Image via Oculus Here are two questions an annoying friend or relative might ask you: “Does anyone actually watch esports tournaments?” and “Does anyone actually own a VR headset?” Advertisement A startup called SLIVER.tv has decided to combine these two head-scratchers into one bizarre business plan, which can be best summarized in one question: “Would anyone watch esports tournaments in VR?” SLIVER.tv is a VR streaming platform that specifically shows esports tournaments–and that’s it. Their streams feature both VR views “inside” the game during matches, plus interspersed footage from 360° cameras placed in the tournament venue. Advertisement To me, it doesn’t seem like there would be enough overlap in the hyper-specific Venn diagram of esports fans and VR fans to justify founding a startup to meet this hypothetical need. And the statistics mostly back up my gut feeling. As for whether anyone actually owns a VR headset, Viarbox reports that 92.5 million VR headsets shipped worldwide in 2016. 88.4 million of those headsets were Google Cardboard ones, which are the cheapest of the bunch. 92.5 million VR headsets is, admittedly, a bigger number than I thought it would be—but, again, 95% of those are Google Cardboard headsets, and at least…
Virtual reality is the next big thing in gaming, but wearing the headsets causes motion sickness for some. Even I’ve experienced a little motion sickness while playing despite the fact I never struggled with it in the past (no barfing yet). If you’re worried about hurling, there are a few things you can do to make the experience more pleasant. Why It Happens Without going too deep into the science of it all—you can read more on that here—the cause of most types of motion sickness is sensory mismatching. Basically, your body thinks it’s sitting still because you’re not flexing muscles or showing other signs of motion, but your eyes and vestibular system are saying something different. If you’ve ever experienced a queasy feeling when trying to read in a moving car, you have an idea of what VR motion sickness is like. The mixed signals can cause headaches or induce hot flashes and sweating too, but researchers still aren’t completely sure why the body responds this way. Some of the more plausible theories out there suggest that the body mistakes the confusion as a warning you’ve ingested something toxic (like when you get “the spins” READ FULL STORY AT…
Last week we saw the best of the best in VR at the Virtual Reality Developers Conference. It’s an offshoot of the Game Developers Conference, and both are professional trade shows that show off the next wave of new games. This year, though, was particularly important for the VR sector of the industry. Now that quite a few consumers have gotten their hand on the Vives, PSVR, the Oculus, or any of the portable headsets you can mount on your phone, they’re all waiting for more great games they can play on their expensive HMDs. But, I don’t think the next batch of games is coming. Sure, there are a few interesting projects on the horizon, like Mage’s Tale, a VR adventure in the same universe as a Bard’s Tale, but those are few and far between. Even worse many of these games come with some hefty reservations. Mage’s Tale, for example, still doesn’t have a solution to the movement problem, something I mentioned that VR devs would need to tackle months ago. Robo Recall, a free game from Unreal Developer, Epic, doesn’t push much either. And, in fact, it’s mostly a beefed-up tech demo. The only games that gave…
In the world of video game streaming, Twitch may seem impossible to beat. But if any entity can do it, it’s probably the Google-powered, beef-filled, internet video behemoth known as YouTube. Alongside other initiatives like YouTube Red and YouTube Community, for over a year YouTube Gaming has been the platform’s attempt to leverage its sizable amount of gaming content. You can easily search for specific games or personalities and watch live or pre-recorded videos. Meanwhile, virtual reality continues to grow into an important part of the gaming landscape, so YouTube Gaming is trying to get a piece of that. The service recently highlighted its selection of gaming VR videos. [embedded content] YouTube’s been planning VR gaming content for a while. It was something we talked about when I met with the company last year. Many streamers are also pondering how exactly they want to use the technology. YouTube Gaming has been working with creators to develop a variety of videos that can be enjoyed in glorious virtual cyberspace. VR Minecraft Let’s Plays, 360-degree trailers inside the world of Clash of Clans, live-action VR Call of Duty shorts, World of Tanks documentaries, READ FULL STORY AT GEEK!
