Console gaming (XBOX, Playstation, Nintendo, etc) or PC gaming.
Leo got to try using the Sony PlayStation Virtual Reality Headset this past week. Two VR headsets are already available: The Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Google just announced its own virtual reality platform this past week as well, called Daydream.
While the Oculus and HTC Vive both require a high end PC, Sony's solution will make use of something that 40 million people already have -- the PlayStation 4 console. Leo tried one of the demo games for PlayStation, and he really felt like he was inside an action movie. It's a very vivid experience.
Brennon wants to learn how to program. Leo says learning how to write computer code will give him a deeper understanding on how computers work. This will take him from being merely a consumer, to being a maker. Minecraft can be a fun way to learn programming. He can even do it with a Raspberry Pi for $35. It comes with the software used to write programs and he can do it inside of Minecraft.
A great book is Learn to Program with Minecraft by Craig Richardson.
Dennis was into computer flight simulators, and he's wondering if virtual reality will be the next great thing in flight sims. Leo says virtual reality will be more immersive and give him a better experience of what it's like to fly. But to use a VR headset like the Oculus, he'd also have to upgrade his computer. So he's talking about $2200 to get the experience he wants. Leo says that VR is an amazing experience. Although it's in its early days, it will get better.
Oculus Rift went on sale to the public this week. It's a virtual reality headset that has motion tracking in it along with a camera that can track your body's movements. It also has headphones with very good quality sound. For video, it means that you'll be able to look around and see things all around you. Instead of a camera man or director determining what you'll be seeing, you can look at anything you choose. Gaming is another big use case for these headsets. HTC has made a VR headset called the Vive in conjunction with Steam, a distributor of games for PC.
Ian is 11 and wants to know if he should buy a MacBook or build his own gaming computer. Leo says that building a computer is a fun project, and a great learning experience. But if something goes wrong, he'll have to be his own support. If he buys a computer, then he'll have a company to support him. Leo also says that running Steam means that many games are ported to the Mac, but most gamers are on PC, and that means Windows. But if he's planning on doing other things like getting into video editing, then Leo would recommend the Mac.
Bob bought some games and they demand that he connect to the internet. Leo says that some games have a social aspect to them and the requirement is so he can post scores online and talk to others. So he'll have to be cautious to read the lables to see if it requires the connection. It's also for in-app purchases. Leo says it's poor planning, but that's how they get people.
Elliot's Mac died and now he has to use an old Windows machine. What can he do to speed it up? Leo says that Elliot is the prime candidate for a Raspberry Pi 2 computer. At $35, he can't beat it. And it runs on Linux.
Elliot wants to game, though, and he plays Gary's Mod a lot. There is also Steam for Linux, but he might not be able to get Gary's Mod on that. If he needs a decent computer, it all comes down to budget. Leo says he can also put Windows 10 on a Raspberry Pi, but it won't be very good with graphics.
Jeremy plays Minecraft and several other video games and he wants to record his gameplay and broadcast it online. Leo says that if he's gaming with a PC, then Razer's Stargazer camera is ideal because it will make him look like he's actually in the game as he does commentary. For software, FRAPS is what he'll want. Some games have it built-in.
Taylor bought the cheapest XBox with just a few gigs of space. Can he attach an external hard drive to it? Leo says absolutely. Leo did the same thing and got the Seagate Backup Plus. It's about $59 for a 1TB USB 3 hard drive and it's ideal. But any external USB 3 drive will work. And they're cheap.