Troy startup creates first of its kind VR gun controller

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A little known Troy startup is doing some big things in the gaming world by creating the first of its kind virtual reality gun controller.

Imagine walking through a video game with a lifelike rifle in your hand.

“In the video game, as I move it around, the controller moves around,” Sebastian Sarbora, one of the founders of Ilium VR, said.

It makes for one of the most immersive VR experiences possible while in a fictitious zombie survival first person shooter game.

“We want to create hardware and products that let you interact with that virtual world,” Sarbora added.

That’s exactly what they’re doing at Ilium. Three students who went to RPI are now in the gaming business.

“We want to make really cool controllers,” Sarbora explained. “When you have old controllers, you have a game pad you press a button to jump. But in VR, you can just jump.”

Now instead of just holding a Wii-Mote, you have to know the basics of using a gun.

“It’ll allow you to pull the magazine down, and you can slap it back up and pull this slide,” Sarbora explained to NEWS10 ABC.

Think Duck Hunt 2017 style.

Ilium works seamlessly with the HTV VR headset.  It’s compatible with games like The Best and Arizona Sunshine.  Sarbora hopes within a few years Ilium’s hardware will make it into more homes as they partner with more companies.

“Games like Halo and Call of Duty, they’re moving toward virtual reality,” he said. “These are games you’ll pretty much find in any living room if you have an Xbox.”

As you play with the controller, you quickly figure out how fast 30 rounds go and how difficult it can be to reload.

“When you have to actually reload it’s different than pressing the X button,” Sarbora said.

Currently, Sarbora and his team are gearing up for the consumer version of the product, which he said will be released in less than 12 months. The price tag will be around $300 dollars, which includes the gun and bundled games.

For parents who are worried it may be too realistic, Sarbora said the controller is just another form of entertainment.

“Violent video games generally don’t cause children to be violent,” he said.


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