Virtual Reality is the new great frontier in gaming, it is basically impossible to spend more than a couple of hours without hearing something related to it and I personally am very excited about it.
After all how much better could graphics get? Graphics in games are at a point in which you might care about them, but gameplay will always come first, and GPU are becoming so powerful that game designers have to start playing with stuff we really don’t care much about (like how detailed you can make rain water look…).
Virtual Reality is awesome because now we can put all that power to good use!
Would you rather use this for 4k graphics or 360 view in virtual reality?
The Reality About Virtual Reality
While Virtual Reality feels like the new frontier (and I personally have not been this excited since motion sensing games) the costs that VR implies are just excessive,
If you want to get the best VR experience you would be spending $4000 easily.
This would get you an awesome headset, an awesome Virtual Reality Treadmill and a kickass pc to run it all.
Unfortunately most of us don’t have that kind of money to throw around… And trust me I would love to buy all of these things, but I simply can’t.
So in a world that is new to Virtual Reality, where few people can actually explain what it feels like to wear those awesome VR headsets, most peoples don’t really get what’s so great about it.
Most think is just having a screen really close to you and while they believe that they will never go for an $800 headset…
Google Cardboards Awesome Price
Here is where Google hits the mark!
Google Cardboard is just $12! Its extremely cheap and while you won’t be getting any amazing games on it, you will certainly get a great taste of Virtual Reality and you will probably “get” what the hype is about.
What Is Google Cardboard?
Google Cardboard is more than just a makeshift VR headset, it’s actually a whole platform designed by Google.
Google made a basic guideline (measures) for Google Cardboard compatible “viewers” (headsets), and applications.
Google doesn’t actually regulate or sell any of these things themselves, they just created a platform that would allow programmers to create content and share it.
That’s why you can find Step by step videos on Youtube that show you how to make a ”Google Cardboard”.
Getting one of these will cost only $2 but you might as well pay $12 and get one made of plastic and with an elastic band so you don’t have to hold it with your hand.
You can also find plenty of different models made by plenty different brands… There really isn’t much to do here, if you can try some out pick that one that’s most comfortable, your cell phone does the actual processing, so there is nothing important about the headset other than comfort.
What you do have to look out for is phone size compatibility! A Samsung Note style phone will need a different Cardboard than a Google Nexus, so make sure you are buying the right size Google Cardboard or you are gonna have a bad time.
How Do You Set Google Cardboard?
There is not much to it really… You will need an android phone that running Android 4.1 or newer. For Apple user you will need an iPhone 5 or newer.
If you have one of these then you just need to download Google Cardboard from the App Store or Play Store.
Once you download the Google Cardboard app you will find that it comes with some Virtual Reality demos. The app works as a hub, and any other app you have that is compatible with Google Cardboard will show up there.
And that’s it! Just place your phone inside your Google Cardboard and run the app you wish to experience in VR!
What Can You Expect From Google Cardboard?
Simple straightforward experiences.
Don’t expect amazing games with awesome graphics… You have a plastic or cardboard headset on not an htc Vive.
The Google Cardboard can’t really give you the most immersive experience, simply because its not meant to. What it is meant to do is give you a cheap alternative to other headsets.
Now I’m not saying that it is not worth while… Chances are you already own a phone that is capable of running Google Cardboard, and while you may not be particularly excited about Virtual Reality at $12 is hard not to buy a Cardboard and trying some demos.
Is not breath taking but it’s still something else…
You will be surprised at what can be done with just an extra $12, and chances are you will be looking to upgrade into a Gear VR or a Google Daydream afterwards.
Google Cardboard is just a taste of the Sweet Sweet addictive VR that will leave you wanting more immersive experiences.
Once you wear it and try some demos out, you will understand what all the fuzz is about.
What Are The Coolest Games I Can Play With Google Cardboard?
There are plenty of nice experiences for Google Cardboard, and while I just said it wouldn’t be as amazing as other VR experiences that doesn’t mean they are not fun… It just means they are just the tip of the iceberg!
So you have your phone, and you got your own Google Cardboard, you have even installed the app.
All you need are some good experiences to try out. The thing about Google Cardboard is that there are some pretty bad experiences out there… So I’m going to make it easy on you and hand you the best apps with VR support for you to try.
Wizard Academy VR
Probably the most fun you can have with Google Cardboard. Wizard Academy VR is an action game packed with fun challenges that has you exploring a village while facing challenges.
Want to live out your Wizardry fantasy? This is the game for you.
However keep in mind that you will need to buy a controller for this particular game.
Pretty cool for a $12 VR headset
Chair In a Room
There are two particular game genres that work amazingly well on VR, Action and Horror games…
Being fully immerse is awesome, unless you are playing a horror game. There really are no word to explain just how scary horror games are in Virtual Reality (kinda like explaining how intense action shooters are on VR).
This game revolves around a dark house that you must explore to find a missing girl. If you want to feel scared then this is the app for you.
Try sleeping after playing this…
Roller Coaster VR
Pretty straightforward here, this app puts you in the front seat of a roller coaster ride! Experience the vertigo of the seemingly high falls in Virtual Reality.
There are some nice jungle environments on this particular app which is nice, but it is also the most likely to make you feel sick… Use with Caution!
Seriously if you start feeling sick just delete this app
Is not all about video games!
There are some pretty neat experiences that you can get from Virtual Reality that are not interactive.
Street view is that Google app that lets you click any place in the world and see pictures of it.
It has been updated to support VR, meaning you can travel all the way to china if you want and experience 360-degree views of the place!
Sure is not quite like the real deal, but then again that can be a good thing! Travel around the world without actually paying for plane tickets, hotel, and others.
Who knows you might see something in Street View that you absolutely have to go and visit for yourself… I’m thinking Dubai, and you?
This is the guarantee that you will enjoy your Google Cardboard.
Youtube added 360-degree videos some time ago and there are plenty of them now.
If you though you were wasting too much time watching videos on youtube, just wait till you can see 360-degree videos.
You will need at least 2 or 3 views to see all the details that content creators add to this videos, and there are plenty of virtual tours to enjoy.
Virtual Reality is here to stay, and while you wait for it to become cheaper and more accessible there is really no reason you can’t enjoy some simple fun experiences.
Forget about $800 headsets, you wont be needing them unless you are planning on playing triple A VR games.
Get a $12 Google Cardboard to go with your Smartphone instead and get a sweet taste of the amazing world of Virtual Reality.
I can guarantee it is unlike anything you have experienced and that you will want more after it.
Google Cardboard is the gateway drug into Virtual Reality and boy is it not amazing.