DOTA 2 Could Be Getting a VR Spectating Mode

When it comes to eSports, being able to watch the techniques and strategies used by teams as they compete can be a gripping and thrilling experience. Be it at home or in a stadium, watching people play the game and knowing that in a just a few short seconds the entire game can change excites people, so what would you do if you could get closer to the action? You could soon with Valve teasing a VR spectating mode for the MOBA game, DOTA 2.

The footage was teased by Robert McGregor on twitter, showing off just some of the features. The footage shows a screen, similar to the one you would find watching the game regularly, only looking away from the suspended screen shows you details about the events and characters taking place in the match.

To either side of the screen line up the characters, showing the items they’ve all taken, while straight ahead as if on a table you have the overhead map, complete with markers to show who’s where. Compiled with team network and differences in experience gained, a single glance in any direction can reveal something you might normally miss.

While the new system looks to be made to support the HTC Vive (controllers and all), this is the first it’s been seen in action and if it’s anything to go by, VR spectating could be something that other e-sports look to create in the near future.

Overclockers UK Will Be at the VR World Congress Next Week

By now there can’t be much doubt in anyone’s mind that 2016 will be the year that will be remembered as the year VR went mainstream. We have got 3 major players each bringing out their own VR headsets, partly they already have to early adopters, and they surely won’t be the last ones. Overclockers UK is one of the biggest gaming system builders and hardware components shops in the UK and they are also on board for this new wave of virtual reality. We’ve already seen them create dedicated HTC Vive area in their shops where customers and fans can experience the full room VR experience, so there is no doubt that they believe in this too.

Overclockers UK will also be among the 600 buyers, sellers, and developers who will attend the VR World Congress next week on April the 12th in Bristol that is being headlined by AMD and their LiquidVR. At the VRWC, you’ll find a dedicated expo hall filled to the brim with exciting and innovative companies showing the latest developments in VR.

OC UK themselves will bring their high-performance PCs, starting from the recommended VR specifications and all the way up to the 8Pack designed and built monster PC called the Asteroid. There will also be the chance to test out OCUK’s Room Scale VR Experience at their booth.

You can also be part of this yourself, if you have time and are in the area, and you can even get in for free with a little luck. Overclockers UK is giving away 2 tickets for this event and the entry is as simple as it could be. All you have to do is to visit the OCUK forums and post a reply to a thread there. You should also take the time to browse the forums a little bit while you’re there, they got some great and knowledgeable people hanging around that post a lot of interesting stuff.

Oculus Waives Shipping Fees for All Past Orders

The Oculus Rift may have won the race to be the first VR headset to be available to consumers, but it hasn’t been so easy for Oculus due to the boom in interest for the VR headset. The Rift began shipping out to consumers on the 28th of March, but many preorder customers are still yet to receive any notification that their device will be shipped to them. Now Oculus VR has admitted that they have been struggling to meet demands for the Rift, with CEO Brendan Iribe taking to Twitter to state that the first batch of Rifts was “going out slower than we orig(inally) estimated.” This was backed up by an email sent out to waiting customers, citing an “unexpected shortage” as the reason that many were still waiting.

We’ve been working through an unexpected component shortage, and unfortunately, that issue has impacted the original shipping estimates for some early customers. We’re working hard to get up-to-date ship windows, and you should expect to see your order status updated on oculus.com by Tuesday, April 12th.

In order to make it up to customers who had pre-ordered one of the headsets, Oculus stated that they will be disregarding any delivery charges for all orders that have already been placed. It’s not all delays, though, with many customers having received their Rifts on time, one even being delivered by Palmer Luckey himself! Hopefully, Oculus will be able to sort out this issue before their main rival, the HTC Vive makes it to market when both sides will have a fight on their hands.

To Play With The Oculus Rift You Pay With Your Privacy

We all love the idea of virtual reality and augmented reality, the idea that technology can send us to the deepest parts of the earth or the farthest reaches of space inspires us to enjoy things we will never get to do in the real world, all from the comfort of our sitting rooms. The question is how much we are willing to give in exchange for this “freedom”, with the enjoyment the Oculus Rift requiring you to pay with your privacy.

What do we mean by “pay with your privacy”? When you first install the software required to run the Rift on your PC a process called “OVRServer_x64.exe” is created, something normal given that it detects when the Rift is connected, on your Facebook and actually turned on. If you check the Privacy Policy (something we all know, including the companies that write them, is rarely checked) there are a few other things that the process can do.

