Virtual Reality – Massenmarkt in Sicht © Oliver Redelfs

Mass market for virtual reality may emerge soon

Oliver Redelfs, Head of GameCity:Hamburg, talks about impressive opportunities of virtual reality games

Virtual reality games offer users all kinds of stunning action such as flying over Parisian roofs, prowling around catacombs or giving mountaineers a realistic feeling for altitude. Users can also immerse themselves fully in dimensions of the universe. The endless opportunities are increasingly breathtaking “and will become even better”, according to OIiver Redelfs, spokesman and project manager at gamecity:Hamburg, who is expecting fascinating, technological leaps and bounds.

Hyperrealistic images produce authenticity for player

“Eye tracking is possibly the next big step. The player moves around the room with his eye. The first prototypes already exist,” said Redelfs, and predicted lots of developments in terms of visual appearances. “We will see hyperrealistic images. The structures of surfaces will appear incredibly detailed and reveal even the tiniest cracks and bumps.” Such details are particularly interesting when a game scenario requires superhuman powers of a user e.g. for bending metal.

Mass market in 2020?

Asked about dreams of the future, Redelfs noted that unlike the hype surrounding virtual reality in 2007, which peaked with second life and then receded because the technology was not sufficiently developed, contemporary developments are stable. “Large firms like Facebook (Oculus), Samsung, HTC, Valve, Sony and Google are pushing ahead with the technology and virtual reality is no longer a niche issue popular only in the gaming community.“ However, it will take a while for virtual reality to reach a mass market and until the headsets become less unwieldy and bulky and for sufficiently powerful batteries to replace annoying cables. That will probably occur in 2020, said Redelfs.

Hamburg – important gaming location

Hamburg is likely to benefit from the excitement surrounding virtual reality and it could boost the already nimble games sector, said Redelfs. “Hamburg is one of Germany’s most important gaming locations. Around 160 firms with about 4,700 employees in the games ecosystem already form a viral and well connected sector.“ The new initiative nextReality.Hamburg is supporting the games scene and aims to bring developers together with firms in Hamburg to achieve new visualisation options. “Today, virtual reality is already offering huge possibilities in B2B. Game developers have the experience and know-how to create virtual worlds professionally. Thus the collaboration is mutually beneficial,” said Redelfs.

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