NVIDIA Show Off Everest – VR Goes Further

GTC 2016: NVIDIA have started their keynote for GTC 2016 by explaining the benefits of VR outside of gaming. They did this by showing what was done when they took one of the world’s most valued treasures and attempted to recreate it; Mount Everest.

The geometry used reflects every aspect of the mountain through the ice and snow to the way that each individual flake separates and swirls around in the wind. This amounts to over 108 billion pixels being used to supply the very best experience for the user and this is just the start of VR outside of gaming to give the user an experience that is unparalleled.

Looking forward to other areas allows NVIDIA to focus on some of the worlds wonders and bringing it to the user as an experience that they would generally not be able to see in an average lifetime.

To see what the fuss is about, check out the video below.

Overclockers UK Introduce Room Scale VR in Association With Vive

Virtual Reality, or VR for short, is the big thing of 2016. While it isn’t new in itself, this is the year where consumers will get the chance to enter this field and there is no shortage presented VR headsets. But VR is one of those things that is tough to describe and it is also tough to show off with traditional videos and images; it is something that has to be experienced first hand to fully get what it is all about and be able to grasp the full concept.

Overclockers UK is known for its line-up of gaming ready PCs in all sizes and calibers and they’re naturally on board with VR too. They’ve now proudly announced the extension to their showroom that will provide a permanent Vive Room Scale VR Experience in the Midlands.

The new Room Scale VR allows users with a Vive to move around and interact with a virtual environment while staying in the comfort of their own home. Overclockers UK created this new 20 square meters sized showroom to allow users to truly test this experience using hardware built together by Overclockers UK and that has been Virtual Reality Certified.

The Overclockers UK Room Scale VR Experience is set to launch with a special event, which will take place at the Overclockers UK Newcastle-Under-Lyme showroom on the 19th of March. This event is open to the public and there is an online booking system in place allowing users to reserve their very own VR Experience.

You don’t need to worry if you can’t make it on March the 19th as the Room Scale VR Experience will be a permanent feature at the Overclockers UK store. Besides the showroom, Overclockers UK also launched a new mini-site that is a collection of all the relevant VR information.

The Vive headset needs to be powered by something and OC UK has new and certified systems ready for the Vive, starting with the entry level system for £749 and moving up to the titan that starts at £1314.95. As always, you can further configure and modify these systems before you purchase.Virtual Reality hardware can also be purchased directly with everything from upgrade parts to your current system on to VR compatible peripherals. All in one place, and now also live testable.

Virtual Reality hardware can also be purchased directly with everything from upgrade parts to your current system on to VR compatible peripherals. All in one place, and now also live testable.

Raven’s Cry Developer Claims “Anything Above 30FPS Does Not Matter”

PC gaming has always been about choice and the freedom to select between extremely high image quality. smooth framerate or a balance of both with the appropriate hardware. As a result, PC players are accustomed to 60 frames-per-second gameplay and some users even play games at framerates in excess of 120FPS. In contrast to this, the majority of console games only run at 30 frames-per-second due to performance constraints and prioritize resolution over framerate. Evidently, 60 frames-per-second is superior and produces much smoother gameplay despite outlandish claims by Ubisoft that it creates a more “cinematic experience.”

According to a Steam post found by The Dark Side of Gaming, the developer of Raven’s Cry made a number of bizarre statements regarding the lack of optimization and suggesting SLI isn’t incorporated due to development costs:

“On the one hand it is quite understandable, that a customer who spent 600+ bucks on a high end card (e.g 980Ti) expects that a game runs faster than on a 2 years old (e.g.780 GTX) – on the other hand … if you put two or four engines in a car it will be probably not run faster than with one powerful engine. It will for sure be more heavy and bigger, consume more fuel and be very expensive. Please notice, that the developers of the well known Benchmarks receive any support, money and any hardware they want from the graphic card manufacturers … we received the last free graphic card 5 years ago, never ever any money and have to purchase graphic cards like an end user without any discount in retail.”

