Virtual Reality, as a relatively new product to the market, is currently priced on the higher-end of the scale, with the associated PC’s or gaming consoles combined with the headset costing in excess of $1200. Over time the cost of the headsets will inevitably become more affordable, but for now the current price point does put the hardware out of most peoples budget. However, thanks to a piece of software called VRidge, you’ll now be able to sample Oculus and Steam VR games right on the cheaper, much more affordable, Google Cardboard.
VRidge is split into two components – a PC client and an Android app, with Oculus and Steam games running on a Windows PC and then streamed to your phone over WiFi. Essentially, VRidge is a Oculus/Vive headset emulator running on your phone, leaving the PC to deal with all the heavy lifting, while the phone displays the content and captures head movements back to the PC.
The idea is to give consumers a taste of what sort of content they can expect on the higher-end VR headsets, as well as experience virtual reality cheaply. Obviously the experience won’t match that of the real thing as Cardboard is lacking all the additional sensors that the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift have, but it gives you a taste of what to expect.
Now onto the caveats – VRidge is still in beta and the developer Riftcat advises strongly against buying VR content purely for use with the software. You’ll also need a VR-ready PC equipped with a modern graphics card, and full system specs are available on the Riftcat page. Some content may not load properly, or at all, so consider yourself warned; and early reviews of the app on Google Play are reporting issues with the app refusing to load, low image quality, and choppy performance – but hey, it’s a beta.
To try VRidge, you need to join the beta program here. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.