PS VR vs PC VR, And Why It All Depends On Sony

The bloom has slowly been coming off VR’s rose on PC, as expensive hardware, floor space requirements, image quality issues, cabling woes, the delay to Oculus Touch controllers and too many underwhelming, bite-size launch titles transformed this from beautiful dream to compromised reality. The show’s not over, of course: this is but generation one, from both a software and hardware perspective, but it needs a new fire lit under it.

Meanwhile, on PlayStation, the excitement is on the rise rather than the wane.

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Intel’s New Uber CPU And The Future Of PC Gaming

Once upon a time, the launch of a new Intel uber CPU was unambiguously exciting. You’d have the raw appeal of the chip itself, capable of new heights of computational prowess. But you also got a glimpse of the near future for more mainstream CPUs. These days? Not so much. So what to make of the shiny new Intel Core i7-6950X and its 10 mighty cores? Is it remotely relevant to gaming? While we’re on the subject, are CPUs generally terribly relevant to gaming, now? And what might recent announcements regards high-performance respins of the Xbox One and PS4 consoles tell us about all this?

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Ding Dongle! Xbox Controller Finally Adding Bluetooth

Oh aye, video game announcements are dandy with their noises and colours and all that, but what will you play them on? Hardware. So while it’s not the flashest of E3 news, it’s still worth mentioning that Microsoft have announced an updated Xbox One wireless controller. The important bit here is that it’ll come with Bluetooth support which means an end – FINALLY – to Microsoft charging ridiculous prices for dongles to use wireless Xbontrollers on PC. Twenty flipping quid they’ve charged!

Oh, and MS are starting an online shop letting folks customise Xbone controllers with all sorts of garish colour combinations – like some phones, sneakers etc. offer.

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AMD’s New $200/£175 VR-Friendly Gaming Graphics

It’s not quite the full disclosure I’ve been hoping for, but AMD semi-announced its new AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card at the Computex trade show, t’other day. Yep, it’s that new Polaris graphics tech we’ve mentioned previously and as predicted the new board isn’t a mega money irrelevance, like Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080. It’s affordable and, among other things, claims to deliver 3D rendering performance for virtually reality headsets that’s comparable to $500 GPUs. VR for the masses, in other words. Sounds promising, but also strangely familiar… Read the rest of this entry »

Zippy Wizard: Dota 2 Beta Adds Vulkan Support

This doesn't illustrate anything in particular. I didn't want to use any of our older Dota 2 screens so I spectated a random match. Look at all those wizards.

Vulkan is the new big exciting Thing That Might Make Your Games Run Faster Without You Having To Buy A New Graphics Card Or Anything, Jeremy recently explained in slightly more technical detail, and now Dota 2 [official site] supports the new graphics API too. In beta. And it might not make a difference for you. Or may be worse. If you want to be on the bleeding edge of technology (a phrase which always makes me think of eXistenZ and meatcomputers), you can now download and try Dota 2’s Vulkan beta.

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Oculus Rift Update Prevents Playing Rift Games on Vive

Last month, Alice reported on a hack that could let HTC Vive users sneak into the Oculus Rift party and play some of their exclusive games including Lucky’s Tale and Oculus Dreamdeck. But last week Oculus rolled out a new update with “platform integrity checks” that had supposedly ended Vive’s party crashing ways — until this weekend when the developer of Revive responded with an update of their own focused on bypassing that DRM.

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My Driving Sim Story, Part 1: Firing Up The Playseat

What was I expecting when I set out on this driving-sim adventure? I’m not sure, but it wasn’t this. If the logistical complexities of doing driving sims properly caught me out a little, the initial experience is completely off the map. But I’m finally up and running thanks to the arrival of a Playseat seatpod thingie and I’ve had something akin to my own Matrix moment… Read the rest of this entry »