Tag: vr

New ‘Ready Player One’ trailer reveals more of the real-world story

The initial trailer for Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ready Player One focused on the virtual world of OASIS, and for understandable reasons: it's a visual showcase for a crucial part of the story. However, Warner Bros. wants to remind you that reality plays an important part as well. It just posted a new trailer that dives deeper into the real-world story, even as it makes a few extra nods to video game nostalgia.

As with Ernest Cline's book, the story centers on Wade Watts and his bid to win James Halliday's Easter Egg hunt, which promises both half a trillion dollars and (more importantly) control of OASIS. That, in turn, leads to an ideological battle -- Wade and fellow competitor Art3mis are racing to find all the clues before the megacorporation IOI gets them and exploits OASIS for profit. Wade is effectively drafted into a resistance movement, and his moves will have consequences in both VR and real life.

There aren't quite as many tributes to digital culture as in the first trailer, but there are a few pleasant surprises -- there's even a certain iconic Overwatch character that shows up. It's hard to say if Ready Player One will live up to the rapidly mounting hype when it premieres on March 30th. However, the trailer shows that Spielberg and crew are aware that clever references and dazzling visuals aren't enough to carry the movie.

Oh, and there's one more thing: Cline revealed in a livestream (shortly after the 27-minute mark) that he's writing a sequel to Ready Player One. He has precious few details, but he noted that Spielberg's movie helped jumpstart his work on a follow-up. Even if the movie falls flat, you'll have something to look forward to.

Source: Warner Bros. (YouTube), Ready Player One (Facebook)


Try not to puke while playing ‘Wipeout’ in VR next year

Wipeout might be one of the most ill-suited games for virtual reality, featuring high-speed races with brilliant flashing lights and neon streaks -- but it's coming to PlayStation VR anyway. Wipeout Omega Collection will get a free VR mode in early 2018, Sony announced during tonight's PlayStation Experience pre-show. The VR update includes all modes and tracks in the base game, 3D audio support, plus exclusive ships and interiors. Puke bags are not included.

Wipeout isn't the only PlayStation 4 game getting a new VR mode soon. A free VR demo for The Last Guardian is due out on December 12th, allowing players to get up close and personal with Trico.

Also announced at PlayStation Experience, Firewall Zero Hour is a team-based, multiplayer shooter heading exclusively to PSVR in 2018. It comes from First Contact Entertainment, a VR studio headed up by the former creative director of Microsoft's gaming division and Adr1ft creator Adam Orth. There are two factions in Firewall Zero Hour: attackers and defenders. Attackers attempt to bypass Firewall access points, locate a laptop and initiate a hack, while defenders are tasked with trying to stop the intrusion and protect the points.

Firewall Zero Hour allows players to use a standard Dualshock 4 gamepad or the PSVR Aim Controller (that's the one that looks like a gun).

"We want you to immediately notice a heavy emphasis on organized, tactical firefights, team communication, and realistic pacing," Orth writes on the PlayStation Blog. He continues, "The most exciting aspect of Firewall Zero Hour is that all of this takes place in VR, allowing you alone, or with your friends through PlayStation Plus (required for multiplayer), to be transported and immersed into the action in a way that's never been possible before until now, through the magic and presence of VR."


This wireless VR tech could make it easier to play with others

The next big hurdle for virtual reality is obvious to anyone who's put on a headset: Getting rid of all of those wires. We've seen cordless solutions from TPCast and Intel, but now Amimon, a company best known for developing wireless video technology, is getting into the ring. Its spin on wireless VR uses the 5GHz spectrum, instead of the 60GHz band used by competitors. That allows it to work through walls and without direct line of sight, something the 60GHz frequency range can't do. Most importantly, Amimon promises a lag-free experience. According to the company, it could even support up to 10 VR or AR headsets in the same room (either with their own computers, or a souped-up gaming server).

Amimon, which will be debuting the technology at the VRX conference in San Francisco today, says its solution has advantages over the WiGig-powered alternatives. Since it doesn't need to be in view of a receiver, you can step outside with a pair of augmented reality glasses and still be able to connect to a computer in your home. It'll also be able to work in a variety of spaces, from crowded rooms to huge open environments. The main reason companies are eyeing 60GHz/WiGig for VR is due to its low latency and massive data throughput, but Amimon claims its patented technology can do the same in the 5GHz spectrum.

Amimon's wireless VR module

As you'd expect, the company's tech is currently compatible with all of the major VR headsets: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. It can output 2K video at 90FPS for the two PC-powered headsets, as well as 1080p at 120 FPS for the PS VR. Amimon describes it as a complete solution for wireless VR -- it's able to both transmit lag-free video, as well as all the necessary sensor data.

