Items tagged with Virtual Reality

If virtual reality headsets are going to truly break into the mainstream market, there needs to be a lot of content for consumers to devour, and it has to be easily accessible. In recognition of those requisites, HTC's Vive team today announced the global launch of Viveport, its own app store for a variety of VR content and experiences including, education, music, sports, and more. To kick things off, many of what HTC calls "super-hit" titles are available at a discounted rate of just $1 for the next 48 hours. These include Mars Odyssey (normally $7.99), The Music Room Mini (normally $29), Firebird - La Peri (normally $9.99), and theBlue (normally $9.99). There are also a bunch of titles that... Read more...
It's always interesting to hear what the bigwigs behind major game consoles have to say about the future of gaming on their platforms. That's especially true now that both Sony and Microsoft have announced or released mid-cycle upgrades with faster hardware. In that respect, it appears that consoles are becoming more like PCs, but is that the future of consoles? Don't count on it, says Sony boss Andrew House. Sony has begun taking pre-orders for its forthcoming PlayStation 4 Pro, essentially a beefed version of the PS4 that can deliver faster frame rates and better visuals (4K streaming and HDR). It's not a new generation console, but a peppier version of the original PS4 released in 2013. When... Read more...
Here's a bit of good news for budding filmmakers who want to create virtual reality experiences. Nokia just slashed $15,000 off the price of its funky looking Ozo, the first VR camera system specifically designed for professional production. Now brace yourself for the bad news—the price cut brings the cost down to $45,000, which is still a hefty chunk of change. Hey, that's $5,000 less than it costs to spend just a single night at the Ty Warner Penthouse at the top of Manhattan's Four Season's Hotel (no joke). And if you want a 2016 Tesla Model S P90D, you'll have to come up with more than twice as much cash, though admittedly you could hop in a BMW Series 3 Gran Turismo for slightly less. Have... Read more...
One of the most popular games of all time is gaining support for one of the most popular virtual reality headsets of the day. We're of course talking about Minecraft and Oculus Rift, the pairing of which was scheduled to take place in a few weeks. Apparently things are ahead of schedule because one of Minecraft's developers posted an update to Twitter on Thursday saying a version that supports Rift will be out next week. This could be just the thing that helps spur VR gaming. Oculus and HTC haven't seen a shortage of early adopters flock to their respective headsets, but for pricey headsets that require even pricier PCs to catch on with a wider audience, there needs to be some compelling content... Read more...
A new teardown and piece by piece analysis of the bits involved in making the Oculus Rift VR headset reveals a "complex mechanical design" and relatively low cost of parts adding up to just over $206, hundreds less than the $599 the assembled package sells for to consumers, IHS Markit Technology stated in a recent blog post. Isn't it fun to be an early adopter? To be fair, the total bill-of-materials (BOM), as it's called, doesn't factor in expenses beyond just the individual hardware, such as marketing, design and engineering, and everything else involved in bringing a new product to market. And in this case, the Rift isn't just a new product, it's a groundbreaking item that finally taps into... Read more...
So you went out and purchased yourself a fancy virtual reality headset, now you just need to load up on content, is that it?. As luck would have it, Valve is hosting a VR Weekend Sale on Steam, its digital distribution platform for games, and you can save big money on a plethora of titles, up to 80 percent off on over 175 VR games.If you have a chunk of change to spend, you might want to take advantage of a limited time VR bundle that's marked down 32 percent from $368.89 to $251.42. It consists of 20 VR games, including Space Pirate Trainer, Vanishing Realms, Holopoint, Pool Nation VR, Final Approach, HoloBall, Battle Dome, Cloudlands: VR Minigolf, Hover Junkers, Audioshield, BLARP!, House of... Read more...
NVIDIA has officially stepped into the realm of video game design and it's timing couldn't have been better. No, NVIDIA probably isn't going to crank out triple-A titles or become the next Bethesda with iconic franchises under its belt, but NVIDIA's VR Funhouse title for the HTC Vive comes at point when virtual reality needs some killer content to go along with early hardware solutions. It's also free! That's right folks, unlike real live carnivals, there's no admission here. VR Funhouse features seven different carnival games, all beautifully rendered with plenty of eye candy. While several early VR titles are rather rudimentary, NVIDIA wanted to prove there's an added level of immersion when... Read more...
Nintendo is hoping to make a splash in the game console market with its forthcoming NX system, one that can generate the kind of the reception the original Wii did rather than the Wii U, but just how big of a splash is anyone's guess at this point. We're still trying to figure out what "brand-new concept" it will bring to the table, which apparently won't include virtual reality technology. It's a little surprising that Nintendo isn't more interested in VR, considering how many view it as the next big thing in gaming. There's an eager market out there, and that would especially be true if Nintendo could somehow undercut the competition in price while still delivering an immersive experience.... Read more...
We're finally starting to see the world of virtual reality unfold to an eager and (so far) receptive audience. While most of the attention to this point has been on gaming, the technology itself is the most interesting part, especially since we're still at a relatively early stage of VR. One of the things to keep an eye on is the evolution of hand tracking, which Microsoft believes is nearly slick enough for mainstream use. "How do we interact with things in the real world? Well, we pick them up, we touch them with our fingers, we manipulate them," said Shotton, a principal researcher in computer vision at Microsoft’s Cambridge, UK, research lab. "We should be able to do exactly the same thing... Read more...
We've been hearing for quite some time now that virtual reality is the next big thing in gaming, and companies are just saying it, they're actively preparing for such a future. Take Valve for instance. Even though Valve is operating the most popular digital distribution system for games, along with various side projects, it's devoted around one-third of its talent to VR. That's according to Alan Yates, a hardware engineer at Valve who recently answered some questions at reddit. His posts weren't part of an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session, but there were some interesting revelations nonetheless, the biggest of those being just how engrossed and committed to VR Valve is at this still relatively early... Read more...
When Sony first announced its PlayStation VR headset a few months ago, the company said it would ship in the United States sometime in October with a price tag of $399. Now we have an exact release date to share—Sony updated the status of its PlayStation VR during its E3 press conference, saying it will launch to retail on October 13, 2016.Other details remain the same, including the price. That's not a bad deal compared to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, which sell for $599 and $799, respectively, and require a relatively high powered PC with at least a GeForce GTX 970 graphics card. However, the base price of the PlayStation VR only includes the headset and not the PlayStation 4 Camera, a requirement... Read more...
Bethesda's always done a splendid job immersing gamers into post apocalyptic societies with its Fallout series, but in the words of Pete Hines, VP of Marketing for Bethesda, "You ain't seen nothing yet." HInes is referring to Bethesda's plans to bring the world of Fallout 4 into the virtual realm with a version built for VR headsets. Hey, why not? Virtual reality is the hottest thing right now and even if it does turn out to be a passing fad, it will take its sweet time moseying by. And on the flip side, VR could be here to stay, especially with ports like Fallout 4 in the works. Forget about gimmicky demos and proof of concept applications, Fallout 4 is a title that's been voted Game of the... Read more...
VR — short for “Virtual Reality” — has been a topic and way of virtual engagement that has fascinated many for years. This is because VR allows a person to experience a three-dimensional world by tracking head motion, thus allowing users to enjoy a totally immersive and unique experience when watching a movie, playing a game, or otherwise engaging in a storyline. Until recently, however, VR seemed to be more of a niche topic than anything else, full of products many were unaware of except those immersed specifically in VR culture. This all seems to be changing though; with companies offering a large variety of VR products this year, it is looking more and more like VR is finally going mainstream.... Read more...
Earlier this month, we told you a bit about the next generation 64-bit ARM v8-A mobile processor core, codenamed Artemis. Artemis is built using TSMC’s 10nm FinFET process technology and promises some pretty sizable performance and efficiency gains over the Cortex-A72, which is built using a 16nm FinFET process. Today, we’re able to disclose the official name and a number of details for ARM's next-gen mobile processor core and a new GPU as well: Cortex-A73 and Mali-G71. ARM is billing the 11-stage pipeline Cortex-A73 as the the world’s most efficient premium mobile CPU, as it offers up to 30 percent greater performance than the outgoing Cortex-A72 while operating within a similar or lower... Read more...
Oculus suddenly finds itself embroiled in a game of cat and mouse as it attempts to keep titles exclusive to the Rift from running on competing VR headsets. Unfortunately for Oculus, its latest attempt at padlocking content with a DRM update backfired, and instead of stopping hacks like Revive from working, Oculus ultimately made it easier to pirate games. Let's back up a moment and see how we got to this point. At the end of last year, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey made what amounts to an open software statement by proclaiming, "If customers  buy a game from us, I don't care if they mod it to run on whatever they want. As I have said a million times, our goal is not to profit by locking... Read more...
