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Submission + - Creator of Minecraft Develops Experimental VR Project (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Despite his on-again off-again relationship with VR headset maker Oculus, the creator of Minecraft, Markus “Notch” Persson, has developed an experimental virtual reality project that leverages WebVR technology to run directly within a browser using a Rift DK2 headset. Notch contributed $10,000 to Oculus' 2012 Kickstarter, and even traveled from Europe to visit the company in its early days. After Facebook's $2 billion acquisition of Oculus in 2014, his enthusiasm dwindled, saying "I definitely want to be a part of VR, but I will not work with Facebook." One month before selling his own company to Microsoft for a similar sum, he said he was "officially over being upset about Facebook buying Oculus."

Submission + - New Images of Vive VR Headset Leak from HTC Website

An anonymous reader writes: In the same announcement earlier this month from HTC the consumer version of the Vive VR headset for Valve's SteamVR would be delayed until April 2016, the company also mentioned that a second generation Vive development kit would be launched at CES next month. Ahead of that reveal, new renders showing what is believed to be the new dev kit picture a refined headset and substantial redesign of the device's motion input controllers. The images were found in the source code of HTC's official VR website (http://htcvr.com/), but have since been removed.

Submission + - HTC Vive Consumer Release Date Announced, Second Developer Kit Coming in January

Will Mason writes: The long awaited HTC Vive VR headset finally got a release date, April 2016. This comes despite the reports at launch that the headset would release this year. In addition, HTC plans to unveil a second developer kit for the Vive at CES this year. Recently, HTC's head of marketing, who said on stage that the product would launch this year, jumped ship for the elusive Magic Leap start up in Florida.

Submission + - Studio Behind 'Little Big Planet' Confirms Next Title Coming to PlayStation VR (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: As the company's first title, 'Little Big Planet' was a breakout hit for the studio Media Molecule. The franchise saw three major games across the PS3 and PS4, two mobile versions (for PSP and PS Vita), and a number of spinoffs. But now Media Molecule hopes to make lightning strike twice with the forthcoming genre-eluding title, 'Dreams', which enables players to create and animate inside of the game world using the PlayStation Move. After several months of question dodging following the game's initial announcement, the studio has finally confirmed at Paris Games Week that Dreams will support PlayStation VR.

Submission + - PSP Oculus Rift emulator puts players inside of virtual reality PSP games (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: 'PPSSPP VR' is an emulator that specially adapts PSP games for use in the Oculus Rift VR headset (https://www.oculus.com/). Going beyond merely showing a large screen view of the game in a virtual environment, PPSSPP actually puts you inside of the game with a full field of view, just like made-for-VR titles, including headtracking and true stereoscopic 3D. The emulator comes from the same author as Dolphin VR (https://dolphinvr.wordpress.com/), the Wii & Gamecube emulator with VR support.

Submission + - Batman: The Animated Series comes to VR in 18k Thanks to Ray-traced Render Tech (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Rendering specialist OTOY (https://otoy.com/) is demonstrating their latest virtual reality capabilities with an experience that brings to life Batman: The Animated Series on Samsung's mobile Gear VR headset in amazing quality. Thanks to ray-traced 18k stereo cubemaps and the 577 PPI pixel density of the Galaxy S6 (which powers the headset) OTOY's solution provides visual fidelity than can't be achieved on even the most modern desktop headsets. Partnering with WB on the project, the virtual reality Batman: The Animated Series experience features a remastered opening of the show created specifically for VR. Following the opening, players are taken into the Batcave to explore with in-character narration by Kevin Conroy, the original voice actor of Batman in the series.

Submission + - The First Oculus Rift Has Rolled off the Production Line (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Oculus doesn't plan to launch their Rift VR headset until Q1 2016 but the company seems well on their way to making it a major rollout, rather than the trickle seen by many other companies bringing consumer products to the market for the first time. At Oculus' developer conference last week, key members of the Rift's design and manufacturing teams talked about the manufacturing process, going so far as to say that they'd already rolled the first unit off of the production line that will eventually be pumping the headsets out en masse. "On this first [manufacturing] build we actually outperformed many major companies out there," said Caitlin Kalinowski, Head of Product Design Engineering at Oculus.