The full section regarding “information collected about you when you use our services” states:

Information Automatically Collected About You When You Use Our Services. We also collect information automatically when you use our Services. Depending on how you access and use our Services, we may collect information such as:

  • Information about your interactions with our Services, like information about the games, content, apps or other experiences you interact with, and information collected in or through cookies, local storage, pixels, and similar technologies (additional information about these technologies is available at https://www.oculus.com/en-us/cookies-pixels-and-other-technologies/);
  • Information about how you access our Services, including information about the type of device you’re using (such as a headset, PC, or mobile device), your browser or operating system, your Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, and certain device identifiers that may be unique to your device;
  • Information about the games, content, or other apps installed on your device or provided through our Services, including from third parties;
  • Location information, which can be derived from information such as your device’s IP address. If you’re using a mobile device, we may collect information about the device’s precise location, which is derived from sources such as the device’s GPS signal and information about nearby WiFi networks and cell towers; and
  • Information about your physical movements and dimensions when you use a virtual reality headset.

Worrying parts about this is the mention of “pixels” in the first section, stating that they could find out what you are viewing and even go so far as to take a copy of your interaction. Full information about the games and everything you install are also fair and open to them with information going so far as your physical movements and dimensions being tracked as well, these seem a little bit further than just idle curiosity.

The policy continues to state how this information is used, with one section clarifying their marketing approach with this information:

To market to you. We use the information we collect to send you promotional messages and content and otherwise market to you on and off our Services. We also use this information to measure how users respond to our marketing efforts.

With Oculus now in partnership with Facebook, a move that raised concerns when it was first announced, people were concerned about privacy and tracking, something these conditions seems to allow. Going further the agreement states that “third parties may also collect information about you through the Services”, meaning that the agreement doesn’t limit but, in fact, allows apps to be created on the basis of tracking and monitoring your actions.

Thanks to Woofington over at Reddit who spotted this, if you’re interested in finding out how deep this goes you can read the full privacy policy here.

Are You Suffering From Oculus Face or Rift Rash?

Gaming has been the spawn of many unique illnesses, such as trigger finger pain, bent thumbs from excessive controller use, and so much more. Now we’re moving forward and onto more modern gaming related illnesses with Oculus Face. Wearing a VR headset for extended periods of time isn’t as uncomfortable as it used to be, the headsets are lighter, more ergonomic and more comfortable in general. However, that doesn’t mean to say they’re not going to make a lasting impression; literally.

https://twitter.com/stevekovach/status/714470354517757952?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

The Oculus headset started shipping into the hands of customers earlier this week and that means there are many people out there getting lost in the world of VR right now. The only downside, at least so far, is that the headset leaves temporary red marks on the face, being comically named “Oculus Face” or the even more silly “Rift Rash”, neither sound like something you would want, but they’re obviously pretty harmless anyway.

https://twitter.com/stevekovach/status/714567978680000512?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

VR is cool, but it’s quite clear it doesn’t make you look too cool afterward. Hair screwed up, face all marked with red lines and sweat marks. Perhaps Google were onto something with their ergonomic and lightweight Glass designs after all. The foam padding is pretty comfortable from my own experiences, so it’s likely extended exposure that leads to these minor issues and I doubt it’ll be enough to put many of you off of a purchase any time soon.

Oculus Founder Delivers First Consumer Unit in Person

The founder of Oculus VR, Palmer Luckey, decided that he would deliver the very first consumer version of the Oculus Rift VR headset himself. The lucky recipient? Ross Martin, an indie developer from Anchorage, Alaska, who was the first person to pre-order the consumer Rift, which will be arriving at the houses of the remaining customers starting on Monday.

The decision by Luckey to deliver the Rift had been a move that he desired for a long time but was only able to realize at the last moment, due to the obvious issues with the founder being out of the office just days before the product’s release. “This didn’t come together until the last second, I’ve had a bunch of things that I’ve wanted to do over the years, and I was pretty adamant,” Luckey told Polygon. “I said hey guys, I’ve been working on this since 2009, we’ve been working on Oculus since 2012, I’ll be damned if some random delivery guy is going to get the satisfaction of delivering the first Rift. That’s mine.”

Meanwhile, Martin, who documented his feelings on the experience on Twitter, first posting an image of the golden ticket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  He continued to state that in further tweets “So grateful to Palmer Luckey and Oculus for coming all the way to Alaska,” and “You guys are super cool!” Leading up to the release, Martin had no idea that he was the first to order the Rift and when he received the call that it would be delivered early and in-person, he simply believed that all pre-orderers had gotten the same treatment. “I would never think that someone doing it by hand would be the first,” he said.

It is great to see that despite the Rift taking so long to come to market and moves that have been considered unpopular, such as their acquisition by Facebook, that Luckey and Oculus VR treat their customers well.

Oculus Rift Launch Games and Prices Revealed

With the long-awaited release date of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset just around the corner, Oculus VR has finally announced the pricing for the entire launch-day lineup of games. The news was reported from Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2016, with Oculus making the big reveal on the third day of the event.

