If you’ve been on the fence about dropping $600-$800 on a virtual reality headset, then this video might push you over the edge.
YouTuber Marcel Pfister used a racing simulator, an Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2, and a green screen to give viewers insight into what sim racing in VR can look like. In post production, he took footage from his head-mounted camera to overlay his actions on top of the game.
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In it, we can see Pfister doing the same things he would be doing if on a real race track. Things like glancing at side mirrors for oncoming cars to looking around corners to find the apex. It’s totally gripping, and shows the power of VR as a simulation tool.
This isn’t Pfister’s first crack at doing what he called “mixed reality.” He uploaded a rally video last month. Granted it wasn’t as refined as the one shown above. If you compare it to his live video of driving through the infamous Nurburgring, the experiences look very similar.
Compare this to traditional sim racing rigs, which require multiple monitors and a good amount of room. Setups, like the one below provided courtesy of Reddit user GTSpeedster, while awesome, can be very expensive and difficult for newbies to set up. A VR headset can be a cheaper and more accessible alternative to a hobby with a high barrier to entry.
With consumer builds of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive now shipping to eager buyers, albeit with some delays, it will be interesting to see how the sim racing scene evolves. And of course, we assume PlayStation will get in on the VR sim racing action with the next Gran Turismo. Now, if only Nintendo would release a VR version of Mario Kart or F-Zero, that would be awesome.