Virtual Reality

  • Capcom Likes VR Tech For Horror Games

    Virtual reality is something that will get more and more popular as time passes. The tech is already loved by many but owned by a niche number of gamers. As more games come out that utilize it and as the price of the tech drops there will be more gamers picking this up for sure.

    One of the most suitable uses for VR tech has been for horror games. The level of immersion allowed by VR just makes the experience that much more terrifying. Understandably many Japanese developers think that VR is a great idea for horror games such as the iconic Resident Evil franchise. It seems that Capcom already is considering using this tech for future Resident Evil installments.

    In an interview with Game Informer, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 producer Michiteru Okabe said the following: "Speaking personally, I'm really excited about VR. I think it makes sense. Having gone from 2D to 3D, now it's time to surround yourself in these worlds instead of just having a screen in front of you. It makes sense; the technology is there." He continued on to say that VR tech is a great addition to survival/ horror games because of the added immersion. Like Okabe, Resident Evil Remake produced Yoshaiki Hirabayashi said that he too is "really stoked about the idea of virtual reality". So we can all expect the future Resident Evil titles to take advantage of this tech and maybe get back to the survival horror genre it belongs to.

  • DualShock 4’s Light Bar Was Created for Project Morpheus

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    Some gamers were not too happy with the light bar. Although it was a pretty cool integration into the controller itself which allowed the controller to be used like a move controller with the PS4 Camera, some felt as it was not a worthwhile choice.

    The main complaint was basically the battery life and they felt that it would have been good to not have it at all or have an off switch. The idea of the off switch was quickly shot down by Shuhei Yoshida on twitter. Most gamers were more than satisfied with the 5 hour battery life of these controllers, and was a non-issue for those who had two controllers to swap between.

    But now news confirms the fact that this feature was integrated into the controller from the start to work with Sony’s new VR headset – Project Morpheus. This news came straight from SCEE senior designer Jed Ashforth who spoke to TechRadar regarding this.

    He said that they couldn’t say anything about the light bar till Project Morpheus was revealed. Also it was tough for them to deal with the situation when complaints about the light bare rolled in when they couldn’t mention anything about its real purpose.

     “The tracking light… it was our department that said we need that on. It was for tracking for VR, and when all these things were coming out six months ago and everyone was going ‘it’s reflecting in my TV,’ we were going ‘oh no’ because we couldn't tell anyone what it was for.”

    Well finally we know. Guess there is no reason to hate it anymore since the light bar finally has a major purpose. Also those who still think it is a worthless drain on battery life do not fear. The newest update added the option to dim the light bar when you don’t need it.

  • Before Buying Oculus Zuckerberg Tried PS4’s VR Headset

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    For now Oculus and PS4’s VR are the two VR headsets that are currently taking all the spotlight. For now the Oculus is just for PC and on the other hand PS4’s VR as the name suggests, is for the PS4.

    We all know the story of how Facebook acquired Oculus VR a few weeks back, but new information suggests that he was also considering PS’4 VR – Project Morpheus – at the same it. According to a Playstation executive, just a week before revealing his deal with Oculus VR, Mark Zuckerberg had tried out PS4’s Project Morpheus.

    Guy Longworth, Sony marketing executive, said that Zuckerberg approached Sony to try their VR at Games Marketing Summit 2014. Longworth said, "I wish he bought ours, all the folks at Oculus have got big smiles on today."

    There is no official statement regarding this but it seems pretty clear that Zuckerberg might have been checking up on the competition before finalizing his decision to acquire Oculus.  The deal is yet to be closed as of now but there has been a lot of controversy over this deal.

    Some people didn’t like the fact that Oculus sold out after getting the starting cash from Kickstarter. Also Minecraft creator Markus Perrson also cancelled his plans to make Oculus compatible Minecraft as he didn’t trust Facebook. Notch said,

    "Facebook is not a game tech company. Facebook has a history of caring about building user numbers, and nothing but building user numbers. People have made games for Facebook platforms before, and while it worked great for a while, they were stuck in a very unfortunate position when Facebook eventually changed the platform to better fit the social experience they were trying to build."

    Also Zenimax just filed a lawsuit against Oculus VR claiming that they stole IP from Zenimax that led to the creation of Oculus Rift.  Although Oculus VR has denied these claims only time will tell what will happen and whether this will affect Oculus’ deal with Facebook which is yet to be closed.

  • Zenimax Claims - Oculus Rift Technology Was Stolen

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    More drama in the video game industry as a fight erupts over the rights to the technology powering the Oculus!

