CES 2017 - We know that Apple has some ambitious plans for 2017 and beyond, but after the rather disappointing last two years (Watch is pretty much nowhere to be seen, and the iPhone hasn't had any true innovation for years now) - I don't know what to think.
But, UploadVR boss and super nerd Robert Scoble talked with Carl Zeiss AG during CES, where he said that Apple has forced Zeiss to stay quiet on a pair of augmented reality glasses that they're working together on. Scoble said: "Exclusive news: Apple and Zeiss working together on augmented reality optics".
Scoble continued: "A Zeiss employee confirmed the rumors that Apple and Carl Zeiss AG are working on a light pair of augmented reality/mixed reality glasses that may be announced this year. (I thought it was next year but now that I saw this I believe it will happen this year)".
Apple's 10th anniversary of the iPhone is this year, and their glorious new, courageous HQ is near completion, too. Maybe Apple is preparing for the Next Big Thing with a pair of augmented/mixed reality glasses.
CES 2017 - An interesting partnership has formed between SoC giant Qualcomm and the upcoming Power Rangers movie, with Qualcomm showing off a new VR experience with a standalone VR headset.
The VR headset in question was powered by Qualcomm's own Snapdragon 820 processor, and not the new 10nm-based Snapdragon 835 (which is a beast, by the way).
As for the VR experience, you started off in a cave where you were being briefed on what was going on, before choosing a character - once you did that, you were in a mech suit of some sort. The graphics were pretty damn good for a SoC powering it, and an older one at that (well, now with the Snapdragon 835 here soon).
CES 2017 - Microsoft has conscripted major hardware-makers like ASUS, Lenovo, Acer and Dell to make budget-friendly Windows 10-powered virtual reality headsets, and now Lenovo is showing off the fruits of this union with its latest sub-$400 VR headset.
Engadget recently tried out Lenovo's new Windows 10 VR headset, revealing key details about the HMD and what we can expect when it ships later this year. Lenovo affirms that the VR headset will be "less than $400," and the HMD rocks two 1440 x 1440 OLED panels. It's also worth noting that the "demo" headset didn't actually turn on, and the publication didn't get a proper hands-on test.
What's most interesting about Lenovo's VR HMD it's front face is fringed by two cameras to add various functionality. The cameras apparently allow room-scale tracking, meaning the tracking is self-contained into the headset itself and may not require extra sensors akin to the HTC Vive's Lighthouse beacons. The cameras could also be used to simulate AR, or at the very least let users see their environment in real-time to avoid any possible mishaps.
According to the latest reports from DigiTimes' industry sources, VR headset shipments are "unlikely to enjoy a high growth rate in shipments in 2017", with Oculus, HTC, Sony and more to suffer next year.
The reason? DigiTimes says "constrains in the supply of high resolution panels, high performance chips, and supporting software and firmware". Their sources added: "Most IC chips, platform products and hardware solutions currently available in the market are unable to keep up with the pace of development and hardware requirements of the VR industry, impeding makers' efforts to ramp up their shipments in 2017".
HTC reportedly shipped up to 500K Vive units this year, but are expected to hit 600K units in 2017, while Sony will ship 1.5 million PSVR headsets this year, and up to 2 .5 million PSVR headsets in 2017. Oculus, who have been going through some serious issues this year - will ship 650K units this year, and 1.2 million in 2017, according to TrendForce.
HTC is quickly spraying out the rumors that it will be unveiling and launching the Vive 2 at CES 2017 next week, with reports stating that the Vive 2 would rock dual 4K displays at 120Hz, which would've been amazing.
UploadVR have confirmed with HTC that the Vive 2 will not be shown off at CES 2017, with HTC's official statement reading: "There is no truth to the rumor of launching Vive 2 at CES 2017. At Vive, we are laser focused on building out a strong and growing ecosystem for current and future Vive owners so they can experience the best room-scale VR with the most compelling content available".
Now, HTC have said that they're not going to be launching Vive 2 at CES 2017 - but what if HTC aren't naming the Vive successor 'Vive 2'... does that mean we could see it teased as Vive 4K or something new? Maybe that's just me wishing out aloud.
