Virtual Reality goggles have arrived in Oxford.
These goggles are known as Vive, a collaboration between Steam and HTC. Express Computer Services is the only retail selling Vive goggles in Oxford. Vive is designed for gamers who want to immerse themselves into a virtual environment.
Express Computer Services owner Kyle McGrevey says that up until recently these virtual reality goggles have been experimental. Gamers have long anticipated a chance to have a more direct contact with the virtual world. Now, through these goggles, McGrevey says that gamers can experience the next evolution in gaming.
The Vive goggles have been out for a month and a half, but there are already about 250 games and environments that are compatible with the device. McGrevey expects that by fall there will be 1,000.
“I like being able to actually move around the environment so instead of just moving a mouse and a keyboard now you’re actually walking around and doing things,” said McGrevey. “Rather than just looking at a screen, you’re actually in the environment.”
McGrevey has sold the virtual goggles to one customer so far, but he has demonstrated the product to about 40 people and anticipates that sales will be strong.
Hiram Wadlington, who has used the goggles, praised the experience.
“When I was playing, it felt like I was in the real world,” said Wadlington.
McGrevey, who has owned Express Computer Services since the spring of 2004, says he became interested in computers and gaming as a child. He opened Express Computer Services in Oxford after gaining tech experience at the University of Mississippi.
“I was working at the help desk on campus and saw how many computer problems people had, and I knew how to fix most of them,” McGrevey says. “I started handing out my name and number and it kind of went from there.”
McGrevey’s aim with Express Computer Services is to tap into all tech repair markets. His shop services both Mac and PC users, and he takes pride in the fact that he and his employees can fix not only the typical tech issues–such as cracked screens–but also the more obscure issues.
“Basically, we do a lot of stuff other folks don’t do just because we have such specialized employees,” McGrevey said.
Although McGrevey says that all of his employees are gamers, surprisingly, not everyone who works at Express Computer Services has tried the goggles. Employee David Swims has actually held off on trying out the goggles due to financial reasons.
“I actually have not tried the goggles, because I know if I try it I’m going to want to buy it,” said Swims.
Savannah Brantley is enrolled in Meek School of Journalism and New Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.