The team are in Los Angeles for E3, the world's largest gaming expo, and find out why the future may have a decidedly retro feel.
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It is time to re-enter the gaming grid.
Welcome to Click. I'm Spencer Kelly.
Welcome to downtown Los Angeles.
Hollywood is seven miles in that direction
but you feel the showbiz glow from here.
It's even making me look slightly less repulsive than normal.
But for one week every year,
the biggest thing in town doesn't come from there, it comes from here.
The LA Convention Centre.
This is where the video games industry lets rip.
It is time for E3.
We'll bring you all the big announcements from the show, of course,
and we'll get strapped in to the goggles
everyone wants to wear this year.
The rest of your gaming wardrobe is covered too, from chest to toe.
Last year, all the talk was about the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One,
but now they're here and this year a lot of the excitement is not based
around the games machines, but about what we'll be watching the games on.
Never mind your massive screens, something more immersive
Virtual reality has reared its head again,
which means for Marc Cieslak and myself,
it is time to enter the Grid.
Virtual reality, computer generated worlds
which are completely immersive for the viewer.
All the rage 30 years ago, and what was acceptable in the '80s
is making a comeback.
But if it didn't catch on then, why should they catch on today?
Facebook certainly thinks that virtual reality has got legs.
It's shelling out 2 billion for VR start-up Oculus Rift,
an outfit which has designed a headset for use with PCs
and, possibly, consoles.
Sony has thrown its virtual hat or headset into the ring with this.
Dubbed Project Morpheus, it's a VR peripheral for the PlayStation 4.
Morpheus has these lights on the front of it
which the PlayStation camera uses to figure out
where the helmet is pointing.
It also has two high res screens inside
and a band which is adjustable for a comfortable fit.
The headset itself is a little bit on the heavy side,
I'm not sure I'd be keen on wearing it for too long.
One of the things which has hampered VR in the past is lag,
or images the player sees taking time to catch up with their movements.
In order to avoid this the headset plugs into this box here,
which manages most of the number crunching and processing required
to create a lag-free experience.
This means the actual PS4 console is left to worry
about the gaming side of the equation.
I put this to the test in the next demo,
which requires an unusual peripheral - a bean bag.
I'm lucky because this particular demo hasn't been seen
by anybody outside the development team yet.
It's a street luge experience.
This isn't a passive experience.
I am actually controlling my movement by tipping my head left or right.
This is really, really strange.
Because I'm lying down and I can see a visual representation
of my body in front of me, I'm almost convinced that is my real body.
But there's a strange disconnect between what I'm seeing
and what I'm feeling.
If I move my hand, I almost expect that my on-screen hand should
be moving as well.
That is a testament to how convincing... Whoa!
..this experience is.
Is isn't really a game as such, but this is the development team
at Sony playing with what they can do with virtual reality,
seeing how far they can push this technology before it hits prime time.
I think it has the potential to really be transformative
in the way that we think about game experiences.
It's by no means a final product at this stage.
There's a lot more work to be done both on the software development,
as well as on the hardware development side, but we think
there's a real potential there to push gaming into a new realm.
Oculus Rift may not have had a huge press conference
but the new kid on the block has plenty of games in the pipeline,
notably, VR third person platformer, Lucky's Tail
and the inventive, time freezing, corridor-based combat of Super Hot.
21-year-old Palmer Lucky is the brains behind Oculus Rift.
He doesn't think all types of games are appropriate for virtual reality.
The best games for any platform are almost
always the games that were made for that platform,
whether it's Wii, or Kinect, or a mobile game, or a portable console.
The best games are not ports from other systems.
The same thing goes for virtual reality as well.
The best game are not PC or console games with a VR mode,
they're games that were made with the strengths and weaknesses
of virtual reality in mind from the ground up.
It's not just VR headsets making waves at E3.
This is Control VR, a prototype rig which can convert
hand and arm movements into accurate on-screen movement.
Developed for military technology, its inertial sensors are
so accurate, individual finger wiggles can be processed seamlessly.
So, technology which was a failure in the 20th century
certainly looks like it could find a home in the 21st.
Marc Cieslak. While we wait for Oculus, Sony and the like
to get their high powered headsets up and running, how about this?
Something a lot cheaper but just as cheerful.
