Posts Tagged ‘virtual reality’

Is Your Feeble PC Ready For VR?

This is not virtual. This is reality. The two big beasts of the coming VR revolution are lumbering into view. It’s actually happening. By the end of April both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive VR headsets will be on sale. Things you can actually buy. Yes, yes, virtual reality has had several false starts. But this time, you can sense it. This time, it’s different. Well, probably. Oh, OK, nobody knows how big an impact VR is going to have in the next few years. But what I can do is help you to understand how much PC power you’re probably going need to get the most out of the new headsets.

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Handbuilt: Unreal Engine Editor Going VR

Making games is easy, everyone knows. Developers write a letter to their computer saying what they want and draw it a few pictures, then the computer does all the hard work. But soon, all people will have to do is wave their arms about!

Virtual reality is coming to the Unreal Engine 4 editor, letting folks step inside their worlds as they build them with motion controllers. It all looks very The Future (or The Future as seen in ’90s sci-fi movies). Observe:

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HTC Vive Vs. Oculus Rift: How Do The VR Headsets Compare?

Back in the day, I’d often get asked whether PlayStation or Xbox was best. Helpless efforts to argue “well, actually, PC is…” aside, I’d defuse their concerns about which had the superior graphics by naming which games you would or wouldn’t get on each. It’s not going to be any different for VR.

But for now, when numbers are really all we have, I’m going to list some numbers at you below. It’s too early to say for sure which headset you should buy if you’re planning on buying one at all, but this should help you to determine whether one virtual reality headset or the other might have better image quality or motion tracking.

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Alakazam! Desert Bus VR Sequel Teased

Desert Bus has found remarkable fame for an unreleased game. Created for funny wizards Penn & Teller’s scrapped Sega CD minigame ‘em up Smoke and Mirrors, Desert Bus has players drive a bus from Tuscon to Las Vegas in real time. That takes about eight hours, during which they must correct it slightly veering to the right. The game never officially came out, but did leak and gained fame through Desert Bus for Hope. Since 2007, the annual livestreamed marathon has raised over $3 million for charity.

That’s grand, but I’m still surprised to hear that Penn Jillette is planning a virtual reality Desert Bus sequel with Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford. For charity.

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Virtual Reality Sneak ‘Em Up Budget Cuts Looks Ace

I’m not sold on virtual reality, but I am certainly interested in hiding in vents and lobbing knives at robots’ faces. That’s Budget Cuts [official site], a first-person stealth game coming to Valve and HTC’s Vive space-sensing cybergoggles. Imagine, if you can, reaching out into a virtual world with your own hands and… dunking a dead robot into a bin. That future is almost here. Observe:

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What The High Oculus Rift Price Means For PC Gaming

£530. That’s how much it cost RPS to order an Oculus Rift to one of our distributed offices in the UK*. While I didn’t pay directly as such, it’s still a blood-chilling sum to spend on what, for now, still feels more like a peripheral to use with a select few experiments than a brave new age of PC gaming. I’m not going to write about whether it’s ‘worth it’ because I don’t know and won’t until the thing is strapped to my face. But I do want to chew over what that high price – which importantly is significantly less in the US, though more still in other territories – means.

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Cyberspace: Adr1ft Begins Launch Countdown

Ha ha, I tell you, given the cost of virtual reality hardware, ho ho, it might be cheaper to actually travel into space, hee hee, than to buy cybergoggles for Adrf1t [official site]. That’s a sideways irreverent glance at current affairs right there, chums. Tell Radio 4 I’m available to host The Games News Quiz. Anyway, with Oculus Rift raring to go, news comes that the zero-gravity explore ‘em up will launch on March 28th. But hey, you won’t actually need cybergoggles to die in the wreckage of a smashed space station, as a non-Rift version is coming too.

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Luckey Apologises For Oculus Rift Price Confusion

Oculus boss Palmer Luckey has apologised for earlier comments which led many to believe the Rift VR headset would be significantly cheaper than its eventual $600/£500/€700. In a Reddit Q&A shortly after yesterday’s price announcement, Luckey acknowledged that he “handled the messaging poorly” when he claimed last September that the Rift would be “roughly in the ballpark” of $350.

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Oculus Pre-Orders Open Now, Price Is $600/£500/€700

And so the age of VR truly begins. It’s been a long time coming, but 2016 is the year we finally find out if facebox gaming will sink or swim. I’m extremely excited personally, but still doubtful that it can reach far outside an adoring techno-niche: something far more elegant is needed for that, I feel. But that’s for the future. Right now, today, the long-awaited consumer version of the Oculus Rift [official site] has gone on pre-sale. The bad news is that it’ll cost you a terrifying $600 before tax and shipping if you’re Stateside, and it gets even worse if you’re based in the UK or Europe – £500 for the former, €700 for the latter – before shipping. Maybe VR just sunk already?

Though you won’t actually have to stump that hideous sum up until the thing’s about to be posted out, which we now know will be in March.
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