F8: Consumers Can Purchase Oculus Rift VR Headset in 2015

During Facebook’s F8 developer conference this week, an Oculus VR spokesperson said the company would likely release its Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets commercially next year. While there is no official word yet on a price tag or release date for the consumer version of Oculus Rift, the headset will require an ecosystem of games and entertainment. The Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 is presently on sale for $350, and is scheduled to begin shipping in July. Continue reading F8: Consumers Can Purchase Oculus Rift VR Headset in 2015

Facebook Plans to Purchase VR Startup Oculus for $2 Billion

In a surprise announcement yesterday, Facebook revealed its plans to acquire Oculus VR, maker of the virtual reality Oculus Rift headset. Reaction to the $2 billion agreement has ranged from excitement on Wall Street — to bewilderment by those questioning the accuracy of the news — to anger by some early supporters who pledged funds to the startup via its Kickstarter campaign. Others reportedly disappointed in the news include developers who purchased early prototypes of the Oculus Rift hoping to become the first to create games. Continue reading Facebook Plans to Purchase VR Startup Oculus for $2 Billion

Sony Unveils its Project Morpheus VR Prototype at GDC 2014

Sony has plans to introduce virtual reality to its PlayStation 4 console with new hardware called “Project Morpheus.” During the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, the company unveiled a prototype with two headset components — a closed display and what looks like a PlayStation Move sensor. The unit features HDMI and USB connections, a 1080p display and just over a 90-degree field of view. The prototype, three years in the making, will also serve as a developer kit. Continue reading Sony Unveils its Project Morpheus VR Prototype at GDC 2014

New Milestone: Kickstarter Passes the $1 Billion Pledge Mark

According to Kickstarter, the crowd-funding site officially passed $1 billion in pledges yesterday. Of the one billion pledged by 5.7 million individuals from 224 countries and territories to help fund creative projects, more than half was pledged in the last 12 months. More than $663 million was pledged by nearly 3.76 million backers in the U.S. alone. Other top countries include the U.K., Canada, Australia, Germany and France. Interestingly, nearly 16,000 people have backed more than 50 projects. Continue reading New Milestone: Kickstarter Passes the $1 Billion Pledge Mark

Industry Execs Discuss Direction of Games, VR and the Cloud

Trends in electronic gaming, virtual reality and the impact of the cloud were topics addressed during last week’s Digital Entertainment World conference in Los Angeles. During “The State of the Game Industry” panel, Machinima co-founder Allen DeBevoise said that gameboy culture is driving entertainment. Companies including Warner Bros. are exploring games as a service; gaming in the cloud seems inevitable, but faces challenges; and VR tech is supported by most, while consumer adoption remains a hurdle. Continue reading Industry Execs Discuss Direction of Games, VR and the Cloud

Japanese Companies Developing Technology for VR Broadcasts

Japanese telecom giant NTT and video network NicoNico Douga have co-developed a 360-degree broadcast video system designed to replicate live events such as concerts. The “interactive” system is expected to connect to existing head-mounted displays, so that viewers will enjoy some degree of personalized viewing. Through the collaboration, live video content recorded in Tokyo has been developed alongside broadcast tech intended to optimize both the video and audio quality. Continue reading Japanese Companies Developing Technology for VR Broadcasts

Avegant Glyph: Virtual Reality Headset Gets Positive Review

Avegant’s virtual reality headset Glyph features a visually stunning, immersive, 3D retinal display. The $499 Glyph does not have a screen like many of its competitors, including the Oculus Rift. Instead, it uses a projection method emitting light from a low-power LED that reflects light on both eyes’ retinas with lenses and about two million mirrors, so as not to cause eye fatigue. While many people are impressed, there are concerns regarding the headset’s size and cost. Continue reading Avegant Glyph: Virtual Reality Headset Gets Positive Review

