Posts Tagged ‘Hardware’

Oculus Rift Guide: Everything You Need To Know Before You Consider Buying One

The Oculus Rift is here. Not on a showfloor for a brief demonstration, but in our homes, where I’ve been able to play with it for the past week. I’ve tried official games, apps and movies, and I’ve experimented with some of the unofficial software available, and I’m ready to answer questions. Want to know how easy it to use, whether it’ll make you vom, and what the games are like? Read on.

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My Main Reservation About VR

RPS has sealed itself inside a chocolate egg for the duration of the UK’s long holiday weekend, to emerge only when the reign of Mr Hops The Doom Rabbit has run its dread course. While we slumber, enjoy these fine words previously published as part of our Supporter program. More to come.

I am a big VR believer, no question about it: I’m in for the long haul myself. But I don’t think it’s going to become anything like mainstream until it’s very, very easy, and right now it’s anything but. The possible exception to that is the PlayStation VR, which I haven’t used yet but benefits from a fixed hardware spec and lower ambitions, but in the case of the Vive and the two models of Oculus Rift I’ve used so far, the reality is a nightmare of cables and turning things on.

They make your workspace unavoidably look messy, but worse still it’s never a simple matter of sticking a headset on and getting going. There’s all this tiny stuff to be done first: turn on each controller, plugin the motion sensors, load up the SteamVR application, clear the floor…
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Vulkan API: It’s Gaming, Jim, But Not As We Know It

One API to rule them all. Wrong fantasy franchise, perhaps, but that’s the idea behind Vulkan, the snazzy open-source successor to OpenGL, alternative to Microsoft’s DirectX and something that might shake up gaming on everything from PCs to phones. But what’s an API? And why should you care? We’ll come to that. For now, if Vulkan is everything it’s cracked up to be, it’ll make games run faster and look better on your existing PC. It might make that SteamOS thing a goer, too. Anyway, version 1.0 is out, so the chattering weberati will be casually trading Vulkan references to prove their PC gaming prowess. Time to bone up. Plus I’ve just sat through a five-hour keynote stream on Vulkan from GDC 2016. So humour me. This stuff is actually quite interesting.

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HTC Vive Guide: Space, Comfort, Image Quality & More

You’ve seen and read a bunch about the Valve & HTC Vive being demonstrated on a show floor or in some cavernous conference room; you might even have been able to try it for yourself in such a space. What’s been more of an unknown is how the much-anticipated ‘room-scale VR’ hardware holds up when used in a more average-sized house, and for long periods rather than just the length of a demo. I’ve had one in my small terraced home in Brighton for just short of a week, and I have a great many things to tell you about it. Specifically, things about space, comfort, image quality, performance and cables. What that all boils down is the essential question of whether this is a device I’m going to use a lot, or just a little. Or: is the VR revolution here yet?

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Warning: Windows 10 May Auto-Install On Your PC

Email subject line: “Windows 10.” From my father. ‘Should I upgrade?’ he wanted to know, a question surely posed by a hundred thousand parents to a hundred thousand adult offspring across the land. I didn’t know what to tell him. I like Windows 10 well enough; I even think it’s the best operating Microsoft have ever made. There’s nothing about it I could say anyone on Windows 7 really needs, however, and when it’s a case of someone with only rudimentary technical skills running the OS upgrade gauntlet, I wouldn’t say it’s worth the risk.

Before too long, though, the decision may be taken out of his and my hands – I may end up fielding the post-disaster support phone call regardless, as it seems Microsoft are stepping up their attempts to waft Windows 10 on as many PCs as possible. Even to the extent that the OS is seemingly now automatically installing itself.

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Asus PG348Q: Second Coming Of The Monitor Messiah?

OK, this is a little embarrassing. Last July I hailed, albeit with the usual journalistic qualifications, the Asus MG279Q as the Messiah of Monitors. Now I’m doing it again. And it’s another ruddy Asus monitor. But there’s nothing to be done. I cannot unsee what has been seen. And what I’ve seen is the new Asus RoG Swift PG348Q in all its 34-inch, curved-screen, IPS-panel, G-Synced and 100Hz glory. Nurse!

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Can A Real-World Car Lover Truly Dig Driving Games?

I like games. I like driving. But driving games? Not so much. Not since I could actually drive, at least. But in the name of natural science and fortnightly deadlines, I’m having another crack at it. As is my remit, I’m going heavy with the hardware. With the Laird Gaming Dungeon™ now operational, a top-notch driving-sim setup should provide for empirical exposition. Before that, however, please allow me to bother you with a broader theory of games that explains why driving sims have failed to fire my pleasure neurons in adulthood…

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