We spoke with Razer about its Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) ecosystem at the Consumer Electronics Show a couple of months ago and were excited about the possibilities. Even more intriguing is the announcement that Leap Motion has partnered up with Razer to integrate its motion-tracking capabilities right into Razer's OSVR headset when it ships to consumers later this year.
During GDC, Valve was making quite an impression with attendants who experienced the company’s SteamVR demonstration (you can read about the experience). But it wouldn’t have been impressive if it weren’t for some of the titles that are being developed. Maximum PC Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang was able to interview a couple of the developers at Cloudhead Games about its VR title The Gallery: Six Elements.
The tech colossus has reportedly assigned ‘tens of engineers’ to the project
Virtual reality was all the rage at the recently-concluded Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, with the SteamVR-powered HTC Vive headset stealing the show and some of Oculus Rift’s gradually-accumulated thunder. But brace yourselves for another head-turning entry into the nascent VR market. According to the Wall Street Journal, an effort to develop a VR-optimized version of Android is currently underway at Google. This, the paper says, is the search engine giant’s response to last year’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR by Facebook.
Epic Games earlier this week announced that it was dropping its subscription fee to license Unreal Engine 4. Now instead of paying $19 per month on top of any applicable royalties, developers can dive in and get access to UE4's complete C++ source code hosted on GitHub. They can even make a little bit of pocket change without sharing the wealth -- up to $3,000. After that, a 5 percent royalty per quarter applies. Not a bad deal, and we caught up with Epic at GDC to talk about this and more.
What is it like to experience VR's latest prototype called "Crescent Bay?" How does it feel to have a T-Rex breathe down your neck as you stand in a pile of her unhatched eggs? Does the T-Rex really have a walnut-sized brain? Awesome, scary, and watch Land of the Lost. Those are our quick answers if you're in a rush. For everyone else, let us elaborate a bit about what we saw at GDC.
At GDC today, a number of VR and AR developers gathered in a casual forum moderated by Chris Pruett, who does developer relations for Oculus VR. What followed was an interesting jam session as creative minds shared their ideas, triumphs, and frustrations with virtual platforms. Pruett stated at the beginning that he was not there as a representative of Oculus, and in fact he was not the original planned leader of the session.
I just walked out of Valve’s SteamVR demo and can say that it is the best VR experience I’ve ever had. And this is coming from a guy who has tried nearly all of the VR headsets out there, including Oculus VR’s newest Crescent Bay prototype. This is the closest thing to a modern-day holodeck we have at the moment.
The lead designer on some games you might have heard of, like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, has been away from the forefront of first-person shooters for a few years, but he has not been idle. Aside from building rockets that fly into space, John Carmack also been dabbling in virtual reality. In August 2013, he became Chief Technology Officer of Oculus VR, founded by fellow techno-wunderkind Palmer Luckey. Perhaps sensing a kindred spirit, Carmack tackled the technical underpinnings of the company's purely mobile plans, specifically the Samsung Gear VR headset, which uses the company's mobile phones to act as the brains and display of the device. Today, in front of a packed house of hundreds of developers and journalists, Carmack gave a talk on how that process had worked, and what he expects of the platform in the future. There were no revelations about the Oculus Rift, but a lot of the work that he's putting into Gear VR can spill over into that.
Bringing medical-grade technology to the consumer space
One of the running themes at the 2015 Game Developer Conference (GDC) is virtual reality, a space that's attracting an increasing number of players as the technology inches closer to becoming mainstream. One company to keep an eye on is MindMaze, makers of a prototype "neuro-goggle" headset that combines a potpourri of technologies, including augmented reality, virtual reality, motion capture, and even neurosensing.
What it feels like to be Sandra Bullock in Gravity
If you've seen the movie Gravity, you may have found yourself wishing that you, too, could have a chance to explore a space station, if for nothing else than simply the view from so far up above. Or the thought of doing so might now make you soil your underpants after watching the flick. Not to worry because Opaque Multimedia's Earthlight demo lets you virtually explore the International Space Station through an Oculus Rift headset with motion-tracking technology from Microsoft's second-generation Kinect.