Submission + - Google Releases Open Source Plans for Cardboard v2 Virtual Reality Viewer (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: After revealing an improved version of Cardboard (https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/), the super-low cost virtual reality smartphone adapter, Google has now also freely released the detailed design documents, encouraging people to use them for projects ranging from DIY fun to full blown manufacturing. The v2 version of Cardboard is easier to assemble, has larger lenses, a universal input button, and is bigger overall to support larger phones.

Submission + - GoPro's $15,000 Virtual Reality Camera Will Shoot 8K x 8K Spherical 3D Video (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: GoPro today announced the final name and price of their made-for-VR camera rig. The 'Odyssey' is comprised of 16 GoPro Hero4 Black cameras which are synced together to function as one unit. The 16 individual views will rely on Google's 'Jump' video assembler to stitch together spherical 3D video. Jump will output up to 8K x 8K (over-under) video at 600 Mbit/s. The Odyssey package will start at $15,000, including the 16 cameras, sync hardware, mount, and more.

Submission + - The latest virtual reality motion controllers are so accurate you can juggle (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: While first-generation motion input controllers like the Wii and Kinect did little more than turn broad gestures into button presses (with quite a bit of latency), next-generation motion controllers like those paired with Valve's SteamVR (http://bit.ly/1APKa9N) platform and the HTC Vive VR headset are so accurate and low latency that users can juggle in virtual reality with ease.

Submission + - 'River' Virtual Reality Accelerator to Invest $1 Million Across 10 Startups (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: After dipping their toe into the virtual reality water with investments in three VR startups across 2013 and 2014, the San Francisco based Rothenberg Ventures (http://bit.ly/1AOwZrF) is getting serious, today launching the 'River' VR accelerator program which will begin by investing $1 million across 10 early-stage virtual reality startups (http://bit.ly/1zI1TE3). The company is accepting open applications starting today. In addition to a cash influx of $100,000 per company, the River accelerator offers its participants coworking space in Rothenberg's 8000 square foot office in SOMA, SF, and weekly meetings with an impressive roster of virtual reality luminaries from companies like AltspaceVR (http://bit.ly/1C9gs5C), Sixense (http://bit.ly/1cCQ5rJ), and SVVR (http://bit.ly/1zI2tBA), and seasoned business minds from the likes of HP, Zynga, and Dropbox.

Submission + - Hands-on with Fove's First Eye-tracking HMD Prototype (roadtovr.com)

muterobert writes: Eye-tracking is the future of VR Head mounted displays. Ben Lang gets to try out Fove's first publicly demonstrated prototype which detects where you're looking and uses that information as input for games and applications.

"Kojima walked me through a few different experiences demonstrating the eye tracking capabilities of the Fove HMD. The first had me in a dark city street with some futuristic-looking super-soldiers lined up before me. Looking at them caused me to shoot them and one after another they dropped to the ground after being blasted by my eyes."

Submission + - Epic Games Talk Optimization: Getting 'Showdown' to 90 FPS in UE4 on Oculus Rift (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Oculus has repeatedly tapped Epic Games to whip up demos to show off new iterations of Oculus Rift VR headset hardware. The latest demo, built in UE4, is 'Showdown', an action-packed scene of slow motion explosions, bullets, and debris. The challenge? Oculus asked Epic to make it run at 90 FPS to match the 90 Hz refresh rate of the latest Oculus Rift 'Crescent Bay' prototype. At the Oculus Connect conference, two of the developers from the team that created the demo share the tricks and tools they used to hit that target on a single GPU.

Submission + - New Oculus SDK Adds Experimental Linux Support and Unity Free for Rift Headset (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Oculus, creator of the Rift VR headset, has released a new version of their SDK which brings with it long sought after support for Linux, which the company says is "experimental". Linux support was previously unavailable since the launch of the company's second development kit, the DK2 (http://www.oculus.com/dk2/). The latest SDK update also adds support for Unity Free (https://unity3d.com/unity/download), the non-commercial version of the popular game authoring engine. Previously, Unity developers needed the Pro version—costing $1,500 or $75/month—to create experiences for the Oculus Rift.

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