this is one of the best ways to augment your virtual reality gaming experience.
Final Words: The Market Is Still Open To New Virtual Reality Chair Ideas
Yes, there’s only one consumer-ready virtual reality gaming chair out there.
This might be surprising because virtual reality gaming has been around for a while now. But this also really drives the point home of how hard it is to get into this market.
Companies take a massive risk by launching such development and resource-intensive product for which there isn’t even a proven market demand. For this, we must appreciate Roto on their efforts of bringing such a polished virtual reality chair to consumers.
We can’t be sure if this is what all future virtual reality chairs will look like, but we’re pleased by this first effort.
Some companies are working on their virtual reality chairs for gaming, but they’re still a lot of time away from actual production models.
In fact, a prototype of the MMOne VR gaming chair reportedly cost around 40,000 pounds. That is painfully expensive, and speaks volumes of how well-priced the production-ready Roto VR360 gaming chair is.
And while you’re waiting for more virtual reality chairs for gaming, check The Best VR Games For PlayStation4!