Augmented Reality game
Augmented reality game is the integration of game visual and audio content with the user’s environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, gaming, which often requires a separate room or confined area to create an immersive environment, augmented reality gaming uses the existing environment and creates a playing field within it. While virtual reality games require specialized VR headsets, only some augmented reality systems use them. AR games are typically played on devices like smartphones, tablets and portable gaming systems.
An augmented reality game often superimposes a precreated environment on top of a user’s actual environment. The game itself can be as simple as a game of virtual checkers played on a table surface. More advanced AR games may actually build an environment from user surroundings. Such a game could involve, for example, in-game characters climbing from coffee tables to sofas on virtual bridges. Environment creation is a time-consuming task in game making and there is a constant demand for new scenery because once a user has explored an environment fully they want to move on to a different one. AR gaming expands the playing field, taking advantage of the diversity of the real-world environment to keep the games interesting.
Considered the breakthrough AR app for gaming, uses a smartphone’s camera, gyroscope, clock and GPS and to enable a location-based augmented reality environment. A map of the current environment displays on the screen and a rustle of grass indicates the presence of a Pokémon; a tap of the touchscreen brings up the capture display. In AR mode, the screen displays Pokémon in the user’s real-world environment.
Virtual reality game
The concept of virtual reality (VR) has been around for several decades, but, until recently, even the best VR headsets were not very accessible to consumers from either a cost or usability standpoint. Apart from a few cool demos, VR seemed like vaporware. Now, however, headsets are becoming less reliant on external hardware, and developers are creating first-party games that take full advantage of the medium. Fans of nearly every genre have excellent choices and should find at least a few games of interest in our roundup.
Our list of VR games covers the top titles for the HTC Vive, Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift S (the successor to the Oculus Rift), PlayStation VR, Valve Index, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Many of these devices (and the games themselves) have gotten cheaper in the past couple of years, which makes them a more easily justifiable purchase.
If you choose the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift S, Valve Index, or a Windows Mixed Reality headset, keep in mind that you also need a powerful gaming desktop or VR-ready laptop to push pixels to the headset displays. For the best possible experience, make sure to find systems equipped with speedy CPUs, top-of-the-line GPUs, and a sufficient number of USB ports for connecting all these peripherals. PS4 players are lucky that they don’t have to worry about specs; any PS4 or PS4 Pro will work with the PlayStation VR headset. Some VR products, such as the Oculus Quest, are mostly self-contained units, though you can connect the Quest to a PC to power more graphically intense experiences.
The standalone Oculus Go headset is a less pricey entry into the VR fray, but we don’t specifically cover compatible experiences for that system here. Other VR and augmented reality (AR) platforms, such as Microsoft’s HoloLens and Samsung Gear VR are not included in this list either, as those headsets are intended for a different audience altogether. HoloLens, for example, has more professional and commercial applications. Nintendo Switch has also made a push for virtual reality with its recent Labo VR Kit, but that platform is also beyond the scope of this roundup. Google Daydream is sadly discontinued now.