Virtual & Augmented Reality News - Page 129
PAX Australia 2013 - I have been waiting since Oculus first reached Kickstarter to try out their Rift VR headset, and today my day came. We first went to another booth and tried out the 720p Developer Kit version, which we'll have a video uploaded shortly on.
The first story I wanted to write from PAX AU was about Oculus. We had a 2:30PM meeting but turned up 30 minutes early by mistake, but the Oculus guys were happy to accommodate us. We were sitting there, in one of the smallest booths at PAX AU and while it's small, it had heart and soul, and most of all: passion. We were introduced to Joseph Chen, who is head of Product at Oculus, who mentioned that Nate (the Vice President of Product at Oculus VR) would be on-hand soon.
We were been greeted with the Full HD 1920x1080 version of the Oculus Rift, which is different to the HD 1280x720 version of Rift which is found in the form of the Kickstarter backed Developer Kits. These devices are much higher resolution, but as we were told, are more like 'alpha' units.
I'll be attending PAX AU on Friday, where I'll finally get some hands-on (or is that heads- and soul-on) with Oculus' Rift VR headset. I'll be using the Full HD version, which I'm quite excited about.
But, for now, the company have said that they're going to be releasing Rift to consumers at $300. Most people will look at that and think it's expensive, but consider the price of a Full HD 27-inch monitor, which is around the same price, and it doesn't seem so bad. Moving onto multi-monitor setups, which are even more expensive, it makes Oculus' Rift look like a much better alternative.
During an interview with Edge Online, Oculus' CEO, Brandon Iribe noted how he hopes it would influence how we play games in a better way than next-gen consoles. He talked about the way that Rift will reach the market, acknowledging that "the lower the price point, the wider the audience." It's true, but getting it cheaper than $300 will be hard.
I've expressed my thoughts on next-gen games countless times, with my latest piece here. I truly believe Oculus Rift is the future of gaming, and so do the Game Critics Awards, who chose Oculus Rift as the Best Hardware/Peripheral of E3 2013.
This means that the Oculus Rift beat out both the next-gen consoles, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. This speaks volumes about the next-generation of games, with the consoles yet another evolution and not a complete revolution which is what we need. Oculus Rift turns the entire industry upside down, offering the game in virtual reality.
I'm glad that Oculus Rift took the award home, they obviously deserved it. Well done, Oculus VR!
E3 2013 - Oculus VR is kicking off their E3 experience with a major upgrade to the Oculus Rift, which now is able to display the virtual-reality world in full 1080p glory. The company has upgraded the virtual-reality headset not by creating a custom display but switching out the original non-HD display developer units received to an off-the-shelf 1080p HD display used in cell phones.
Early reports are stating that the new display makes a huge difference and the immersive world created actually feels like you're really there. The 1080p screen is actually split in half and each eye sees a 960x1080 portrait display.
Word is that the company was worried about how the switch from landscape to portrait mode might affect games but he said that there have been no issues reported. Additionally, the have not noticed any issues in with the existing games created by the 10,000 developers who now have Oculus Rift development kits.
The co-founder and developer of Oculus VR, Andrew Scott Reisse, has been killed in a police chase in California. Reisse was not part of the police chase, but was unfortunately hit by a car at a crosswalk when police stopped to investigate suspicious activity a couple of blocks away, which lead to his death.
After the police pulled three suspects over, including 21-year-old Victor Sanchez, who fired at police and then fled in a white Dodge Charger. Their car hit several other cars and went through multiple red lights, with one of the red lights being where Reisse was unfortunately crossing, and he was hit. All of the suspects were eventually apprehended and are currently in police custody with an investigation ongoing.
With each passing day, Oculus' Rift VR headset is closer to being mine - but in the meantime, I'm continuing to grow the foam at my mouth for the headset. Now there's some interesting new developments, where Virtuix have posted some videos of their Omni treadmill working with Oculus' Rift VR headset.
This means you can walk, and run on the treadmill, while looking through the Oculus Rift. It's quite incredible, and something that I think, if were priced right, could really take off.
GDC 2013 - Trace is on the floor for us at the Game Developers Conference 2013 in San Francisco and his first stop for the show was a visit to the Oculus Rift booth. Wouldn't you want to go there first, too?
We got a short video (embedded above) taking a quick look at a developer kit of the increasingly popular virtual reality headset for gaming. We also see in the video someone kitted up wearing a Rift developer version headset and playing Unreal Engine 3 based Hawken.
I wish this were me doing the video, but I'll continue to dream for now. The team at Oculus have received their first Rift off the production line, and have done a nice unboxing video for the world.
They've also taken the time to announce through the Oculus blog that developer kits will begin shipping to the earliest Kickstarter backers by March 29. Once the dev kit ships to the backer, they'll receive an e-mail confirmation so that they can track their Rift as it is shipping to their door. Oculus expect to deliver between 1000-1500 units per week until they've fulfilled all of their orders.
The Oculus Rift developer kit comes with a plethora of goodies, including:
- 1x Rift Development Kit + Control Box (6ft cable)
- 1x Hard-Shell Case
- 1x 3ft Mini USB Cable
- 1x 3ft DVI Cable
- 1x 3ft HDMI Cable
- 1x 6ft HDMI Cable
- 1x HDMI / DVI Adapter
- 3x Pairs of Lens Cups (Focal Adjustment)
- 1x Power Cord with Adapter
- 3x International Plug Adapters
It's great to see Oculus taking care of international users, including 3 international plug adapters. It's these little things that show they're listening to users, and helping out in anyway they can to make developing on the Rift as easy as possible.
Valve have quite the announcement today, telling the world that Team Fortress 2 will get a new mode this week - "VR Mode" for Oculus Rift, the superstar VR headset. This means that people who own the development kit of Oculus' VR headset can play Team Fortress in virtual reality.
Engadget have an interview with Joe Ludwig, one of the engineers in Valve working with Team Fortress 2's VR Mode. The interview can be seen here. The good news doesn't stop there! What good is a new mode if we don't have a new exclusive had in the game? The Oculus Rift development kit is now a wearable item within the game! Valve has been even more generous, donating Rift hats to the Oculus developer community - so if you backed the Kickstarter campaign at any level at all, or pre-ordered one of the Rift developer kits from Oculus' website before April 1, 2013, you'll receive a code to redeem your own TF2 Oculus dev kit hat.
Now the big question - how long until we see Rift support added to other games? In Engadget's interview with Joe Ludwig, he says that TF2's VR Mode is a big test, to see how the community accepts it. Obviously Oculus' Rift headset won't be available to the consumer market until later in the year, so hopefully we see some Steam Box support, and maybe some Half-Life 3 launch at E3 with Rift support? Or am I asking too much ther
If there's one bit of technology kit I'm the most excited for, it would be a huge tie between Google Glass, and Oculus' Rift VR headset. News is leaking out now that head of DICE's Frostbite creative team, Frank Vitz, is eager to get his hands on Oculus Rift, and test it out on the powerful graphics engine.
All of this started when an MTBS3D (Meant to be Seen) forum member found an intern job posting by EA's DICE, which was looking for someone to work on next-generation VR technology. The job posting specifically talked about investigating and building support into the Frostbite engine for the Oculus Rift headset. MTBS3D president, Neil Schneider, e-mailed Vitz as he thought he might have something to do with the job posting.