This is the Vrizzmo VR headset.
You will notice that you can see the two lenses through there
which means, at the moment, there's no display in front of it.
That is because the display is your smartphone,
which you stick on the front like that.
There we go.
Each game that you play on this is obviously a special app
which renders the visuals into two separate images, one for each eye.
I have to say, the experience - this isn't bad.
The resolution of the screen on this phone is fine.
Well, the experience isn't far off some of the higher end
VR headsets that I've tried.
The advantage of this set-up is that if you upgrade your smartphone,
for example, to an even higher res screen,
you do get better visuals in your VR headset for no extra expense.
Oh, there's a zombie.
Now, oh, there you are...
You might think that most of the environments that you can explore
with VR would be computer generated worlds,
but there's a lot of talk about these headsets being able
to drop you into the real world too.
A sporting event, for example,
or a tech conference, if you can't afford the hotel bills.
Before you can display the world in 360 degrees,
you have to work out how to capture it first.
Richard Taylor has been to see a couple of companies
who are doing just that.
Imagine if you will, it's been a long, hard day at work.
Simply plug in, kick back
and transport yourself to an idyll of your choosing.
Perhaps you'll head to the Tropics.
Maybe you'll marvel at the views from America's West Coast.
And, predictably, it's from here that the cinematic VR scene
is taking root.
We're the first camera crew allowed inside the offices of Jaunt,
the new Silicon Valley start up
making virtual reality very real indeed.
The team has painstakingly built a camera rig which allows them
to faithfully recreate a filmed scene in full 360 degree video.
The top of the bridge here is a different height.
We need to correct for cameras being at slightly different angles.
Using advanced software to stitch it together, the clip can be fed
to me in 3D through my headset, accompanied by simulated 3D sound.
Though the pictures are a little fuzzy, I do feel incredibly immersed,
temporarily able to suspend disbelief.
This is all about creating a sense of presence and I really do feel
like I'm in this scene and that's why it feels slightly strange
that when I look down I don't see my legs, that's very weird.
What's the endgame for this, do you think?
Well, I think the endgame is really that people will spend
part of their day virtually teleported, if you will,
where they, maybe, take a class online.
They think about their vacation and then say, maybe I'll try that hotel.
They put it on and suddenly they're poolside at that hotel.
Unlike some of the other scenes that I've witnessed,
where I'm just passively observing, there's a story line going on here.
I can see an alien appearing here. There's someone over there as well.
I have to confess, I'm not sure entirely where to look.
VR presents many technical headaches too
and not just simulation sickness for users moving too quickly.
Observers of the new medium say producing content also poses unique challenges.
Because you're recording in 360 degrees,
you're not able to move the camera.
You're not able to have a place to hide the crew.
So you need to develop new cinematic techniques in order
to tell the story that you want to tell.
Which is precisely what they're doing at another
Silicon Valley VR pioneer, Condition One.
This is the maiden flight of its custom-built octocopter.
It's carrying a prototype 360 degree camera rig.
Not only does it solve the problem of having a crew on set,
it also opens the doors to new frontiers entirely.
Really, you want to explore the worlds you're in.
We think it's really important to be able to move the camera
through space, whether that's on an octocoptor or a land-based drone
and give that sense of presence and immersion.
Right now, it feels like I'm being transported in a virtual chariot
through the halls of E3.
It's quite amazing that I can see people in 3D in front of me.
If I look hard enough, I can even see that Spencer Kelly.
Richard Taylor, immersing himself in reality.
Back to the chaos of E3 in a moment,
after we check out what's been happening elsewhere in the world.
Google has announced it plans to buy satellite start-up Skybox Imaging
for 500 million.
The company, which Click featured in May, provides high definition video
and still imagery of Earth using its own low cost satellite setup.
Google says it's planning to use the Skybox data to keep its
mapping service up-to-date and eventually could use it to improve
internet access and help disaster relief efforts.
Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox web browser,
has unveiled a smartphone with a price tag of just £15.
The device is slated to go on sale in India within the next few months
according to the company.
Mozilla make the operating system running on the device, called
Firefox OS, and has several sub-100 smartphones on sale
in Europe and Latin America running the software.
Finally, Google has admitted it and not aliens or spies was behind the
Webdriver Torso YouTube videos.