At this point, Amimon's wireless module is still in its early stages. The company isn't discussing any release timing yet, as that will depend on future partners. Similarly, pricing is still up in the air, but it expects the first generation of wireless accessories to cost around $100.

Source: Amimon


HTC’s standalone Vive Focus launches in China for $600

While we've already taken a good look at the Vive Focus standalone VR headset with 6DoF "world-scale" tracking, HTC had yet to reveal its detailed specs nor price, but almost a month later, we finally have some answers. First of all, as of December 12th, the device will be available for pre-ordering in China starting from 3,999 yuan or about $600, with shipment commencing in January next year. The base price isn't far off from the original PC-tethered Vive which is priced at $599 before tax in the US (in China it costs 5,488 yuan which is about $830). Better yet, that price applies to a new white version which, in my opinion, is much better looking than the original "electric blue" -- that's now a limited edition priced at 4,299 yuan (about $650).

In addition to pricing and availability, HTC also shed more light on the internal specifications. We already knew about the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset deep inside the Vive Focus, and now we're also told that there's a 2,880 x 1,600 single-piece AMOLED display, which is actually sharper than the Vive's 2,160 x 1,200 made up of two AMOLED panels. While both headsets have the same 110-degree field of view, the Vive Focus' 75 Hz refresh rate is a little slower than the Vive's 90 Hz. Alas, the mechanism of the inside-out tracking module remains a mystery for now. There's also no figure on the weight yet, but as mentioned in our hands-on, it felt lighter than its tethered counterpart.

In terms of battery life, HTC claims that a single charge is good for up to three hours of continuous use or over a week on standby. When depleted, you can bring it back to life using Quick Charge 3.0 via USB-C. As for connectivity, the Vive Focus features WiFi and Bluetooth, but there's no cellular radio here. The WiFi part also supports Miracast for streaming to TVs, which worked well during the demos I saw at last month's launch event. And speaking of Bluetooth, that's for hooking up to accessories such as the bundled 3DoF controller, which runs on two AAA batteries for up to 30 hours of usage.

That's pretty much it in terms of fresh details regarding HTC's Vive Focus. As before, it's still unclear as to whether this VR headset will ever make it outside of China and go head-to-head against Oculus' Project Santa Cruz (not to be confused with the $199, 3DoF-only Oculus Go). Still, with the seeming flexibility of porting content across Daydream and Vive Wave, HTC's VR efforts in China should still be somewhat beneficial to Lenovo's upcoming Daydream Standalone device, which the rest of the world can still look forward to.

Via: Engadget Chinese

Source: HTC Vive (Chinese)


BT Sport to offer 360-degree video highlights and replays

Tottenham Hotspur star Dele Allie weaves through three defenders before whipping a cross into the feet of Harry Kane. You jump out of your seat, only to let out a groan as the linesman blows his whistle and raises a flag for offside. But was it offside? You're not so sure. If only you could get a different perspective... Enter the BT Sport app. The British broadcaster has announced today that it will soon offer 360-degree highlights and instant replays. They will be shown alongside standard replays for "a minimum of" 20 sporting events — including the UEFA Champions League, the Premier League, the FA Cup and World Title boxing — over the next six months.

The first supported fixtures will be Tottenham versus APOEL Nicosia (Champions League) on December 6th and Tottenham versus Manchester City (Premier League) on December 16th. These are big games (if you're a fan of Pochettino and his merry men, anyway) which you'll be able to watch from a variety of camera angles not available during the normal broadcast. That means you can review and debate key moments, or just marvel as Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling slowly dismantle Spurs' title-winning hopes. Similar to Google's YouTube app, all of the clips will be viewable with or without a compatible VR headset.

BT is far from the first sports broadcaster to experiment with 360-degree video. Sky has committed to virtual reality, with a range of 360-degree films from the Tour de France, Formula 1 and other sporting events. The BBC offered 360 video during last year's Olympics, and across the pond the NBA is broadcasting every league game in VR. It's not clear, however, how large the audience is for this sort of content. Watching through a headset is certainly novel, and the pitch-side view is a cheap substitute for being there in person. But a new standard for watching sport? I'm not so sure.


Sony begins 14-day in-home PSVR trial program

Sony's grip on the indie market is slipping, though that may be part of the plan for the future of Playstation. More and more, we're seeing the company support virtual reality and its flagship PSVR system with various games, accessories and bundles hoping to convert us all to the immersive gaming platform. In yet another push, Sony just announced an initiative aimed at those of us who haven't taken the plunge, yet: a way to try out PlayStation VR in your own home. Of course, the demand is so high that the site you use to sign up has already reached the maximum number of users.

