We take advantage of the last hours of this 2018 to make a small review of what happened and what will come, in addition to, of course, wishing you all a great year 2019.
One more year that we are about to leave behind, the sixth that we share with all of you and the third since we could consider that the first commercial virtual reality viewers arrived. And on this occasion we are at the gates of the arrival of the new generationnot only in terms of hardware with the commercial launch of the viewers of Pimax, or even the evolution of the first standalone devices such as Quest, but also at the level of software, as in 2019 are expected important releases called to change what we have seen so far, and a clear example of this is the open world game Stormland working with Insomniac.
But before we get into what comes next year, let’s a small review of what this 2018 has brought us. January started with the arrival of the first Windows MR viewers in Spain and the presentation at CES of Vive Pro, a product that ended up on the market in April. In this sense, we have also seen advances and the advent of the new viewers of Pimax, in addition to a series of stand-alone devices such as Oculus Go, Lenovo Mirage Solo, and Live Focus, which provided new opportunities in the consumer market as in the professional field, field for the manufacturers as VRgineers have products with more benefits than you’re accustomed to. Some manufacturers have chosen to offer revisions that improve certain features of their current models, such as the Plus version of Odyssey or the Eye of Acer, although we have not heard more about the latter.
Regarding other peripherals, we have also seen new walkers such as the Mini version of Kat Walk, other proposals such as the Natural Locomotion software or the Virtual Feet solution, both of Spanish origin, and the first official Vive wireless adapter. In games we have had the jump to VR of great sagas with titles such as Skyrim VR( its arrival on PC), WipEout Omega Collection, Tetris Effect, Borderlands 2 VR or even the great surprise of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. But not everything has to be known names, and proof of this are great successes such as Beat Saber, Moss or Astro Bot Rescue Mission, which have shown how great exclusive sagas of VR can be built. The narrative experiences have been seen with great proposals such as Age of Sail or the latest from Baobab, Crow, in addition to the approach to the medium of well-known directors such as Robert Rodriguez. And speaking of cinema, we can not forget the premiere of Ready Player One, although perhaps it did not have the effect that many of us expected.
Another milestone this year has been the launch for developers of Magic Leap One, the first step of the company that we have been waiting for so long, and is that augmented reality continues to advance. Google and Apple continue to improve their platforms, as multiple viewers from different manufacturers make their way to resolving business use cases. The arcades, despite the striking fall in the bet of IMAX, continue to enjoy new proposals, such as that of Vertigo, and expand their presence even in Spain, with the last opening in Tarrasa of another center of Zero Latency. Precisely, there are more and more companies dedicated to RX and investments continue to arrive, not only in terms of AR, but also for VR.
We close this review with the summary of the news that attracted the most attention:
As we anticipated at the beginning of this news, 2019 promises to be a very interesting year in all areas of the virtual and augmented reality industry. We know that viewers will arrive like Quest, Odin, Pimax 8K / 5K+ (versions outside Kickstarter), Varjo or Star VR One (if they solve the legal issue), in addition to others (not yet confirmed) that could come true or even be launched, as is the case of a new Rift (the rumored S), a new XTAL for enthusiasts and a new Vive, or even a Valve device next to its Knuckles that are already devkit. At the same time, we also have other possibilities on the horizon, such as that of PS5 and PSVR2 and the arrival of new versions or packages with motion controllers for Mirage Solo and Focus. And let’s not forget other options like HoloLens 2, or who knows if something from Apple.
In the field of software there are very interesting titles coming up like Defector, Stormland and Lone Echo 2, in addition to others that have not yet been presented and that promise to “thrill us even more” than we have planned (Will it be Red Dead Redemption 2?). For its part, the Sony viewer is waiting for games like Blood & amp; Truth, Golem, Ace Combat 7, Megalith, Eden Tomorrow, Everybodys Golf VR, Falcon Age, Ghost Giant and other PC games that will make the leap (Sairento VR, Seeking Dawn, The Mage’s Tale, etc.). In the GDC in March we will know many more launch titles of Quest. Also noteworthy is the jump to VR of the Angry Birds saga, which will be available in early 2019.
The new year could mean the landing of OpenXR, something that would officially take the Oculus store exclusives to the rest of PC viewers, in addition to simplifying the work of developers and manufacturers. VR video will also continue its path with proposals such as RED and Facebook, which will try to bring us the 6dof to this field, something we also saw in 2018 with the demo of Light Fields from Google.
In short, from Real or Virtual we are sure that the industry will continue to add new milestones during this new year, so we hope that you continue to share with us everything that gives this promising 2019.