Tinseltown is awash with virtual stars this week, thanks to the Oculus Connect event. Hatsune Miku has pressed her hands into virtual concrete on Hollywood Boulevard, Palmer Luckey is delighting tourists outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre with his levitation, and Epic Games have unveiled a new Unreal Engine 4 VR tech demo.
Named Bullet Train, it's an idea for a first-person shooter using Oculus Rift or Gear VR cybergoggles along with the Oculus Touch handheld motion controllers. And... look, I know I'm a decrepit cane-waving VR sceptic to you, but I swear it looks like a fancier version of Dactyl Nightmare. See:
Right? So it's an FPS where you point your hands to shoot people, aye? Yes, it's all very flashy, but it's... it looks like a nice demo to wow people as you put a sweaty television on their heads and let their chums giggle at them waving their hands, but... it's not something worth expensive hardware, is it. I understand we're still in relatively early days for semi-practical home cybergoggles and people are still figuring out how to use VR, but this is straight out the '90s. Only with teleporting rather than walking.
It sounds more exciting when Epic say it in their own words:
"Staying true to form, Epic puts you in the middle of the action: Use motion controls in the role of an agent undergoing an infiltration simulation set inside a modern train station. Master the art of teleportation, time manipulation, and close-quarters combat to blast through resistance forces. Thanks to Unreal Engine technology and the Oculus Touch motion controllers, you can physically interact with an array of weapons, from guns to grenades to missiles, and even feel them through haptic feedback."
At least Dactyl Nightmare had multiplayer: