Posted on Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Peter Sciretta
It seems all of the video gamers I know are very excited for the Oculus Rift virtual reality helmet gaming system. Sixense has released a video demo showing their new wireless motion system called STEM System that works with the Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2. The new demo shows a Star Wars oculus rift lightsaber game. Of course, the demo was not created officially by LucasFilm, but is only a demo devised to show off the new technology. But the demo video shows us what a Star Wars Oculus Rift game might look like, and considering big companies like Facebook and Sony (Project Morpheus) are developing virtual reality gaming experiences, its something we should expect to see for real someday. So hit the jump and check out a demo of what a Star Wars Oculus Rift game might look like.
Here is some official information on the STEM System:
This is one of the first videos in which we show our STEM Pack, which is mounted to the strap of the Oculus Rift DK2 to provide full position and orientation tracking for the user’s head. STEM Controllers provide tracking for each hand. The lightsaber or sword is the true test for a one-to-one motion tracking system in VR, because it requires low latency, and almost perfect tracking of both position and orientation between your physical and your virtual self as you perform swipes, slashes, blocks and counters with the lightsaber. The STEM System and the SixenseVR SDK make this experience possible, and also make it easy for developers to create these types of applications quickly. The experience is a fantasy, but it feels natural because of the near-perfect hand-eye coordination that the SixenseVR SDK provides.
I got to try it out at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and the dogfighting spaceship game EVE Valkyrie was extremely impressive, although I still think its the perfect set-up to enjoy such an experience and I’m not so sure the majority of other games would be enjoyable over long periods of time wearing that helmet. But the technology is impressive and I’m interested to see what Facebook does with it. And if LucasFilm wants to license an X-wing dogfighting game for the Oculus Rift, I’ll at least play it a few times. At least.
As for the header image featuring Darth Vader, that comes from a short film shot with GoPros showing what a lightsaber fight with Darth Vader might look like from first person: