Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 19th Mar 2014 20:10 UTC
Games

The second version of the Oculus Rift development kit is similar to the Crystal Cove prototype in terms of features, but the fit and finish is much closer to what we’re likely to see in the retail virtual reality headset.

Also, last night:

The VR system is currently codenamed Project Morpheus, and will work with PlayStation 4. While still in prototype form, Yoshida says that Morpheus is the "culmination of our work over the last three years to realize our vision of VR for games, and to push the boundaries of play." The headset uses a 1080p LCD, offers a 90-degree field of view, and will integrate with the PlayStation Camera for tracking and PlayStation Move for motion control. It connects via HDMI and USB; while the current prototype uses a 5-meter cable, Sony would like to make it wireless. The company says the headset doesn't put weight on your nose or cheeks, and its design allows for airflow without the lenses fogging up.

I'm not particularly interested in this - it feels like the Pong days of VR. Give this 10-15 years, though, and I'm sure the headsets will not be the size of refrigerators. The future looks quite interesting.

Science, onwards to the holodeck!

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Patents
by Treza on Wed 19th Mar 2014 22:40 UTC
Treza
Member since:
2006-01-11

I have not checked, but there is probably intense patenting activity around VR helmets.
Having a good product is not as important as being among the first and patenting every petty idea.

Or maybe I'm cynical...

Reply Score: 7

Massively Excited
by jburnett on Thu 20th Mar 2014 00:39 UTC
jburnett
Member since:
2012-03-29

I have wanted my own VR setup since the I played one of those awful virtual reality kiosk setups they had back in the mid-90s, where you had a wand and a stood on a ringed platform. I studied computer science and even did my masters work in virtual and augmented reality. In the late 90s I even bought one of the original Sony Glasstron personal head mounted displays.

None of the tech was very good. And there was almost no progress, and there has been little progress over the last 10 years. But the DK2 looks amazing, a massive step forward. I could not plunk down my $350 fast enough. This is the most excited I have been for playing with a new tech gadget in 10 years.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by tylerdurden
by tylerdurden on Thu 20th Mar 2014 01:09 UTC
tylerdurden
Member since:
2009-03-17

" it feels like the Pong days of VR. Give this 10-15 years, though, and I'm sure the headsets will not be the size of refrigerators."


That's some ridiculous hyperbole. These things are barely larger than a pair of ski goggles, jeez.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by tylerdurden
by Kivada on Thu 20th Mar 2014 03:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by tylerdurden"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

" it feels like the Pong days of VR. Give this 10-15 years, though, and I'm sure the headsets will not be the size of refrigerators."


That's some ridiculous hyperbole. These things are barely larger than a pair of ski goggles, jeez.

Still more then most people want to wear.

The only people that will buy these are the same people that are already backing the Occulus, and not many more.

The reason is the same reason 3D HDTV failed. You have to wear something.

It will finally catch on when we have actual holodeck tech, till then it's just a gimmick and rich kid's toy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by tylerdurden
by slashdev on Thu 20th Mar 2014 09:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by tylerdurden"
slashdev Member since:
2006-05-14


The only people that will buy these are the same people that are already backing the Occulus, and not many more.

The reason is the same reason 3D HDTV failed. You have to wear something.

It will finally catch on when we have actual holodeck tech, till then it's just a gimmick and rich kid's toy.


The reason why 3D HDTV failed was for multiple complex reasons; major lack of quality content was one. no over-the-air 3D content.

Also TV is generally a passive experience, and having everyone actively wear 3D glasses was a bit much when you are used to just sitting down and enjoying your TV.

You have to remember that with gaming, you are already holding a controller. The original Wii (arguably the 2nd most popular game system ever sold at 100+ million) you had to strap on a wii-mote and flail around looking ridiculous.

I think you hit on something interesting with the "rich kids toy". I would say, in general, gaming has been traditionally a "rich kids" hobby (upper middle class?) that has recently become affordable for a larger segment. Console games were $50-$80 a pop in the 90s ($126 US bucks adjusted for inflation), and consoles were $199+ ($315+ adj!), Not to mention the cost of PC rigs (pre-socketA).

I think a $299 price point for the consumer riff and an even lower price point for project Morpheus (I am hearing ~$199) probably puts it nearer to the cheap end of the spectrum for gamers.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by tylerdurden
by tylerdurden on Thu 20th Mar 2014 17:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by tylerdurden"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Yup, at the $300 sweet spot a VR headset costs as much as a monitor, which makes it a no brainer purchase for a dedicated gamer.

I have used a couple of prototypes and the experience is so obvious for some interactions/applications, that it basically sells itself (assuming you have disposable income that is).

PS. Even though I personally don't care for 3D TV, nor I see its usefulness. At least in the movie theater space, 3D is doing very well revenue wise. Even if most 3D movies are shit, again IMO.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by tylerdurden
by Kivada on Thu 20th Mar 2014 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by tylerdurden"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Theres a big difference though between a controller and something you put on your face that sucks for anyone that wears glasses and can only be seen by you.