Not only that, he also went onto suggest that 30 frames-per-second creates the optimal experience:

“And I may add something: it was not our intention to create a graphic benchmark. VCR is a complex RPG with unique characters and story driven. Our focus is on interesting quest chains (which are very difficult to create) and not on frames per second. Beside this I thing that anything above 30 FPS does not matter for the gaming experience. And on my PC i7, GF 780GTX the game runs with 4K never below 30 FPS. No idea what it does on a GF980ti – I heard it is sometimes slower.”

The latest sentence is frankly unbelievable and demonstrates a reckless and unprofessional attitude towards game development. You cannot just overlook the requirements of the high-end market and dismiss them so easily. Furthermore, if the game runs worse on better hardware, then there’s something wrong with the level of optimization and the developer’s coding prowess. This entire line of thinking is laughable as 60 frames-per-second clearly makes such a substantial difference to the core experience barring a few casual titles which rely on text or a basic art style.

Behind the Scenes of World of Warcraft Movie in Virtual Reality

The bigger a project is, the tougher it is to keep the details a secret. Some manage to do so and one of the most prominent examples is probably Lord of the Rings. But the same thing also goes for the Warcraft movie directed by Duncan Jones. We know that it is in the making and that it is scheduled for a June 10th 2016 global release in 3D, but that is about it.

Now we’ve finally got a little inside view into the new movie, although it isn’t actual movie footage. Legendary Pictures released a little teaser in the Legendary VR app that is available on both iTunes and Google Play (465MB). Warcraft: Skies of Azeroth is one of three VR experiences that throws you on the back of a virtual gryphon for a flight over the city of Stormwind.

As Duncan Jones notes, it is part of the movie’s worldbuilding and it is certainly the first opportunity for anyone to see what Stormwind looks like.

“The city is laid out the same way it is in the movie,” Jones says. “We spend a little bit of time in the movie in Stormwind and in the VR experience you’ll actually get a chance to get a good look at everything.”

The launch of this demo is timed well with Comic-Con in San Diego where Google is giving away 50 thousand Google Cardboard units to give you a better experience. The other two VR experiences Legendary released are Beware Crimson Peak, a VR trip into the creepy residence in Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming Crimson Peak, and Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot, which puts you inside a kaiju-fighting mech.

Indiegogo Toy Aims to Help Teach Children How to Code

A lot of companies have been struggling to release something that will help children how to code. The use of apps and toys have been the most obvious choice for them in order to make coding a lot more fun.

The latest initiative comes from an Indiegogo startup and its Codie toy, which is a wheeled gadget that comes with an app to let the user control and program it at the same time.

Codie appears to be using a visual drag and drop blocks approach rather than having kids program by typing a bunch of lines of code. While the concept is not new, Codie’s developers state that it will stand out with the help of its programming language.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj5GKCavdeM

Codie’s programming language will not require any compiling time and will react in real-time, which means that any changes made by kids will make Codie react instantly, granting a more interactive experience.

The company looks like it is trying to raise $70,000 on Indiegogo, having it already raised half the sum. If you are interested about the project and want to learn more, or even contribute to its creation, you can visit its Indiegogo page here.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

World of Warships Hits Closed Beta

Wargaming’s latest MMO title, World of Warships, has just hit closed beta status. The developer states that, as with their other titles, World of Warships aims to deliver an authentic experience to all players.

There are reports that a total of 50 ships, both American and Japanese, and 5 maps are present in the beta. However, expect Wargaming to add a lot more once the title is released. Fans who would like to participate in the closed beta can sign up on the developer’s website here.

Thank you GamingBolt for providing us with this information

Fallout 4 to Be Released for Current-Gen Only, Possible Reveal at E3

There have been some talks about Bethesda’s latest title, Fallout 4, but so far nothing certain. However, a few insiders recently came forth and hinted that the company is planning to showcase the title at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this year.

