It seemed to take forever, but virtual reality is more than virtual now, it's real, thanks to new headsets, such as the HTC Vive, arriving this year to the public.
As with any technology, though, those headsets aren't cheap, but for those who have the extra dollars to spend, today's virtual reality promises state-of-the art technology and graphics. This isn't like Tron, at all, but something better.
But VR without games and experiences is nothing, which is why Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has created a new experiment that most Star Wars fans have always dreamed about: a virtual ride through the world of Tatooine.
ILM initially teased Trials on Tatooine, its Star Wars VR experience, last year, but the company officially released the first trailer for it recently, and to say this looks great is an understatement.
In Trials on Tatooine, players take on the role of a young Kylo Ren, back when he was still Ben Solo, a Jedi. This trailer hits all the right notes for any Star Wars fan: not only does it include lightsaber wielding, but the Millennium Falcon also shows up. And it's all in VR for the HTC Vive.
However, the HTC Vive retails for $799, so going to Tatooine and other virtual worlds is a little cost-prohibitive. Still, this trailer shows what is possible with today's VR technology. There's also another catch: Trials on Tatooine probably won't even become a public release. Those wanting to experience it will probably need to attend special events, such as the Star Wars Celebration, to get a look at it.
"This is really just an experiment," Rob Bredow, chief technology officer of Lucasfilm, said to the Los Angeles Times. "We're in active development in things that are well beyond the scope of this experiment that are going to be targeted at consumers. As this market starts to grow up and we do these experiments and play-test them, this is how we're building our experience and trying to get a sense of what sort of consumer-facing experiences we can put out there."
Google Cardboard did something similar, with its Jakku Spy Experience, but Trials on Tatooine knocks that one completely out of the sky.