Posts Tagged ‘Oculus Rift’

Report: Oculus to announce $200 standalone VR headset this year

VR in Murder She Wrote

Facebook is planning to unveil a $200 (£150-odd) wireless Oculus VR headset later this year that you can use without connecting to either a PC or a phone, according to a Bloomberg report.

The new headset, codename “Pacific”, will be a fully standalone product. So you’ll be able to take it out of the box, strap it on your head, and start playing games and watching videos. That means it will have some kind of built-in display, which would be a first in the space.

Read the rest of this entry »

Oculus Rift + Touch bundle price cut £200 in sale

Get gogged on.

Folks who liked the look of diving into cyberspace but were put off by the price: is £399/$399 low enough for you to bite? Oculus are taking their tops off for the summer – the top £200/$100 of the price of Rift cybergoggles bundled with Touch motion controllers, that is. Sorry. That’s… that’s really bad. I shouldn’t have done that. I do have a desire to write the awful ‘jokes’ in marketing copy but I shouldn’t make you suffer for it. The point is: for the next six weeks, £399 gets you goggs and matching wagglers. Low enough for you, missus? Read the rest of this entry »

ZeniMax’s legal war over Oculus Rift targets Gear VR

ZeniMax, the owners of studios including Bethesda and id Software, have sent their lawyers after Samsung over the Gear VR phone cybergoggles. Following their $500 million (partial) legal victory against Rift makers Oculus, where a jury agreed that Oculus folks had broken a non-disclosure agreement with ZeniMax and infringed upon their copyright, ZeniMax are trying to halt the Rift and going after related people and businesses. Seeing as Gear VR was made in collaboration with Oculus — marketing says it’s “Powered by Oculus” — ZeniMax think Samsung are using trade ZeniMax trade secrets, and so Samsung should pay them damages and royalties. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Epic’s VR shooter Robo Recall

Invent an exciting new games technology. Imagine all the possibilities. New worlds, new forms of interaction, new creativity mediums, maybe even new ways of humans interacting with each other.

Let’s be honest. It’s going to end up being all about guns, isn’t it?

And so it is that Unreal/Gears of War studio Epic’s Oculus Rift-exclusive first-person shooter Robo Recall [official site] joins Serious Sam VR and SUPERHOT VR in the so-far short roster of virtual reality titles I can see myself revisiting relatively often. What these have in common is, of course, face-shooting. I’m not proud, but I did have a bloody good time.
Read the rest of this entry »

ZeniMax seek injunction shutting down Oculus SDK

Following a partial victory (and partial defeat) in their legal battle with Oculus over cybergoggles, ZeniMax are trying to shut down a load of Oculus’s software. ZeniMax are owed $500 million in total over Oculus breaking an non-disclosure agreement which gave them insight into John Carmack and ZeniMax’s work on VR, and are now seeking an injunction to shut down anything that benefitted from that knowledge. Basically, they want Oculus to stop using anything built upon that knowledge, stopping the Rift SDK and other software. That’s a big ask which could have huge consequences for Oculus, if approved. Read the rest of this entry »

Bitter Rift: Oculus has to pay $500 million to ZeniMax over VR headset, rules court

A US court has ruled that Oculus must pay $500 million to software developers ZeniMax over the VR headset they’ve developed. The jury ruled that Palmer Luckey, who co-founded Oculus, failed to abide by a non-disclosure agreement he had signed while working with ZeniMax and id Software. However, the jury also found that neither Oculus nor its founders stole trade secrets. This is all part of a very messy saga that’s been thundering on since 2014 and has seen appearances in court not only of Luckey but also John Carmack and Mark Zuckerberg.
Read the rest of this entry »

Oculus and Facebook facing ZeniMax in trial

The legal battle between Oculus Rift owners Facebook and Bethesda parent company ZeniMax, who allege that the cybergoggles are partially built on work ZeniMax own, has reached a jury trial. Turns out, real courtroom battles are nowhere near as fun as Judge Judy or Ally McBeal would have you believe. Still, this week sees folks including Facelord Mark Zuckerberg take the stand, and some of the testimony is interesting or, at least, bantermonious. For one thing, Facebook think VR needs another 5 or 10 years to get where they want it (them ruling the cyberworld?). Read the rest of this entry »

