DisplayLink, known as producers of USB graphics technology, have announced that they are working on a new concept for a wireless virtual reality (VR) headset. The headset will use the same high-compression algorithms they developed for their other products to reduce latency.
John Cummins, SVP Sales and Marketing at DisplayLink, had this to say; “VR is changing the way we interact with computers and the way we visualise information, yet a totally immersive experience for either gaming or business isn’t possible while worrying about cables. Rapid movements such as turning or crouching could cause damage to equipment and literally tie the user up in knots. VR is opening a whole new chapter in visual immersion, but limits on cable connection, latency and bandwidth bring large challenges which DisplayLink is uniquely positioned to solve. DisplayLink’s industry-proven compression technology and ultra-low latency enable a fully immersive experience.”
Graham O’Keeffe, CEO and Chairman of DisplayLink also had this to say; “Virtual Reality is taking the world by storm right now and DisplayLink is uniquely positioned to deliver solutions that can be fitted to exiting headsets or integrated into emerging designs. We’re leveraging proven and scalable technology already used by millions of users to drive retina resolution displays, and adding new techniques to further reduce latency. This is a very exciting time for us and the industry, and I’m confident the forthcoming solutions from DisplayLink can rapidly propel wireless VR adoption.”
At CES in Las Vegas in January, DisplayLink built a custom Green Screen stage for attendees to use for Mixed Reality filming and interaction. They are also demonstrating the product at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, at booth Congress Square CS122 near Hall 7.
VRFocus will keep you updated on any news regarding the DisplayLink Wireless VR and other Wireless VR products.
Developers of space MMO Eve Online, CCP Games have announced their first wholly original IP outside the EVE universe. They have revealed that they are working on Sparc, a sport only possible through virtual reality (VR).
The videogame is expected to be released on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR and is currently expected to be released sometime in 2017. The gameplay involves using motion controllers to throw projectiles at opponents from distance, while in turn defending themselves from incoming projectiles by dodging, blocking or reflecting. There are expected to be single-player modes as well as several multiplayer modes and a training mode.
CCP have also said there will be a means to spectate on matches and queue for more matches using Courtside, a free-form social area usable from within VR or on-screen. There will also be a range of customisation and personalisation options available.
“After our early experiments with standing VR gameplay, we were excited by the idea of building an original sport designed for the current generation of VR hardware. We’ve designed Sparc so that players can express and improve their skill through their physical actions.” said Morgan Godat, Executive Producer at CCP Atlanta. “Ultimately, we want players to think of Sparc as a virtual court in their living room where they can meet and compete with other players from around the world.”
Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP Games added; “At CCP games, our goal is to harness our passion for virtual reality as a new medium and create the killer apps for the first generation of VR technology. We set out to achieve that in mobile VR with Gunjack and in seated VR with EVE: Valkyrie, both released in the first year of VR becoming publicly available. With Sparc, we want to capitalize on the unique strengths of standing VR and deliver a game with all the depth and excitement to keep players returning long into the future.”
For further details about Sparc you can visit the official website. VRFocus will, of course, keep you up to date with further news on Sparc and CCP.
Sony have shipped almost a million PlayStation VR headsets since the device launched in October 2016. However, it has been no secret that there were stock shortages around Christmas, and Sony have revealed some details on the reasons for this.
Global Chief Executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), Andrew House, admits he initially advised caution in the amount of PlayStation VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) should be manufactured. He said in an interview with the New York Times; “It’s the classic case in any organization — the guys who are on the front end in sales are getting very excited, very hyped up,” Mr. House said. “You have to temper that with other voices inside the company, myself among them, saying let’s just be a little bit careful.”
This caution may have been one of the reasons HMDs were somewhat scarce in stores, especially in Japan. There was also a statement from Sony stating that they were having problems with some of the components for the OLED display, which also slowed down distribution. There have been reports of consumers lining up outsides Japanese stores when stock is replenished for the opportunity to buy one of the headsets. Prices for used PlayStation VR’s online also took a huge jump, sometimes selling for almost double the original retail price.
The PSVR sales figures have been revealed as being 915,000 units sold as of Feb. 19. Official figures from HTC Vive and Oculus Rift have not been released, but analysts at SuperData Research estimates that there were 243,000 Oculus Rift headsets and 420,000 HTC Vive headsets sold by the end of last year.
The PlayStation 4 (PS4) has a current install base of more than 53 million people, and Mr. House mentioned he would be “very happy” if the PSVR was purchased by even a high single-digit percentage of all PS4 users, but he, like many other analysts, believes that future headsets will need to be lighter, cheaper and not encumbered by cables if they are to reach the biggest audience possible.
As always, VRFocus will bring you more information on the PSVR when it is available.
HTC Vive are, as expected, attending the 2017 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona and with a fully-stocked booth. Their line-up is as follows: Mindshow, MakeVR, You VR, Island 359, Vive EU, Cover Me!!, Richie’s Plank Experience and the TP Cast.