John Carmack, co-founder of id Software and one of the key designers involved in the Oculus Rift, is taking his former employer Zenimax to court for “more than $22.5 million”, reports Dallas News. Carmack claims the money dates back to Zenimax’s purchase of id Software in 2009—it constitutes the remainder of Carmack’s share of that deal as one of id’s three co-founders—and that they are refusing to pay it because of “sour grapes” related to the ongoing legal disputes between Carmack’s current employers Oculus and Zenimax. Here’s a summary of Carmack’s complaints from the suit, which basically claim that his legal representatives wrote to Zenimax last month requesting that a number of shares in the company, which he received as part of the purchase, be converted into cash: Advertisement Advertisement TO THE HONORABLE COURT: Defendant ZeniMax Media Inc. will soon be obligated to pay Plaintiff John Carmack more than $45 million in cash under the terms of the Asset Purchase Agreement and a Convertible Promissory Note by which ZeniMax bought the assets of id Software, Inc. in 2009.Mr. Carmack’s READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Image credit: Sony PlayStation chief Andrew House told The New York Times late last week that PlayStation VR has sold 915,000 units as of February 19. That puts the device on a path to exceed the company’s goal of one million sold in the first six months. Advertisement It’s not difficult to meet expectations when they’re set low, and Sony was clearly cautious when it came to making projections for the success of its new virtual reality technology. PSVR has been hard to find ever since it released last fall, with waves of pre-orders selling out quickly in the lead up to its release. In the months since it came out, getting the full bundle, including the headset, camera, and Move controllers, hasn’t been easy. “You literally have people lining up outside stores when they know stock is being replenished,” House told the Times. That was the scene in at major retailers in Japan last month when stores had to create raffles to see who would purchase their available stock. This took the company by suprise, apparently. “We were expecting it to be a lot smaller than it has turned out READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
If there’s anything Star Wars fans know about Gareth Edwards, it’s that he’s a very hands-on director. A recent demonstration shows how Industrial Light and Magic found a way to bring Edwards’ physical camerawork to the digital stage for Rogue One, using virtual reality. Advertisement BBC Click shared a visit to ILM London to get a behind-the-scenes peek at Rogue One’s digital prowess, in the wake of its Visual Effects Oscar nomination. During the interview, computer graphics supervisor Steve Ellis discussed how much ILM admired Edwards’ ability to get physical with his camerawork on set, and revealed that the visual effects advisor wanted him to be able to do that digitally. So, they created what Ellis called a real-time virtual reality system, which was basically an iPad hooked up to an HTC Vive virtual reality controller. They’d pull up a digital scene for him, like the Star Destroyer’s scary reveal at the newly constructed Death Star. Then, using Steam VR tracking, Edwards would physically move the screen around, pinpointing what angle he’d want the shot to begin at and where he would want it to end up. The VFX READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
“It is not wise to find symbols in everything that one sees. It makes life too full of terrors.” ― Oscar Wilde, Salome Press release: Palermo, Italy, February 15 2017: Italian developer Wisefool Studio is proud to announce that Waking the Glares – Chapters I and II, a story exploration game focused on the power of words and symbols, will… READ FULL STORY AT THEGG!
Yes, you read the headline correct. Because Introversion Software has just brought their war room strategy game “Defcon” into the world of virtual reality: “Introversion joins the VR party! After Prison Architect, our most successful game is DEFCON – a nuclear war strategy game inspired by the 80s movie War games (If you’ve not seen it, do yourself a favour and check… READ FULL STORY AT THEGG!
A VR film company is rebooting the movie that taught many kids to fear the hell out of virtual reality. Jaunt announced that it’s developing a new series based on the 1992 cult classic The Lawnmower Man, only viewable with a virtual reality headset. Advertisement The original movie’s about a scientist who uses a combination of virtual reality and experimental medication to help an intellectually disabled gardener. Of course, things go horribly wrong, as gardener Jobe acquires powers normally reserved for Scarlett Johansson in Lucy and he starts murdering all his enemies. It spawned a couple of sequels, with the criminally underrated Matt Frewer taking on the role of the man who mows lawns. Even though The Lawnmower Man shares a name with a short story by Stephen King, the two works have almost nothing in common (save for one scene). So chances are King won’t be involved in this virtual reality production. In fact, no one has come on board except for the guys who hold the filming rights, but they seem pretty psyched about it. “The original movie was a film of unsurpassed imagination and creativity with its READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
The Google Daydream View is a brilliant piece of VR hardware. Its head-mounted display (HMD) is wrapped in a comfy fabric texture, with squishy foam on the inside. The head strap is easy to adjust. It’s ergonomically ideal and a little, invisible chip connects it to the Google Pixel phone with no effort. Advertisement Tech outlets have sung the Daydream HMD’s praises since the hardware’s November release. But its best asset—its controller—has flown under the radar. I picked up one of these babies last night and spent some time testing out the remote. It is a very well-designed thing that I love and deserves a closer look. The Daydream’s controller is a wireless, ovular remote with four buttons: a circle and minus button on the flat top, a large trackpad button above it and, on the remote’s side, a volume button. The trackpad is all-directions responsive, so you can swipe from left to right to scroll through options, or swipe diagonally to, say, throw a stick to a dog. Advertisement The Samsung Gear VR, maybe the most comparable VR hardware READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Palmer Luckey (AP), Mark Zuckerberg (Getty), Brendan Iribe (AP) Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he wants escape the Silicon Valley bubble and travel to different parts of America as part of his 2017 New Year’s resolution. It looks like the first stop on his journey will be a Northern District of Texas Federal courtroom. Advertisement Zuckerberg, Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey, and former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe will testify this week in a $2 billion dollar lawsuit brought by ZeniMax Media, the owners of video game developers Bethesda Softworks and id Software, against Oculus VR. Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion in 2014. ZeniMax alleges that Oculus stole trade secrets, in part when former senior ZeniMax employee John Carmack left ZeniMax and joined Oculus as chief technical officer. Zenimax also alleges Oculus infringed on its copyrights and that Luckey violated a non-disclosure agreement he signed with ZeniMax in 2014. Toni Sammi, a lawyer for ZeniMax, called it “one of the biggest technology heists ever,” when he presented oral arguments on Tuesday. ZeniMax is seeking $2 billion in damages. Luckey has long been credited as the Rift’s creator, but ZeniMax READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
SAN DIEGO – Jan. 16, 2017 – Rank17, a VR-focused publisher with a development team in Southern California, is set to deliver a number of innovative VR titles in 2017. The year starts with the retro-themed Super Pixel Smash (due this month) — followed by the monster sim Monster Crush Online and “alien boxing” sports game Planetary Punchout. Finally, an… READ FULL STORY AT THEGG!
Progress is always on its way and there’s no industry like the video games industry to see this in action. This is an industry that is shaped by the trends of the tech landscape, here are some of the most notable trends that will influence what we see this year. Updating rather than replacing Of course, tech companies aren’t able… READ FULL STORY AT THEGG!