SteamVR Input makes VR control schemes adaptable for users and devs alike

Building games for VR is hard. As well as making sure your game is fun and interesting, you've also got to ensure that your users don't puke after they put a VR headset on. Valve can't do too much about these three issues, but they can help solve another bugbear: control schemes.

VR gamers have a wide range of input options, from traditional console gamepads and racing wheels to VR-specific controllers made by giants like Oculus or hand-assembled by enthusiasts. Even if a developer supports the...

By William Judd, 16 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Devices, Ecosystems, Gaming, Hardware.

3dRudder to showcase foot motion controller at CES 2018

Tech company 3dRudder will be showcasing a VR accessory at CES 2018 in January. The company will be unveiling the latest version of its foot motion controller.

The foot-powered controller solves one of the key problems of creating truly immersive room-scale VR experience: the limitations of space. By allowing users to control their movement with their feet while they are sitting down is not only likely to be much more intuitive then current systems, but it will also free up hand controller functionality for...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 06 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Hardware.

AMC aims to bring room-scale VR in theatres by 2019

AMC Entertainment, the largest theatrical motion picture exhibitor in the world, has invested $10 million into VR startup Dreamscape Immersive, to open six VR centres in North America and the UK.

The company has also committed another $10 million to finance VR content productions with the LA-based startup. Dreamscape Immersive is focused on room-scale installations and real-time motion tracking.

The six new VR-locations will be in addition to Dreamscape’s flagship location in Los Angeles, which is due...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 27 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise, Gaming.

E3 2017: VR absent from Xbox One X announcement

There was a noticeable ripple of excitement throughout the VR community earlier this year when Microsoft announced that its new console offering (codenamed ‘Project Scorpio’) would feature VR support.

At E3, Scorpio was revealed to be the slightly confusingly named Xbox One X, a new 4K console that promises more power, memory and faster processing then anything on the market.

The announcement was accompanied by a torrent of game announcements and technical...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming.

The versatility of VR: Four key use cases showing its potential

It’s no secret social virtual reality is having a moment. As one of the key highlights to come out of the Facebook F8 conference, not only has VR now mastered ‘presence’ (convincing the brain you’re actually there without the motion sickness) but it also has its sights set on making you feel the presence of others. 

The possibilities with this are huge; from dating to interactive business meetings, and even football matches where you can feel the crowd’s excitement but skip...

By Charles Crotty, 31 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Enterprise, Gaming.

Unity Technologies nets $400 million investment

Private equity firm Silver Lake has agreed a $400 million investment in Unity Technolgies, according to Bloomberg Technology.

Unity is an important player in the global games market, creating development tools that underpin a large amount of the video games on the market. The Unity game engine is the most popular third-party development software amongst game creators.

With regards to VR, around 90% of Samsung VR games and 53% of Occulus Rift launch titles were made using Unity software.

The huge investment in...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 24 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Gaming.

Startup Improbable raises $500m in funding

Improbable, a British VR startup has announced a hugely successful round of Series B funding.

The funding round, led by Japan’s SoftBank, raised $502 million for the company, which was founded by Cambridge computer science graduates.

According to the Guardian, the investment could be the largest ever investment in a European tech startup.  

The company uses cloud-based distributed computing to allow for the creation of virtual worlds for use in games or for ‘massive-scale simulations of the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Platforms.

Google acquires Owlchemy Labs

Owlchemy Labs, one of the world’s most famous VR game studios, has announced that it has been acquired by Google.

The studio has produced some of VR’s most high profile and critically acclaimed games such as Job Simulator and the recent Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality.

The partnership will see Owlchemy continuing to create content for HTC Vive, Occulus Touch and PlayStation VR.

The company was founded six years ago and achieved its first real bit of success with the release of Job Simulator,...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 11 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming.

Facebook winds down Oculus Story Studio VR content arm

(c)iStock.com/fergregory

Oculus is to ‘wind down’ Story Studio, the company’s cinematic virtual reality (VR) division to focus more on investing in external content.

“We’re now entering the next chapter of VR development, where new creators enter the market in anticipation of adoption and growth, and we’ve been looking at the best way to allocate our resources to create an impact on the ecosystem,” wrote Jason Rubin, VP content at Oculus

By VR 360, 05 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Developers, Gaming.

Past, present and future challenges: a talk with Katie Goode of Triangular Pixels

The recent VR World Congress 2017 was a celebration of how far the VR market has come and all the exciting paths that stretch out into the future.

In amongst the talks and stalls eagerly talking about the ways that VR will change entertainment and business, was a panel on the challenges face by businesses operating in the market.

One of the members of the panel was Katie Goode, creative designer from award-winning games design agency Triangular Pixels. A veteran of the VR...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 18 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming.

VR market review: VR World Congress 2017

Carl Hibbert of Futuresource Consulting provided the audience with a review of the VR market and possible future trends.

