Oculus Rift Developers Tackle Latency, Motion Sickness Issues

Developers for the Oculus Rift are tackling some common and not so common video game problems. Latency and motion sickness are apparently an issue for the virtual reality console.

Oculus Rift is that head mounted console that developers are hoping will fix what Nintendo’s Virtual Boy did wrong and make virtual reality a profitable idea for video games. Of course even with a successful virtual reality experience, there will be problems, the most obvious among them being latency and motion sickness.

Latency is where the game pauses even for a fraction of a second to catch up to where the gamer’s viewpoint turned, leading to disorientation and disbelief. The brain is not so easily fooled, and any interruption in the visual side of the game can lead to almost a sense of vertigo as the brain attempts to figure out where the gamer really is as opposed to what’s being seen.

Oculus Rift developers may have an answer to the latency issue in “predictive tracking,” which attempts to figure out where the gamer is about to look in an effort to keep the visuals more fluid and realistic. For instance, if the game is about to have something important happen to the left, there might be a visual or audio clue in that direction. A sensor in the headset may signal that the clue was successful and turn the viewpoint in the direction the game is attempting to grab your attention.

Motion sickness is a little trickier to overcome, and could easily become an issue in racing, flying, or sea-borne kinds of games such as Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. In these games, the visual part of the game attempts to fool the brain into thinking it’s moving, and the “inner ear” responds by refusing to believe it, resulting in a physical reaction for some, usually stomach cramps or the like.

Motion sickness is not an easily fixed problem, but Oculus Rift developers are trying to help at least curb it in those more affected by it.

What do you think of Oculus Rift developers attempting to fix issues such as latency and motion sickness? Can it be done?