The rift’s launch will be accompanied by thirty games that will officially support the headset from day-one. The list of games includes a number of well-known and popular games that will be integrating full integration for the headset, including Project Cars and the already revealed Elite: Dangerous. The prices are as varied as the games themselves too, ranging from $59.99 for the EVE Valkyrie Founder’s Pack down to a number of more budget $9.99 titles. This means that the value of the pre-order offer that included a copy of EVE Valkyrie saves any early buyers a decent sum.

The variety of games that are launching with the Rift is similar to the rest of the PC gaming industry, with established AAA titles billing high while smaller indie titles aim for more buyers at a far more modest price point. Having the honour of being one of the thirty Rift release titles should help those smaller developers along too.

The full listing can be seen below:

  • ADR1FT – $19.99
  • Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games – $4.99
  • AirMech: Command – $39.99
  • Albino Lullaby – $9.99
  • Audio Arena – $9.99
  • Project Cars – $49.99
  • Chronos – $49.99
  • Darknet – $9.99
  • Dead Secret – $14.99
  • Defense Grid 2 Enhanced VR Edition – $29.99
  • Dreadhalls – $9.99
  • Elite Dangerous: Deluxe Edition – $59.99
  • Esper 2 – $9.99
  • EVE Valkyrie Founder’s Pack – $59.99
  • Fly to KUMA – $14.99
  • EVE Gunjack – $9.99
  • Herobound SC – $9.99
  • KeepTalking and Nobody Explodes – $14.99
  • Lucky’s Tale – Bundled
  • Omega Agent – $14.99
  • Radial G – $24.99
  • Rooms – $14.99
  • Shufflepuck Cantina Deluxe VR – $9.99
  • Smashing the Battle – $19.99
  • Vanishing of Ethan Carter – N/A
  • Vektron Revenge – $9.99
  • VR Tennis Online – $24.99
  • Pinball FX2 VR – $14.99
  • Blaze Rush – N/A
  • Windlands – $19.99

Palmer Luckey Comments On Why Oculus Rift Doesn’t Support Mac

It would seem like Mac-using fans of the Oculus Rift may just be out of luck. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey spoke to ShackNews at an Xbox event and had some harsh comments about the popular Apple computers. His response to the question of whether the upcoming Oculus Rift would ever be compatible with Mac OS was simply “That is up to Apple. If they ever release a good computer, we will do it.”

While this may immediately seem like a comment aimed squarely at insulting Macs, it actually refers to Apple’s reluctance to utilize high-performance GPUs in their computers, instead settling for the anemic Intel integrated chipsets in the majority of their computers.

“You can buy a $6,000 Mac Pro with the top of the line AMD FirePro D700, and it still doesn’t match our recommended specs,” Luckey stated. “So if they prioritize higher-end GPUs like they used to for a while back in the day, we’d love to support Mac. But right now, there’s just not a single machine out there that supports it.”

The result is that despite the high cost of Macs pricing them at or above many powerful gaming PCs capable of handling VR. Regular and power users simply do not need the power of high-end GPUs and a Mac capable of handling the Rift would likely just inflate the price even further. Will Apple ever make a Mac capable of handling the Oculus Rift, or other VR headsets? It seems likely,  as they wouldn’t want to be left behind the curve on VR and AR products, though whether they later come out with their own specialist hardware instead of compatibility with existing products remains to be seen.

HTC: The Vive is “Not Just About Gaming”

Virtual reality technology is commonly perceived as the future of gaming, and theoretically provides truly unique experiences. However, it’s not limited to the gaming sector and could be deployed to broadcast sports events in a more immersive way or help trainees to learn new skills. Unfortunately, being an early adopter of VR is a costly endeavour and requires a very capable PC. The Oculus Rift’s price point of $599 seems extremely high until HTC announced the Vive would retail for a staggering $799. This is bound to alienate a large proportion of the device’s possible user base and makes it a niche product. Despite this, the company defended its pricing policy via a post on the official HTC Vive blog. The statement reiterates that the Vive isn’t just for gaming purposes and reads:

“But it’s not just about gaming,” 

“In addition to these launch titles, HTC is working with developers to foster the creation of content that spans multiple sectors including entertainment, retail, education, design, healthcare and automotive that will ultimately transform people’s lives.”

Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO at HTC proclaimed:

“From the beginning, Vive has been at the forefront of virtual reality, with HTC pioneering several ground breaking technologies,

Since announcing Vive this time last year, we have worked tirelessly with Valve to deliver the best VR experience on the market, winning multiple awards and receiving critical acclaim from media, consumers and the industry. With the Vive consumer edition we are now able to realize our ultimate vision; bringing Vive into homes around the globe so that people can experience immersive virtual reality in a way that fires the imagination and truly changes the world.”

