Virtual & Augmented Reality News - Page 9
HTC just announced two new products in its Vive VR hardware lineup. The company is releasing a revised Vive Tracker, and it just introduced a facial expression tracking camera.
HTC's new Vive Tracker 3.0 is a significant change from the previous generation tracking pucks. The Vive Tracker 1.0 and 2.0 are virtually the same, with the only real difference being the device's tracking sensors. The Vive Tracker 3.0 is a complete redesign from the ground up.
The new tracker is smaller, lighter, and offers dramatic battery life improvements. HTC said the new Vive Tracker is 33% smaller than the previous models, which resulted in a 15% reduction in overall weight. The batteries in the Vive Tracker 3.0 provide up to 75% more runtime per charge, which gives you up to 7-hours of use per charge.
Pico Interactive recently raised $37 million in a Series B+ financing round, ensuring the company has the capital on hand to launch its third-generation 6-DoF standalone VR headset. The company plans to launch the Pico Neo 3 in the next few months.
Pico Interactive is a small VR headset maker that largely caters to the VR industry's business side. The company makes standalone VR headsets that are used in corporate training simulations and medical applications. Pico does sell to consumers in China, but it doesn't have a consumer presence outside of the country.
With Pico's newly acquired investment, the company plans to put a larger focus on its consumer market. Pico's next headset, the Neo 3, is set to launch sometime in Q2 2021, and the company wants to capture a bigger slice of the booming consumer VR market in China.
HTC Vive dropped a bit of a tease on Twitter on Thursday. The company's social media manager released a screenshot of what appears to be a closeup of a new device with a Vive logo that we've never seen before. Is HTC about to make an announcement?
The HTC Vive Twitter page posted a screenshot of what appears to be a new Vive device on Thursday with a post saying, "It's your move." The image shows a tight closeup of a dark chrome Vive logo embedded in a black textured surface.
It's impossible to tell what the object is from the picture, but that's not stopping people from taking a guess. From the comments in the Twitter thread, it appears most people are hoping for an XR2-based standalone headset that competes with the Oculus Quest 2. Some people would also like to see a low-cost VR headset to replace the original Vive and fill the gap that the soon-to-be discontinued Rift S will create. Still, there is no shortage of cynical comments from people who don't trust Vive as a consumer brand anymore.
Vertigo Games today announced that its next VR title, After The Fall, would be launching this coming summer. And while a new game from the creator of Arizona Sunshine is exciting, it's a small detail in the press release that piqued my attention. It sounds like we have some VR headsets to look forward to soon.
Vertigo Games said that After The Fall would be available in summer 2021. As you may expect from Arizona Sunshine's creators, the game is set to launch on multiple VR platforms. Vertigo said it would support PlayStation VR and PC VR. But it's the next phrase that stood out. After the Fall is also coming to "yet to be announced VR platforms" this summer.
As of right now, we have no concrete information about any unannounced VR headsets coming down the pipeline, but there have been a handful of hints in recent months. In September, a benchmark test of an HTC headset with a Snapdragon XR2 processor leaked online. And just last week, Facebook Reality Labs hinted that a Quest Pro might be in the works.
Vertigo Games, the studio that created the smash hit Arizona Sunshine, is gearing up to release its next title. After the Fall, a post-apocalyptic co-op survival shooter is coming to VR platforms this summer.
From the name, you may expect that After the Fall is a sequel to Arizona Sunshine, but that's not the case. This is a completely new game with a completely different feel. Arizona Sunshine was a solo or co-op campaign set in a modern zombie-infested world. After the Fall is a fast-paced 4-player co-op game, like Left4Dead, set in a post-apocalyptic downtown LA overrun by undead creators called snowbreed.
Vertigo Games plans to support multiple VR platforms. The game will launch on PlayStation VR, PC VR, and "as yet unannounced headsets" with full cross-platform support between different platforms.
