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Submission + - Facebook Plans to Launch Social Virtual Reality App "As Soon As Possible" (

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook, who bought virtual reality firm Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion, says they want to launch their first social virtual reality app "as soon as possible." On stage at the Oculus Connect developer conference earlier this month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed off an impressive demonstration of what social networking in virtual reality could look like (, allowing friends to visit videospheres of real places together and even make video calls from the real world to the virtual world via Facebook Messenger. Mike Booth, Social VR Product Manager at Facebook, said the company wants to get their social VR app out the door "as soon as possible" and iterate with user feedback, as opposed to waiting longer to do a big launch and marketing push once things are more polished.

Submission + - Valve Shows New Prototype VR Controllers at Official Conference (

An anonymous reader writes: Valve, creator of Steam and some of the world's best known gaming franchises, has in the last few years become very involved in virtual reality. The company collaborated with phone maker HTC to create the 'Vive', a VR headset and controller system which is among the leading VR devices on the market. Today at Valve's Steam Dev Days developer conference in Seattle, the company showed the latest prototype VR controllers in the works which make a radical departure from the first generation. Now rather than a bulky wand, the controller fits snugly around the hand, while maintaining motion tracking thanks to an array of sensors.

Submission + - Only Select Developers Can Publish Google Daydream VR Apps Until 2017 (

An anonymous reader writes: Google says Daydream, their high-end VR on Android initiative, is due to launch this Fall. But at launch, only select developers will be allowed to publish Daydream VR apps to the Play Store for distribution until 2017 when the company says they'll open the doors to all developers. Google says that Daydream is an ecosystem for VR on Android, consisting of Daydream-ready phones, headsets, and apps, which will all work together to create a high-end mobile VR experience that goes beyond the company's low-cost Carboard VR initiative. There's currently no additional restriction in place for publishing Cardboard apps.

Submission + - Valve-architected Chip Could Improve Tracking, Reduce Cost of Next HTC Vive (

An anonymous reader writes: Now that the first generation of VR headsets have hit the market, the race is on to bring costs down to widely accessible levels. A new chip created in partnership with Valve and Triad Semiconductor could help reduce cost and improve performance on the HTC Vive 2 and future SteamVR headsets. The chip, which interprets signals from the SteamVR tracking system, condenses the first-generation design used in the HTC Vive from a 41-component discrete circuit into a 9-component circuit, reducing total costs with fewer part placements, smaller board designs, and increased reliability. The chip is also better at understanding the signals coming from the tracking system, leading to improved tracking performance, says Triad.

Submission + - Oculus Warns Not to Use Note 7 in Gear VR Headset Amid Exploding Phone Recall (

An anonymous reader writes: After Samsung confirmed reports that the newly launched Galaxy Note 7 smartphone was prone to sudden combustion due to a battery defect (, partner Oculus, who collaborated with the company on the Gear VR headset, warned users not to use the phone in the headset as it could pose significant safety (and legal) risks ( Samsung says it has stopped all sales of the defective phone and has instituted an exchange program to replace defective phones ( Oculus urges users not to use the phone for VR until it is replaced.

Submission + - Working Prototype of VR Gun with Electromagnetic Haptics Shown by Striker VR (

An anonymous reader writes: Striker VR has shown the first working prototype of their ARENA Infinity, a gun peripheral with electromagnet haptic feedback for virtual reality. The device uses a linear actuator to create impressive kick which accompanies virtual gunshots. The haptics are capable of other effects too; the company showed the motion-tracked weapon replicating the feeling of a chainsaw and a 'charge-up' rail gun-like weapon. The company says the first development kits of the peripheral will ship to partners in Q4 2016.

Submission + - AMD Announces Radeon Pro WX 7100 GPU & Open Source Real-time VR Video Stitch (

An anonymous reader writes: AMD has announced a new line of 'Radeon Pro' GPUs aimed at the professional market. The top-of-the-line WX 7100 is positioned to be “the most affordable workstation solution for professional VR content creation," and will be priced less than $1,000. Alongside the card, the company announced 'Loom', a forthcoming open-source 360 degree video stitcher which can output 4K @ 30 FPS in real-time from up to 24 1080p @ 60 FPS camera streams. Loom is expected to be available later this summer while the WX 7100 will launch in Q4.

Submission + - Valve's Only VR Title, 'The Lab', is the Highest Rated Game on All of Steam (

An anonymous reader writes: Beating out more than 9,000 games on Steam (including Valve classics like Portal and Half-Life 2) Valve's first virtual reality title, 'The Lab', has shot to the top to become the best rated game on Steam, commanding a 99% positive rating from some 700 reviews. The game features eight VR mini-games playable on the HTC Vive headset and connected through a hub world which is set in Valve's 'Portal' universe. 'The Lab' is joined in the top 10 best rated list by one other VR-compatible (but not exclusively VR) game, 'Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes' coming in at #8.

