As widely expected Google announced the Pixel and Pixel XL, its first purely self-branded smartphones. They represent an attempt to put all of the power of its services in one sleek package, carrying nothing but Pixel branding on them. While perhaps not remarkable by themselves, the phones are part of Google’s big push into consumer hardware today which also includes Google Home, Google Wi-Fi, Daydream View, and more. Pixel phones (should we call them Pixels? Ed.) come with five main points for these phones: Google Assistant, Photography, Google Photos, Communications, and Virtual Reality. They have assistant built in, hardware optimizations for a great camera experience (DXOMark record broken!), they back up your photos
October is gearing as the key month for the future of VR. The number of announcements on every single day is becoming to ramp up – with the key announcements coming soon. In the space of just two weeks, locomotives driving the VR momentum will reveal their trump cards. Google has a press event on October 4 – revealing Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones as well as the Daydream VR mobile platform, Oculus Connect 3 developer conference opens tomorrow – October 5-7 and Sony’s PlayStation VR will hit the market on October 13. Technical details aside, the announced PlayStation VR headset’s price of $399 price tag makes it one of the
Talk about the expansion of VR and AR content is great but the question beckons… How big is the access to funds needed to accelerate the production of VR/AR content? Perkins Coie tried to provide an answer with the survey among industry executives. The survey reveals some interesting, if not troublesome signs. Perkins Coie LLP is a legal firm providing a full array of corporate, commercial litigation and intellectual property legal services. It was ranked #42 among the highest-grossing U.S. legal firms and named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 14 consecutive years by FORTUNE magazine, 2003–2016. They teamed up with Upload VR, one
Google Daydream VR platform is set to launch in fall 2016, but only a select group of developers will be able to publish Daydream apps. Google Play store is limiting access until some point in 2017. While any Android developer can submit Cardboard applications to the Google Play store, Google decided to limit Daydream apps releases. Only developers are accepted into the Daydream Access Program (DAP) will be allowed to publish apps starting with October 4th, the day of Daydream launch. Everyone else will be allowed to publish apps “early next year.” Developers can apply now to join the DAP. The application form consists of some basic information gathering,
Even though they’re not the only VR headsets on the market, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift attract the most attention and command the mainstream media presence. When announced, Oculus Rift launch price of $599 presented a main advantage over HTC Vive’s $799. In markets such as the European Union, that price went as high as Euro 699 (Rift) vs. 899 (Vive). Translated into USD, $785 vs. 1010. From the very start, explanation for the Vive price was that the package enables “room scale VR,” with the included tracking solution (Lighthouse) and a pair of motion controllers, while the Oculus Rift only comes with a Microsoft Xbox controller.
While VR commands a lot of attention from up and coming experiences and franchises, there is no denying that the first really big shots in VR games are yet to come. On the other hand, impact and workflow of today’s 3D games are all established and known. For some franchises, one might say that they’ve been here from the beginning of gaming. Milestone for many young (not so young) lives. One such game is Valve’s Counter-Strike i.e. CS. Together with League of Legends (LoL) and Dota 2, this holy trinity of eSports reach over 140 million players and attract more viewers globally than numerous mainstream sports.
One of the leading platforms for software development added improved support for Google’s upcoming Daydream VR platform. The new Google VR SDK 1.0 makes certain VR development tasks easier, so the developers can focus on building the main features of their VR applications and games. Google said that it has partnered with Unity and Epic Games, creators of two of the most popular third-party gaming engines, so developers can use the game-building tools they already know well. The company has updated its VR development site as well, where developers can read all the documentation for the new VR platform, and see sample applications and tutorials. “Unity’s native support for
While Virtual Reality is an exciting new technology, it didn’t “BOOM” quite as it was expected to, mostly due to lack of innovative content which is expected in the fourth quarter of this year, as well as into the 2017 – look for Hollywood franchise tie-ins as VR experience centers roll out, such as the collaboration between Acer, IMAX and Starbreeze. As a technology, VR is certainly a revolutionary innovation, but it probably won’t become as mass-adopted as smartphones, for example. VR is here, and it has already started its quest to revolutionize entertainment as we know it. And it will have its effects on all
After an update on CryEngine roadmap we are revealing some interesting tidbits about their plans for the future of the CryEngine or, more importantly now in 5.3 patch which is scheduled to become available in mid-November. Biggest features coming to this particular iteration of the engine is definitely support for Vulkan graphics and rendering as well as physics, and support for Deprecate Lua and LLVM generated code helpers (C++ reflection). Also nice thing that caught our eyes is support for mobile GPUs via Vulkan. However their roadmap of course doesn’t stop there, it also looks ahead to tweaks in CryEngine 5.4 which is planned in
Peripherals manufacturer Logitech recently announced the acquisition of Saitek brand and Saitek’s line of controller products. Logitech announced the news in a blog post, calling it an “exciting day for Logitech” and heralding Saitek as the “go-to” source for fans of spacefaring and simulation-style games such as Elite Dangerous, Eve Valkyrie, Star Citizen, Microsoft Flight Simulator and Farm Simulator. Logitech acquired Saitek from Mad Catz for mere $13 million in cash, leaving even more questions about the stability of Saitek’s previous owner, Mad Catz. The future of Saitek’s long-awaited, custom controller for Chris Roberts’ upcoming game, Star Citizen is also in question. In 2007, Mad Catz purchased
