Virtuix recently sent Omni units to a number of developers who wish to optimize their upcoming games for use with the company’s omnidirectional treadmill. Games with native Omni support are expected in the coming months.
The Virtuix Omni is a new type of peripheral device designed specifically for virtual reality locomotion. The Omni provides a safe, secure platform for you to physically run around freely within a virtual environment. You strap yourself into a harness that prevents you from falling, and you run around on a concave surface with special slippery shoes. We had a chance to try out the Omni in January at CES and found it to be a compelling experience.
Virtuix has made the Omni as universally compatible as possible. The package includes software that emulates gamepad and keyboard inputs, so most games will support the Omni's input right out of the box. Virtuix has already demonstrated Minecraft VR and MIND: Path To Thalamus working with the Omni, and Jan Goetgeluk, CEO & Founder of Virtuix, told us that both games worked without any additional tweaks. Goetgeluk said that legacy games such as Grand Theft Auto V, Skyrim, and even Counter-Strike also work without additional work when combined with a VR injection driver such as VorpX or Vireio Perception.
Virtuix told us that some developers are going the extra mile to ensure their titles work properly with the Omni. “We shipped out a bunch of Omnis to developers in the last few weeks who want to optimize their VR game natively for the Omni,” said Goetgeluk “We’ll see those first native games come out in the next few months.”
In the meantime, Virtuix released its first video showcasing an Oculus Rift CV1 game being played with the Omni. Virtuix played Dreadhalls, a first-person horror game for Oculus Rift, and the experience was apparently rather intense. "One of the key design goals of Dreadhalls is to make you believe you are really trapped inside a dark dungeon," said Sergio Hidalgo, the developer who created the game, after trying it with the Omni. "The Omni's natural locomotion adds a new layer to the horror experience. With the Omni, you explore and react in a much more instinctual way, making for an even scarier and more immersive experience."
“First-person active VR removes any sense of a safety buffer between the player and the game, thus amplifying the horror,” added Goetgeluk.
The Virtuix has been taking orders for the Omni for some time now and the company has been fulfilling pre-orders all year. Base Omni packages start at $699, and there are several accessories that you can purchase for it, including the VR Rack, which holds your controllers and other hardware, and the VR Boom, which suspends your HMD cables above you while you play. You can place your own order on the Virtuix website.