A New PSVR will Not Release Alongside the PlayStation 5

Cool guy with PSVR.

Check out this dude up there. Smokeshows are probably lined up to smash on the spot. Nothing turns on the fairer sex more than a dude in a VR headset. That is a FACT.

For all intents and purposes, VR is a success. It’s passed the proof of concept and there are legitimate titles available that take advantage of the technology. We’ve even got to the point where new generations and variants of hardware are becoming available as well as new entrants like the Valve Index. However, if you were thinking that a new version of the PSVR would come out at launch with the PlayStation 5, think again.

Dominic Mallinson, Global Head of R&D for PlayStation was interviewed by CNET at the Toronto’s Collison Conference, where he gave some insight into the future of PSVR.

Mallinson believes that the PSVR “does need to evolve. It’s not quite there yet as a mass market proposition… We do want it to be lighter weight, and easier to put on, less cables, less mess… Wireless suffers from the issue of being expensive, If you don’t care about cables, then it’s a lot cheaper than to have a wireless system. But at the same time, having wireless just makes you so much more free.”

I couldn’t agree more. VR and the rat’s nest of cables, pass-throughs, cameras, and setting up base stations around a room SUUUUUUUUCKS.

I’m going to hold out for a wireless solution, or at least a less wired solution, whenever that may be.

[Source: CNET]

Oculus Rift Headsets Knocked Out of Service for a Day

Yesterday, Oculus Rift owners found that their expensive VR headsets were turned into doorstops, for what appears to be an administrative oversight.

The root cause of the issue was apparently the failure to renew a security certificate. Users who attempted to use their Rifts encountered the following error message.

Users waited all day apparently and became frustrated at the lack of information coming from Oculus until they put out the following on Twitter.

It appears that Oculus got everything working as of Thursday morning March 8.

[Source: BBC]

A Refreshed PlayStation VR is on the Way

Look at all those beautiful young people up there having a blast with PlayStation VR. Maybe I should get one? (Looks at games line-up) Nah, I’ll pass. It’s not that I want to hate on the PlayStation VR. It’s a great concept, and cost wise, compared to the competition, it’s a relatively cheap way to get into VR gaming, but the library of games is still pretty weak.

The lack of solid library hasn’t stopped Sony from announcing a new PlayStation VR, which includes integrated stereo headphone cables and an updated processor.

The headphone integration is nice, as the original unit required quite the web of wires and cables, which was a turn-off for some.

Another welcome addition is HDR pass through, thanks to the new processor chip. The new processor will allow owners the ability to enjoy HDR-compatible content on their TV without having to unplug the unit first.

The new PlayStation VR will be released in Japan on October 14. A North American release date will be announced at a later date.

[Source: Official PlayStation US Blog]

Microsoft Opens Up on Mixed Reality on Xbox Platforms-Including Scorpio

So, I know of VR, and even AR, but thanks to Microsoft, I now have to worry about mixed reality (MR?). I’m losing track of all these realities. Whatever the case may be, Microsoft is working on it and they have a plan to bring it to the Xbox.

According to an official Microsoft blog post, the company has grand plans for mixed reality. In the near term, those plans are planted firmly on the PC platform, but they do have designs on taking the technology into gaming.

We’re also excited to share that Windows Mixed Reality experiences will light up on other devices over time, beyond desktop and Microsoft HoloLens. Our plan is to bring mixed reality content to the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio, in 2018.

So, this could mean practically anything. Will there be an actual Xbox headset? Perhaps.

[Source: Microsoft]

Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe Steps Down

Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe is stepping down from his position, but he’s not going far, according to a post on Oculus’ official blog. Iribe will be moving on to another position within Oculus.

“Looking ahead and thinking about where I’m most passionate, I’ve decided to lead the PC VR group—pushing the state of VR forward with Rift, research and computer vision. As we’ve grown, I really missed the deep, day-to-day involvement in building a brand new product on the leading edge of technology.”

A replacement has not been named, but according to the post, Iribe will work with Mike Schroepfer, CTO of parent company Facebook to find a successor.

Xbox One Streaming Coming to Oculus Rift on Dec. 12

Slow your roll though, it’s not exactly what you’re thinking.

Microsoft and Oculus will be launching an app on December 12 that will allow you play Xbox One games on an Oculus Rift headset.

Now, you’ll need a beefy Windows 10 PC to pull this off, as the games technically stream from your Xbox One to your PC, and then to your Oculus Rift. Even then, the games won’t be in virtual reality, but rather a large virtual screen experience, for private gameplay.

The app will be free, even though you’ll need an Xbox One, Oculus Rift, and an impressive PC to pull this off, so it’s not exactly an inexpensive proposition.

Microsoft Announces $299 Windows 10 VR Headset

ssp_156

At an event early today, Microsoft announced that it is diving into the VR arena, competing with the likes of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, but at a much cheaper price point.

Microsoft will partner with hardware makers to manufacture the devices running off Windows 10 and will retail at a starting price of $299, with the first devices arriving in 2017.

And I thought Microsoft were getting cozy with Oculus. Things just got awkward.

German Police Use HTC Vive to Prosecute Nazi War Criminal

Ralf Breker's Team / Bavarian State Criminal Investigation Office

Ralf Breker’s Team / Bavarian State Criminal Investigation Office

The jury is still out on whether VR is the next big thing in gaming in my humble opinion. That doesn’t mean that it won’t become a big thing over time, but we’re still a ways off. Virtual Reality however, can and already has proven, in some circumstances, that it can be a very powerful tool.

Case and point, German police used an HTC Vive headset to prosecute a Nazi war criminal who worked at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. The forensics team created a detailed digital model of the camp using historical maps and thousands of photos from the time period. Using an HTC Vive, they were then able to see exactly what the accused would have seen, therefore he could not use the Sgt. Schultz, “I SEE NOTHING I KNOW NOTHING” defense.

Oculus Working on Cheaper, More Mainstream Version of the Rift

Virtual Reality is not cheap, especially with the Oculus Rift, where you’ll need,  an $800 PC and a $600 Rift. Facebook owned Oculus is looking to change that.

After a lot of initial fanfare, the Rift has not been flying off shelves. Price is certainly an issue, as well as a lack of a killer app. According to the Wall Street Journal however, Oculus is looking to change that.

Rumor has it that Oculus is working on a stand alone virtual reality device that will not require a an expensive and beefy PC or even a mobile phone.

Analysts predict that that Oculus will ship 180,000 Rifts by the end of year, which is nowhere near the 500,000 that were initially projected by the company.