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On March 23, the latest VR work "half life: alyx" from the world famous game developer V Club (valve Villefort software company, famous for developing half life, dota2 and steam platform, which has not yet been listed) caused a sensation once it was published: by the date of sale, the pre purchase volume of alyx had reached 300000, which is steam The number of pre purchased games is one of the highest in the history of distribution; moreover, due to the popularity of the game, the global VR equipment sales are exhausted directly, and the index of former V club is also rising. The second-hand market price has increased by nearly 30% compared with last year.
In the aspect of game style evaluation, the always harsh Metacritic gave 93 points, and the players also gave 9.1 points. The famous game website ign gave it a full score of 10 points directly, thinking that this is a game from the future. It will take a long time for other VR works to catch up with alyx, let alone surpass it.
1、 The first VR class 3A masterpiece
Alyx is the first 3A level masterpiece in the history of VR game. Compared with other skits, alyx has the most abundant game content, and the total game clearance time is at least 6 hours. It has a complete battle system and scenario, and it is specially adapted to VR in game interaction, detailed performance and level design Technology creation makes players feel the game experience they never had. It can be said that once they enter the game, they cannot extricate themselves.
1. The first game with such a sense of substitution and immersion
Alyx use of VR technology to create the game world, to provide players with a super sense of substitution and immersion. For example, any item in the game can be used to interact, ordinary shooting game change clip, you only need to press the keyboard R, but here, players first from the cluttered table shelf, manually remove debris, and then find the clip, before getting loaded. More excellent players, in the game to create their own play: always holding a bucket along the way, then filled with grenades, the final customs clearance all rely on exploding thunder.
In the United States, where the epidemic prevention and control was suspended, a math teacher in California taught through distance learning. What's more, he chose to teach in the alyx game. The glass, markers and other items in the game scene could interact. He broadcast the whole teaching process live in the oil pipe, and attracted 430000 people to watch.
2. The first game with such a high configuration
How fun the game is, how high the configuration is.
At present, the price of VR equipment is generally not cheap. V club's own index VR kit costs more than 999 yuan. If you are in China, plus the transfer fee and tax, you need about 1500 yuan. The basic full price is about 8500 yuan. If you use the platform recharge card for discount, you need about 6700 yuan.
Although the prices of other manufacturers have declined, they still need to be weighed by players. Common VR devices will vary in price from cheap $100 to expensive $800 according to different adaptation platform standards: the entry level includes Samsung gearvr and Facebook oculus go; the basic level includes PSVR and oculus quest of all in one head display; the high-end head display is for users pursuing high fidelity game experience, including index of V club and HTC vive cosmos. In general, if you want to play alyx on VR devices alone, the benchmark will cost about 1000 yuan.
The data also reflects the thinness of the number of VR players. According to the statistics of steam hardware, only 1.29% of the platform's users have VR devices, most of which are oculus rift and HTC vive, accounting for 27.05% and 26.67% of VR devices respectively, while the index of V society is only 10.94%.
Even with VR devices, the configuration of the computer host should keep up with the requirements. The minimum requirement for alyx graphics card is the most commonly used NVIDIA GTX 1060 for steam platform users. According to steam, of the 50 most commonly used graphics cards for platform users (the number has accounted for more than half of the total number of platform users), only 37% of the users support VR.
It can be said that the players who can afford to play this game are basically local heroes. However, it is undeniable that the popularity of alyx has directly promoted the development of VR and related hardware surrounding, greatly changed people's cognition of game playing, which can be said to be a landmark work.
What does Alyx mean for VR?
In fact, as early as 15-16 years ago, there was a wave of VR, such as VR games, VR house watching, VR teaching, etc., but it soon disappeared, because these predecessors only achieved a moderate "virtual" and "reality" sense was very limited.
In the previous VR games, players didn't even have the chance to point their fingers at the enemy. In fact, the game only provided a 360 degree view around them, with few real interactions and no increase in freedom. And alyx can be said to really achieve "virtual reality", high-definition game picture quality, strong scene interaction, completely subverting the traditional game play.
1.Alyx is good, but it doesn't bring a short-term VR game boom
The key of VR game is interactivity, which is directly related to players' immersion. The more things can interact in the scene, the stronger players' immersion, the more realistic virtual reality will be. However, the level of interactivity like alyx is also built on resources. Ordinary small factories can't afford it at all. Therefore, in the current situation that VR devices are not widely used, no company will make VR games specially.
