While the heat is slowly picking up in the virtual reality (VR) gaming market globally, Indian players are not behind and are eager to join an industry that is projected to touch an estimated $120 billion globally by 2020.
So here is Karbonn Mach Six -- for Rs.7,490. Developed by the domestic smartphone maker Karbonn Mobiles, the VR device comes bundled with Karbonn Quattro L52 smartphone that is available for Rs.8,490.
Can this device give a competition to Samsung’s flagship Oculus-powered Gear VR device that currently costs Rs.8,200 in India -- its nearest arch rival? Let’s find out.
What works for the device?
Smaller in width as compared to Samsung’s rounded, rectangular-shaped VR device, Karbonn Mach Six boasts a more-or-less squarish shape.
The company has given the wearable device a little padding on the forehead and face area. It has a huge nose rest area and so using the device while playing VR games was comfortable.
Additionally, the device comes with a screen guard and back cover for Karbonn Quattro L52 smartphone.
When it comes to smartphone, it has two pre-installed games and two videos. Although the games are not as high-definition as one expected, for a first-time user, these will work before he or she moves on to bigger, better VR sets.
I started with watching 360-degree videos. The difference was crystal clear between the pre-downloaded videos and the ones I downloaded online. Watching a few horror and gaming videos for over an hour at a stretch did not cause any nausea or headache (but this may vary from person to person as some people have reported sickness while experiencing VR).
Next was time to play some games. The device has two pre-loaded games: “Lamper VR First Flight” and “Deep Space VR” and has pre-embedded apps with which users can create their own VR videos.
Well, to be frank, VR gaming will make you duck, twist your neck and revolve 360-degrees (beware as your family members may laugh at you as you move your body with the VR).
What doesn’t work?
When it comes to design, it loses the ground. Plastic body and no cushioning on the sides can trigger a bit itching on your temple and forehead area especially when you use the device for long. A better fibre material could have been better as gamers will not mind shelling out a bit extra for a comfortable ride.
A few more pre-loaded games and high-resolution videos can increase the odds for the Karbonn VR set as more and more players are set to join the fray.
Also, you can’t use the VR device while wearing spectacles, which is not the case with Gear VR.
Conclusion: If you are a beginner and want to experience VR, go for Karbonn Mach Six. The device will give you a basic idea of what the VR technology is going to offer in the near future.