At the 2015 SXSW Gaming Expo, you’re as likely to run into a flailing gamer in an Oculus Rift headset as you are to bump into Little Bo Peep, cosplaying her way across the Palmer Events Center. An eclectic mix of Austinites and visiting gaming enthusiasts swarmed the showroom floor on Friday, March 13th to get their hands and eyes on the latest offerings from vendors such as Alienware, Intel, Mayfair Games, and many more.
One of the stars of the show is Star Citizen, the newest project from Cloud Imperium Games and Chris Roberts, creator of games such as Wing Commander and Freelancer. Star Citizen promises an immersive and unlimited universe of gameplay, with first-person shooter action, starship piloting, and a community-powered environment to support various other aspects of the game. As the most successful crowdfunded game in history, Star Citizen has already raised more than $75 million dollars in funding from more than 800,000 future star citizens. To check out a preview of Star Citizen, here’s a video featuring actual renders from inside the game engine.
Not surprisingly, the Oculus Rift VR headset is everywhere you turn at the SXSW Gaming Expo. The developer kits have found their way into the hands of designers large and small, all looking to capitalize on what many agree is the future of gaming. Nate Mitchell, Oculus’ Vice President of Product, took to the Geek Stage on Friday at the Gaming Expo to discuss the recent explosion of competing VR products and accessories. While Oculus is certainly leading the VR market’s buzz, they seem to place more importance on perfecting the product instead of being the first to deliver a consumer device. One aspiring competitor is FOVE, which promises the “world’s first affordable eye-tracking, virtual reality head mount display for hardcore gaming.” FOVE’s cool trick involves freeing your hands for other tasks while your eyes control targeting and operations, a la Iron Man.
On Sunday, March 14, 2015 at 7:00pm CT at Austin’s Moody Theater, the SXSW Gaming Awards will recognize outstanding gaming contributions in fields such as gameplay, design & direction, animation, SFX, and narrative. Stay tuned for additional coverage from the awards by following @DilTown on Twitter.