Virtual reality (VR) games are starting to take off in earnest, and gamers are quickly becoming more demanding about what gaming companies can offer in terms of immersion.
Now comes Virtuix Omni One, a treadmill for walking and running in virtual reality. The system aims to take players deeper into every map, world and quest than they have ever been.
That word "Omni" at the beginning of the name is not misleading. This is effectively an omnidirectional treadmill. It completely replaces the motion controls (those annoyed analog sticks) with a controller we know well: our two feet.
Walking and running in virtual reality means you can roam around Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto, or on a mission in Call of Duty. Other than when they came out at the time: in 2013, the debut year of the first Omni One system, moving was impossible stuff. It's only been 7 years and evolution (also of the company) was total.
The octagonal treadmill sports a surface capable of reacting to the user's steps and translating them into play movements. Jumping and crouching are also supported - this frees your hands to focus on the weapon you might be holding or the racquet you might be holding.
Virtuix Omni One features
When the treadmill launches in mid-2021, Virtuix expects to have 30 games to support it. An official list is still missing, but it should ultimately push on titles like Fortnite and Call of Duty. The price? Full-bodied but reasonable: for around 1900 euros a complete system also in terms of sound, with a respectable audio set and special earphones.
Consider that walking and running with other gaming peripherals takes a miracle and the cost is enormous. There are those that fill a room, such as Cluvens' Scorpion (I told you about it here) and experiments that go in the opposite direction, such as "shoes" (first appearance in 2017. Now they have made a lot ... steps forward but they are still prohibitive, like the Ekto One that I told you about here).
The price is actually quite reasonable considering other gaming peripherals that eclipse the room - like Cluvens UNILAD's spectacular Scorpion gaming chair discovered last month - are priced much higher.