oculus rift

The Hobbit VR hands-on: a Thief in the Shadows

The Hobbit VR hands-on: a Thief in the Shadows

Earlier this week, Epic Games announced that WETA Digital had created a VR experience for The Hobbit. This collaboration is called "Thief in the Shadows", and was the combined efforts of Epic Games, WETA Digital, NVIDIA, and Oculus, and it'd bring the wearer to the Lonely Mountain, put in place of Bilbo Baggins as he (the wearer of the Oculus VR headset) encounters the dragon Smaug for the first time. Oh, Stupendous One, how awesome it is to look upon your face from such a realistic perspective.

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Back to Dinosaur Island: hands-on with Crytek’s newest in VR

Back to Dinosaur Island: hands-on with Crytek’s newest in VR

This week we've had the opportunity to take a peek at the newest in virtual reality computing and entertainment at GDC 2015. Oculus VR is working with multiple content creators and game engine-makers - one of the most impressive of which is Crytek. Utilizing the newest in new - Oculus VR's Crescent Bay VR headset - Crytek implements a CryEngine demonstration called "Back to Dinosaur Island" for the masses. This demonstration works with the full Crescent Bay headset / motion camera setup - and it's mildly terrifying.

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Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One and Oculus Rift this summer

Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One and Oculus Rift this summer

One of the best things in gaming, is seeing a successful Kickstarter game hit the market. It's been a long wait, but Elite: Dangerous is finally hitting Xbox One this summer. Elite: Dangerous is part space adventure, part resource management, and part combat simulation (my favorite!). After a down to the wire Kickstarter campaign two years ago, Frontier Developments secured over £1.5 million from crowdsourcing. It's been two and a half years since then, but we're looking forward to enjoying the fruits of their labor.

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Oculus Rift and Gear VR’s stores may be cross-platform

Oculus Rift and Gear VR’s stores may be cross-platform

Speaking on the Dawn of Mobile VR this week at GDC 2015, Oculus CTO John Carmack suggested that developers plan for mobile and PC release of VR apps. "If you're making a Gear VR product," said Carmack, "plan on developing it for PC, too." We must assume that Carmack is referencing multi-platform releases, like a game made by a development group that's released to PC and released to gaming consoles separately. This may be the full extent of this comment, suggesting Carmack wants developers to be smart about opening up their platform release schedules.

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Oculus holds $1 million competition Mobile VR Jam 2015

Oculus holds $1 million competition Mobile VR Jam 2015

Oculus Rift is hosting their own contest for the most innovative virtual reality games, Mobile VR Jam 2015. Oculus is offering $1 million in prize money. With that much money up for grabs, competition is likely to be stiff. If you'd like to enter but would rather not go solo, Oculus can help you search for a development team. Developers should bring their A-game. This level of prize money and recognition could be a career game changer.

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SCAD University launches Virtual Reality engagement program

SCAD University launches Virtual Reality engagement program

It's not Virtual Reality 101 - this isn't a college-level course. Instead, the Savannah College of Art and Design are launching their first virtual reality experience showing prospective students what it'll be like to visit their campuses. This experience is available on the web for multiple platforms, including Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift, and is entirely free - of course. This interactive experience is being sent out to prospective students across the planet in the form of a piece of cardboard - one that can fold up and into a headset that allows the student to enter the virtual reality realm.

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Big surprise: Facebook is working on VR apps

Big surprise: Facebook is working on VR apps

When Facebook acquired Oculus last year, many were left scratching their heads at the combination. Regardless of what Facebook's intentions were, it made an unspoken promise to leave Oculus alone to do what it does best: develop VR products and experiences. That doesn't mean, however, that Facebook has no plans to capitalize on that purchase itself. Thus it came as a surprise to no one that Chief Product Officer Chris Cox admitted at the Code/Media conference that Facebook is working on some VR apps. The question, of course, is what for.

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Strafe: a game reveling in retro-graphics FPS glory

Strafe: a game reveling in retro-graphics FPS glory

Back in November of 2014, we first saw the face-blasting pixel-blood glory that was the first "sneak peek" at the game Strafe. Here in January of 2015, the Kickstarter has begun, and the glorious mix of old-school graphics and new-world humor has been revealed. Even if you have no interest in investing in a game before it's released, even if you're not planning on playing any gore-filled first person shooters any time soon, you absolutely must watch the "banned commercial" this group has created to push their product.

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British Army uses Oculus Rift for recruitment with virtual tank

British Army uses Oculus Rift for recruitment with virtual tank

Virtual reality headsets are still a little ways out from reaching mainstream consumer adoption, but they're certainly finding use in more and more unexpected places. For example: The British Army has begun a new recruitment drive that uses the Oculus Rift to put users inside a tank during a live fire exercise. The headset is just part of an elaborate set up that aims to have people feel like they are truly riding in a heavily armored vehicle. The first such recruitment demonstrations for the public began on Friday in London.

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Toyota, Oculus bringing VR driving simulator for teens

Toyota, Oculus bringing VR driving simulator for teens

Toyota and Oculus are teaming up to make driving safer — for teens. The joint venture bring a Toyota-branded driving simulator for Toyota’s TeenDrive365 program to the VR headset, which puts those learning to drive behind the wheel of a real car (stationary, of course), but uses VR to immerse them in a driving environment. In being behind the wheel of a real car with virtual distractions and difficult situations, the hope is that teens will be more comfortable behind the wheel when they do venture onto the real road.

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