With the advent of virtual reality truly upon us, and it has become apparent that many of our existing computer systems will simply not be capable of running the latest gaming software. Comparison website VR-headsets.co.uk made it clear in their latest article on VR gaming spec that it’s simply not going to be a smooth transition.
There are a couple of big things to consider when looking to run any 3D-rendered app in VR. First of all is the fact that your VR headset is basically two displays, one for each eye. So your machine has to render two scenes instead of the usual one. In other words, any VR game you run is generally going to be twice as demanding as normal. At least.
Not only is VR twice as demanding in terms of rendering, but the article goes on to discuss the impact this has on your expected FPS.
For reference, 90fps VR gaming at 1080p is roughly 90% as demanding as 4K gaming at 60FPS.
As most gamers know, frame drops can be incredibly frustrating, but frame drops in a virtual reality environment can lead to some extremely nauseating experiences. Not good!
Although it’s not all bad news, the PC spec required to run VR in ultra high definition will not necessarily mean upgrading your RAM. Despite rumours that 16GB of RAM will be required, the article debunks this as ‘overkill’ and that 8GB will be more than enough to handle your VR experience.
One industry where the size of the visual display matters is the gaming industry. In the early 80s we were in awe of machines like the Amstrad and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. These computers had a small monitor with bulky keyboards and a manual the size of a dictionary. In the 90s, games consoles took off and the Nintendo NES, Super NES and the Playstation, as well as the Gamecube and N64 systems defined computer gaming in the living room. This hardware advanced so quickly over such a short period of time and although the consoles had advanced graphically and technologically, they were still being played on small television sets in some households. Those lucky enough to have a larger screen TV could play on them but the resolution couldn’t keep up with the television’s output, so the image looked pixelated. Running on 16-bit graphics the SNES was an incredible achievement but on a widescreen TV it would look terribly retro now.
It was when technology caught up in all areas of home entertainment that it really helped the games industry. The hardware advances by Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft were so big that finally these consoles could output an image that looked phenomenal on the right television. HDTVs are getting better every year and with most channels broadcasting in high definition, it was inevitable that console manufacturers would push the envelope in terms of how their games looked. With the Playstation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One on the horizon, we could be seeing the best looking games we’ve ever seen in our homes. On a small screen they lose their power and their impact, on a large screen TV, they come alive. There are also rumours that the PS4 will be Ultra-HD ready (although not for gaming), meaning that we could be seeing 2 to 5 times the resolution that we have today. ConsoleDeals.co.uk, a website already comparing the latest ps4 deals, have predicted that the console wars between Xbox One and PS4 will be fuelled by bigger and better displays with more immersive user experiences.
Some would say that their 26 inch TV is big enough for their living room and in some cases this is probably true. The majority of people tend to go as big as possible nowadays, with 50 inch sets not uncommon. Playing games on a 50 inch widescreen Plasma or LED Backlight TV certainly gives you an image that really stands out (even more so with 3D) but does a bigger screen mean a better experience?
Generally the bigger the better and it’s always advisable to get the biggest TV you can afford. Portable devices are also getting in on the “large-scale” debate and this sometimes runs contradictory to what they were designed for but nevertheless, technology has forced us to reconsider what we think is convenient.
Whether it’s an Ipad or general tablet device, the need for a bigger screen is becoming greater. The Ipad can now play games, videos, film and TV shows which is incredible. Sitting outside in the garden, upstairs in the bedroom or just out at a café, you can watch your favourite film or show with ease and convenience.
But there are some who still find that the screen could be bigger, or that the speakers could be better. Despite the obvious convenience, we always want that little bit extra and that’s why it’s great to know that if you want to connect it to a projector and show it on the wall, you can. Or perhaps you want to show off your pictures or videos to your friends (maybe at a friend’s house) you can connect to your TV via the appropriate connector. This flexibility always comes with the need for a bigger screen. So embrace a larger picture and go big everytime.