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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Virtual reality continues to progress

    By Brittany Snow

    Staff Writer

       The first virtual reality headset was invented in 1968 by an American computer scientist Ivan Sutherland, and his student Bob Sproull. Since then, VR headsets have transformed to accommodate different devices, including cell phones and game consoles. 

       Virtual reality has been increasingly popular since it first became widely known among teens in the 90s. Companies such as HTC and Sony released the device as an extension to their gaming consoles. 

       The earliest video game developed specifically for VR is Rez, developed by Sega for the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2. Rez was originally released in Japan in 2001, followed by releases in Europe and the United States in 2002. 

       Gaming platforms now offer mainstream games such as Minecraft and Mario Kart to be played through VR.

       Mario Kart VR has recently found multiple locations to play within entertainment centers, providing players the chance to hop inside a kart and explore the Mushroom Kingdom. The game launched on June 12, 2019 at VR Zone Portal Irvine, located at the K1 Speed entertainment center.

       The immersive VR experience previously had tenures in Washington, D.C., London and Tokyo.

       Such entertainment centers have also reached the San Gabriel Valley, as the VOID at the Westfield Santa Anita provides experiences in gaming programs such as The Avengers: Damage Control. The fifteen minute inviting experience costs $39.95 with time slots ranging from 12 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.

       Recent developments in consumer VR took off, beginning with the first announcement of the Oculus Rift in 2012. Now, according to a recent study by Digi-Capital, the technology is expected to generate $30 billion in annual revenue by this year.

    “In just three years, virtual reality has gone from pre-dated technology to household name,” the Greenlight Insight authors wrote in 2015. “What started as a small Kickstarter project has reawakened an entire industry, mainly due to the grass-roots effort of early VR believers in the Oculus Rift.”

       In 2015, Netflix partnered with Facebook Technologies, LLC VR branch, Oculus. The new headset will still show the visuals in two dimensions, but there will likely be 3D programming within the near future, according to CNN.

       In a study conducted by Fast Company Magazine, 60 percent of VR consumers were interested in gaming through this device, compared to 66 percent of consumers interested in visual entertainment through this new technology. 

       A variety of age groups have expressed interest in trying these new forms of interactive entertainment. In a study conducted by Greenlight Insights in 2015, 76 percent of Generation Z expressed interest, and 67 percent of Millennials intrigued as well. 

       These interest rates were accompanied by 66 percent of Generation X and with 55 percent of Baby Boomers attracted to these advancements also. 


    WC: 455

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    Virtual reality continues to progress