virtual reality

Oculus Quest VR system will get major UI redesign later this month

Oculus Quest VR system will get major UI redesign later this month

In an announcement today, Facebook's VR company Oculus revealed plans to release an updated user interface for its Oculus Quest headset. Oculus calls this a 'major update' to its system, one that will bring a more 'flexible and social' experience for users. Headset owners can expect multi-window support for 2D applications, a redesigned universal menu, and more.

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Valve Index VR kit might be back in stock for less than a day

Valve Index VR kit might be back in stock for less than a day

Although Valve has actually been involved in the virtual reality market for a long time, it has mostly been via its collaboration with HTC's VIVE system. Last year it finally got its hands dirty with the Index, which may be one of the more expensive PC VR systems aimed at regular consumers. Despite the initially slow sales, the Index quickly sold off last January thanks to the Half-Life: Alyx announcement. The good news is that it's coming back next week. The bad news is that it probably won't last long.

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Facebook acquires VR gaming studio Sanzaru Games

Facebook acquires VR gaming studio Sanzaru Games

Sanzaru Games, a California-based video game development company, has been acquired by Facebook, the company announced on Wednesday. The studio has produced a number of games over the past decade, the most recent examples including Spyro 3 Reignited and Asgard's Wrath. The studio will be tasked with developing new games for Facebook's Oculus VR gaming platform.

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HTC VIVE Cosmo Elite pre-orders begin, shipping next month

HTC VIVE Cosmo Elite pre-orders begin, shipping next month

HTC may be struggling in its mobile business but, at least for now, it is still one of the leaders in the virtual reality market. Next to or even co-equal with pioneer Oculus, the HTC VIVE continues to be a household name in that market and the Taiwanese company seems pretty intent on keeping it that way. Almost mirroring its old strategy with smartphones, HTC is launching more and more VR headsets, starting with the Cosmos Elite today.

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Valve Index will be in short supply thanks to coronavirus outbreak

Valve Index will be in short supply thanks to coronavirus outbreak

As the release of Half-Life: Alyx quickly approaches, Valve has been having a difficult time keeping the Index VR headset in stock. The Index has been consistently sold out in many regions around the world, and unfortunately, it doesn't look like things are going to get much better. While Valve does plan to restock the Index before the release of Half-Life: Alyx next month, it's definitely tempering expectations when it comes to how many headsets it'll have on hand to sell.

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HTC Project Proton: VIVE XR glasses-style devices with Matrix aesthetic

HTC Project Proton: VIVE XR glasses-style devices with Matrix aesthetic

The future is slightly cooler than the present, according to a pair of prototype devices revealed today by HTC. This is HTC Project Proton, a prototype (a pair of prototypes) for "XR glasses-style" devices "from HTC Vive." Specs are forthcoming, but we've got some imagery of both different sorts of device. These prototypes were made specifically to gather public opinion well in advance of production.

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HTC unveils Vive Cosmos Play and Cosmos Elite VR headsets

HTC unveils Vive Cosmos Play and Cosmos Elite VR headsets

HTC has taken the wraps off its expanded Vive Cosmos VR headset product family, introducing new models to compete with the Oculus Rift S and its relatively low price tag. The new lineup features the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite, Cosmos XR, and Cosmos Play models, as well as modular faceplates for the front of the headsets. These offerings join the existing HTV Vive Cosmos model, which is priced at hefty $699 USD.

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JDI announces LCD screens made specifically for VR headsets

JDI announces LCD screens made specifically for VR headsets

Virtual reality head-mounted displays, at least the ones not powered by smartphones, aren't that easy to make, which is partly why dedicated HMDs are far and few in between, not to mention expensive. In addition to the variety of sensors and cameras required for tracking, the displays used in these headsets are often custom made per VR platform. One way to bring down prices and make VR headsets more common is to commoditize the components which is exactly what Japan Display, Inc. or JDI is doing with what may be one of the few mass-produced displays for VR HMDs.

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Half-Life: Alyx launch date has finally been revealed

Half-Life: Alyx launch date has finally been revealed

Half-Life is one of those games that many gamers talk about, most often very fondly, but very few new gamers today see. That's mostly because, despite the cult following, the game has not seen any new release in more than a decade. That will be changing next month when the sequel-prequel-spinoff Half-Life: Alyx is finally released on Steam. It could be the start of the franchise's revival if the game truly takes off, which is going to be tricky considering it's exclusive to PC-based VR systems only.

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Valve Index got a major sales boost from Half-Life: Alyx

Valve Index got a major sales boost from Half-Life: Alyx

Late last year, Valve announced Half-Life: Alyx, which constituted something of a risk on the company's part. By the time it releases, Half-Life: Alyx will be the first game in the beloved Half-Life series in nearly 13 years, and in making Alyx a VR game, there was certainly the potential for backlash from a significant portion of the fanbase. As it turns out, though, it seems that Half-Life: Alyx brought the Steam Index a significant boost in sales.

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Samsung Odyssey VR headset patent sounds more powerful, looks alien

Samsung Odyssey VR headset patent sounds more powerful, looks alien

Some people get bug-eyed after experiencing virtual reality for the first time. If Samsung's next head-mounted display is anything like this patent, it will make them literally bug-eyed. A patent for what seems to be a successor to the company's HMD Odyssey Windows Mixed Reality headset includes colored renders that leave little to the imagination and it will have you looking like The Fly once you don the eerie-looking headset.

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Oculus Go exits business platform pushing Quest further into the foreground

Oculus Go exits business platform pushing Quest further into the foreground

Oculus can perhaps be credited for having revitalized and popularized what was, until recently, simply thought of as a technological experiment. After the Oculus Rift, the now Facebook-owned company launched other VR devices, including ones that don't need to be tethered to a computer to work, the Oculus Go and the Oculus Quest. It seems, however, that the sun is setting for its first standalone VR gear as the Oculus Go is slowly but surely pushed to the background in favor of the Oculus Quest, even in the one sector where it might have seen massive adoption.

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