As I posted the other week, The Gadget Show put together an awesome Battlefield 3 virtual reality simulator which would be featured on their show. The only video we got initially was a teaser, and unless you live in Britain, you probably wouldn’t have access to the episode as it aired. Fortunately, The Gadget Show has posted the portion of the episode featuring the virtual reality Battlefield 3 rig to YouTube for us all to enjoy!

The episode gives a good amount of detail on the concepting and building process for the virtual reality simulator which is excellent for our purposes. I was curious to know how they were going to be tracking the player for the omni-directional treadmill and it was revealed that they were using 10 infrared sensors to accomplish this.

When the host ran through the level with the rig, he mentioned it being rather surreal and very immersive. I can only imagine that the paintball guns added an element of fear which would make one much more conscious of running out into the open. Adding real life consequences to in-game actions is a great way to enhance the intensity and immersion of a game (though some might find bruising paintball guns to be a bit harsh).

The host said he was so immersed that he actually tried to reach his hand out to drag his wounded virtual soldier away, and I’m very curious to know if this was his genuine knee-jerk reaction, or if it was just a bit of flourish for the show. Check out the full section of the show feature the Battlefield 3 virtual reality simulator right here. Do you think he was serious or just putting on an act?

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It was clear that while this might have been immersive, it wasn’t a perfect way to play the game. Given the nature of the virtual reality rig (a lot of cobbled together pieces of complex technology), we can excuse them for not getting it jut right, but clearly more tuning would need to be done to get things like navigation and aiming just right (and consistent enough to go to the mainstream).

In addition to being able to see this thing in action, they provided a valuable list of names and companies relevant to virtual reality that will be on our radar for the future. That list is here for later reference:

Thanks to Not the Quake Guy for pointing this video out!

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."