Bethesda is said to be working on a post-apocalyptic New York and Chicago environment for Fallout 4, though it has not yet been confirmed. What we do know, is that the title will be current-gen only.

“Bethesda is aiming for an impressive scale and atmosphere with Fallout 4, […] They’re only developing it on current gen and PC.”

The inside sources have apparently stated that 2015 is too “crowded” for a release this big, so we will not be expecting Bethesda to release the title sooner than 2016.

“2015 will be a great year for gamers,” “With all the exclusives and third-party games releasing this year, it’s going to be crowded with great titles.”

Though Fallout 4 fans will be disappointed by the release date, they should still take into account that the game will be released on current-gen. What this means is that the title would be able to take full advantage of newer technology and deliver an enhanced and detailed post-apocalyptic experience with even bigger environments; possibly some gameplay enhancements as well.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information

HoloBridge – London’s 1st Virtual Reality Arcade

Whether you are an Assassin’s Creed fan who wanted to experience something similar to the Animus or just want a truly unique adventure like you have never seen or experienced before, HoloBridge apparently is willing to help you out. The company is said to take full advantage of VR-glasses similar to the Oculus or Samsung Gear VR, and gadgets, like Cyberith or Virtuix Omni.

In the heart of vibrating Shoreditch you will find a cool place to meet up with your friends and try the latest technological developments in VR. We will offer the most exciting content to make your visit a breathtaking journey. Just book your ticket online, come to us and enjoy.

HoloBridge is the idea of German entrepreneur, Andreas Lohaus, who is said to be passionate about the emerging virtual revolution. His first encounter with VR devices was back in 2012, being one of the first backers of VR-devices, including Oculus Rift. After receiving and testing his first VR dev kit, he knew “this will be huge!” and has actively been connected to the VR scene in his hometown, Cologne, Germany.

While the HoloBridge team is said to start off with 10 VR Glasses and 2 Treadmills, they are also awaiting more feedback on which content and technologies would people like to see and toy around with.

More details about the project can be found on Indiegogo, where people can contribute a minimum of £5 towards the project’s budget (having the HoloBridge team send a special personalised Tweet to people who decide to contribute). Should you feel like spending more, the £199 perk will get your name and signature perpetuated on one of the VR Glasses showcased at HoloBridge. On top of that, the perk will also let you use the same device for free for the first 20 slots booked.

Source: Indiegogo

PlayStation Gaming Show Ticket Sales Open Friday

Coming this December, Sony will be hosting its very own PlayStation gaming event in the desert city of Las Vegas.

Ticket sales are said to open this Friday, expect to set yourself back around $50 for a single day pass or $90 for a double for the event held inside the Venetian Hotel – boasting a total “400,000 square feet of PlayStation”, as according to the official PlayStation Blog.

As for specialty content, The Order: 1866 will be previewed at the show alongside Bloodborne. Looking for more to do? Sid Shuman from PlayStation social media told us you can:

“Sit in on in-depth panels, meet the industry’s best developers, score hands-on gameplay with tons of upcoming PlayStation games, collect free swag, and get a chance to purchase rare collectibles directly from their favorite game studios.”

Some of the panels will be including Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono, various Sony developers alongside many other Sony employee’s all eager to answer your best fan-boy or fan-girl requests. Given all that’s going on, this show has been described by some as PAX-esque, but only PlayStation content – we think this statement isn’t too far off from the truth.

Are you feeling the hype? Some PlayStation fanatics have already been commenting about the #PlayStationMasterRace so it seems this event is going to be a killer. To get yourself in the mood, take a look at the official trailer below and let the game rumors commence!

[youtube width=”720″ height=”480″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0rt83T2X44[/youtube]

Ubisoft Developers Real Live Watch Goat Sacrifice for Far Cry 4 Research

It looks like the Far Cry 4 title aims to be fitted with as much real-life experience as possible. Two Ubisoft developers are said to have journeyed to Nepal in order to get inspiration for Kyrat, the fictional Himalayan setting for the game.

