Gaming news summary for August 30, 2015
Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Rocket League for Mac and SteamOS announced, the HTC Vive will be limiting its release this year, more The Taken King details are released, and Borderlands starts its journey to the big screen.
Gaming news summary for August 11, 2015
Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, the lawsuit between ZeniMax and Facebook over Oculus-related trade secrets continues, Bungie reveals why one Destiny actor has been replaced, Rockstar permanently bans some game modders, and a developer files for bankruptcy after finishing a Kickstarter project
Gaming news summary for August 9, 2015
Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Square Enix prepares a Tomb Raider mobile game for release, action movie John Wick heads to VR, Valve offers refunds for a game that cannot be completed, and Vimeo is incorrectly served with takedown notices for videos featuring the title of gaming-related movie "Pixels."
Professional-level Nokia Ozo offers live monitoring, rapid 360-degree video composites
Nokia has unveiled its first camera aimed at professional creators of 360-degree video content, for the production of footage viewable using virtual reality headsets and other imaging systems. The Ozo virtual reality camera is a spherical device that has a collection of eight imaging sensors and an equal number of microphones capable of recording stereoscopic video and audio that can be seen and heard at all angles.
Wider field of view, higher resolution touted in Starbreeze VR headset
Starbreeze, the producers of Syndicate, Brothers, and parent company of Payday developer Overkill, is entering the virtual reality business with its own hardware. Introduced at the same time as Starbreeze revealed it acquired VR headset producer InfinitEye, the prototype StarVR headset is claimed to have a 210-degree field of view, far wider than the horizontal field of view offered by its major competition, the Oculus Rift.
Final consumer-ready VR headset to include Xbox One controller
Oculus has finally uncovered the consumer version of its virtual reality headset, along with other accessories aimed with helping enhance the VR experience. The Rift headset has received some alterations compared to the version used by developers to make it more suitable for consumers, and an unexpected partnership with Microsoft to allow it to work natively with Windows 10 devices as well as for streaming games from the Xbox One into the headset.
GeForce GTX 980 Ti has 6GB memory, 2,816 CUDA cores
Nvidia has launched its latest non-Titan flagship graphics card, the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, as well as commencing sales for its new set-top box. Part of a raft of announcements made recently, the new card is an upgrade from the GTX 980 that is claimed to easily play games at a 4K resolution, as well as meeting Oculus' virtual reality content requirements of providing images at a resolution of 2160x1200 at 90 frames per second.
Google VR efforts include multi-camera rig, Jump Assembler, YouTube hosting
Google spent some time during its Google I/O keynote talking about its virtual reality efforts. Google Cardboard has received an update, with the budget VR headset now able to work with iOS devices, while its other video-related efforts involve a new design of camera system that has the support of camera producer GoPro, and the incoming addition of true stereoscopic VR video to YouTube.
Total Recall Technologies claims Oculus VR founder broke confidentiality agreements
The Facebook-owned Oculus VR and its founder are being sued, for allegedly using trade secrets from another company in its devices. Total Recall Technologies claims it hired Palmer Luckey in 2011 to create a prototype of a head-mounted display, confidential information that apparently formed part of the creation process of the original Kickstarter-funded Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
Consumer Oculus Rift hardware to require Geforce GTX 970 or equivalent GPU
The consumer version of the Oculus Rift will require a high-powered PC when it is finally released. Oculus VR has advised of PC specifications recommended for the "full Rift experience," and though it includes some fairly standard components for a gaming PC, including 8GB of RAM and an Intel Core i5-4590 processor, it will also need a graphics card that is at least the equivalent of an Nvidia Geforce GTX 970 or an AMD 290.
First Oculus VR release for consumers will be tweaked version of Crescent Bay prototype
The team behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset has confirmed a consumer-grade version is on the way, though it will not arrive this year. The Facebook-owned company will be shipping the first consumer edition of the head-mounted display in the first quarter of 2016, with pre-orders for the long-awaited device set to begin sometime later this year.
Hand-based motion controls added to developer version of Razer VR headset
Razer's virtual reality headset will include the ability to track the motion of the wearer's hands. The OSVR Hacker Dev Kit from Razer will include an optional faceplate with Leap Motion hardware embedded inside it, allowing for developers to create apps that take into account the wearer's hands, and potentially allowing for a more intuitive and realistic virtual reality experience for users.
Google VR development team said to include dozens of engineers
Google is working on making an interface for Android specifically for virtual reality headsets, a report from the Wall Street Journal claims. The search company allegedly has a team made up of "tens of engineers" and other staff working on a VR experience for the mobile operating system, which aims to make Android more useful for developers of VR apps and games.
Steam Link home streaming device, virtual reality hardware announced at GDC
Valve Software made a considerable number of announcements at the Game Developers Conference, just as it advised, concerning both hardware and software development. The company's Source 2 engine was revealed, alongside a new set-top box for in-home streaming called the Steam Link, Steam Machine updates, and more about its recently-unveiled virtual reality efforts.
Latest PlayStation 4 VR headset prototype has bigger OLED screen
Sony is bringing its Project Morpheus virtual reality headset to consumers in the first half of 2016, the company has advised at the Game Developer Conference. Sony has also revealed a new prototype for the VR headset at the event, with the device exchanging the five-inch LCD panel used in the previous version for an OLED-based 1080p screen measuring 5.7 inches.
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge follows Note edge in putting display on smartphone sides
Just as expected, Samsung has launched two flagship smartphones at its Unpacked event today. The Galaxy S6 is the latest update to the long-standing Galaxy S line, while the Galaxy S6 edge improves upon the expanded screen concept introduced with the Galaxy Note Edge last year, but this time Samsung has curved the screen around both sides of the device, giving users an even wider display.
Virtual Reality hardware set to be revealed by Valve Software
Valve Software is going to be showing off its own virtual reality headset at the Game Developer Conference 2015 next week. As well as its own SteamVR hardware, Valve will be providing developers with the chance to try out a refined version of the Steam Controller, a game pad that was announced alongside the company's high-profile Steam Machines initiative in 2013.
VR Facebook experience being worked on by social network
Facebook is working on apps that will work with virtual reality devices, the social network has confirmed. Capitalizing on its $2 billion acquisition on virtual reality headset producer Oculus VR, the company is apparently producing apps, not just for the consumption of VR content, but also allowing people to easily make and share content for VR systems.
VR for G3 based on Google Cardboard design, made of plastic
Samsung is not the only smartphone manufacturer looking to offer a virtual reality experience to consumers using their devices. LG is going to be providing buyers of the G3 smartphone with a headset designed to work with the handset, similar to Samsung's Gear VR initiative, with the accessory said to use a similar design to Google Cardboard.
New monitor collection includes four curved screens, 5K-resolution display
HP launched quite a few high-resolution monitors at CES, along with a few other notable displays. The HP Zvr is a virtual reality display that forms part of the company's Blended Reality ecosystem, while two 4K screens are joined by a 5K-resolution model, with the collection rounded out by four curved high-resolution computer monitors.
Milk VR provides Gear VR owners with 360-degree videos
Samsung has released its companion service for the Gear VR headset. Milk VR, in the same range as Samsung's music and video services, will provide 360-degree videos and other content to owners of the virtual reality headset, as the manufacturer attempts to make the Gear VR useful to potential users looking at competing VR systems.
Developers for low-tech virtual reality device gains more support from Google
Google's low-tech virtual reality efforts have received a boost, with updates for users, developers, and those creating their own version of the Google Cardboard kit. Alongside a new Cardboard app making it easier to find and view VR experiences, Google Play now includes a collection page showing a number of made-for-Cardboard apps, including a performance by Paul McCartney and scenes from The Hobbit.
Virtual reality headset ships via Samsung, AT&T for $199, requires Note 4
Samsung has started to sell its virtual reality headset in the United States. The Innovator Edition of the Gear VR, a headset which requires the use of a Galaxy Note 4 as a display panel and for processing visuals, is the company's first virtual reality device being sold directly to consumers, alongside some demonstration programs and resources for coding VR content.
Company searching for experience with Oculus Rift, game engines
Apple is seriously invested in developing VR-based gaming and/or interfaces, new job listings suggest. One calls for a game engineer with experience not just in VR but the latest game engines, with the purpose of creating software "combining state-of-the-art physics-based world simulation, visuals and Virtual Reality to enable Apple's development of next-generation product." Another listing asks for an app engineer familiar with the Oculus Rift VR headset as well as the Leap Motion gesture controller.
Virtual reality headset releasing in December, SDK available now for developers
During the Samsung Developer Conference today, the South Korean electronics company officially announced that the first wave of Gear VR headsets are coming to the market. Consumers looking forward to getting their hands on the smartphone-powered virtual reality (VR) device can look forward to a sale day in early December.
Input device issue is largest barrier for Oculus Rift commercial release
A consumer edition of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset could arrive sooner than expected, the Oculus VR CEO claims. Speaking at Web Summit 2014 in Dublin, Brendan Iribe advised that the VR headset is "close," and the third Crescent Bay model of the popular head-mounted display is said to be "largely finalized for a consumer product."
Facebook looks to build a business from virtual reality, betting on long term
During the earnings call for third quarter financial results, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave further information on the expectations of the Oculus Rift, including the path he sees Oculus traveling in the future. While no exact information was stated about a consumer release, Zuckerberg said it could take years for the technology to be "meaningful."
Budget VR headset from Archos can hold a 6-inch smartphone
Archos has stepped into the virtual reality market with its own headset accessory. The Archos VR Glasses are similar to the Samsung Gear VR, the Zeiss VR, and Google Cardboard, in that it can accept a smartphone in the front of the headset to be used as the main display, with the device said to be compatible with Android, Windows Phone, and iOS devices with a screen size of up to six inches.
Zeiss VR One able to accept variety of smartphones using custom trays
Lens producer Carl Zeiss is stepping into the virtual reality headset market, with its own device. Similar in construction to the Oculus Rift, the Zeiss VR One works by turning a high-resolution smartphone into a display, similar to how the Samsung Gear VR uses the Galaxy Note 4, though Zeiss' effort will in theory be able to work with a wider array of devices.
Alleged internal document claims December Gear VR launch, $187 price
Samsung will start shipping its Gear VR peripheral at the start of December, a report claims. The virtual reality headset, officially unveiled during September's Unpacked event, is said to be heading to retail in South Korea from December 1st, with an allegedly leaked internal document claiming it will cost consumers 200,000 won ($187).
Hardware specifications are set, improvements will be coming to CD1 model
During GamesCom, Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey and Vice President of Products Nate Mitchell spoke to Eurogamer, giving some clues on the future of the virtual reality (VR) headset. While neither party had anything to say about a potential release date, new information was given on the price and improvements of the consumer version of the Oculus Rift.
Company credits need for innovation in technology for some recent products
At Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Seattle this weekend, Intel took to the stage during the "Future of PC Gaming" panel to outline some of the ways that the company is bolstering its support of PC gaming. During the panel, Vice President and General Manager of Desktop Lisa Graff outlined some of the changes the company has made with gamers in mind, as well as where future technology will drive the market.
Gear VR photo shows Oculus Rift-inspired design of Samsung headset
A photograph of Samsung's upcoming virtual reality headset has leaked. The image of the headset, codenamed "Project Moonlight" but appearing in a previous leak under the "Gear VR" name, appears to depict a device which combines aspects of the Oculus Rift design with that of Google Cardboard, into a VR headset which reuses an existing smartphone.
Software confirms Gear VR modular design, installs three apps for use including manager
On top of getting their hands on a render photo and a name for Samsung's upcoming virtual reality (VR) device earlier this month, Sammobile was able to spend some time with an early version of the software responsible for controlling the Gear VR. Called Gear VR Manager, the software shows off some of the basic usage features of the headset, along with the setup.
Controllers track hand and body movements, could upset other device developers
Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift headset, is reportedly developing its own motion controllers to accompany the virtual reality (VR) headset. CNet reports that people familiar with situation indicate Oculus is creating a controller in-house that would track hand and body movements for a more immersive VR experience.
Google Cardboard offers an incredibly good VR experience
One of the highlights of the Google I/O developer event for 2014 was the debut of the experimental Google Cardboard project. With the dawn of mass market virtual reality finally upon us thanks to the arrival of the Oculus Rift (at least in early beta hardware form), Google Cardboard seems decidedly low-tech by comparison. Seemingly a little odd at first, the Cardboard premise is a simple one: bring a virtual reality experience to an even wide audience, on the cheap, to anyone who owns a relatively recent Android smartphone. Made from its namesake cardboard, could it possibly be any good?
Oculus Rift intended for developers, not for resale at a profit
The Oculus Rift has managed to achieve over 100,000 developer kit sales, but not without some issues. The Facebook-owned company, Oculus VR, has been forced to suspend sales of the virtual reality headset to Chinese customers, with many orders to the country canceled under the suspicion that Oculus Rift headsets are being resold at a profit, instead of being used by developers as the company intended.
Samsung VR headset said to use smartphone for display
Samsung will be reportedly collaborating with Oculus VR on its own virtual reality headset. The Facebook-owned start-up is said to be aiding Samsung in creating software for the device, as well as providing early access to its mobile software development kit, in exchange to access for next-generation OLED panels it requires for its own device, the Oculus Rift.
Report claims VR headset will run off next-generation Samsung mobile devices
Samsung is planning to enter the virtual reality market, by producing its own headset, according to reports. The electronics giant is hoping to take on the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift headset and Sony's Project Morpheus, with the company hoping to beat both to the market by launching its head-mounted display before the end of this year.
Ticket blaster experience gets VR upgrade as company looks at new technologies
Cutting-edge virtual reality may not be something that comes to mind when someone thinks about children's restaurant chain Chuck E. Cheese, but it soon might be. The popular birthday hub is teaming up with Reel FX and Oculus VR to bring a new gaming experience to its patrons. An old favorite, the Ticket Blaster, will get a new look for kids that are taking part in birthday parties with the "Chuck E. Cheese's Virtual Ticket Blaster Experience."
Blurring reduced, resolution increased in updated Oculus Rift VR headset
Oculus VR has revealed the latest iteration of its Oculus Rift developer kit at the Game Developers Conference, and is now accepting pre-orders for the upgraded virtual reality headset. Development Kit 2 (DK2) is based on the updated Crystal Cove prototype the company demonstrated at CES in January, and introduces a number of new features for developers to take advantage of.
ITA to promote VR and to collaborate on Virtual Reality technologies
A collective of companies working on virtual reality technologies is rebranding itself in time for the Game Developers Conference. The Stereoscopic 3D Gaming Alliance is now calling itself the Immersive Technology Alliance (ITA) and will continue to "foster a vibrant and diverse industry that content makers can support on a wide scale."
First Sony VR headset claimed to beat first iteration of Oculus Rift
Sony could be preparing to reveal its own virtual reality headset at the Game Developer's Conference next week, according to a rumor. According to "developers familiar" with the device, the initial version of the headset will be shown to developers alongside a demo from a first-party studio, with the reception of the device potentially dictating if Sony will proceed to a public release.
Oculus gives no timeline as it searches for sources
Virtual reality headset manufacturer Oculus announced on February 19 that they were forced to halt production on further developer kits, as components needed to make the Rift are no longer being manufactured. An undisclosed number of units are still available, but further unit production will have to wait until the necessary components can be re-sourced.