The tens of thousands of unusual clips,
prompted an investigation by Click
and perplexed sleuths across the internet.
Click questioned the company in May, but it wasn't until the upload
of this Rick Astley themed video that Google decided to fess up.
The mysterious rectangles are in fact random YouTube quality testing.
The search for extra terrestrial life continues.
The virtual reality developers are all keen to sell the idea
of immersive gaming. That's why it's so huge here at E3.
We've come across one piece of kit that aims to give gamers
not just a visually immersive experience,
but one which stimulates the whole body.
'I've used gaming vests before, most of them cover your entire torso
'with inflatable air pockets, to prod you wherever you're being
'prodded, or more likely, in my case, mortally wounded in the game.
'But the 4DFX Haptic Gaming Vest does something different.
'It uses just two devices called haptic transducers
'to pipe sounds into your chest
'and let you feel the noise from the game.'
I can feel my heart going, but it's not really my heart.
It's all fake!
'This box is the brains of the vest.
'It plugs into your device's audio output,
'and uses just the stereo sound to calculate the type of vibrations
'to use, and which direction that sounds should be coming from.'
That is pretty immersive, I give you that.
You can feel the noises of the gunfire, the footsteps
as they're happening.
You do get a sense of which direction they're coming from.
Even when there's actually not much going on in the game,
just this kind of rumbling you get in your chest
certainly adds to the feeling of tension.
'And because the vest plugs into the headphone socket,
'it is pretty universal, and will work with any device that has one.
'In fact, you can even listen to music while you're wearing it,
'if you really want to.
'I can't say that it's made me a better player,
'but it certainly makes me dislike losing just that little bit more!'
I've been shot!
Oh, no! I've been shot!
Ooh. That's quite tense!
And now back to more serious business at E3.
Microsoft's press event kicked off with the new Xbox head honcho
making its console intentions clear.
Today, we are dedicating our entire briefing to games.
And indeed, it was.
Time for some surprises.
With crowd-pleasing efforts like the latest in long-running role-playing series, Fable Legends.
A multi-player focused sequel with elements of a strategy game.
The Master Chief is back, but in old adventures,
as the first four first person shooters which featured
the futuristic super soldier receive a high definition Xbox One make-over
to be re-released as the Master Chief Collection.
Fans of the Chief will have to wait until 2015 for Halo 5 Guardians.
Apart from a brief glimpse of a new Tomb Raider game,
the event was solid but lacked surprises.
Meanwhile, Marc was over at the Sony event,
where it wasn't just all about the games.
Sony showcased its PS Now streaming service,
announcing it will be added to some of its Smart TVs
allowing them to stream old games from cloud servers
without the need for a console.
On the gaming front, Sony showed off horror inspired third personer,
The Order 1886.
We got a taste of the platforming multiplayer, user generated
cutesy levels of Little Big Planet 3.
As well as the stunning visuals
and massive scope of giant sci-fi adventure, No Man's Sky.
Sony showing it was strong and diverse.
This is the second year Nintendo hasn't thrown an E3 press event,
choosing a video presentation instead, which is a shame,
as the House of Mario showed off a new open world adventure
for fan favourite character, Link, with Zelda Wii U.
The title which the console could well do with
to help combat archrivals, Sony and Microsoft.
These technology conferences are all well and good but, my goodness,
there's a lot of walking involved!
If only someone would turn the walking experience into a game!
Here you go, these shoes are fitted with something called Boogio.
There is a sensor under each insole and a box on the side.
Together they measure pressure and acceleration
and send that through Bluetooth to any device you want.
The raw data about how I'm standing
is all being streamed to this tablet, for example.
And you can kind of see how your walk, your run, your jump,
and even your kick can all be translated into in-game movements.
The Boogio creators have brought this to E3 to try and get some ideas
from developers on what kind of applications this could be used for.
So, here's a simple pedometer, here's a surfing type game
where you have to adjust your balance to stay in the tube
as you descend.
This will also work with more complex games and will work
with Oculus Rift, of course, because everything here at E3 does,
and Google Glass too.
There's plenty of quirky things on the show floor here at E3,
so let's catch up with Marc Cieslak and Richard Taylor to see what they found.
Behind me is a system called HyperSound.