Mindshow is a videogame and also a tool for creating movies, allowing players to record the 3D environment similar to a real film set in a way comparable to how Machinima work.
MakeVR is essentially a 3D modelling applications implemented into virtual reality (VR). It allows the creation and manipulations of objects you create in the virtual space in a way similar to a Computer Aided Design (CAD) programme.
YouVR allows a player to experience the full ins and outs of the structure and function of a human body, such as stepping right inside a virtual heart to watch it beating.
Island 359 is a demo that allows for full-body tracking through the use of additional sensors and controllers to allow the movement of the rest of the players body instead of just their hands.
Cover Me!! Is also present in the booth, a multiplayer VR experience that links the Vive head mounted display (HMD) with a smartphone attached to a plastic gun peripheral and use the screen to aim.
Virtual Reality (VR) game Richie’s Plank Experience is coming to Viveland the VR theme park in Taipei, Taiwan. The venue will have a physical plank set up to more accurately simulate the experience that many players have characterised as terrifying.
Richie’s Plank Experience is a videogame demo currently on Early Access. Gameplay features the player taking an elevator up to a plank that site 160m above the ground and then trying to walk to the end without falling off. The game has been described by developers as an experience designed for first-time VR users. There are also settings within the game that allow for the use of the physical plank, as Viveland will be doing.
VRFocus‘ Nina takes on the virtual heights at MWC 2017.
Viveland is located on the 3rd floor of the Syntrend Creative Park and covers a space of 330 square meters. It was opened on October 29th 2016 and is designed for both single and multi-player VR experiences. Their specialised VR booths are equipped with HD projectors, AMD high-performance graphics cards, stereo equipment, SteelSeries wireless headsets and comfortable seating.
Richie’s Plank Experience is part of a large catalogue of VR games available at Viveland, including Fruit Ninja, Everest VR, Zombie Camp, Project CARS and Front Defence.
VRFocus will keep you updated on further news about the HTC Vive and Viveland.
HTC have announced the availability and price point of their HTC Vive add-ons the Vive Tracker and Vive Deluxe Audio Strap. The company have also announced that there will be new financing options available in North America, and China through JD.com.
The Vive Tracker allows for real-world objects to be incorporated into the virtual reality (VR) experience. It will be available in two phases, a developer version by March 27th, and a general consumer version is expected later in the year.
CloudGate Studio is one of the early adopters of the Vive Tracker and will be demonstrating the use of multiple trackers to create full-body VR experience. This technology will be available for demonstration with CloudGate Studio’s gameIsland 359 at GDC from March 1st in Valve’s booth.
The Deluxe Audio Strap is set to go on pre-order on May 2nd and is expected to be available in June. The new audio strap combines integrated audio with extra comfort features to make things more comfortable during long sessions. There is also a new sizing dial to switch between single or multiple users.
Both products will be available for a RRP of $99.99 (USD). However HTC have announced that new financing options will now be available for North America and China as follows:
For North America:
0% Financing for 6 months for a total monthly cost of $138.00 (plus tax and shipping) 0% Financing for 12 months for a total monthly cost of $66.58 (plus tax and shipping) 7.99% Financing for 24 months for a total monthly cost of $40.13 (plus tax and shipping)
0% Financing for 3 months for a total monthly cost of ¥2,296 (tax and shipping included) 0% Financing for 6 months for a total monthly cost of ¥1,148 (tax and shipping included) 0% Financing for 12 months for a total monthly cost of ¥574 (tax and shipping included)
As always, VRFocus will keep you updated with further information on the Vive Tracker and Deluxe Audio Strap and other HTC Vive products.
Virtual reality (VR) hardware comparison website VR Bound have just announced an awards ceremony to celebrate outstanding achievement in the VR industry. The black-tie event will feature some of the biggest industry names and is promising a night of entertainment and celebration.
Judging for the awards is being undertaken by experienced experts in the VR industry who will judge the 12 overarching categories as follows:
VR Headset of the year
VR Headset of the Year
VR Hardware of the year
VR Game of the year
Innovative VR Company of the year
VR experience of the year
Most Creative use of Marketing in VR
Interactive VR Media / Film of the Year
VR Start-up of the year
Best use of VR in Education and Training
Best use of VR in Healthcare
Best out of home VR entertainment
Nominations will be open between the 13th March and 1st May 2017 and nominees from all areas of VR have been invited to participate by sharing products they believe are award-worthy.
The event will be held in Central London on the 23rd September 2017. There are only 300 tickets available, however, and are expected to sell quickly.
Co-founder of VR Bound Daniel Colaianni said of the event; “The VR Awards to us is all about recognizing achievement throughout the industry and not just in content. We are creating a diverse platform for the industry whether it be the headsets we wear or the innovative companies that drive forward the industry. [sic]”
For further information on the judges, tickets and the opportunity to nominate when it becomes available you can go to the Official Website.
VRFocus will keep you updated with further information on the International Industry VR Awards.