This raises the question of whether there is a chicken or an egg: only competitive VR content can drive consumers to buy VR equipment, while developers want to wait until VR equipment is popular before developing three levels A content. As a result, the industry has fallen into a vicious circle, without game play, there are no players to buy equipment, equipment can not go out, manufacturers will not invest money to do VR games.
Today, the situation has been broken by the V, G fat (the boss of the V) with strong banknote capabilities and the outstanding R & D strength of the society, to prove to everyone that VR technology applications, can produce a level 3 masterpiece, VR is likely to subvert the shooting game and even the entire game industry pattern.
At present, alyx is more of a landmark and milestone role, which makes the whole market change their views on VR games. But in the long run, it may be because this work has opened up people's understanding of VR technology, but for the development of VR industry itself, it still needs continuous iteration of technology, further lowering the threshold, and ultimately reaching the popularity of users.
2. The key of VR technology development
The main application scenarios for U.S. VR device users in 2019 are games and entertainment, according to the Newzoo survey
From the perspective of game, the key of VR technology lies in the display, positioning and the construction of virtual world.
Because the user is carrying the head display, the distance between the display screen and the eye is very short, so the quality of the screen display is very high, and the display screen to follow the user's head movement, screen refresh rate delay must be stable at least 90 hz to make the user feel smooth, no strong dizziness feeling.
Positioning technology is to allow users to complete the real world and virtual world synchronization, simply through infrared technology, using VR head display, handle on the infrared positioning point, plus infrared camera construction model to complete the position of the two worlds, action synchronization. More advanced is through the base station laser positioning, using the photosensitive sensor to calculate the relative distance, to obtain the space position, this technology has higher positioning accuracy and faster response speed, but also reduces the weight of the hardware, enhance the user's sense of immersion.
And the construction of virtual world, but also the embodiment of R & D strength, screen, audio-visual, action, interaction, physical collision and so on, not only need to have a strong understanding of game design and development, but also need to fully understand the application characteristics of VR technology. Even if good as Alyx is also reflected by players, designers should consider the players always carry the arm shot caused by physical decline.
Therefore, with the development of VR technology, there is no doubt that the hardware needs to be improved. How to be lighter and more functional is closely related to the improvement of processor computing power. In the future, the development direction of VR will be more light, no holes, anytime and anywhere, just like that of super player.
3、 VR industry related participants: technology giants become the main force of technological innovation
At present, the VR industry participants are basically equipment providers or content developers. Because the technology development is not mature, each participant in the industry wants to become the next industry standard setter. Therefore, the industry pattern is dominated by the acquisition of relevant R & D companies by technology giants, and the dual promotion of hardware and software. According to the statistics of newzoo, in 2019, the U.S. VR head display equipment mainly comes from Samsung, Sony, oculus under Facebook, Google and other manufacturers.
The european and american giants are the main innovators of VR technology, especially Oculus, the world-renowned VR r & d company, which has been acquired by social giants, with john kamak, the father of modern 3 D games, leaving office for CTO(19 years) and michael abrahams, a computer-based saturn scientist, with a strong r & d power.
While google's VR development platform Daydream creates an interactive world of virtual reality through compatibility with smartphones and other functional hardware, google smart AR/VR glasses are a good example. Meanwhile, Sony and Microsoft, two of the biggest players in the game industry, have PS and Xbox console platforms, both of which are also dedicated to the development of VR gaming devices and content with their host platforms. The V agency that developed the Alyx has its own VR equipment, but the company has no plans to go public because steam boss's fat platform has made a lot of money.
The domestic market, due to the rapid development of information and communication technology and relying on a strong electronic consumption industry chain, VR and other emerging technologies have long been no wonder, especially Huaqiangbei's naked eye 3 D glasses for users to do a good VR popularization, but just like this product, China's VR industry is still in a relatively backward stage of development, and there is still a big gap with the international frontier areas.
However, with the layout of domestic science and technology plants and the investment of private capital in recent years, there has been considerable progress in hardware development, content provision and downstream applications. For example, Xiaomi and oculus have jointly built a VR all-in-one machine. In addition to games, it also has the functions of watching movies, socializing, etc. and the price is about 1400 yuan.
Tencent and NetEase, the leading players in the game industry, have also formulated relevant strategies on VR development, striving to keep pace with the world in VR game development. Tencent is also looking to use VR technology to change Facebook, traditional social media model.
Although VR is not a new technology, there are still a lot of companies speculating on it in the market because the application end has not been opened yet, so investors need to pay attention to it.
Conclusion, a game although only to meet the needs of players, but really triggered the market for VR technology another heated discussion. A landmark game may play a crucial role throughout the development and promotion of VR technology.
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