It’s important to remember that the first models of any new technology usually involves a hefty price and eventually becomes more mainstream. The Vive is a no-compromise approach to create the best possible VR experience. On the other hand, its price is very high and might frustrate users who want to see what the VR revolution is all about.

Oculus Confirms Rift Compatible PC Bundles

 

The range of potential possibilities concerning the forthcoming Oculus Rift headset promises to be both exciting and also worth the wait, in theory, the problem lies with headset compatibility for the extensive array of PCs that are currently on the market. It seems Oculus have already thought of this and have recently released details of specially crafted PC bundles that have been tested to ensure the headset will work with the machine.

Oculus have announced the first set of machines from well-known computer manufacturers ASUS, Alienware and Dell; these PCs have been tested and also certified by Oculus. The headset manufacturer has also confirmed that the first bundles will be available to pre-order for consumers starting from the 16th February 2016 at 8 am pacific time.

Other confirmed details include the stockists that will be able to accept pre-orders for the bundle, these are, Best Buy, Amazon and the Microsoft Store. There is no word as yet if the UK will receive these bundles as the company has stated that it will “ship in limited quantities to select countries and regions”  One would have thought these bundles would eventually be available within the UK when you consider the size and also profitability of the market.

Below is a selection of Oculus-ready’ PCs that the company has announced, it has also been stated that consumers who were excited enough to purchase an Oculus Rift without yet owning a compatible PC, the company said pre-order customers will be able to purchase a discounted PC at a later date.

 

The price of these bundles will start at $1,499, for that you will receive an “Oculus-certified PC and everything that comes with Rift – the headset, sensor, remote, an Xbox One controller, EVE: Valkyrie Founder’s Pack, and Lucky’s Tale”.

 

Oculus Rift Boss Explains The Price Confusion

We first speculated, then we got the confirmation but had to wait for a little while before we could place our pre-orders on the final Oculus Rift. Yesterday was the big day and the pre-order queue was opened up to the public. At the same time, we also got the pricing that so far had been down to speculations and vague statements. However, the price tag of $600 did confuse quite a few people as we’ve previously heard of a price that should be in the “ballpark of $350”. That is quite a bit of difference and Palmer Luckey, the Oculus boss and founder, took it on to answer the confusion in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA).

Luckey apologized for the misleading information and went on to explain how it came to be. At the time where the statement was made, quite a few people believed that the $1500 estimated price floating around was for just the headset, but it was actually for a VR ready PC system. And compared to $1500, $600 is more in the ballpark of $350, hence the confusion.

“I handled the messaging poorly,” Luckey said. “As an explanation, not an excuse: during that time, many outlets were repeating the ‘Rift is $1500!’ line, and I was frustrated by how many people thought that was the price of the headset itself. My answer was ill-prepared, and mentally, I was contrasting $349 with $1500, not our internal estimate that hovered close to $599 – that is why I said it was in roughly the same ballpark.”

Luckey went on to explain the costs. It looks like they aren’t making much if any profit from this first consumer version of the Oculus Rift. It is being sold at cost. This is great for both the consumer and the technology itself, we need it to stick and stay around. It’s time for a shift in our virtual experiences.

When compared to the DK1 and DK2, the final Oculus Rift uses hardware that’s a lot more advanced and made just for this headset rather than off-the-shelf parts. If it had been released with DK2 hardware, the price would still have been $400 or more. With all this in mind, I think the consumers will be happy that Oculus didn’t take any shortcuts but opted for the best possible hardware right away.

“DK1 and DK2 cost a lot less – they used mostly off the shelf components. They also had significantly fewer features (back of head tracking, headphones, mic, removal facial interfaces, etc.) For Rift, we’re using largely custom VR technology (eg. custom displays designed for VR) to push the experience well beyond DK2 to the Crescent Bay level.”

Considering that most people don’t have any trouble throwing $600 after a new fancy smartphone or TV, it’s not that bad at all. I do however think that I might hold back a little myself and wait for a price around the $450 before I join the world of virtual reality.

Original Oculus Backers to Receive Final Rift for Free

On the eve of making pre-orders of its hardware available, Oculus has announced that backers of the original Rift VR headset on Kickstarter will receive the final retail version of the hardware for free. Early backers were previously rewarded with the early Rift prototype kit and SDK but, as a show of gratitude, will also be presented with a free Kickstarter Edition of the retail Oculus Rift model, which includes two free games.