Submission + - NVIDIA's New Ultra High-end Titan X GPU has 11 TFLOPS Performance, 3,584 Cores (

An anonymous reader writes: ...and is going to deprive you of $1,200 if you want one. The new Titan X is the company's ultra high-end GPU, now upgraded to Nvidia's latest 'Pascal' architecture. The GPU will be available starting on August 2nd in the US and Europe, rolling out elsewhere at a later date. The company says the new Titan X is up to 60% faster than its predecessor, and draws 250 watts.

Submission + - Unreal Engine and Unity to get NVIDIA's New VR Rendering Tech (

An anonymous reader writes: NVIDIA has announced that Unreal Engine and Unity will see integrations of its new Simultaneous Multi-projection rendering tech which the company says can yield “a 3x VR graphics performance improvement over previous generation GPUs”. NVIDIA recently introduced the technology as a unique feature of its latest series of GPUs built on the 'Pascal' architecture. According to the company, Simultaneous Multi-projection allows up to 16 views to be rendered from a single point with just one geometry pass, whereas older cards would need to add an additional pass for each additional view. This is especially beneficial for VR rendering which inherently must render two views for each frame (one for each eye). With Simultaneous Multi-projection built into Unreal Engine and Unity, game creators will have much easier access to its performance benefits.

Submission + - Google is Adding a VR Shell to Chrome to Let You Browse the Entire Web in VR (

An anonymous reader writes: While it's possible to create and view specially built virtual reality 'WebVR' websites through today's browsers, traversing the web in VR means taking your VR headset on and off as you come across VR websites and non-VR websites. Google is working to fix this by adding a "VR Shell" to the Chrome browser that will render non-VR websites in a virtual environment, and allow seamless transitioning from them to WebVR sites. Recent developer builds of Chrome on Android reveal both the WebVR API and VR Shell directly integrated into the browser. The company is also working on adding support for headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on desktop.

Submission + - SPAM: Adobe Brings VR Video Editing Tools to Premiere Pro

An anonymous reader writes: Adobe Premiere Pro, one of the world's most popular video editing programs, has been updated with new tools to support editing VR video. Equirectangular footage of varying field of view (up to 360 degrees) can be imported and edited just like regular footage, including a new window which allows the editor to preview what the footage will look like through a given VR headset. Monoscopic and stereoscopic (side-by-side & over-under) footage is supported. A new option present when exporting video embeds meta-data to identify VR footage as such for appropriate identification and playback through services like YouTube's VR video player.
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Submission + - Microsoft is Bringing VR to it's Next Console, Xbox 'Project Scorprio' (

An anonymous reader writes: Today at Microsoft's E3 2016 press conference in Los Angeles, the company made the first official announcement of 'Project Scorpio' the next Xbox console coming in 2017. Designed for 4K gaming at 60 FPS and "high fidelity VR", the system represents Microsoft's first commitment to support virtual reality on the Xbox platform. While there's still no mention of which VR headsets will be supported, the Oculus Rift is a clear frontrunner given the relationship between the two companies on the PC platform.

Submission + - 'Fallout 4' in VR is "just the beginning" of Bethesda's VR Plans (

An anonymous reader writes: In a surprise announcement at E3 2016, Bethesda announced that they'd be bringing Fallout 4 to the HTC Vive VR headset in 2017. The company says this will be the entire game, not just a small demo segment. Also announced is a Doom VR experience that takes players on a tour of the Hell world rendered by the idTech 6 engine. But these experiences are "just the beginning of Bethesda’s future in virtual reality," the company says. "We want to give you a glimpse into where we're headed with VR where you can expect us to remain a leader." The company showed off early builds of both Fallout 4 in VR and the Doom VR experience at E3 for the first time following the announcements.

Submission + - Hardcore Racing Sim 'iRacing' Gets Long Awaited Oculus Rift Support Next Week (

An anonymous reader writes: Among hardcore sim racing fans, iRacing is one of the most authentic racing experiences available. For many, the goal is getting as close to the real feeling of racing as possible; and in the last few years, VR has been seen as a major opportunity to add significant immersion to the genre. While iRacing experimented with Oculus Rift development kits in years past, the game has not seen support for the final consumer headset released back in April. To the excitement of fans, the company says that support will be added next week in the title's quarterly update.

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