It's speakers which send direct sound to a specific spot. I'll demonstrate.
If I stand here, you can hear the speakers.
However, if I stand over here, you can't hear them.
It makes use of an ultrasound beam to achieve such pinpoint accurate audio.
So accurate, in fact, that anybody who's stood outside
the audio sweet spot, well, they can't hear a thing.
Tracking your motion and your gestures,
not using a Microsoft Connect console camera or even a PC,
but your smartphone.
As you can see behind me, it's tracking 50 points on my body
and up to six people can appear in frame at any one time.
The way it works is that a chip in the camera
passes a signal through to my handset via a cable or a dock
and that is transmitted back out to a TV.
Google's announced Project Tango.
This could give it some competition.
Despite what you see here at E3,
computers aren't the only game in town.
The football World Cup is now well under way
as Bob and Stormy will testify.
That's football, all right? It's called football.
Thank you, not soccer.
If you want the perfect way to connect with fans and enjoy
the tournament, Kate Russell has the ideal destination next
Rio has always been a colourful city
but right now it's flying the flags of the world
as Brazil hosts the World Cup.
Big sporting events like this really benefit
from the second screen experience.
At Sportlobster you can connect to Fanzone,
a social space for sporting fans of every flavour.
Tell the app which sports, teams and events you follow
and it will connect you with like-minded fans from your networks,
as well as some big sporting celebs like Michael Owen, Giorgio Cellini
and Cristiano Ronaldo.
With free apps for android and IOS you can chat with other fans,
read blogs and articles and get live match data throughout the series.
Of course, the big social platforms
aren't going to miss the World Cup bandwagon.
Facebook is battling for social striker spot
with an interactive hub feeding the latest scores and highlights
from matches, as well as posts from friends, players and teams.
While tweeting tournament junkies can sign up for some dream team action
with a special World Cup profile tool.
Just head to Twitter.com/i/t/worldcup to set it up
and you'll unlock custom profile images, header photos,
real-time scores and highlights, and a bunch of good people
to follow throughout the World Cup series.
If you're the unsociable type and just want to know
when the matches are, at worldcupkickoff.com
you can subscribe to a daily e-mail reminder
or download the desktop and mobile calendar,
which integrates with your regular calendar for minimum digital fuss.
The sun comes up today at 6.42 and it'll set tonight at 11.30.
Gain of daylight, one minute 48 seconds.
Somewhere in the world the sun is rising and where the sun rises,
there is breakfast radio,
playing its cheery mix of music, chatter and travel bulletins
to get the world out to work.
Global Breakfast Radio is a fun idea that lets you
tune in to 24 hours of radio that follows the sunrise around the globe.
The site's creators have gathered more than 250 stations
from every time zone on the planet.
They include a German Oompah music station,
a kids channel from Russian Siberia,
and a Chamorro station featuring indigenous music
from a small village in Guam, which has been broadcasting since 1954.
You're listening to Shocking Vibes Radio
with me, your host, DJ Militant.
It's really fascinating to hear what different people
around the world are listening to in the morning
and offers a snapshot of the local news and issues in that location.
It's morning edition from NPR News.
Now, I just need to find a good excuse to eat bacon sandwiches
all day long too.
# It takes no match to give me a sport... #
Fed up with the football?
Minecraft's creator has released a new game, of sorts - Cliffhorse.
It took just two hours to code and game play involves
controlling a horse to chase a ball around a mountainous landscape.
With an early access download fee in the virtual currency Dogecoin
requested on the site, many suspect it is a dig at this growing practice
on platforms like Steam.
You can download Cliffhorse without making a payment, though,
and while it is probably meant to be ironic, it is strangely compelling.
# I found myself a good horse... #
Thank you, Kate. That is it from E3 and Los Angeles
for this week.
After all, it would be a bit rude not to hang around
and bring you more from this part of the world.
So, next week we'll bring you another Click from California.
You can get your full fix from us at our website.
If you would like to comment on the games and the hardware
you've seen today, then tweet us or e-mail us.
Thank you very much for watching and we'll see you next time.
A comprehensive guide to all the latest gadgets, websites, games and computer industry news. The team are in Los Angeles for E3, the world's largest gaming expo, and find out why the future may have a decidedly retro feel.