“Tomorrow, we’ll be opening Rift pre-orders on Oculus.com. This is a major milestone on the path to putting great VR in the hands of millions,” the new update on the Rift Kickstarter page reads. “As a small token of our appreciation for your support, all Kickstarter backers who pledged for a Rift development kit will get a free Kickstarter Edition Oculus Rift! And like all Rift pre-order purchasers, you’ll receive a bundled copy of Lucky’s Tale and EVE: Valkyrie.”

“To claim your free Rift,” the post adds, “fill out the survey you’ll receive from Kickstarter before February 1, 2016 and provide a shipping address that is located in one of the 20 countries Rift is launching in. For those who don’t live in one of those 20 countries, we’re working on an alternative, and you can let us know your preference in the form.”

Oculus Announces More Freebies for Oculus Rift Customers

We could recently first report our speculations and later post the official confirmation that the Oculus Rift launch is imminent and that 2016 will be the year where the average consumer will get access to the new world of Virtual Reality. The pre-order phase is planned for January or February 2016, so that is just around the corner. The Oculus team did also promise to give a fair warning to everyone in order to allow people to save up and place their pre-order once it’s possible.

So far we’ve also heard that Oculus Rift pre-orders will get a free copy of EVE Valkyrie along with the headset itself, and that is pretty sweet. But what about everyone else? All those people that will buy their fancy new VR headset later? Well, they will get something too as it was revealed on the official Oculus Rift blog. All customers will get the brand new and made-for-VR platformer Lucky’s Tale along with their Oculus Rift.

Lucky’s Tale is an Oculus Studios title and you can expect it to stay limited for the VR platform. It takes you on an “adventure of a lifetime” with Lucky the fun-loving fox. The game takes you to a charming new world, with dozens of locales and lush environments. Early demos of the game have already been highly praised by those who have seen and tested them, which speaks for a promising final product.

“We always believed there was an opportunity for platformers in VR, but it wasn’t until playing Lucky’s Tale and working with the Playful team that we truly realized its potential to change how people view this genre of gaming forever. Lucky’s Tale delivers on everything you want in a next-generation VR game – it’s thrilling, full of adventure, and incredibly fun to play.”

Lucky’s Tale will be coming exclusively to Oculus in Q1 and you could call it the Rift’s Sonic or Mario. Will you be among the first that pre-order a new Oculus Rift as soon as it is possible? Let us know in the comments.

Oculus Rift Pre-Order Availability Confirmed

Yesterday we speculated that all signs are pointing towards an imminent release date for the Oculus Rift VR headset and we based on several individual sources and information. Shortly after we published this news, we got the official confirmation. Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus VR, posted the good news on Twitter where his fans could read the positive message: The virtual reality headset is on-target for a Q1 2016 launch and pre-orders are expected to come soon after the new year.

January is a tough month for a lot of people money wise, as that’s usually where all the large bills have to be paid such as insurances, and it also comes on top of Christmas where people tend to spend more than they should. Should you fall within this category and fear that you can’t be among the first row of pre-order candidates, then don’t worry. Palmer continued with a message assuring prospective buyers that they don’t need to stress over the holiday as Oculus VR will give a fair warning before launching pre-orders.

To sweeten the deal, Oculus Rift pre-orders will get a free copy of EVE Valkyrie along with the headset itself. Whether the Oculus Touch controllers will be available for pre-orders too or if they’ll launch at a later time is something we don’t know yet. I’m sure we will learn a lot more once CES 2016 in Las Vegas starts.

Everything Points to an Imminent Launch of the Oculus Rift

As a release date gets closer, more and more things start to line up and paint the picture even tho nothing official has been said. It looks very much like 2016 will be the year where the average consumer will get their hands on the new VR technology and be allowed into the brand new gaming experience that so far has been reserved for the few.

There are multiple things that point to an imminent release of everything and that is no surprise with CES 2016 in Las Vegas being just a few weeks away. The first hint is found on the official Oculus developers blog where it reads that the Rift SDK 1.0, the final first version, is now shipping to developers along with the final Rift hardware. So the hardware is nailed down, the SDK is ready, and it further reads that companies planning to release Rift titles in Q1 can get early access to the hardware, which confirms that we’ll see the Rift VR headset very soon.

I’ve already mentioned CES 2016 in Las Vegas and that will be a big show for the people from Oculus who have a massive booth on the floor. You don’t rent a space that large at CES without having something really big to show.

The third hint we get about this today is in the form of the Nvidia GeForce graphics driver update that comes with special remarks in regards to the Rift headset and VR in general as well as being WQHL certified.

Everything is lining up and there can’t be much doubt anymore that we’ll see 2016 as the year where VR took off. Will you be buying the Rift? Our best guess is you might want to have pre-order money ready by Jan-Feb 2016!