Valve's most recent SteamVR survey results are out, and the new numbers show fantastic growth for Oculus's install base. Quest 2 is now the most used VR headset on the SteamVR platform.
Facebook released the Oculus Quest 2 headset in October 2020. Within its short five-month existence, the Quest 2 has eclipsed the install base of every other VR headset on the market, giving Oculus a commanding lead in headsets sold.
According to Valve's data, Quest 2 owners comprise 22.91% of all SteamVR users, while another 21.58% use a Rift S headset. Oculus also owns another 13.49%, with the original Rift, and Quest headsets added. All told, Oculus is responsible for 57.98% of all VR headsets used on Valve's platform.
id Software is re-releasing one of its iconic classics for a new generation of gamers to experience. But this time, it will be more immersive than ever. Doom 3 is coming to PlayStation VR at the end of the month.
Sony today revealed Doom 3: VR Edition, a PlayStation VR exclusive version of id Software's 16-year-old Doom title. The VR Edition is a remake of the entire Doom 3 game, including the two expansion packs; Resurrection of Evil and The Lost Mission.
This isn't the first time we've seen Doom 3 in VR. In January, a modded version of Doom 3 landed on the SideQuest marketplace, allowing you to play Doom 3 on the Oculus Quest. The PSVR version is an official port from the original developer, and as such, it received a bit of a graphics overhaul for the PSVR release. id improved the textures, shaders, and sound effects to take advantage of modern graphics advancements.
Last week, Andrew "Boz" Bosworth hinted that Oculus could be building a higher-end version of the Quest that would come in at a higher price but with better specifications.
Facebook has been a leader in the VR industry ever since it threw down billions of dollars to buy Oculus in 2014. Mark Zuckerberg is famously bullish on VR, indicating on multiple occasions that he believes VR is the next great computing platform. He has also repeatedly stated that he's going after the mass market, which means focusing on lowering the barrier to entry and making VR devices affordable for the masses.
When asked about the possibility of making a Quest Pro that sells at a higher price point, Bosworth said he thought the idea was "interesting" and gave a bit of a smile and a wink. While that is far from a confirmation, the idea that Facebook could be building a higher-end Quest falls in line with Mark Zuckerberg's comments during a recent Facebook earnings call about his company's current work on headset development.
The Oculus Quest could be getting a new update this month that enables the screen to run at up to 120Hz. That would mark the second time Oculus increased the refresh rate of its mobile VR device.
Oculus released the Quest 2 in October 2020, and when it hit the market, the displays in the device operated at 72Hz. At launch, the company said that 90Hz would be supported, and true to its word, the 90Hz update rolled out in time for Christmas. At the time, John Carmack gave developers are warning that they should not set their games to operate at the highest refresh rate available, as future increases were on the table.
As recently as mid-February, Andrew "Boz" Bosworth, Head of Facebook Reality Labs, gave a literal thumbs-up to a question about Oculus Quest getting 120Hz support that he received during an Instagram-based Q&A session. Facebook's Quest development roadmap reveals that the feature is scheduled to roll out later this month.
The popular Virtual Desktop app just got a surprise update today. After more than a year of refusing to allow wireless streaming of PC VR games on the Oculus Quest through Virtual Desktop, Facebook has approved the feature and enabled it on the official Oculus store.
Guy Godin's Virtual Desktop is one of the most popular VR applications. The software has been around since the earliest days of consumer VR and its had many iterations over the years. Virtual Desktop enables you to access your Windows desktop and all its features and applications in a virtual window within a virtual environment, including PC games and other applications.
When Oculus launched the Quest back in May 2019, Virtual Desktop launched on the standalone VR platform, and with it came a unique feature that Facebook was not fond of. The Quest version of Virtual Desktop would enable you to access SteamVR content and stream it wirelessly to your Quest headset, giving you a full untethered PC VR experience. Facebook allowed Virtual Desktop to remain on the Oculus Store, but it forced the developer to remove the streaming feature.