#Trending: VR add-ons are next big thing

E3 special: With VR finally here, what's the next exciting piece of hardware?
#Trending: VR add-ons are on the rise

With the arrival of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR on the way in October, you'd think the hype over hardware would die down a little at E3. That wasn't the case at all - if anything, VR is now bigger than ever.

E3's conferences also proved that the industry is diving even deeper into the VR gaming realm. Microsoft's Project Scorpio announcement shows it's definitely invested in creating a powerful box that can support your console VR needs, and beyond PS4, Sony's got something cooking that will also be able to run VR much better. This all means VR related tech is only going to get more prevalent too.

Everywhere I turned, there were booths full of VR related experiences. Whether it was 4D rides from Samsung or ReactiVR with seats that moved with the VR simulation, or headset after headset claiming to be better than the other guys, there was no shortage of hardware.

To further make sure it's here to stay, VR peripherals are already on the rise. There's already been several iterations for various VR accessories and like the headsets, the tech is starting to come together so you can try it out at home - but that doesn't mean you should get every single device that comes out.

Essential reading: PlayStation VR everything you need to know

There's the new VR 'guns' like the PS VR Aim Controller from Sony and the developer studio Impulse Gear - but Sony's made similar ones for its Move controllers before. What's the difference between console and PC accessories versus ones for VR? Moe immersion. If the device is able to plunge you deeper into whatever world you're exploring, then it has done it's job.

Therein lies the problem though - it needs to get the job done well while remaining affordable and useful. Some concepts make complete sense while others need more polishing and then there's the ones that sound cool in theory but aren't exactly feasible. Take a look below at what else you can eventually add to your living room VR setup, and what may not be so great.

WEAR - VR gloves

This is one peripheral that's sure to stick around. Most VR gloves, like Hands Omni, GloveOne and Manus VR are still in the early phases of development, but the teams are getting very close.

There's still work to be done getting the gloves out to developers but once that happens, likely some time later this year or next, you're one step closer to using your actual hands in VR. How cool is that?

There's no doubt being able to articulate your fingers without the need of a plastic controller would make the whole experience more immersive.

NEARLY THERE - VR backpacks

MSI, Zotac, HP and Alienware have all announced portable backpacks that let you carry around a powerful PC to run VR - and to literally run while in VR. The Void is also a big champion of taking VR with you rather than sitting in front a screen.

The only problem? They're all basically prototypes right now without solid prices or release dates. I was able to look at Alienware's during E3 but couldn't try it on for myself. Computex attendees were a bit more lucky and were able to strap on the Zotac and MSI packs but apparently they're still a work in process.

Whenever the PCs decide to launch, it could very well change how you hop into VR. Gone will be the hassle of cables and it could solve the problem of being tethered - you'll still be wired in, but at least the PC will be on your back. However, the weight, heat and battery life are still questionable points that still need to be thoroughly examined before I can say it's a solid VR accessory.

SQUARE - VR bikes

Though not something you wear, VR bikes must be mentioned since more are cropping up as VR accessories gain popularity. Companies like Holodia, Virtuix Omni, VirZoom have great premises - to get you up off your lazy bum while in VR - but its not without issues.

We've already discussed VR exercise equipment at length as a promising concept if it all wasn't so expensive, bulky and a sweaty process. It's simply not a feasible concept especially when prepping your living room for VR already requires you to rearrange your furniture. You might as well download VR workouts and forego an extra piece of hardware.

Shop for VR headsets on Amazon

Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift
PlayStation VR
PlayStation VR
HTC Vive
HTC Vive
Samsung Gear VR
Samsung Gear VR

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1 Comment

  • Cybermykl says:

    I like the idea of VR exercise.  With the VR gloves in the form of boxing gloves, you could have a VR opponent in the ring.  Kickboxing comes to mind or games involving action sports like tennis or ping-pong (pun intended).  These are all modes of exercise whether used with a bike as such or just sparring with a VR opponent.

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