Gear VR Starts Shipping and Oculus Concepts Early-Access Is Launched

Virtual Reality is something that gamers have been striving for since the first computer game was made, but it wasn’t until we saw the Oculus enter the scene that this became a viable reality. Now that the new Samsung Gear VR has started shipping to US customers and select shops such as Best Buy and AT&T stores, the fantasy to jump into a virtual world can be a reality for everyone. When I say to everyone, it is meant towards those that have enough spare cash to purchase one and live in the US. The rest of the world will be able to get the Gear VR shortly and it is already up for pre-orders in other regions than the US.

There is already a quite extensive collection available for customers of the Gear VR and that is something that is growing steady all the time. There is currently hundreds of VR games and thousands of hours of VR movies as well as over 200 thousand 360 degree photos for you to explore.

More than 25 brand new made-for-VR games and experiences are coming to Gear VR by early December. You can play the highly anticipated EVE: Gunjack now and start to fight mutants with Mortal Blitz VR. This week you will also be able to explore VR’s first aquatic safari park in Ocean Rift as it is just about to be released.

With all this content available where some are better than others, it is necessary to have a proper platform for all this and keep the early access, demos, and general fails away from the main system. Oculus now started organizing the catalog and launched a new store section called the Oculus Concepts. Oculus Concepts is essentially the same as Valve’s Steam Early Access program where developers can showcase unfinished projects and ideas in order to get feedback from actual users.

Oculus Rift to Sell 5 Million Units Next Year – Still Won’t Turn a Profit!

It’s no secret that the Oculus Rift is expected to do well, but given the level of investment and the level of research that has been plowed into the hardware, software and much more, how are Oculus and their current overlords Facebook hoping to turn a profit? Experts are predicting big things for the Oculus Rift, despite stiff competition from the likes of HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. It is expected to sell around five million units in the first year alone, which would be quite an achievement.

“Net-net, we expect Facebook will grow hardware revenue generated from Oculus at a 4% five-year CAGR from $2.1 billion in FY16 to $2.6 billion in FY21,” said analytic firm Suisse.

Facebook has invested a lot in Oculus, so much so that it could take them until 2021 just to break even. Of course, they’re not exactly short on funds at the moment and their investment goes far beyond people playing flight sims, so who how profitable the Oculus may perform in markets outside of gaming.

“However, given our assumption that Facebook will once again demonstrate a willingness to forgo near-term monetisation in return for increased product adoption, we are modeling an initial negative gross profit impact from the initiative – with Oculus gross margins reaching breakeven by 2021 and contributing ~$50 million in gross profit by FY22.” added Suisse.

With the price estimated to be in the region of $350 and a launch in early 2016, the time of VR gaming is almost upon up. Do you think it will be a success?

Oculus Rift Outlines Cost For Release Model

The oculus rift has taken the world by storm, offering virtual reality to a wide range of people for a whole series of uses. With the CEO, Brendan Iribe, stating that the headset and a computer powerful enough to drive it would cost roughly £1000, people are now looking forward to a release date that could soon be announced. In another released statement the company founder, Palmer Luckey went into discussing the price of the headset itself.

At the Oculus Connect Conference Luckey was asked about if the release price for the oculus rift would come in at around the same as the developer kits that are currently being sold. Priced at 350$ (around £230) it is not a small price, but not a huge one. This was however before this little gem,

“You know, I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. We’re roughly in that ballpark…” said Luckey, “but it’s going to cost more than that. And the reason for that is that we’ve added a lot of technology to this thing beyond what existed in the DK1 and DK2 days.”

Meaning that the rough ballpark of £230 could go out the window very quickly, with it later being stressed that a lower price point wasn’t of concern to the development team and they were instead more focused on making sure the quality wasn’t compromised.

Are you interested in the Oculus Rift? Do you own one or have you got a development kit? What are your thoughts on it?

Thank you Ars Technica for the information.

 

Oculus Already Working on Second Consumer Version

Since Oculus announced their consumer version of the Oculus Rift there has been much conversation on what is to come next in Oculus Rift’s lineup, so the question is Oculus rift already working on the second version of the Rift?

”Of course” says the Oculus’s founder, Palmer Luckey. ”There certain things you have to,” he paused, “there are components with long lead times, years even, or custom optimizations that aren’t going to fit into their roadmap for a few years. Those are the kind of things you have to start doing some work on if you want to ship a product on time.” What those things are specifically, Palmer wouldn’t elaborate, but there is plenty of room for speculation.

Oculus has been investing a large amount of its resources into computer vision technology, purchasing companies like Surreal Vision, The 13th Lab and Nimble. additionally Oculus’ newest running partner Microsoft is investing into the computer vision scene with its Hololens and has some of the most advanced projects in the field.

