Posts Tagged ‘virtual reality’

Virtual Reality Summit: Gloves On With The Climb

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb – Miley Cyrus, 2009

One of the most promising VR experiences I had at GDC came courtesy of Crytek’s rock climbing Oculus Rift project, The Climb [official site].

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Garry’s Mod Devs Release Vive Sandbox Game Chunks

WHOOOO!

Garry’s Mod gang Facepunch Studios have released their virtual reality sandbox game Chunks [official site] onto Steam Early Access. It looks like Minecraft, obvs, and building with cubes is certainly part of its foundation, but Chunks is built to be mega-moddable so who knows what it could become? Heck, even from a blockbuilding perspective, things like using the HTC Vive controllers to wave rollercoaster tracks into existence within the world looks pretty dang swish. Have a gander:

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Apollo 11 Sim Makes A Strong Case For Longform VR

One of the many lingering questions around the first wave of consumer virtual reality is whether we can realistically expect experiences which involve more than a handful minutes spent staring slack-jawed at some rendered paradise or briefly experimenting with a motion-controlled, cartoonish physics gimmick. I’m still combing through the 60-odd titles released on the HTC Vive’s not-a-launch day, and the bulk is solidly within the either the Brief Visual Experience or Didn’t We Basically Do This On Eyetoy In 2006 boxes. That’s OK: it’s early days and everyone’s still figuring this stuff out. But in terms of what I should actually use my Vive for day-to-day in the meantime, I’m coming up a bit short. Video is the main driver for now, but clearly I’d like to be gaming too.

Apollo 11 is more in the ‘experience’ box than the ‘game’ box, but what it does offer is something to spend an evening with, rather than just a slice of an evening. It’s a signpost to a VR future which simulates fantastic voyages, not simply hands-off lollygagging at something for a heartbeat. It’s also, like almost everything else I’ve tried, an all-too-able demonstration of current VR’s limitations, but I guess I’m starting to take that for granted now.

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The First Must-Have VR App: Virtual Desktop

VR, be it Vive, be it Oculus Rift or something else, is currently primarily discussed in terms of games, but given that what we’re fundamentally talking about is a new paradigm for computer displays, that’s hardly the be all and end all of it. There may well be various applications of VR in other fields – medical, scientific, tourism, military, porn, to name but a few – but general desktop computing is something that pretty much all of us have in common.

A question which has occurred to me since almost the earliest days of this stuff has been “can I use VR goggles instead of a monitor?” Less physical space but more virtual space, and the possibility of doing Minority Report-y things with the operating system. Virtual Desktop is the first attempt at meaningfully answering that question, and it’s about as essential a VR application as there is right now – but it also demonstrates why the technology just isn’t quite there yet.

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HTC Insists Vive Deliveries On Track Despite Complaints

Lately there’s been no small amount of worry that folk who pre-ordered Valve & HTC’s future-goggles weren’t likely to get them at the predicted time – which, for the first-wave of adopters, should be any day now. With reports of payments being automatically cancelled, deliveries being delayed and express shipping add-ons defaulting back to economy, folk were getting shaky – especially as the more definite delays to Oculus Rift shipments had set something of a precedent. The future might be here, but getting it into a cardboard box and onto a lorry is another matter entirely, it seems.

HTC have now broken cover about the problems, attempting to clear things up and reassure people that they’re not looking at major delays.
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Virtual Reality Porn But…

We’ve spent a lot of time focusing on the Vive as a gaming device because we’re a gaming site, but in many discussions of virtual reality people look very knowing and say things like “well, yes but really porn will be the thing that’s important to VR”.

Mostly this makes me think about some of the more terrifying peripherals this could lead to as well as the virtual reality dissonance you would experience by looking down and seeing unfamiliar genitals.

This time, however, I have come up with my own virtual reality porn ideas. I am going to be very rich.

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My Experience Of HTC Vive VR

I need to put a huge proviso on this piece. I have readily forecast that VR will be an eventual flop for years, as I did here. My argument is, succinctly, that it will not get a broad enough userbase for major publishers to recoup the hundreds of millions they’d need to spend on triple-A games, so will remain a novelty for relatively well-off tech enthusiasts. I stand by that argument.

I am also a relatively well-off tech enthusiast. I’m excited to play with VR ideas, and see what it can do for gaming. My suspicions are: “not very much”, but I’m interested to see the process, really hoping to be surprised. Valve sent us a few HTC Vive Pres, the pre-release version of the technology, and I’ve been trying to get one to work for a while now. I now look at it with a burning hatred, having suffered for so long trying to set it up. Here’s why:

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