We’ve written about Striker VR and their electrically driven weapon recoil system previously, but it wasn’t until I met up with the company at Oculus Connect two days ago that I was able to try the system for myself. After 10 seconds of testing, I was sold.
I’ve shot a number of real-life weapons from shotguns to pistols to rifles, so I have a good gauge when it comes to what gun recoil should feel like. And while it’s likely that we’ll never be able to perfectly simulate the recoil of a small explosive going off inside of a gun—without… well… setting off a small explosive inside of a gun—Striker VR has the most powerful and responsive recoil system that I’ve ever experienced. The company says that the recoil force provided by the system is plus or minus 5% of what demanded by the military for training.
At Oculus Connect I spoke with Martin Holly, Chief Operating Officer, and Kyle Monti, Chief Science Officer, of Striker VR. I got to try out a prototype of their recoil system and learn more about how it works.
Not shown in the video above is a pistol prototype that’s perhaps even more satisfying. I tried out the pistol in a demo using the Oculus Rift (tracked with Trinity VR’s tech) and when I fired, the recoil from the gun translated directly into the game. With a system like Striker VR, developers could skip simulated recoil completely and just let the real recoil doing its thing. What excites me most about that prospect is that it let’s players actually improve their recoil handling over time, adding another skill element to the game, rather than having the game simply impose a set amount of simulated recoil on the player.
Motni showed me a Glock prototype that’s still being built which features a moving slide (the top part of a semi-automatic pistol that’s responsible for ejecting spent shells and loading new ones). Not only would this allow uses to cock the weapon by pulling the slide, the recoil action would also move the slide just like a real pistol. Striker says that they will “maintain the proper weight, form factor and center of gravity of the actual handgun…”
For now, Striker VR is targeting their technology toward the military and out-of-home venues like arcades, but they hope to drive the cost of the system down to a point of affordability for in-home VR use. At Oculus Connect, they told me they’re aiming for a $100 price point initially and believe they could bring it down as low as $55 for an entire gun controller with their recoil mechanism built-in.