Category Archives: Vr

Google makes it easier to bring VR to your apps and the web

The challenge of bringing virtual reality to the masses isn't so much recording it as putting it in front of people's eyeballs. How do you plunk VR into an app without resorting to exotic code? Google can help. It's launching a VR View tool that m…

Pre-order your PlayStation VR core bundle at 10AM ET

Already have the camera and controllers you need to make full use of PlayStation VR? Your moment is at hand: as of 10AM Eastern Time today, March 29th, you can pre-order the PlayStation VR core system ahead of its October launch. Plunk down $400 and…

Seven games for Oculus Rift owners to seek out now

Our week or so with the Oculus Rift hasn’t provided enough time to do full, deep-dive reviews of all 30 games that launched alongside the hardware (though we did find the time for a full VR playthrough of space station float-em-up Adr1ft). For those early adopters getting their shipments now, here are our early impressions of some of the games that have been filling out Rift’s eye holes the most over the last few days.

Eve: Valkyrie

Developer: CCP Games
Price: $59.99 (free for pre-orders)

Definitely the most impressive Rift exclusive we’ve played so far, Eve Valkyrie has the potential to be a long-lasting killer app for the headset. Dogfighting in space planes is far from new in video games, but the same old genre manages to feel entirely new in VR.

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Oculus takes you into the colorful alien world of ‘Farlands’

High-end virtual reality is here, by way of the long-awaited consumer Oculus Rift. But to get the most out of that headset, you're going to need entertaining VR experiences. Thankfully, Oculus has you covered. Along with the launch-day game lineup it…

The Ars review: Oculus Rift expands PC gaming past the monitor’s edge

It’s here, and it’s real.

Headset specs
Display 2160×1200 (1080×1200 per eye) OLED panels
Refresh rate 90 Hz
Field of view 110 degrees
Lens spacing 58-72mm (adjustable)
Controllers Xbox One gamepad and Oculus Remote (both included)
Head Tracking 3-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, and external “Constellation” IR camera tracking system
Audio Integrated over-ear headphones with 3D directional audio support and built-in microphone
PC connection 4m custom cable (integrates HDMI and USB connections)
Included games Lucky’s Tale (and Eve Valkyrie with pre-order)
Recommended PC specs
GPU NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
CPU Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
RAM 8GB
OS Windows 7 SP1 or newer
Outputs 3 USB 3.0 ports (for headset, tracking camera, wireless controller dongle), one HDMI 1.3 port

It took me a few days with an Oculus Rift before I really felt comfortable swiveling my head around while playing a video game. Sure, I’d gotten somewhat used to the idea in years of trade show VR demos or while playing around with my own Oculus Rift development kits and Samsung’s Oculus-powered Gear VR. But those experiences were fighting with decades of gaming experiences where my head generally stayed glued to one spot, pointed at the center of a TV or monitor, and tilted only occasionally to maybe get a better view of something in the corner.

It can be easy to fall back into the “look straight ahead” habit when you first start playing many Rift games. Even when the 3D display showed items flying past my shoulder or out of my peripheral vision, I’d often reach instinctively for the right analog stick or the shoulder buttons on my controller to try to turn the camera. It would take a split second before I realized, “Hey, wait, I can just turn and look for the thing I want to see.”

It might sound hyperbolic, but this is a change that requires looking at and thinking about gaming in an entirely new way. The final consumer version of the Rift now shipping to early adopters shows that Oculus has taken that rethinking seriously, putting years of development and billions of Facebook dollars of careful work toward the problem. But it also shows some early rough edges, especially on the platform software side, and these small blemishes highlight the fact that we’re still very much in the first generation of consumer-grade virtual reality.

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Oculus founder flew to Alaska to deliver the first consumer Rift

Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus, took it upon himself to deliver the first consumer version of his company's virtual reality headset, the Rift. Ross Martin, a VR enthusiast and indie developer from Anchorage, Alaska was the lucky recipient of the de…

A ‘Star Trek’ Holodeck in Steam VR was inevitable

Let's face it: if you grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, you probably see virtual reality as just a stepping stone toward the Holy Grail of simulation, the Holodeck. It's no surprise, then, that Reddit users illogical_cpt and Bradllez…

HTC Vive developer explains how to livestream ‘mixed reality’

Mixed reality games — which combine VR and AR — are about to become very mainstream when the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets ship in just a few days. For Twitch streamers who want to do justice to the first wave of such games, the…

Oculus starts shipping the finished Rift headset

It finally happened. After nearly four years of crowdfunding, developer kits, an acquisition by Facebook and seemingly endless hype, the finished Oculus Rift headset is shipping to its first customers. Oculus chief Brendan Iribe has confirmed that hi…

Hulu’s Gear VR app puts you in a virtual viewing room

Your Gear VR just became a very personal TV. Hulu has launched an app for Samsung's virtual reality headset that lets you watch conventional movies and TV shows alongside native VR video from the likes of Discovery, National Geographic, Showtime and…