Mark Thompson, the game’s narrative director, and Phil Fournier, the associate producer, made the journey with Vice Media’s Krishna Andavolu to Kathmadu. Once there, they apparently heard a rumor that there was an animal sacrifice about to happen and went to find the ‘event’. The sacrifice is said to have been made by a man who was performing it on behalf of his family to Kali, the Hindu goddess of change and destruction.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTDlX52WxgU[/youtube]

The video is said to be the first of a three-part series aimed at gathering source material and inspiration for Far Cry 4. Alex Hutchinson, the creative director, said that another Vice documentary entitled “The Vice Guide to Liberia” acted as another inspiration, this one for the game’s deranged villain, Pagan Min. In it, “General Butt Naked”‘s (Liberia’s Joshua Milton Blahyi) name was constantly present in the African nation torn apart by civil war in the ’90s. The name given to Blahyi came from making his army fight nude.

“It was this idea that there were these extreme characters who, in their universe, they seem sane,” Hutchinson said, “but if you take them out of context, and put them in our world, they seem very insane.”

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information
Video courtesy of YouTube

New Version of Valve Steam Controller Comes With Analogue Stick

Valve is going forward with its Steam controller, making changes and releasing new and improved versions. Its latest sneak peek of the new Steam controller version which is currently in development shows that the controller comes with an analogue stick for the very first time, as seen in the pic below.

This new version is said to represent the third major design change shown to the public so far. The original prototype of the Steam controller revealed in September had fewer buttons and two large trackpads, along with a touchscreen. The second one show in January had its touchscreen removed and received two symmetrical sets of ABXY face buttons.

Valve is said to have avoided the analogue stick in previous versions because it wanted to replicate the controller experience using haptic feedback infused trackpads in the form of weighted electro-magnets. Either way, it is not currently certain if this will be the final version of the Steam controller or more changes are to be made before its release.

Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Eurogamer

Valve Points To A 2015 VR Headset Release, Teases With SteamVM Platform

Virtual reality and VR headsets are not mainly focused on gaming, but more on the experience it gives the user. Those who have tried it do know what it’s about and what potential it offers. And it seems Valve’s VR lead, Michael Abrash, is one of the few people who see the upcoming VR potential.

“Not only could VR rapidly evolve into a major platform, but it could actually tip the balance of the entire industry from traditional media toward computer entertainment.” said Michael.

Michael predicts that the VR headset will overcome any traditional media interaction methods, such as TVs, theaters, movies, etc. and although this seems far away, Valve is pointing to a launch date in 2015 for their version of VR headset. He has also described in detail how the VR experience should be and even came up with some basic guidelines at the Steam Dev Days event.

The first and most important thing about VR is the “presence”, as Michael mentioned. It creates a new and detailed reality to the extent that it fools even the human brain. And the closer the experience is to reality, the better the user experience gets.

“It’s the sense of being someplace else while in virtual reality; many people feel as if they’ve been teleported. Presence is an incredibly powerful sensation, and it’s unique to VR; there’s no way to create it in any other medium.” Michael stated. “Most people find it to be kind of magical, and we think that once people have experienced presence, they’ll want it badly,” he added.

We can’t deny the fact that VR is already here, and almost perfect. Take the Oculus Crystal Cove prototype for example, with minor adjustments it will be ready for consumer use in no time. This is where Michael pointed out some target specs during the Steam Dev Days event required for the VR headset user experience. And this is why Valve is working on their own prototype VR headset.

Together with its SteamVR platform, it aims to revolutionise how we play games. SteamVR beta is already available in Steam’s Big Picture mode. Although Steam only demoed their VR technology to developers, the feedback given so far is quite positive. We are now looking forward to more information about what Steam has in plan for the future, and maybe even a public demo of their VR headset and how it works in the SteamVM platform.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Endgadget