Console gaming (XBOX, Playstation, Nintendo, etc) or PC gaming.
Microsoft announced a new Xbox One console at the E3 Gaming Conference this past week. It's called Xbox One S, and the "S" stands for slim. If anything, this will be a good way to get one of the new UHD Blu-ray players. The current crop of Blu-ray players are 1080p, but now with 4K TVs becoming more common, the UHD Blu-ray players will be more sought after as well. There has been 4K content available for streaming, but it's highly compressed and isn't the best example of how 4K can look.
JR works on the Sony PlayStation VR project. He says that the PlayStation VR will work with the original PS4 design. Leo agrees and said that Sony didn't announce a slimmer PlayStation 4.5 like rumored, and JR says that's because they wanted to focus on virtual reality. Leo says he's very excited about PlayStation VR and thinks it's going to be a huge hit. It will definitely be the most affordable way to get into VR for gaming. The word is that it will have up to 60 titles to go with it by the end of the year.
Richard is thinking about buying a Samsung Galaxy Gear VR headset. Leo says that the Galaxy VR is powered by Oculus and it's more like a high tech Viewmaster than a verified VR device. It's a step up from Google Cardboard. It doesn't have controllers to interact with it, so he would end up just watching what's going on, rather than interacting with it. Richard will also need a Samsung Galaxy mobile phone to use it. He should be aware of the physical uneasiness that he'll experience in VR, too. Some people do get sick from vertigo.
Russ wants to know what VR system should he buy. Leo has both the RIFT and the VIBE, but he's also played with the Sony Playstation VR and he thinks that may be the winner. But it won't be out until this fall. Right now, though, Leo says that the HTC Vive has the edge because it has handheld controllers along with it. The Rift requires the XBox controller at the moment. Another advantage the Vive has is that it has two cameras that you can put in each corner with a 10 foot radius and move around. The Rift is more limited in movement.
Leo got to try using the Sony PlayStation Virtual Reality Headset this past week. Two VR headsets are already available: The Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Google just announced its own virtual reality platform this past week as well, called Daydream.
While the Oculus and HTC Vive both require a high end PC, Sony's solution will make use of something that 40 million people already have -- the PlayStation 4 console. Leo tried one of the demo games for PlayStation, and he really felt like he was inside an action movie. It's a very vivid experience.
Brennon wants to learn how to program. Leo says learning how to write computer code will give him a deeper understanding on how computers work. This will take him from being merely a consumer, to being a maker. Minecraft can be a fun way to learn programming. He can even do it with a Raspberry Pi for $35. It comes with the software used to write programs and he can do it inside of Minecraft.
A great book is Learn to Program with Minecraft by Craig Richardson.
Dennis was into computer flight simulators, and he's wondering if virtual reality will be the next great thing in flight sims. Leo says virtual reality will be more immersive and give him a better experience of what it's like to fly. But to use a VR headset like the Oculus, he'd also have to upgrade his computer. So he's talking about $2200 to get the experience he wants. Leo says that VR is an amazing experience. Although it's in its early days, it will get better.
Oculus Rift went on sale to the public this week. It's a virtual reality headset that has motion tracking in it along with a camera that can track your body's movements. It also has headphones with very good quality sound. For video, it means that you'll be able to look around and see things all around you. Instead of a camera man or director determining what you'll be seeing, you can look at anything you choose. Gaming is another big use case for these headsets. HTC has made a VR headset called the Vive in conjunction with Steam, a distributor of games for PC.
Ian is 11 and wants to know if he should buy a MacBook or build his own gaming computer. Leo says that building a computer is a fun project, and a great learning experience. But if something goes wrong, he'll have to be his own support. If he buys a computer, then he'll have a company to support him. Leo also says that running Steam means that many games are ported to the Mac, but most gamers are on PC, and that means Windows. But if he's planning on doing other things like getting into video editing, then Leo would recommend the Mac.
Bob bought some games and they demand that he connect to the internet. Leo says that some games have a social aspect to them and the requirement is so he can post scores online and talk to others. So he'll have to be cautious to read the lables to see if it requires the connection. It's also for in-app purchases. Leo says it's poor planning, but that's how they get people.