According to Gamasutra, the 14-day, in-home trial bundles will include a PSVR headset, a PlayStation Camera, two Move controllers and a copy of Skyrim VR. If you were lucky enough to get one of the initial 1,400 slots Gamasutra says were available, you can keep the whole kit for $300, a $150 discount over a Skyrim VR bundle at its regular retail price. We've reached out to Sony for more details and will update this post when we hear back.

Via: Gamasutra

Source: Sony


Sony begins 14-day in-home PSVR trial program

Sony's grip on the indie market is slipping, though that may be part of the plan for the future of Playstation. More and more, we're seeing the company support virtual reality and its flagship PSVR system with various games, accessories and bundles hoping to convert us all to the immersive gaming platform. In yet another push, Sony just announced an initiative aimed at those of us who haven't taken the plunge, yet: a way to try out PlayStation VR in your own home. Of course, the demand is so high that the site you use to sign up has already reached the maximum number of users.

According to Gamasutra, the 14-day, in-home trial bundles will include a PSVR headset, a PlayStation Camera, two Move controllers and a copy of Skyrim VR. If you were lucky enough to get one of the initial 1,400 slots Gamasutra says were available, you can keep the whole kit for $300, a $150 discount over a Skyrim VR bundle at its regular retail price. We've reached out to Sony for more details and will update this post when we hear back.

Via: Gamasutra

Source: Sony


Google lets developers find 3D assets without leaving VR

Google recently unveiled Poly to give VR and AR developers an easy way to find 3D assets for their virtual worlds. Now, it has introduced Poly API to help developers work with and discover those assets directly in virtual reality. "It's just so much more natural to work in VR in something like [VR painting tool] Tilt Brush and then use it in a VR project," said CEO Max Weisel from VR developer Normal.

Poly, as a reminder, is a big collection of royalty-free 3D objects and "scenes" that developers can incorporate into virtual or augmented reality apps, games, and other programs. The idea is to help creators populate their worlds with objects (either as-is or modified) to boost development speed and quality.

With its Daydream platform, Google has a vested interest in getting as many AR and VR apps out there as possible. Nevertheless, the objects will work on other platforms, too, including Apple's ARKit. They include simple characters and objects like trees, plants, fountains, or bricks, along with more elaborate things like a full 3D version of Wonder Woman.

Poly API lets developers pore through its large collection of assets, while interacting directly with them via Poly in VR. You can search by keyword, category, format, popularity or date uploaded, and even by model complexity and other factors. "Think of Poly like Google for assets," said Mindshow CCO Jonnie Ross.

For developers using Unity or Unreal Engine, Google has also created the Poly Toolkit, letting you import 3D objects and scenes directly into a project. "Finding and creating 3D assets are both time-consuming processes," said Mindshow CEO Gil Baron. "Poly API not only speeds up the exploration of production, but the production itself." For consumers, that should in turn lead to more and better VR apps.


HTC’s latest VR investments include a brain control startup

HTC is continuing its quest to fund promising VR startups, and its latest batch includes a few pushing the boundaries of what's possible in virtual spaces. The Vive X program is backing 26 companies that include Neurable, the company building a brain control system for the Vive headset -- they'll have help fulfilling their vision of wand-free VR. Other notable investment targets include eLoupes' light-field based surgery imaging system, QuarkVR's 4K-per-eye simultaneous video streaming and Wewod's location-based VR (which has served customers like Disney and Nintendo).

Other startups focus on everything from racing simulators and theme park rides to behind-the-scenes frameworks for multiplayer or VR character animation.

The support brings Vive X's startup tally to more than 80 companies and gives a better picture of HTC's strategy. Itwants to get its fingers in as many pies as possible to foster the VR community at large and create a wider audience for its headsets. Some of these startups could wind up supporting the competition as well, but HTC is clearly betting that it's worth the risk.

Source: Vive


Oculus’ reworked VR interfaces will be ready to test in December

If you happen to have an Oculus Rift headset and want to try its big interface makeovers, you won't have to wait long. As promised, Oculus has confirmed that both its Rift Core 2.0 VR interface and the companion desktop app redesign will be available in public beta form sometime in December. Rift Core 2.0 is unsurprisingly the most conspicuous update -- it's reworked to center around Oculus Touch control, and adds a dashboard you can access from virtually anywhere. You can use Rift 2.0 on Windows 7 or later, although you'll need Windows 10 if you want the dashboard to overlay on top of running apps or to give your desktop apps a virtual display.

The desktop app, meanwhile, is focused mainly on discovery. You'll see Oculus news, an update store with quick access to wish lists, your library and your Oculus-toting friends.

There's no firm timeframe for the launch of the finished software. Either way, both interfaces could be crucial to Oculus' future. Now that a Rift headset and controller combo is considerably more affordable, Oculus' take on VR is accessible to a much wider audience -- it needs an interface that many people can use without much thought.

Via: VentureBeat

Source: Oculus