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+ - Analyst: 'Facebook Earnings Call Didn't Rule Out 2015 Oculus Rift Launch'->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this week during Facebook's 2015 Q1 earnings call, the company seemed to suggest that a 2015 Oculus Rift release date was unlikely, at least, that's what a report about the call from Gamasutra (http://gamasutra.com/view/news/241731/Facebook_mum_on_largescale_Oculus_Rift_shipments_for_2015.php) indicated, saying "It doesn't sound like Oculus will ship the consumer version of its Oculus Rift VR headset this year, or at least not in very large quantities." However, an equity analyst has chimed in to say that the language used during the call shouldn't be interpreted colloquially, concluding that "...there is no information here that rules out Oculus shipping in 2015."
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+ - HTC Vive Developer Edition Signup Form Now Open, Free to Select Devs->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Valve and HTC took the VR world by storm at GDC 2015 in March after revealing SteamVR (http://goo.gl/E8Q9h2) and the HTC Vive VR headset. The headset itself, while on par with Oculus' latest Rift 'Crescent Bay' prototype is bolstered by Valve's 'Lighthouse' tracking tech which allows the HTC Vive headset and two controllers to be tracked with impressive precision in at 15x15 volume for what Valve calls "room-scale" virtual reality. Developers hoping to get to work on such room-scale VR projects can now sign up to be selected to receive a kit. The unit will be free to selected develops but Valve will not make the dev kit openly available for sale prior to the headset's commercial launch in Q4 2015.
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+ - Intel Makes Multimillion Dollar Investment in VR Enterprise Developer WorldViz->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Intel Capital and WorldViz today announced a "multimillion" dollar investment into the enterprise VR developer. The company wouldn't specify the amount of the amount of the investment, but it's not believed to exceed $10 million. WorldViz, founded in 2002, focuses on the professional end of the VR spectrum, serving virtual reality needs of users working with CAD, academic research, architecture, training, and more. The company creates custom VR systems powered by their 'Vizard' software which supports more than 100 hardware devices, including popular consumer products like the Oculus Rift and Razer Hydra.
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+ - GTA V Gets Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Mod In Less Than 24 Hours->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The highly anticipated GTA V launched less than 24 hours ago and already a mod has brought Oculus Rift compatibility to the game. VorpX is a 3D injection driver that adapts non-VR games for the Oculus Rift with support for stereo rendering, corrective lens distortion, and headtracking from the VR headset. The software was updated earlier today, adding initial VR support for GTA V among more than 100 other supported titles.
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+ - Google's 'Cardboard' Virtual Reality App Exceeds 1 Million Downloads->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: What began as a '20% time' project (essentially an employee's hobby project) for the company is growing into something significant. Google Cardboard (https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/) is a super low cost virtual reality smartphone adapter that was released to make it easy for Android developers to start experimenting with VR and for consumers to get a taste VR. The official Cardboad app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.samples.apps.cardboarddemo) that was released in conjunction with the headset, which bundles together a few demo experiences, has now been downloaded more than 1 million times from the Google Play app store and maintains a 4.2 out of 5 rating across 31,000 reviews. There are now upwards of 250 Cardboard-compatible apps on the Play store. Late last year the company even listed five full time engineering positions for a team dedicated to Cardboard and virtual reality (two of which are still open. https://www.google.com/about/c...)
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+ - Virtual Desktop Makes Windows OS Oculus Rift-capable->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Virtual Desktop is a free program that makes the Windows operating system compatible with the Oculus Rift VR headset (https://www.oculus.com/). To the surprise of some, plugging the Oculus Rift into a computer doesn't result in a native view of the OS, meaning that users have to put on and take off the headset as they move from one VR-specific app to the next. If you want to use typical Windows programs—like Photoshop, Firefox, or Microsoft Office—no dice! That's where Virtual Desktop comes in, enabling the entire Windows desktop, and any application that can run on it, to be seen through the Oculus Rift. It also works as a bridge between VR-specific applications, allowing you to move from one to the next without ever taking off the headset. The latest version released today includes voice commands for launching VR games, global monitor mirroring, performance improvements, and is built against the latest Oculus Rift SDK.
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+ - Samsung's Gear VR headset available to try and buy in more than 100 Best Buys->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: By tomorrow, Friday March 27th, Samsung says that more than 100 Best Buy stores will have available Gear VR for customers to try and buy, a mobile VR headset that's powered by the Galaxy Note 4 and was created in conjunction with Oculus (https://www.oculus.com/). Although the headset launched in December, the rollout has been cautious, apparently due to Oculus' lack of confidence in the headset which lacks some ideal functions compared to its desktop-based counterparts. But apparently the company is changing its tune after getting positive feedback from consumers. "What got me off of [the idea that it isn’t ready] is that Gear VR launched—limited release, all these restrictions—but a funny thing happened people kind of like it,” said John Carmack, Oculus' CTO, at GDC earlier this month. “We’ve had extremely good data on return rates. Media outlet response was way better than expected.”
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+ - Nvidia May Reveal "Titan VR" Headset at GDC 2015->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: We're barely into 2015 and huge companies are jumping feet-first into VR. It was reported yesterday that Valve is set to reveal a "SteamVR Dev Kit" at GDC 2015 (http://bit.ly/1zEAsrt), and now GPU-maker Nvidia is reportely working on a headset that may be revealed at the company's secretic 'Made to Game' event during the conference on March 3rd. Invitations to the event, bearing the signature of the company's president, Jensen Huang, teased something that's “more than 5 years in the making” and will “redefine the future of gaming.” Confidential sources indicate that Nvidia's headset may be called "Titan VR". Speculation that Valve and Nvidia are actually working together has also been seen.
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+ - Valve to Reveal Virtual Reality Dev Kit Next Week at GDC->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Gaming giant Valve has been researching augmented and virtual reality for some time. Early on, the company worked closely with Oculus, sharing research findings and even adding support for TF2 to Oculus' first VR headset, the DK1, back in 2013. After demonstrating their own prototype VR headset at Steam Dev Days in early 2014 (http://bit.ly/1JG6CwJ), and then a modified version later in the year (http://bit.ly/1BL9YKz), Valve is now ready to take the wraps off a "previously unannounced... SteamVR Dev Kit," which will make its debut at GDC next week. SteamVR is the name of the software adaptation of Steam's 'Big Picture' mode that the company revealed early last year, allowing players to browse their Steam library and play supported games all in virtual reality.
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+ - Apple's Newly Granted Patent Could Have "Broad Ramifications" for VR Headsets->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Filed in 2008, published in 2013, and legally granted to Apple this week, the company's patent for a 'Head-mounted display apparatus for retaining a portable electronic device with display' could have "broad ramifications" for mobile VR headsets like Samsung's Gear VR and Google Cardboard, says patent attorney Eric Greenbaum. "This Apple HMD patent is significant. I would say it introduces potential litigation risks for companies that have or are planning to release a mobile device HMD," he said. "There is no duty for Apple to make or sell an HMD. They can sit on this patent and use it strategically either by enforcing it against potential infringers, licensing it, or using it as leverage in forming strategic partnerships."
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+ - Mountain Biking in Virtual Reality with the Oculus Rift and an Actuating Bike->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Thanks to the Oculus Rift DK2 VR headset and Activetainment B\01 VR bike (http://bit.ly/1MjsBbB), which pitches forward and back according to in-game terrain, has shifting, pedals, breaks, digital resistance control, and allows tilting into turns, users of the system feel like they're careening through a mountain biker's paradise. After working up a sweat in the simulator, the author of this article ruminates on whether or not his experience could be considered 'real.' "Much of the feedback of actual mountain biking was present during my ride. Sure, the feedback could be more accurate, and there’s still missing sensory information, like the wind through my hair and a certain set of forces on my body, but at what point is a virtual experience real enough to be well, real?"
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+ - You Can Now Clone Samsung's Gear VR and Test Your Virtual Reality Apps->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: While Samsung's Gear VR headset launched in early December in the U.S., folks abroad didn't have any official means of buying the headset to test their in-development applications. Only recently has Gear VR begun making its way to countries around the world (http://bit.ly/1F2XSuK), and it's doing so slowly. For developers who don't want to wait (or DIYers who don't want to buy), some smart folks have figured out how to emulate the headset using a development board with an IMU that's been flashed with the same firmware found on the Oculus Rift DK1 headset. Plugging the board into the Note 4 (the smartphone that powers Gear VR), results in the phone recognizing the IMU as the Gear VR headset, allowing developers to test their applications and even launch the 'Oculus Home' environment, allowing access to official applications and content.
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+ - PlayStation Android Emulator 'FPse' Gets Support for Google's VR Headset

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: 'FPse' is a well rated (4.5 stars across 32,000 reviews) PlayStation emulator for Android. A recent update enabled initial support for mobile VR devices (http://bit.ly/1HApg4C) including Google's 'Cardboard' (http://bit.ly/16tD4kp), a low-cost VR smartphone adapter. The update creates a split-screen image of a virtual screen for viewing with any smartphone VR adapter, allowing users to play classic PlayStation games up close and personal. With Google recently announcing they've shipped more than 500,000 Cardboard headsets (http://bit.ly/1AnySvy), there ought to be plenty happy fans of Sony's original PlayStation out there who will be taking a trip down nostalgia lane in VR.

+ - 'River' Virtual Reality Accelerator to Invest $1 Million Across 10 Startups->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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.
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+ - Samsung Gear VR Mobile Headset Launches, First Reviews Surface->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: For the world of virtual reality, today was a big day. Gear VR, the mobile VR headset powered by the Galaxy Note 4 and made in collaboration between Samsung and Oculus, became available for sale starting at $199 (http://bit.ly/12ZR5Vn). Unlike VR smartphone holders like Google Cardboard (http://bit.ly/1lpYuDk), the Note 4 taps into Gear VR's on-board sensors in a proprietary way that allows the mobile VR headset to achieve staggering sub-20ms latency. The first reviews are in, comparing Gear VR to Oculus' own Rift DK2 development kit.
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