I had the opportunity to attend the India Gaming Show, held in Delhi from the 2nd to the 5th of February. It was an absolutely amazing experience
I had the opportunity to attend the India Gaming Show, held in Delhi from the 2nd to the 5th of February. It was an absolutely amazing experience, and if you’re an Indian gamer or an eSports enthusiast, you definitely should’ve been there. The crowd, the stalls, the atmosphere- everything was magnificent, with tournaments running throughout the four-day event. This was the first time I felt that eSports might just have a strong future in India. The casters and hosts were excellent and the crowd was full of energy. HTC, Razer, Asus, and Kingston, among others, were there showing off all their fancy new tech. There was even a huge section put up by Japan and Korea, chronicling their journey in both Anime and Gaming. It was pretty spectacular.
The highlight of my experience, however, was definitely the Vive. HTC’s stall was set up near the centre of the floor, and it had the longest queue. Curious, I walked up and saw that HTC had just set up two cubicles. Both had a demo experience for the Vive set up. On the right was Fruit Ninja and on the left, a Shooting Sim set in a space environment. Both had queues trailing far out of their respective stalls. Since I was running a little late, I decided to get into the shorter queue, Fruit Ninja. Having experienced the Oculus Rift before, I figured I was in for something similar. I mean, there’s only so much that can be different between two VR peripherals, right? The Rift honestly hadn’t bowled me over. I had tried out a Solar System VR Experience and a simple Zombie game on the Rift and they were OK. VR was cool, but it didn’t exactly blow me away. Boy, was I in for a ride.
While waiting my turn, I could see how the aspirants in front of me were doing. HTC had set up a monitor so we could see what was going on. Mostly, it was people just wildly swinging the Vive Controllers around and missing the fruit in front of them. But then the guy in front of me had his turn. This guy limbers up, and proceeds to massacre everything. Seriously, I doubt he missed a single fruit. That of course got my blood pumping. If this random guy can do this well, I’m a born gamer, so obviously, I had to show him up.
I get onto the stage. The monitor is behind me and there’s a few feet of space around me. I’m asked to grab the headset straps and pull it over my head. After a little adjusting, the headset is securely on me and it’s actually quite comfortable. The headset itself is not too heavy, and doesn’t feel like its sagging or pulling my head down. Then come the headphones. They seemed to be closed-back headphones, since they blocked out most of the outside noise. These are also fairly comfortable and they accurately portray directional sound. Then comes what has probably been the coolest gaming moment in my life. Two katanas appear in front of me. I instinctively reach out to grab them and, to my complete surprise, my hand close around the Vive controllers! This was phenomenal. No one told me to keep my hands out, no one handed me the controllers. I just reached out and grabbed them, instinctively. This just shows how accurate the Vive’s positional tracking is. I was moved into the appropriate spot and saw two mangoes in front of me. One said Quit, and the other Start. I moved my right hand to swipe the fruit and start, and it was almost effortless. The katana felt like a natural extension to my hand. I didn’t have to second guess or correct the swing. It went exactly as I expected it to.
Finally, the round starts. Sixty seconds, I got this. I hear something on my right, I turn and see some fruit shooting out of a cannon across my field of view. I slash with my right hand and get most of it, but one coconut is falling to the ground. I instinctively move my left hand and catch it before it hits the ground. At this point, I was sold. I told myself, if Fruit Ninja is this good on the Vive, I’m buying one tomorrow. As the round went on, everything just got better. I grew more comfortable with how the katanas behaved and grew less weary of what people would be thinking looking at me waving my arms like a madman. It became second nature to slash at the fruit flying in from everywhere and even using both my hands to complement the other’s slashes. The headphones did a great job at conveying positional information. I could always tell whether the fruit was coming in from the left, right, or shooting up from just in front of me. The sound of fruit being slashed was music to my ears. By the time the round was ending, I felt like everything around was a natural extension of reality. Of course, fruit is flying everywhere and I’m slashing it all up like a ninja-in-training. When the last wave of fruit came at me, I ended the round by slashing both the katanas in a large X to get all the fruit. I have never ever felt more awesome. The whole experience was out of a childhood fantasy. Me using my ninja skills to cut off everything before it hit the ground. But all good things must come to an end and so did this. The round ended and the headset was taken off. Entering reality was almost sad. A reality where I wasn’t a ninja anymore.
I would definitely recommend to anyone who is on the fence to just jump the gun and go for it. It’s an absolutely amazing experience and one definitely worth the money. We Indian’s are anyway exceptional at jugaad, so if you have a relative coming in from the US, you can save a hefty amount by asking them to get one. Although, you might want to hold off till HTC releases the next version, which shouldn’t be too far off. If you ever have the opportunity to try it out, I would definitely recommend it, even if it means going out of your way a little. All in all, I’m extremely happy that I got to experience the Vive and I know that you would be too.
Guest Article by: Shaurya Kumar Mittal
Photo Credits: HTC.com
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this guest article are personal opinions of the guest author and they do not reflect views of NovaPlay. NovaPlay assumes no responsibility or liability for the same.
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