    It was just reported by Wall Street Journal that Zenimax Media Inc. claimed that the IP that runs Oculus Rift was actually stolen by John Carmack (id Software co-founder and creator of Doom). According to WSJ Zenimasx’s lawyers have sent two letters, one to Oculus VR and the other to Facebook which recently acquired Oculus VR for 2 billion dollars (the deal is yet to close).

    John Carmack left id Software which was a subsidiary of Zemimax to become the new chief technology officer at Oculus VR. Zenimax’s lawsuit is on the basis that Carmack has stolen the IP developed during his time at id Software to create the Oculus VR what it is now.  This is the statement Zenimax spokesperson gave IGN:

    "ZeniMax confirms it recently sent formal notice of its legal rights to Oculus concerning its ownership of key technology used by Oculus to develop and market the Oculus Rift. ZeniMax’s technology may not be licensed, transferred or sold without ZeniMax Media’s approval. ZeniMax’s intellectual property rights arise by reason of extensive VR research and development works done over a number of years by John Carmack while a ZeniMax employee, and others. ZeniMax provided necessary VR technology and other valuable assistance to Palmer Luckey and other Oculus employees in 2012 and 2013 to make the Oculus Rift a viable VR product, superior to other VR market offerings.

    The proprietary technology and know-how Mr. Carmack developed when he was a ZeniMax employee, and used by Oculus, are owned by ZeniMax. Well before the Facebook transaction was announced, Mr. Luckey acknowledged in writing ZeniMax’s legal ownership of this intellectual property. It was further agreed that Mr. Luckey would not disclose this technology to third persons without approval. Oculus has used and exploited ZeniMax’s technology and intellectual property without authorization, compensation or credit to ZeniMax. ZeniMax and Oculus previously attempted to reach an agreement whereby ZeniMax would be compensated for its intellectual property through equity ownership in Oculus but were unable to reach a satisfactory resolution. ZeniMax believes it is necessary to address these matters now and will take the necessary action to protect its interests."

    Oculus spokesperson denied the claims saying the following to IGN, "It's unfortunate, but when there's this type of transaction, people come out of the woodwork with ridiculous and absurd claims. We intend to vigorously defend Oculus and its investors to the fullest extent," an Oculus spokesperson told IGN.

    Back in 2012, Carmack contacted Oculus VR’s founder Palmer Luckey leading to the creation of the Oculus Rift. Sometime later the same year the unsuccessful negotiations started between Zenimax and Oculus VR for Zenimax to get some sort of compensation for the Oculus IP. John Carmack has however come forward and posted on Twitter denying Zenimax’s claims over the IP with the following tweets :

    "Oculus uses zero lines of code that I wrote while under contract to Zenimax,"

     "No work I have ever done has been patented. Zenimax owns the code that I wrote, but they don’t own VR.”

  • Oculus Rift Developing Team Has Set Their Eyes on 2014 as Possible Release Date

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    Oculus Rift, the highly anticipated Virtual Reality gaming apparatus, has its origins in a very successful Kickstarter campaign where it raised approximately $2.5 million. Now, speaking to Edge, CEO Brendan Iribe said that the team wants to release the VR headset to the public next year. Iribie also said that the company is right now focusing on the PC and “next-gen cellphones.” Seeing as how the developer’s kit is only compatible with the Mac and the PC as of now, their focus on PC (or Mac) is not very surprising. However, the “next-gen cellphones” bit is intriguing. On the prospect of releasing the Oculus Rift into the mobile market, Iribe said:

    “It’s the innovation, and how fast cellphones are now improving - where we’ll be with the next Galaxy or the next iPhone compared to where consoles are. Those tings are almost doubling every year, compared to a console that’s just stuck it out for eight years - it just makes us very excited. There’s a lot of improvements that can be made on the hardware side for VR that no-one’s doing yet because it’s a new thing. The mobile rate of innovation is going to be able to make a lot of those improvements.”

    To yours truly, the main thing to look forward to in this VR paradigm is the immersion factor. And thankfully, Iribie seems to agree with my sentiments:

    “I think a lot will come from the social and emotional side that nobody has even seen yet. Like, you’ll know where the player’s eyes are, and characters can now look at you and say ‘hey what’s up?’ and if you look away they’ll be like, ‘hey, what’s going on?’. There’s a lot of emotion you can spark in [VR] that you just can’t on a TV. When you have headset with a really wide field of view and low latency, your brain flips the switch and says: wait a second - this is reality now? It just fundamentally changes the way you feel things.”

    Although the team is aiming for a next year release, they’re not in hurry, since they’re putting a lot of effort in making it ready for the consumer market. Still, Iribie said that “... we have internal prototypes which have a lot of each thing solved and it’s such a magical experience when you see it all together.” As for the subject of pricing, the team seems to intend to keep the launch price as close to 300$ as possible.

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