Crytek has announced that Robinson: The Journey, their sci-fi VR adventure title, will be coming to the Oculus Rift next month.
Robinson: The Journey has you playing as Robin, a boy that gets stranded on a strange alien planet, where you need to survive the various dangers on the planet, with HIGS - your AI unit and a baby T-Rex that will help you. You'll need to look for survivors and unlock the mysteries of the extrasolar planet.
Lead 3D Artist on Robinson: The Journey, Tom Deerberg, explained why VR works in the game so well: "Today, VR represents the next logical step in the evolution of immersive game worlds. Just as the jump from 2D to 3D once gave players a more authentic impression of being "in the game," VR turns what we're used to experiencing on a flat screen into something much more enveloping. Now, the sense of scale is inherent. You feel physically present in the game space, and those planets hanging on the horizon serve to underscore the vastness of your surroundings like never before. You'll tilt your head to take in the full grandeur of a dinosaur or pull back as you assess the danger of a chasm below - and it all feels boundless in an entirely new way".
Serious Sam has been around for quite some time, but the VR version made this game even more globally recognizable and popular. Created and developed by Croteam, Serious Sam is one of the best VR games I've tried to date. On Steam, Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope has a 9/10 rating with many positive gamer's comments.
Now, Croteam has released Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter on Steam as an Early Access Game, meaning the game isn't complete and could change in the future.
"Croteam's VR division is delighted to present Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter - our first full locomotion campaign game for the VR market, with all the bells and whistles found in regular (a.k.a. non-VR) Serious Sam games", said Croteam.
Well, it happened sooner than I thought it would - which I kinda didn't think it would happen at all, but Sony's new PlayStation VR headset is already working on the PC with an unofficial (of course) method.
The latest version of Trinus PSVR works with PSVR, adding side-by-side support for non-VR games, a PSVR Box switch off button, a fix for switched colors, the ability to check for updates, PSVR display selector, and improved lens correction.
PSVR with Trinus PSVR won't work with the Oculus Touch or HTC Vive controllers, so all games have to be played with the gamepad. For now, Trinus PSVR is also limited to 60Hz, so don't blame us - or Trinus PSVR if you get sick.
Nintendo's new Switch console-and-handheld hybrid tablet may dock into a head-mounted display to simulate virtual reality, similar to Samsung's Gear VR headset.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office just made public a new batch of Nintendo Switch patents, giving us a look at what the future may hold for Nintendo's new console-and-handheld hybrid. Although the patents were filed in June 2016, they unload a metric ton of potential new info, much of which we are sifting through already, but one of the most impressive mentions is how the Switch might be used to simulate virtual reality, augmented reality, or even mixed-reality gaming and entertainment.
The patent mentions a "HMD accessory" that would dock the Nintendo Switch's 6.2-inch 720p tablet to simulate virtual reality experiences. The HMD has wide-viewing angle lenses to magnify images, thus creating VR immersion. As the Switch has accelerometers to "calculate the movement/and or attitude of the HMD accessory," the Switch's VR experience would afford head-tracking capabilities. The patent notes that the Switch's detachable JoyPad controllers could then be used as inputs to interact with said images/experiences, as well as the JoyPad Pro controller.
Oculus co-founder and CEO Brendan Iribe has just stepped down from the VR giant, taking a PC-focused VR role within Facebook - and now the flip flop wearing Palmer Luckey will have a new role revealed soon, reports UploadVR.
An Oculus spokesperson told UploadVR: "Palmer is still at Oculus and we'll have more to share on his new role soon". Luckey's position within Oculus took a hit when the millionaire VR wonder boy threw $10K towards an anti-Hillary Clinton group. He was forced to issue an apology, where he said: "I am deeply sorry that my actions are negatively impacting the perception of Oculus and its partners".
It'll be interesting to see what Palmer does within Oculus and what his "new role" turns out to be... if it were me, I'd just collect that sweet VR cash each week and do whatever the hell I wanted at the company. Test out all the prototype hardware, play all the unreleased games and just lounge around like a boss. But, I'm sure we're going to hear all about it very soon in an official capacity.