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World of Warcraft and the VR Headset: A match made in heaven

World of Warcraft and the VR Headset A match made in heaven
I was reading a piece in the New York Times today about a new virtual reality headset that appears to have the potential to break open the fantasized world of immersive gaming. Called the Oculus Rift, it has 110-degree view and looks like an oversized ski mask. Equipped with position sensing mechanics, when you move your head your character in-game moves its head.

This thing is built for WoW.

Joystiq covered the initial funding of it on Kickstarter back in August 2012, and it appears to be paying off. The initial version is going out to game developers soon, and hopefully by next year we'll get a consumer version of it. The price shouldn't be too bad either, around $200 to $300 is what the Times is quoting.

I'm anxious to see what WoW looks like on this. I've tried WoW (in the first-person camera view you can use with the game now) briefly on other VR headsets, and it looks just like a low resolution monitor is out infront of your eyes, and you're playing WoW on that. It's a far cry from the high resolution and fast response that's required for any serious play. The Oculus Rift, however, appears to have the potential to break that mold with its hardware, which is based off the same stuff you'll find in the latest mobile phones. Those screens, even the lesser ones, have plenty of resolution, and the hardware is quite inexpensive (which is why the Rift is going to be relatively inexpensive).

There's a somewhat popular dystopian image of a young man sitting in a worn down room with VR glasses on, oblivious to the world around him. People have poked at WoW saying that's what it'll be like in 20 years. Far from the truth? Of course -- we're not going to get lost in virtual reality anymore than we already are. But with the right advances in technology, the day may be soon when we'll be able to plug into Azeroth in a whole new way.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Creative giving away WoW headsets on Facebook

Creative is giving away 20 of the new Soundblaster World of Warcraft Headsets from their Facebook page. Just become a fan and comment on the appropriate thread in order to enter the drawing.

These highly anticipated headsets are only available for preorder at this time, but word has it they are fresh off the assembly line and will be available soon. We gave away a few at the end of last year and also got to play around with the prototypes at BlizzCon.

They've given their first three headsets already. So if you are interested, hurry over and leave a comment about what features you are most looking forward to. The contest continues until March 15, 2010.

Note: Commenting here will not enter you in the contest. You must comment at the provided link for your entry to be valid. Also, please go to Soundblaster's facebook page (click on the above picture) for any rules and restrictions.

Filed under: News items

Creative WoW headsets now available for pre-order

Creative unveiled an official licensed World of Warcraft gaming headset back in last year's BlizzCon, and we even got a quick look at the product prototypes when they stopped by the annual reader meet-up as well as when they invited us to their booth to check it out. Readers also got a chance to win a pair when we ran contests all throughout the last quarter of 2009. if you've been slathering over one of these fancy peripherals but never lucked out in one of our contests, you might be pleased to learn that the Sound Blaster World of Warcraft headsets are finally available for pre-order from Amazon starting today, February 1.

The headsets we previewed back in August were mere prototypes, and the finished product looks far more refined. The headsets follow the same design principle as the Steelseries WoW mouse, with a faux metallic finish and etched runes. The headsets also have interchangeable 'headset lenses' which feature either the Alliance or Horde logo to show your allegiance. Creative also says that they'll be releasing additional lenses in the future, the first set of which will feature the ten classes of the game. As with the official World of Warcraft mouse, the headsets also have a dazzling 16 million programmable color illumination options.

The fully customizable headset comes in wireless or wired versions, with THX TruStudio PC technology for a more immersive gaming experience. The wireless version reportedly carries up to 9 hours of battery charge as well as a standard, detachable USB connector that can also be used to charge it. The headset microphone is detachable to allow the use of the headphone for communication or merely for listening. The World of Warcraft headset can also be configured to match different character profiles, accessible through what appears to be an in-game menu. The Sound Blaster World of Warcraft wireless headset retails for $159.99 while the tethered version is available for $119.99. Creative is also offering a complementary accessory called VoiceTap which allows players to program their push-to-talk key or even a macro to it instead of to their keyboard or mouse, allowing full hands-free communication.

Filed under: News items

Your fourth chance to pick up a Creative World of Warcraft wireless headset

Time once again to give away one of Creative's World of Warcraft wireless gaming headsets. These things are so new they're not even out yet -- they'll be released to stores in November, but we're giving away one right here today, to one lucky commenter on this post before next Thursday at midnight. Tell us what music genre and/or band you'd like to hear playing music through this thing, and we'll choose one lucky winner to pick up a headset for free.

The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), and everyone who enters must be 13 or older. To enter, leave a comment on this post before Wednesday, October 14th at midnight eastern, and please be sure to use a real email that you check often to enter, so we can contact the winners when we choose them. You may enter only once, and each winner will get a Creative World of Warcraft Wireless Gaming Headset, with a retail value of $150. Click here to read our official contest rules.

Good luck to everyone who enters! And of course, just in case you haven't heard yet, stay tuned, as we've got more of these contests planned every single week until November.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Contests, Hardware

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