Some amazing things are happening in technology. We have augmented reality and virtual reality solutions finally getting off the ground, and gadgets like Google Glass and Microsoft's HoloLens have given us glimpses of what the future might be like. But alas, these early looks only paint a partial picture of where we're headed, and if we're not careful, something utterly frightening awaits us. That frightening thing is portrayed in all too believable fashion in a 6-minute concept film by Kelichi Matsuda called Hyper-Reality. The film depicts a typical trip to the city in atypical fashion, at least for now. Shot in a first-person perspective, you see what could happen when a city becomes saturated... Read more...
Google is expanding its reach into virtual reality (VR) with the announcement of Daydream, a VR platform that is built on the upcoming Android N mobile operating system. Daydream encompasses both hardware and software, which means that later this year you will be able to purchase Daydream-ready smartphones from popular OEMs like Samsung, HTC, LG, Huawei and ASUS. Daydream in essence is a more advanced replacement for Google Cardboard and uses a new VR Mode that’s incorporated into Android N. Daydream-ready smartphones are all designed with performance and low-latency in mind and include a VR System UI for navigation. Google has also developed enhanced versions of YouTube, the Google Play... Read more...
Consumer virtual reality is starting to take off thanks to devices like the Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. All three of those devices are great for consuming VR content, but what about “Regular Joes” that actually want to create VR content and not spend thousands of dollars to get up and running? That’s where Israeli digital imagine company HumanEyes comes in to save the day with its “point and shoot” Vuze virtual reality camera. The Vuze is probably the best products we’ve seen so far in the consumer/prosumer range that offers a wealth of features and capabilities for somewhat palatable price. The Vuze features eight HD cameras (1920x1080) that have 120-degree horizontal and 180-degree... Read more...
Much of the hype and attention in the virtual space is currently focused on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and understandably so—those two headsets are the big dogs in VR right now. However, they're not the only solutions. Remember Samsung's Gear VR headset? It's powered by Oculus and it's doing pretty well.According to Oculus, more than 1 million people donned a Gear VR last month. Yes, Gear VR has been on the market for longer than the Rift or Vive, but passing the 1 million user milestone is largely the result of its comparatively low price and growing library of content. Consumers who might have been hesitant about diving into VR are able to see now that it's more than a passing fad.The caveat... Read more...
We're seeing some exciting developments in the realm of virtual reality, though one of the persisting challenges is nausea. It doesn't affect everyone, but it affects enough people that it's a point of focus when developing VR hardware and software. Microsoft believes it's come up with a relatively cheap and easy solution, one that uses an array of LEDs to extend a headset's horizontal field of view. Humans have a natural horizontal field of view of more than 180 degrees, much higher than what's offered by augmented reality and VR headsets like Microsoft's own HoloLens (100 degrees) and the Oculus Rift (120 degrees). According to Microsoft, the comparatively small field of view offered by today's... Read more...
Once again, The New York Times is planning to distribute Google Cardboard viewers to its "most loyal digital subscribers." It's the second time NYT has collaborated with Google to hand out Cardboard viewers to subscribers—the first time was in 2015 when it gave away more than a million viewers to celebrate the launch of its VR app.For its second act, NYT is handing out 300,000 more Cardboard viewers. The giveaway is aimed in part at promoting "Seeking Pluto's Frigid Heart," a stereoscopic VR experience that allows viewers to soar over Pluto, including "never-before-seen rugged mountains and brights plans," along with standing on Pluto's surface while its largest moon hovers in the horizon.NYT... Read more...
The window of opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the virtual reality movement from the content creation side is right now, but not everyone has suitcases full of cash to invest in pricey VR camera arrays. That's okay because Samsung's Gear 360 is now on sale in select countries, and it costs far less than Facebook's $30,000 Surround 360 platform or HTC's $5,000 Omni camera. Samsung delivered the news this morning during a keynote presentation at its Developers Conference in San Francisco. The Gear 360 is now available for purchase online in South Korea for 399,300 Korean Won (around $350 in U.S. currency) and will head to hundreds of store shelves in May. It's also available in Europe... Read more...
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