Virtual tourism is one of the most interesting aspects of VR. To visit exotic locales I may never get a chance to explore is something I’m really looking forward to. Everest VR is one of these globetrotting virtual experiences, and given the ethos behind climbing Mount Everest, it’s fitting to be one of the first.
Harsh winds pushed against the tents at base camp in the dead of night. It was hard to see past a few tents in front of me, so I kneeled down and made my way into a nearby tent to find a working flashlight. I got up and teleported to my fellow hikers using the controller touchpad. The screen then faded to black… and a scenic overview of the mountain played as an intermission between the demo phases.
The view was beautiful, a 3D model recreation of the mountain with the help of the Nvidia GeForce. Snow on the mountain peaks glistened in the sun, and the winds were calmer now so everything felt peaceful. For a second I forgot I was actually in an E3 meeting room.
Next phase had me on the Hillary Step, a steep and narrow rock wall that leads to the summit. I had to (slowly) make my way across a slender bridge of snow that at times looked like it would give out from under me—a reality climbers face with constant avalanches and weather changes—and then hook myself to a single rope to push myself up the rock, one hand at a time. Read More…