As for looking a fool when gaming, perhaps you where never a console gamer, however, I was. I still swear to this day that it makes you go faster if you lean into the direction you want the character as well as still move to the character's jumps when playing platformers. So as much as we all poked fun at the Wii's control scheme it really wasn't that far of a stretch, especially since most actions could be done with a quick flick of the wrist.

Console games are usually best played in groups as well, growing up playing in groups of 2-6 was the norm and cheating by smacking and kicking eachother, slapping the controller out of eachother's hands was also rampant. Because it was just that much more fun. Can't beat the kid that knows all the moves in the fighting game? Elbow him in the ribs and slap the controller out of his hands, he'd be doing the same to you anyways.

Gaming wasn't a rich kid's toy when I was a kid, You could get a used NES for $30, an SNES for $55 and a Sega for $65, A Gameboy for $45, games started at $0.10 for used games with an average in the $5-10 range. We used to pool our lunch money to buy games. I remember doing the food math at school to figure out what things I could drop from lunch and not be hungry but have a few cents left over every day to put in the jar to pick up that game I wanted.

What was a rich kid's toy in gaming growing up? Well in later years it was the Steel Battalion controller. I knew a few kids in high school that had Steel Battalion, but only one kid, the rich one who had al the game console's and who's parents had bought him a NEW Mazda Miata MX5 was the only one that had the very expensive controller and pedal system designed to work only with one game ever. The rest of us where still saving up money from our first jobs to buy a PS2, XBox, GBA, first custom gaming comp or a POS rusted out beater car.

Doesnt matter what the price is, the money is better spent on a better monitor that has more then one use type. You aren't going to use this thing for all of your computing, so most people will file it under "interesting idea" and put the money into a bigger better screen or a multi screen setup, since it helps with more then just gaming.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by tylerdurden
by zima on Sat 22nd Mar 2014 18:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by tylerdurden"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

> The reason is the same reason 3D HDTV failed. You have to wear something.

The reason why 3D HDTV failed was for multiple complex reasons; major lack of quality content was one. no over-the-air 3D content.

Also TV is generally a passive experience, and having everyone actively wear 3D glasses was a bit much when you are used to just sitting down and enjoying your TV.

Or how lying on your side suddenly breaks the illusion...

Plus, "3D" marketing label is deceptive - "2D" films already have most of the info we use for depth perception, and "3D" ones get some of it wrong - the parallax in them is simply wrong.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by tylerdurden
by RobG on Fri 21st Mar 2014 12:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by tylerdurden"
RobG Member since:
2012-10-17

I think you're seriously underestimating the difference between immersive VR and passive 3D technologies. They are a world apart.

I'm excited about this, having used a VR system back in the day, it looks to me like its finally at the stage of moving beyond the labs to the home. Probably the most game-changing technology in years. I suspect many people will buy a PC to get one once they try it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by tylerdurden
by zima on Sat 22nd Mar 2014 20:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by tylerdurden"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It will finally catch on when we have actual holodeck tech

I wouldn't expect a holodeck... but, in a few decades, we should have proper holographic video displays (a real hologram feels kinda like a mirror or a window; for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9QR3qaK_Cs - the light behaves as if the plate had some insides). They basically "just" need pixel density comparable to the wavelength of light (plus processing power and memory we're nowhere near yet)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by tylerdurden
by slashdev on Thu 20th Mar 2014 08:24 UTC in reply to "Comment by tylerdurden"
slashdev Member since:
2006-05-14

yeah, I think the pong days of VR were the 90s. Those rigs were huge, used giant magnets for motion tracking, huge cables hooked up to large arrays of PCs or Custom Silicon (literally the size of refrigerators), costing at the low end about $40k and high end about $500k-millions.


We are in the NES/Genesis era of VR right now (if you want to randomly pull a gaming era for comparison from your hat). This is the first time that VR will be actually affordable to the middle class. It now is costing no more than a high end PC flight stick used to cost or steering wheel/petal setup. Actually people spend more on their flight sim rigs than what the Rift dev kit costs.


Once they hit the $299 sweet spot (which is supposed to be the rifts goal, Sony seems to be aiming for $199 by using the playstation camera, and not having motion tracking built in), I think VR we'll start getting some amazing content.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by tylerdurden
by tylerdurden on Thu 20th Mar 2014 16:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by tylerdurden"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

The problem with trying to make an equivalence with somewhat unrelated prior sequence of events, it's that those equivalences are more often than not very very flawed.

VR got lots of attention in the early 90s, right before the web took off. But that does not mean development in the field ever ceased. It just took 2 decades for the price/performance/size ratio of the devices to hit the sweet spot for the consumer market. But there has been a significant high end VR market for the past few decades, which has become crucial for things like military/civilian training, scientific/medical exploration, education, even therapy.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by Froyton
by Froyton on Thu 20th Mar 2014 16:33 UTC
Froyton
Member since:
2013-08-29

I would have thought the Virtual Boy was the "Pong" of VR. ;)

Reply Score: 2