Oculus Rift: Virtual Reality Headset Goes Beyond Video Games

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset was developed with video games in mind, but is becoming a compelling possibility for filmmakers as well. A 360-degree interactive video of a live performance by Beck proves to be truly immersive, making the viewer feel as if he or she is on stage with the musician. Makers of the Rift took to this year’s Sundance Film Festival to interact with filmmakers and see how the virtual reality technology can potentially be used in cinema. Continue reading Oculus Rift: Virtual Reality Headset Goes Beyond Video Games

Valve Says There are Now 75 Million Worldwide Steam Users

Following a strong showing at CES last week, Valve kicked off its 2-day Steam Dev Days conference in Seattle (Jan. 15-16) with the announcement that the online gaming platform now has 75 million users, a 15 percent increase from numbers released in October. Global sales for 2013 were strongest in North America and Western Europe. Steam Dev Days is an invite-only event, and the first of its kind for Valve, where 1,200 developers and publishers gathered to discuss the new Steam Machines. Continue reading Valve Says There are Now 75 Million Worldwide Steam Users

Engadget Announces the Best of CES 2014 Awards Winners

As official partner to the Consumer Electronics Association, senior editors from Engadget selected finalists for this year’s Best of CES awards. At the end of the week, they had selected winners across 13 categories, in addition to a ‘Best of the Best’ winner — the Oculus Rift ‘Crystal Cove’ prototype. Engadget also announced that the People’s Choice Award went to Razer for its first wearable device, the Nabu, which registered nearly 50 percent of the more than 54,000 reader votes. Continue reading Engadget Announces the Best of CES 2014 Awards Winners

Changing the Way We Game: Virtual Reality with Oculus Rift

The focal point of the virtual reality renaissance, the Oculus Rift, is edging closer to its consumer release. The company was at the 2014 CES showing off the latest update to its ever-improving 3D head-mounted display with a prototype codenamed Crystal Cove. The new device improves the frame rate and image persistence of its two screens to reduce motion blur. ETC was on-hand to test out the latest VR experience and talk to the company’s young founder, Palmer Luckey. Continue reading Changing the Way We Game: Virtual Reality with Oculus Rift

YEI Demos PrioVR Suit: Combines Motion Capture and Gaming

Billed as, “professional grade motion capture without cameras, cords, or specialized studios,” YEI Technology is promoting its PrioVR suit as the next step in full-body immersion. The 17-sensor, inertial sensing suit can be put on with minimal effort and promises to offer 360 degrees of low-latency, wireless motion capture. The system offers a great deal in terms of virtual reality gaming, but could also make waves for independent cinematographers looking for low cost motion capture. Continue reading YEI Demos PrioVR Suit: Combines Motion Capture and Gaming

CES 2014: Compelling Products Generating Early Buzz (Part 1)

With the annual Consumer Electronics Show just around the corner, we’ve compiled a first pass list of products and services we’re looking forward to seeing in Las Vegas next week. We believe these should be of particular interest to those who work in entertainment media. While we anticipate seeing products that directly compete or overlap with those on this list — and we hope there will be plenty of additional surprises — we wanted to share some of the expected highlights in advance. Continue reading CES 2014: Compelling Products Generating Early Buzz (Part 1)

Avegant Glyph Virtual Retinal Display Doubles as Headphones

A virtual reality headset by Avegant could hit the mainstream market in 2014. Glyph, Avegant’s $499 Virtual Retinal Display headset, looks like a pair of headphones. In fact, it is a pair of headphones, but when flipped forward over your eyes, it becomes a high-res display that’s comparable to watching an 80-inch TV. Glyph, however, doesn’t have a screen. It projects images directly into your eyes using two million micromirrors, which reportedly do not cause eye fatigue. Continue reading Avegant Glyph Virtual Retinal Display Doubles as Headphones

CES 2014: Gaming Trends to Expect in Las Vegas Next Month

Once an afterthought at the International CES, gaming stole the show at last year’s confab, due in part to strong offerings from NVIDIA and Valve’s hotly-anticipated foray into hardware. With the release of Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 still fresh, Kickstarter supercharging virtual reality and more independent developers than ever before, we are expecting even bigger gaming news to be announced during January’s show. Continue reading CES 2014: Gaming Trends to Expect in Las Vegas Next Month

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