Augmented & Virtual Reality

Here is what virtual reality looked like in 1992 – on an Amiga 3000

How virtual reality looked in the 1990s? A video from Play Expo in Manchester shows how Commodore entered the field.

20 Okt. 2016 Andreas Weck
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Virtual reality on the Amiga 3000. (Screenshot: YouTube)

Here is how virtual reality looked before the Oculus Rift, Gear VR and Microsoft Hololens.

When you think about virtual reality (VR) you automatically have the Oculus Rift, Gear VR or Microsoft Hololens in mind. But many VR systems reach all the way back to the 1990s. Commodore for example experimented early on with VR, and developed gigantic – by today's standards – gaming cockpits that were used above all in video arcades.

A video recently appeared on YouTube that gives a sense of what we mean by a "cockpit." It shows a Commodore Amiga 3000 that was presented at Play Expo in Manchester in 1992. At first glance the system looks like a bumper car, with its size due among other things to the amount of computing power required by the technology.

So far 3,000 people have viewed the video. The feedback is almost entirely positive – both the likes and the comments. Most viewers are surprised at how advanced these devices were already back then. One user writes: "Impressive. Too bad the world wasn't ready yet for VR." Writes another: "Ahead of its time! Amiga forever!"

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