The idea of AR in a VR headset is quite far from new but is has never been truly perfected. Early concepts of the Rift have shown a forward-facing camera at the front of the face, a feature which seems to have been removed for the first customer edition.

An image (see above) from Will Steptoe’s “AR Rift” project that used two cameras at the front of the Rift to create mixed reality experiences. Will now works for Oculus…

One of the images leaked earlier this year showing an early concept image for the CV1 – note the camera

It seems very obvious that Oculus would like to evantually enable inside-out tracking within its own headset-meaning that it would no longer require and external sensor for positional tracking. this will eliminate any issues with occlusion as well as enabling positional tracking.

It’s good to see that Oculus are continuing to push the Rift even further even when the first consumer version isn’t available yet

Will you get the Oculus rift or wait till the second consumer version?

Thank you UPLOAD for providing us with this information

Use Google Street View on Your Oculus Rift

The most revolutionary piece of gaming technology in the past decade has to be the Oculus Rift, or at least it is for me. Virtual Reality has come a very long way, can you remember back to the mid 90’s when you could pick up a very cheap gaming kit that resembled an N64 controller and a cheaply made headset that you could play a small array of games on? Well, now the world has moved on from pixelated games and into the real world.

In the past, users have used their VR headsets to view the huge amount of 360° pictures available through Google Street View to varying degrees of success. Now it seems a keen coder has produced a small application with a huge amount of functionality for direct use for the Oculus Rift. If you are lucky enough to own a Rift, why not try out the feature through the download links below. This is currently in Beta stages, so if you happen to find a bug, why not add your feedback in the source link at the bottom of the page.

Windows Download

Mac Download

If you have tried this, let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Thank you to reddit for providing us with this information.

Minecraft May Be the ‘Killer App’ for Microsoft’s HoloLens

While the hype is still going into virtual reality, we shift focus for a bit and try to look at what augmented reality has to bring too. Microsoft just demoed how its HoloLens gear deals with augmented reality and used Minecraft as a game example on stage at E3.

Though Minecraft first appeared in a HoloLens press release earlier this year, it did not look so appealing at first. However, Microsoft really outdid themselves when they did the E3 demo. It began on a virtual TV screen, which seemed pretty normal for a presentation. But it was not until someone dragged it onto the table that got everyone so excited.

If you know Minecraft, you sort of get the 3D Lego feeling when you work around its vast world. Now picture it on a table and interacting with it from above. Pretty amazing, huh? You may not have any idea how amazing it is until you watch the video below.

Though augmented reality may seem a bit locked into certain types of games, such as crafting, building and RTS in general, Microsoft did announce it already has a partnership with Oculus for future development. Also, Microsoft is working on bringing compatibility with the SteamVR as well, so we are bound to see a lot of potential in future games.

Thank you Cnet for providing us with this information

Starbreeze Studios’ Upcoming VR Headset Could Prove to Be the Next Big Thing

We are hyped about what VR headsets are available to developers and what they can do with them. From Oculus to Razer, manufacturers are looking into the new tech and attempting to bring their own personal touch to it.

This is the case of Starbreeze Studios too, the developer of Payday and The Chronicles of Riddick, who just announced that they are working on a VR headset at an event in Los Angeles. Named StarVR, the company demoed the gear on their upcoming The Walking Dead title.

But what makes this headset stand out is its specs. I mean Starbreeze went crazy on this one. StarVR is said to boast a 5120 x 1440 resolution and 210 degree FOV angle. Should it be true, then StarVR is the next big thing in the VR market. However, let’s think about it. 2160 x 1200 is the standard resolution in Oculus an SteamVR!

Secondly, the massive resolution running at 90Hz is not going to run on your average rig. We are talking about the state of the art gaming machine here if you want to even make the headgear work and not stand next to it with a fire extinguisher.

In addition to the above, the company is said to have presented a new gadget for the VR headset too. It is said to have been a shotgun, which not only tracks where you aim, but where you place your hands on it too. We are probably going to get more details about the headset at E3, but until then, how excited are you about the StarVR? Let us know in the comments below.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of AllGamesBeta

What We Learned From the Oculus Live Event

The Oculus Special Live Event is over and we learned a lot of new things about the hardware, bundles, and software. So what did we learn from this special live event? First of all, we will get the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset in Q1 2016, at least that is the schedule.

There are a lot of users out there that already wear glasses and putting a VR headset on top of those is an absolute must. The Oculus does this flawlessly and even comes with built-in headphones. Not to worry if you’d rather use your own ones, you can just detach the included.

Included is also a Xbox One wireless controller and the motion tracker that you place on your desk – everything you need to get started with your very own virtual reality experience.

While some people might wonder a bit about the inclusion of a Xbox One controller, it does have a reason. Oculus worked closely with Microsoft, among others, to be able to provide you with the best gaming experience. Including a controller with the Rift gives developers a unified platform with controls that they know every Rift owner has.