Dean Hall on VR development: “There’s no money in it”

Dean “Rocket” Hall, the force behind DayZ and more recently his own studio, RocketWerkz, has made some fairly strong comments about the perils of VR development, the hostility of the tech’s community, and his belief that profitability is extremely unrealistic for games developed for the host of new goggles. His own studio, he says, is unlikely to develop for VR again. Read the rest of this entry »

Oculus Touch Review: The Games

I’ve already yammered about the design and capabilities of the Oculus Touch motion controller hardware itself, and now it’s time to talk software. Around 50 Touch-enabled VR games and apps launched this week – more than I can feasibly hope to look at, but I’ve been able to finger-gun and swipe and prod in enough of ’em to give you a clear sense of what this whole experience is like right now for games and software, and whether the Touch is generally a goer or not.

Also: SUPERHOT.
Read the rest of this entry »

Oculus Touch is a superior motion controller to the Vive’s

I’ve been playing with them there Oculus Touch controllers for the last few days – a pair of wireless, motion-tracking handheld devices that, in theory, bring the Oculus Rift more in line with the HTC Vive and its wavy, donut-ended pointers. Turns out they’re quite a bit better. Read the rest of this entry »

Skreleton’s Hotdog Kitchen: Exactly What It Sounds Like

Shooting things in virtual reality with the HTC Vive controllers is probably the best feeling I’ve ever had in a video game. I don’t care how nonsensical the experience is, I just want to shoot stuff. Enter Skreleton’s Hotdog Kitchen [official site] by Scott McBee, where you too can take the role of a skeleton shooting hot dogs into the mouths of giant floating heads with a crossbow. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Eagle Flight

I find myself dreaming of world without humans. Where we have fought our wars, done our damage and in the process been eradicated entirely. No more than we deserve. Eagle Flight [official site], a VR birdflight simulator from Ubisoft, offers an idealised glimpse of that world – where only animals occupy our cities, running and flying free. It called to me today.
Read the rest of this entry »

Week in Tech: Wearable VR, Photo-Realistic Fleeces And So Much More

With the profound logistical complexities of orchestrating the arrival of two 3D cards in the same place at roughly the same time apparently beyond me, my planned graphics-off between the latest budget video boards has been punted two weeks hence (hopefully, anyway). So, it’s time for another installment of the somewhat tenuously-titled Week in Tech. This week’s muses include a preposterous looking VR backpack PC from Zotac, an even more preposterous gaming laptop from Asus and the PC’s journey towards rendering photo-realistic graphics in games. Read the rest of this entry »

The Oculus Touch Is Coming Out In December For $199

Oculus Touch, the handheld VR controllers that let you throw balls and knives at things that don’t exist, will come out on December 6. The whole kit costs $199 and includes two sensors needed to detect the controllers. Of course, if you want to play in a bigger space you might need another sensor – and that’s another $79. Not to mention that you will then be dragging wires all over your living room as if you’re setting traps for rabbits. This was all announced at the Oculus Connect 3 conference. But how many games will there be? And what will they be? Well, come with me and I’ll tell you.

Read the rest of this entry »

Chernobyl VR Project Now On Vive Too, Updates Videos

Alec wasn’t entirely happy when we duct-taped him to a chair, bolted his Rift goggs to his skull and jacked him into a tour of Chernobyl and Pripyat with Chernobyl VR Project [official site]. He liked seeing inside that irradiated corner of Ukraine – known to Those Young People as the setting for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games – but technically it’s messy. It’s split between photogrammetry-scanned environments and plain old 360-degree video, see, coming out a bit disjointed. Well! Today brings the release of a Vive edition, along with an update adding more content and improving those videos.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Too Good To Be True? A 4K VR Headset That Supports SteamVR For $300

Oh, virtual reality. So much promise, so many drawbacks. Stick your hand into the Tombola Of VR Woes and see what you grab. Headaches and nauseau? High system requirements? Too many cables? Screen door effect? Apparent low resolutions? Gimmicky games? Problematic prices? Your face in a box? I could go on, but I won’t because, er, that is most of them. Both Oculus Rift and the Vive offer a real jolly good time for initial forays into lifesize 3D wonderlands, but come up short when it comes to longer term usage, for reasons we’ve opined about at length here and here. But those constitute just the first consumer generation of hardware.

