Scott says that there's a dreaded disease in home theater, and technology in general, called upgrade-itus. Sure, TV manufacturers come out with new models that address customer comments and wants, as well as new features, but for the basics, there's really nothing anything new this year over last. Just more whistles and bells.
Sean isn't sure about Virtual Reality. He used the Oculus Rift and thought it was really cool. But as an Apple User, he can't use it. Leo says that not only that — he can't use any virtual reality with Apple. It comes down to the high end video cards that are required, and Apple hasn't been serious about putting them in their computers.
Kyle wonders what the future holds for game consoles like the PlayStation. Will there be a new version like a PS5 or will it just keep with incremental improvements like the PlayStation Pro? Leo says that the PS4 has a very powerful processor, and console game systems have a life span of about 10 years before they move to the next platform update. So Leo would imagine we'll see updates during that time, and we hear there will be serious revisions this year. We'll probably see the end of optical media in favor of downloads.
This week's gadget from Dickie D is the Panono Camera. It's a ball with 36 3MP cameras embedded in it and you toss it up in the air and it takes a picture when it reaches the apogee of the arc. It costs $1999.00. It turns out that the units are very difficult to produce and it sounded like they were almost hand making them. When you throw it in the air, be sure you catch it, because they break if they hit the ground hard! That could be why they now sell a special selfie stick, so you can just hold it over your head. That adds another $50 the cost.
Rick is wondering which virtual reality headset to buy, or if it would be best to wait until the next generation. Leo says that VR is very convincing and creates an amazing immersive illusion that you're somewhere else. The Oculus Rift has a demo where you're standing on the edge of a skyscraper that's very realistic. There are some shortcomings, however. You can't pick up things and touch things unless you use a game or hand controller. The negative on the Sony Playstation VR is that the move controllers weren't designed with VR, so they can lag a bit.
Steven just bought the HTC Vive virtual reality headset with a bunch of VR games and he's going to get it this week. Leo says that of the three, he thinks the Vive is easily the best. It has Steam behind it, so there's a lot of games, and it comes with paddles to interact more. It also has cameras so you can move around in the space.
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.
Paul's brother has created a new Virtual Reality interface called The Void. It's a physical space that allows you to experience video games and movies for real. It's like the HoloDeck. Leo says that sounds exciting.