At the same time, they made sure that the Oculus Rift will work perfectly with DirectX 12 when it comes out together with Windows 10 very soon.

The headset is light enough to easily hold with one hand, and it looked really light during the presentation. The way it was held and moved around. But we will have to wait until later to get an exact weight of the headset. It is without a doubt a big improvement on the developers kits that have been released up until now.

The in-VR interface allows you to navigate without taking the headset off. Buy new games, browse your collection, or stalk your friends – all from inside the headset.

New was the reveal of the Oculus Touch, codenamed Halfmoon. The Oculus Touch is actually two controllers, one for each hand. They include motion tracking as well as traditional buttons and analog sticks as you’re used to from your normal controller. This allows a completely new interaction with your game. Move your hands and get feedback too. This looks awesome.

We sadly didn’t get any price yet, but I’m sure that will follow soon. The release date is set for Q1 2016 which could mean anything from CES to any other date in that quarter.

Users will be able to test the new Rift hands on during the upcoming E3 event where it will be demonstrated with everything that is available. Games and hardware, and it can be experienced. I think VR is something no one really understands until they’ve tried it. I’m sure that Oculus will release more details during that event, and we’ll make sure to keep you updated as it emerges.



 

Oculus Rift Features VR Navigation and New Oculus Touch Input

Accessing content while wearing a virtual reality headset has to be easy and Oculus created an in-headset application for that. Browse you games, buy new ones, stalk your friends – everything you’re used to from Steam, Origin, Uplay, or any other gaming platform.

The only difference is, you don’t need to leave your virtual reality. And that goes a long way as screenshots and videos only go so far in ways of presenting 3D content. That’s why you can browse and preview everything with the VR engine. There’s also a 2D interface available when you sit at your computer and don’t want to put on a headset to browse your library or see what your friends are playing.

One of the first thing almost everyone does when entering the world of VR for the first time, they reach out and try to touch or grab what isn’t there, because it feels like you’re there.

Now we’ve seen that Oculus will include a Xbox One controller with the Rift, that might not be the perfect gadget for every scenario. It still provides a unified setup that developers can work from, something that everyone has when they have a Rift headset.

That is where code-name Half-moon comes into play and while it isn’t hands-free motion tracking of everything, it’s somewhere in between and it looks great. We’re talking about the Oculus Touch and the crowd cheered during the presentation.

 

The Oculus Touch is actually two controllers, one for each hand, and each with motion traction. Included are also the traditional controls known from gamepads. The only difference between the two is that they are mirrored, just like your own hands.

The Oculus Rift Is Finally Here

The Oculus Rift is here, the final product for all us consumers. And it looks great. Not only does it look a lot slimmer and lighter than the developers kit, it also comes with that promise. It’s easy to hold with one hand, so you should be able to endure long gaming sessions with it on without extra stress on your head and neck.

It comes with a built-in headset, but you can remove it in case you want to use your own. It also looks to have an in-headset app or storefront, but that might be from another system. The view of it was very brief.

The have worked long on both the hardware and software, and it looks like it has paid off. This could be the beginning of virtual reality for the mainstream.

The two screens are OLED and provide a wide field of view. That comes combined with the a refined tracking system that works in conjunction with the external sensor that you place on your desk.

The Oculus can also accommodate normal glasses, something many users requested.

Oculus Live Event Coverage

Oculus have something up their sleeves and the countdown for the special live event has almost reached zero. Nerds, geeks, and virtual reality fans are equally curious and anxious to see what they have planned and will present for us.

Luckily we don’t have to wait much longer as the event is about to go live. We will of course bring you all the hot news as they roll in.

On stage come Brendon Iribe, the CEO of Oculus. The whole thing starts out with a history lesson about 2D and why VR will change everything. Nothing new, but something we’ve all been dreaming off for a long time.

It’s the Oculus Rift headset! The final version for consumers, no development kit anymore.

NVIDIA Offer GeForce VR Experience @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – While at the NVIDIA stand, we couldn’t help but notice the huge display of virtual reality experiences presented. NVIDIA are at the forefront of VR, collaborating closely with many partners to ensure the best possible experience upon release.

During the display, they offer passers-by the chance to use the latest Oculus Rift: Crescent Bay headset. This is a truly immersive experience, especially if you are standing up. Outside the booth, you can see what the headset is displaying, here you can see that the image is warped at the edges to ensure that the headset can display correctly and that the image will be normal once viewed through the optics.

Here at eTeknix, we are extremely excited about this new technology and we cannot wait until it is released to the public for everyone to try. We will keep you updated with the latest news and events from the rest of Computex 2015.