The 2014 Game Developers Conference (GDC) last March proved to be a significant event for virtual reality (VR). Not only did Oculus VR reveal the next iteration of its development kit for the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD), the DK2, but Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) announced its own VR HMD for PlayStation 4, Project Morpheus. With that in mind there’s hope that this year’s event, which takes place on 2nd – 6th March, will prove to be even bigger for the technology. It certainly seems as if SCE will be bringing VR to the event to at least some degree.
The schedule for GDC 2015’s sessions reveals that SCE is hosting a talk labelled ‘Environmental Audio and Processing for VR’ with Senior Audio Programmer Nicholas Ward-Foxton. “Environmental audio requires differing approaches in virtual reality to standard surround and television-based game design,” the session’s description reads. “This talk will center on these differences to try and show people how to alter their usual approaches to get the best VR experience and help achieve “presence” in the virtual world.”
VR audio has been a hot topic since last week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) as Oculus VR unveiled HRTF technology for its Crescent Bay prototype of the Oculus Rift. SCE’s session on the topic will give attendees “a broad understanding on the human auditory system and how our brain reacts to the information received through it. They will be shown implementation techniques for obstruction/occlusion, dynamic reverberation, distance modelling and how to use these techniques best for VR immersion.”
Note that the session doesn’t make specific mention of Project Morpheus. It’s also SCE’s only VR-related session for GDC 2015 thus far. Still, there’s over a month to go before the show, so there’s plenty of time for more announcements. VRFocus will continue to follow SCE and Project Morpheus, reporting back with any further updates.