Back in 1990s and 2000s, every graphics card launch was followed with an impressive demo that would start numerous threads on online boards, and be the reason why would you opt for one side or the other. That trend disappeared for the better part of 2010s, until Nvidia came out with VR Funhouse. Regardless of which technology vendor you support, no one can argue that VR Funhouse is not one of the best experiences on Steam VR and HTC’s Vive headset. This is one of first VR games that has that Nintendo Wii effect, targeting people of all ages. We saw the joy on faces of children as well
In just a few weeks, the world of Virtual Reality Experiences (VRX) is going to get super immersive add-on. The first fully featured, 1.5 to 2 hour experience is coming to HTC Vive through Steam, Valve’s online store and undoubtedly world’s #1 e-tailer for games. Everest VR is being touted as one of key experiences which should drive the adoption of VR into mainstream. Together with The Climb for Oculus Rift, it probably represents the path forward for VRX. If we are to describe VRX in short, it would be a “cinematic or animated experience you can play”, but it is not a conventional game
Virtual Reality Gaming isn’t coming, it’s already here. With the introduction of Google Cardboard and the Daydream VR platform, Oculus and HTC discrete VR headsets and GearVR headsets for even smartphones like the Samsung’s Galaxy S7, the first tentative steps towards virtual reality gaming are being taken. With Facebook announcing its buy-in of virtual reality technology for a whopping $2 billion, Google has responded with its own VR system, a simple piece of cardboard that can turn your Android phone into a neat virtual reality headset. This all proves that VR gaming is here to stay. Already, the range and quality of available games is encouraging.
With the ongoing rollout of VR headsets over the course of 2016, we’ve begun to see dozens of games either released to the public or demo’d for release in the near future. In some cases, these games are essentially little puzzles or creative experiences designed to test out the fundamentals of VR; in others, they’re full-fledged, action-packed games akin to what we expect on major consoles. And inevitably, many of the more ambitious games have emerged at the forefront of our discussions about VR games. But with so many titles already announced and revealed, there are some very interesting games being overlooked. Here are three
While Nvidia will pull out all the guns to fight the AMD Radeon RX 480, releasing GeForce GTX 1060 as early as July 7th – our focus is slowly turning towards the real big gun of Pascal-based GeForce line-up. If our sources are correct, GP100 and GP102 were essentially the same chips, with the difference being memory and bus interface on the GP102 and PCI Express for the GP100. Feature set on both chips is the same, and there are no surprises. We held the “Tesla P100 for PCI Express-based Servers” board in our hands just a few weeks ago, and just a few days ago, we managed
Killer Networking technology is on the rise. Now under the careful guidance of the original founders, the company is focused on increasing their footprint on the market through the motherboard One of mistakes original Killer Networks did was focusing solely on high-end market segment, requiring a $300 investment in what was becoming a commodity technology. We extensively detailed the rebirth of Killer networking products in an interview with Michael Cubbage, co-founder and CEO of Rivet Networks. The new focus of the network technology isn’t competing against existing network NICs and PHYs, but rather to bring a complete solution that can improve the performance over what can
After spending the past ten days in Hollywood, we met with numerous industry members who are working on next generation of Virtual Reality content. There’s little doubt that we are witnessing the dawn of a new medium, with Hollywood leading the charge when it comes to content development. As an industry, we need immersive experiences that will show what VR brings to the table and so far, there are two experiences one should go through: WeVR’s “theBlu” for HTC Vive and Crytek’s “The Climb” for Oculus Rift. For a pure enjoyment, theBlu experiences simply are the best way to immerse a person in virtual reality,
With the conclusion of E3 2016 trade show, which took place last week in Los Angeles, California – many international guests went on for the hunt for several hot ticketed items – HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and of course, Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080. The ‘retail’ mission was the only option after availability from online e-tailers simply did not transpire. HTC Vive is available in 3 out of five Microsoft stores we’ve checked, while Oculus Rift availability was tied to Intel’s Retail Experience. Best Buy in West Hollywood didn’t had Intel Retail Experience and there was no Rift, but the story changed in
At it’s pre-E3 2016 conference, Microsoft announced the long awaited shift of its console model. In a nutshell, Xbox is becoming an regularly-refreshed product just like the Surface line of tablets and convertible PCs. Future Xbox refreshes will occur in an annual cycle, moving to a strategy that Intel used to call “Tick-Tock”. Just like Intel, Microsoft plans to release a high-end version of the console first, followed by a slimmed down version. Microsoft did not disclose the exact refresh cycle strategy, but we would not be surprised if the company decides to use E3 as the place where their annual or bi-annual refreshes will be announced. The exact
Even though E3 opens its doors on June 14th, there are numerous pre-conference activities. Bethesda announced that is bringing the world of Fallout 4 into Virtual Reality and there will be a series of VR experiences and games announced during this ‘media frenzy’ week. Still, what needs to happen for VR is to bring the cost of VR equipment down and one of potential solutions is coming from a company that is starting to challenge Apple with their retail philosophy. Razer is the driving force behind the OSVR, an Open Source Virtual Reality industry initiative. This initiative was one of key reasons why Razer became a unicorn, and