Human hamster balls invade GDC

GDC 2010 Virtuspheres for gaming

360 logoWHAT DO YOU get when you cross a human sized hamster ball with VR googles and a game engine? You have a Virtusphere, and it looks like a lot of fun.



The idea behind Virtusphere is pretty simple, take a large ball, put it on coasters, and stick a gamer on the inside. Equip them with VR googles and a wireless controller, and you have an instant virtual world that you can actually walk or run around in.

virtusphere seathing

Coasting along in a virtual world

While the concept may not be all that complex, the implementation takes a lot of work to get right. The sphere needs to be quite smooth, and having a ‘door’ that you can walk around on top of is a detailed engineering exercise. That said, 360 Virtual Ventures has done it, you can buy a VirtuSphere now. Heck, buy 8 for 4 on 4 team deathmatches, anything less would leave your friends out when they come over.

There are two versions, one for academia, law enforcement/military and simulations, and another that you resell time on for gaming and arcade type use. The non-retail one is cheaper, about $35K while the retail version costs about $45K. The difference is that the retail version has a point of sale system and computers necessary to do things like billing for time used. You do get more for your money.

In the end, the VirtuSphere looks like a lot of fun, and if the lines ever shorten, we will try to get in and try it out, without the bunny suit. The concept might not be all that deep, but it looks well done and cleanly executed. This is the next level in VR, and you can buy it for a reasonable price.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate