Hands-On With Alien: Descent — A New Take On VR Attractions

A new kind of VR attraction opens today in Orange County, California, with Alien: Descent offering a trip to LV-426 overrun with dangerous Xenomorphs. I’ve previously visited location-based VR attractions from companies like The VOID, Dreamscape Immersive, and VRStudios. This system, put together by Pure Imagination in partnership with Fox, brings together different VR technologies…

Apple HMD Research Continues With New Eye-Tracking Patent

An Apple patent for eye-tracking published today highlights the company’s continued research and investment into VR and AR. Last year Apple reportedly acquired leading eye-tracking company SMI, which forced other manufacturers using the tech in their hardware designs to find other options. Eye-tracking is important for comfortable communication using a VR or AR headset —…

Mark Zuckerberg Explains Why He’s Still Committed To VR

Facebook held its quarterly earnings call today to update investors on the company’s performance, and in a Q&A session someone asked about VR. It was a well-timed question coming ahead of the launch of Oculus Go, Facebook’s first standalone VR headset, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the opportunity to respond. Though his answer is…

World Engine NeosVR Launches Beta May 4

One of VR’s most ambitious and longest-gestating projects is heading toward a beta launch on May 4, and its creator is looking for supporters on Steam and Patreon. NeosVR is a project from Tomáš “Frooxius” Mariančík and Solirax co-founder Karel Hulec that’s been in development for several years. It is a collection of tools to let…

Samsung Launches Six Indie VR Projects

Six indie VR projects are now available on the Samsung VR Video service via the Oculus store. The debut episodes are the product of a new program from Samsung looking to fund indie filmmakers while encouraging them to use the 360 Round — a high-end VR camera from Samsung that sells for more than $10,000. The…

HTC Vive Pro Is $1,400 With Controllers And New Base Stations

A complete version of the HTC Vive Pro system with next generation base stations is around $1,400 plus tax. The new bundle announced today by HTC includes two future-proof base stations that, when combined with a future software update and two additional units, should ultimately enable SteamVR 2.0 Tracking across a huge 10 meter by…

Steam Spring Sale Features Deep Discounts On Top Titles

Some of VR’s most popular titles are seeing deep discounts through Monday as part of Steam’s spring sale. The list of discounts is pretty extensive, but early access VR shooters Onward and Pavlov are both discounted 40 percent to around $15 and $6, respectively.  The “ludicrously violent” early access gladiator simulator Gorn is just $15…

Oculus Faces ‘Existential Crisis’ In Handling Personal Data

Facebook is overhauling the Oculus privacy policy and terms of service as the company prepares to launch its first standalone VR headset. The change comes amid new European privacy regulations and an international movement calling into question Facebook’s platform and business model. Earlier this month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress to answer questions about…

How VR Can Get To A Hundred Million Headsets By 2024

I recently outlined the VR headsets which pushed the technology forward over the last six years by giving lots of developers new capabilities. In this post, I want to provide a blueprint for people to think about the spatial computing revolution over the next six years. Only a handful of companies worldwide have the teams…

Beat Saber Launches May 1 On Rift and Vive

An incredible mixed reality video by LIV just revealed a May 1 launch date for music rhythm VR game Beat Saber. The video does a great job capturing what to expect from this game, which carefully syncs up sword slices to music. Some other VR music rhythm games have already been released, but the developers…

Virtual Reality Headset History 2012 To 2018

Over the last six years consumer VR products evolved considerably, with new capabilities added each year for developers to use in building virtual worlds. This evolution is sometimes hard to see because VR headsets came in two varieties — wireless and wired. Until 2018, wireless VR trailed the capabilities of wired systems except in a…

Report Outlines Potential Risks With Use Of VR By Kids

A new report from Stanford researcher Jeremy Bailenson in partnership with Common Sense Media outlines what parents need to be thinking about if their children are interested in trying VR. Common Sense Media operates a site with reviews that help parents gauge if a movie or game is appropriate for their child. In a foreword…

Vive Pro Hardware Review: For VR Buyers With Deep Pockets

Two years ago HTC Vive beat Oculus Rift to market with a more complete package, helping inspire developers who were able to create groundbreaking virtual worlds in which people could use their hands to interact and feet to move around larger spaces. Now, just days after we saw Oculus Rift widen its lead over Vive…

Facebook Spaces Rolling Out New Avatar System

Facebook’s experimental app for meeting in VR, Spaces, is giving people new ways to change their appearance. Facebook Spaces was introduced last year, around one year after the launch of the Oculus Rift. It’s currently available on Rift and Vive, but a recent job listing confirms plans for support on PSVR as well. The software…

Ready Player One Movie Review

Ready Player One occupies an important position in pop culture. Roddenberry’s Holodeck defined VR for much of the ’90s and, by the year 2000, the Wachowski’s Matrix wove itself into the common fabric of everyday discussions. Over this same period, personal computers followed a trajectory of becoming even more personal while also embedding themselves as…

Ready Player One Movie Review

Ready Player One occupies an important position in pop culture. Roddenberry’s Holodeck defined VR for much of the ’90s and, by the year 2000, the Wachowski’s Matrix wove itself into the common fabric of everyday discussions. Over this same period, personal computers followed a trajectory of becoming even more personal while also embedding themselves as…

GDC 2018: Oculus Go Feels Like A Solid $200 Standalone VR Headset

One of the very first things I did in Oculus Go was lean. I was playing Settlers of Catan at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and they were demonstrating cross-play from Rift to Oculus Go. There was a person sitting to my right in VR and I instinctively leaned to get a better…

Vive Focus To Ship Globally In 2018

HTC plans to start selling the Vive Focus standalone VR system globally “later this year.” The headset already sells in China for around $635, including local taxes, and offers full freedom of movement for your head paired with a controller that works kind of like a laser pointer. Vive Focus runs apps from HTC’s Viveport…

GDC 2018: Budget Cuts Is Coming To Vive And Rift In May

For more than two years Sweden-based Neat Corporation has been working to turn its robot-killing VR demo Budget Cuts into a fully fledged game with hours of entertainment. We just left the first demo of the game at GDC and learned how close they are to releasing one of VR’s most anticipated titles. A complete…

GDC 2018: HTC Drops Price Of The Original Vive Package To $500

Today’s announcement of the price for an HTC Vive Pro upgrade also brings with it a permanent global price drop for the original HTC Vive package. The original Vive headset, controllers and base stations now sell for $500. That’s a $300 drop from their original price at launch in April 2016, but still $100 more…

GDC 2018: Vive Pro Headset Upgrade Is $800, Ships April 5

If Déjà vu is a glitch in the simulation, Vive owners should get ready to experience a bug in the system. Two years ago, many of them spent $800 for an HTC Vive providing a full roomscale VR experience with hand controls. Now those owners can spend another $800 to upgrade the system to a…

How This Studio Sold Nearly 100,000 Copies Of Its VR Game At $20 Each

In February 2016, Anton Hand emailed Valve’s Chet Faliszek with details about some of his previous work with Unity and experiments in VR. Hand was one of the earliest backers of the Oculus Rift on Kickstarter, and earlier at the University of Buffalo, he spent time working with a CAVE VR system. One of the…

Tobii Develops Eye-Tracking Standalone VR Headset With Qualcomm

Eye-tracking is expected to be an important next generation technology in VR headsets, potentially enabling better performance through foveated rendering, and lower hardware costs overall, at the same time it dramatically changes how a virtual world responds to your presence. Apple purchased SMI, one of the leading companies in the field, leaving other manufacturers to…

Datavized Uses WebVR To Map Information Across All Devices

Datavized is a VR startup with a data visualization platform designed to display across all devices using WebVR. Right now Datavized needs geographically-coded data to represent on a globe that it displays across all devices, with a drag and drop tool to turn spreadsheets into interactive 3D maps. The software can still accept spreadsheets without geo…

Skyrim VR Coming To Rift, Vive and Windows MR On April 3

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR is now available for pre-purchase on Steam for $59.99. The game came to PSVR last year, but its expansion onto PC VR platforms, with official listings for Rift, Windows MR and HTC Vive, marks a big moment. We can’t wait to see what the game looks like on Rift…

Crisis On The Planet Of The Apes Will Make You Hate Humans

The first thing I see are my hands. Clenching my fingers around the Oculus Touch controllers, they turn into two powerful, hulking ape fists connected to hairy arms. “Do I get to punch humans?” I ask. I’m a big fan of the Planet of The Apes movies, and the modern trilogy did a great job…

HTC Details 8 Ready Player One Experiences From Various Devs

HTC Vive is the official VR partner for Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, which premieres later this month, and heading into the SXSW conference in Texas the company is ready to show some of the experiences it created with a host of different developers. We count eight different Ready Player One VR experiences from a…

Microsoft Improves SteamVR Performance In Latest Build

An update coming this spring, and available early to Windows Insiders with the 17115 build, is said to improve the performance of some games purchased through Steam for Microsoft-backed headsets like the Samsung Odyssey. According to a blog post from Microsoft, the update includes: A brand-new environment. In October we mentioned that the Cliff House…

Oculus Is Trying To Fix Rifts After Software Bug

Oculus is investigating an issue keeping people from enjoying their Oculus Rifts. The Oculus subreddit is plastered with complaints, temporary fixes and warnings about those fixes. According to a post on the official Oculus forums: We are aware of and actively investigating an issue impacting ability to access Rift software. Our teams apologize for any…