The tech will be refined over time (unless the market totally loses faith in the concept), but whether that is achieved by Oculus, Valve/HTC or someone else entirely is very much up for grabs still. In the interim, here’s Chinese outfit Pimax, who are selling what they label as the first 4K VR headset for PC, which works with SteamVR. It’s also $350 (or $300 without headphones), compared to the Rift’s $599 and Vive’s $799. Two questions, then. 1) Can it really solve the image quality problem? 2) Can it really do what it needs to at half the price of the big boys of VR? I’ve been testing the Pimax for the last few days, and here’s what I think.

Read the rest of this entry »

Get Gogged: Oculus Rift Hits European Retail Today

Mate, no wonder cybergoggles didn’t bring an overnight revolution: they weren’t in the shops here. Digital distribution is great for games but you can’t download goggles, can you? Think it through, yeah? No one’s going to pay a few hundred quid for an e-mail with a small picture of a black plastic box. What kind of mug do they take us for?

At long last, Oculus Rift is now officially in Europe as something you can touch with your face. The physical edition is now in shops in boxes, and a fair few places are hosting demos so you can try jacking your face in.

Read the rest of this entry »

Scared Sick: Can Oculus Create Discomfort And Horror?

My arms are aching, I’m anxious and I want to be standing on solid ground again. I’m just about as uncomfortable as I can remember being while playing a game, and I think that’s a good thing.

At Gamescom, I played two games using the Oculus Touch that impressed me. One was Wilson’s Heart, a horror game that reminded me of Frictional’s work, and the other was a climbing game. It wasn’t the horror game that caused my anxiety to spike, it was The Climb. After playing, I spoke to Jason Rubin, formerly of Naughty Dog and now head of Oculus’ “first-party initiatives”. He’s spent the last two years figuring out what VR gaming is capable of, and working with game studios to identify projects that might work and problems that might arise. We talked about what is possible now and what the future might hold.

Read the rest of this entry »

Galaxy Golf Now Sinking Spaceputts In Virtual Reality

Cybergoggleeers, please play Galaxy Golf [official site] and allow me to live vicariously through you. It looks like Super Mario Galaxy crazy golf and I’m sorry I can’t find out for myself. Yes, I know I’m the kind of dreadful VR sceptic who calls this latest fad a “fad”. That I’m always saying we’re years away from the future others will tell you is already here. That I insist it’s not even proper VR unless if you die in the game, you die in real life. But I still want to blast balls between dinky planetoids.

Read the rest of this entry »

ZeniMax Vs. Oculus: Palmer Luckey Didn’t Develop Rift

I am sorry to bring you an update on ZeniMax’s lawsuit against Oculus, a dispute over how much ZeniMax and then-id Software technowizard John Carmack contributed to the Rift’s development. I’m sorry because courtroom drama is so dry. I’d much rather tell you about how Jessica Fletcher, Phryne Fisher, or equivalent amateur sleuth uncovered evidence, how they charmed their way into a high-society dinner, pumped a suspect for details with grace, then cracked their safe with a bobby pin.

No, instead all I can tell you is ZeniMax lawyers claim that the Rift only became the technological wonder we know today thanks to work by Carmack and other ZeniMax employees, not solely by Oculus founder Palmer Luckey. Heck, they say Luckey “lacked the training, expertise, resources or know-how to create commercially viable VR technology, his computer programming skills were rudimentary, and he relied on ZeniMax’s computer program code and games to demonstrate the prototype Rift.” Oof.

Read the rest of this entry »