Keen on trying VR, but put off by the price? Newegg has your back with a special offer.
PC-powered virtual reality, while the definitive way to experience VR, is quite expensive. An HTC Vive costs $800, and an Oculus Rift will run you $599--and those are just the headsets. That price doesn't count the VR-ready PC you need to experience the new frontier. But Newegg's new promotion gives you a free GIGABYTE Radeon RX 480 GPU with the purchase of an HTC Vive.
AMD's Radeon RX 480 is two video cards above the Vive's minimum Radeon R9 290 requirement, but it's worth mentioning the free GIGABYTE RX 480 is a 4GB model and not the more expensive variant with 8GB of VRAM. Still, though, it's a pretty sweet deal for anyone who's on the fence about VR adoption, and the free GIGABYTE RX 480 is valued at $185 MSRP.
NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference is always a massive technology overload, something I love more and more every year - but at GTC 2017, the company will be awarding $30,000 in cash and prizes for the winners of its VR Content Showcase.
NVIDIA's upcoming VR Content Showcase will see submissions of VR content that isn't gaming, and either has plans to - or already uses NVIDIA GPU technology, including GameWorks, DesignWorks, or VRWorks. Submissions will be accepted for another week, ending on March 15.
There will be 10 teams participating in NVIDIA's VR Content Showcase, with each developer receiving space on the show floor to show off their VR content at GTC 2017 - not only that, but they will need to make a presentation in front of a set of judges, for the consideration to win the prizes on offer.
GDC 2017 -Acer is one of the many OEMS who partnered with Microsoft to make cheap and accessible VR/AR headsets, and now the company has unveiled the fruits of its labor.
Acer's new Mixed Reality headset is now ready for developer testing, and the company has revealed the specs of the HMD:
- Two high-resolution liquid crystal displays at 1440 x 1440
- Display refresh rate up to 90 Hz (native)
- Built-in audio out and microphone support through 3.5mm jack
- Single cable with HDMI 2.0 (display) and USB 3.0 (data) for connectivity
"We are pleased to be working with Microsoft to deliver these first-ever Windows Mixed Reality development kits, to help developers realize the potential of the Windows Mixed Reality platform, and to further enrich the experience when Acer's Windows Mixed Reality headsets for consumers and commercial customers ship later this year," an Acer spokesperson told us.
MWC 2017 - Samsung has announced the next generation of their VR headset powered by Oculus.
The new Gear VR comes with a Controller (yes, capital "C"), similar to the one that is used in Google's Daydream. The company stated that the Gear VR with Controller expands Samsung's virtual reality ecosystem and makes it easier for consumers to enjoy Gear VR experiences.
The Controller has a touchpad and a number of buttons (trigger, home key, back key, volume key) allowing the user to "point, drag and drop, tilt, shoot, among other actions, while the Trigger allows for enhanced gaming experiences."
Valve's Doug Lombardi today announced that LG has partnered with the Vive-maker to craft a next-gen virtual reality headset.
LG is aiming to make quite a splash with its first-ever VR HMD. The VR HMD is "designed to deliver high fidelity, next generation VR experience," and a prototype will be showcased and demoed at GDC 2017. LG has partnered with Valve and the new headset will leverage the company's established Steam VR platform.
Technically this isn't the first VR device LG has made: the company rolled out the LG VR 360, a mobile-powered entry-level virtual reality headset, but this new prototype will be a dedicated head-mounted display versus a slot-in style device.
"During the show, LG will be meeting with developers to collect feedback and impressions as part of its effort to define the first commercial units. Pricing, launch dates, and territories will be announced at a later date," Lombardi revealed.
The court battle between ZeniMax and Oculus saw Oculus handing over a swift $500 million when the jury found Oculus had violated a NDA, and illegally used code from ZeniMax.
Well, this could just be the start of a legal battle that is much bigger - as ZeniMax has asked the court to block Oculus from using the stolen code. If this happens, it could stop the sales of a massive chunk of games that use the technology. Oculus is of course appealing the case, saying that the prior ruling was "legally flawed and factually unwarranted".
If the judge grants the injunction, Oculus would be forced to write new code for their SDK - replacing the stolen code it is still using from ZeniMax. This would have large effects across the market, as it would hurt the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR products, both of which use the ZeniMax source code.
Qualcomm announced its Snapdragon 835 VRDK program alongside the news that it had teamed with Leap Motion, a company that has been on the edge of hand tracking technology.
The partnership between Qualcomm and Leap Motion is an interesting one, that could reshape the control methods used in VR: as the companies are demonstrating Qualcomm's own positional tracking technology, with Leap Motion's hand tracking tech. This partnership could lead to "natural human computer interaction" for standalone Snapdragon 835-powered VR headsets, and as Qualcomm puts it: "sets a new standard for mobile VR content development".
Tim Leland, VP of Product Management with Qualcomm, said: "As we deliver the new Snapdragon mobile platform for greater immersion with untethered virtual reality HMDs, natural user interfaces like hand movements will help consumers more intuitively interact with VR content, therefore we're delighted to be working closely with a VR technology leader like Leap Motion. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 was designed to combine six degrees of positional tracking, high VR frame rates, immersive audio and enhanced 3D graphics with real-time rendering in a compact, stand-alone headset for the ultimate VR experience".
Samsung will be unveiling something different at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain next week - from their in-house tech incubator C-Lab.
We should expect four devices shown off with Relúmĭno, Monitorless, VuildUs, and traVRer. These four different technologies are all intriguing, a nice direction for Samsung to see what could stick around in a few years.
Relúmĭno - A 'Smart Visual Aid'
Samsung's strangely named Relúmĭno is a "smart visual aid" for the Gear VR that will benefit the visually impaired so that they could read and watch TV with "new levels of clarity".
This is what excites me the most, is Samsung's tease of Monitorless - a pair of "sunglasses" that are capable of VR and VR tech. They would connect to your smartphone or PC, letting you use your products in AR or VR - impressive.
According to a well-known leaker Roland Quandt, Samsung's next Gear VR headset could come with a controller, similar to the one that is used in Google's Daydream.
It is possible that Samsung will unveil the new Gear VR next month because it is apparently designed to work with the Galaxy S8 and S8+.
The design of the headset looks similar to the one of the current-generation Gear VR, but it does come with certain adjustments and improvements.
Microsoft first kicked off its intruiging HoloLens product two years ago now, as Windows 10 was being pushed onto PCs, and while developers are using the first-gen HoloLens it looks like Microsoft might be skipping HoloLens 2 in favor of the third generation headset.
The news is coming from Microsoft insider Paul Thurrott, who sources said that Microsoft is skipping the second-gen HoloLens headset for the "third generation" that Microsoft had been planning at the same time. It looks like Microsoft might have been priming a true leap in AR headsets in the background, and is now ready to compete with Apple's purported mixed reality (MR) headset that will arrive with the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X smartphones in June.
A company spokesperson said: "Mixed reality is the future of computing, and Microsoft HoloLens is the future and present of mixed reality. Our commitment requires no roadmap". This new HoloLens 3 headset would reportedly arrive in 2019.