The presentation started with a perhaps surprising bit of research that asked people who had already tried VR which piece of hardware they had used. 31% said Samsung VR, 15% said Playstation VR and 14% cited Google Cardboard.

Futuresource are anticipating that 90 million VR and AR units will be being sold annually around the world by 2021.

An interesting...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, eSports, Gaming, Hardware, Platforms.

UK’s first VR game experience to open in Leeds

The Hyper Reality Experience is the first in a series of VR game experiences that will be launched across the UK by Tick Tock Unlock.

The game sees teams of up to 8 players being given 15 minutes to complete a ‘free-roaming, live-action’ challenge.

Set to open in Trinity Leeds on 22 April, the project has been developed by former J.P Morgan executive Ali Khan.

According to Mr Khan, the centre will provide “a new form of entertainment that is part video game, part virtual reality, part...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 27 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: eSports, Gaming.

Kingston University VR centre puts students at the cutting edge of games design

Kingston University has invested £53,000 to create the Centre of Augmented and Virtual Reality Environments to ensure its students are right at the forefront of the games industry.

Known by the slightly more ominous name of CAVE, the centre compliments the newly- redesigned games lab at the university’s Penrhyn Road campus.

As well as preparing students for their professional lives by giving them access to the latest equipment and tools, staff also hope to give them the opportunity for...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 24 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Gaming, Research.

Fallout 4 VR to demo at E3 2017

Bethesda, the company behind the Fallout series as well as DOOM and Skyrim, is taking a bold step into VR.

When released, the game will likely be the first open-world game that has been updated for a full VR experience.

The company’s vice president of PR and marketing, recently confirmed that Fallout 4 VR will be demoed and playable at E3 2017.

And according to lead designer Todd Howard, the experience is going to be a game changer. 

You can see the interview

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 24 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming.

BMW harnessing Unreal Engine for vehicle development

BMW is combining VR, 3D printing and technology transferred from the computer games industry to radically alter the way it develops it vehicles.

Whereas the world of product development for large-scale manufacturing has always been a long and costly process, the combination of three distinct technological advancements could be about to consign that to history.

The new process uses 3D printed prototype components with a VR environment based on Unreal Engine's real-time physics-based rendering.

This creates the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 23 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Case Studies, Gaming.

Linden Lab’s VR world Sansar reminds me of OASIS from Ready Player One

The VR world being created by Linden Lab, Sansar, reminds me of OASIS from dystopian novel Ready Player One.

Without any spoilers – because the book should be on your reading list – Ready Player One features a VR world called ‘OASIS’ where people live, work, and learn, to escape from overpopulated cities devastated by the depletion of fossil fuels, global warming, and economic stagnation. Based in 2044, it offers an increasingly feasible look at where the world is...

By Ryan Daws, 08 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Platforms.

Editorial: Increasing the appetite for VR with the right content

VR was everywhere at this year’s MWC, but the industry still has some work to do when it comes to increasing consumer appetite.

According to IBB Consumer Research, just 16 percent of surveyed consumers are interested in VR and 13 percent do not know what it even is. Of those who are interested in VR and own equipment, 44 percent received their headset as a gift or part of a bundle, 30 percent spent up to $99, 20 percent between $99 and $500, and just 6 percent spent more than $1000.

By Ryan Daws, 03 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Devices, Gaming, Hardware.

HTC plans to enter the mobile VR arena

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/monkeybusinessimages)

With its handset business continuing to falter, HTC is banking on making a success of mobile VR to improve the company’s outlook.

HTC is best known for its smartphones, but their recent flagships have failed to stand out amid tough competition from the likes of Apple, Samsung, and LG. Last year, HTC’s profits dropped almost 80 percent ahead of their next flagship release.

Where HTC has managed to carve itself a place is...

By Ryan Daws, 15 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Gaming, Platforms.

The outlook for VR in 2017: Hardware, content, and going beyond gaming long term

(c)iStock.com/Rasica

Having worked through 2016 with businesses and investors on the opportunities and risks of VR, it is clear to me that we are still in the foothills of the eventual impact of VR on a range of industries and business models.  Whilst fully realising the potential of VR will take years, even decades, I can make four predictions that are likely to be true in 2017:

Computer games will be a big winner in the short term

VR in computer gaming is an attractive theme for investors because this...

By Nick Field, 10 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Ecosystems, Gaming, Hardware.

Christmas stressing you out? Here's four VR apps to help you chill

Virtual reality has made quite a comeback in 2016. Thanks to Oculus, HTC and Sony, consumer friendly VR is finally rolling out and now everyone and their grandma has tried a roller coaster ride on a smartphone strapped to their face.

But VR can do more. Much more. As VR can cut us out from boring ol' reality and immerse us in something we can control (and desire), it is the perfect tool to help us overcome stress, among other issues like anxiety, fears and psychological trauma. So...

By Parth Misra, 22 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming.