• Oculus Rift’s 2016 Component Shortage Was Lenses, Claims Book
    Oculus Rift’s 2016 Component Shortage Was Lenses, Claims Book

    The Oculus Rift was supposed to launch on March 28th 2016. Founder Palmer Luckey hand delivered the first unit to a customer in Alaska. But most orders weren’t fulfilled until months later- the Rift saw huge shipping delays.

    At the time of the delays Oculus blamed the issue on a “component shortage”. However due to not wanting to hurt supplier relations, did not reveal which component was in short supply.

    The new book The History Of The Future describes the events around the shortage as follows:

    UNFORTUNATELY, THE MOST PRESSING LAUNCH-RELATED ISSUE WAS THAT– contrary to everything Oculus had been saying for months– they would not actually be launching in full the following day.

    Other than a few hundred units earmarked for their original Kickstarter backers, Oculus didn’t have any units in the US that could go out to consumers. Worse: it was still unclear when they would be able to begin fulfilling orders. Wednesday (March 30) seemed like the most likely option.

    The delay was largely due to a shortage of suitable optics for the Rift (which, in turn, was largely due to Iribe setting a quality bar for optical components that– as a member of the exec team would later describe– was “probably too high… We ended up rejecting lenses that were better than what HTC was shipping on all Vives.”)

    Hybrid Fresnel Lenses

    The Oculus DK1 and DK2 used standard aspheric lenses. For CV1, the company opted to use a custom hybrid fresnel lens design.

    DK2 Lens Left, CV1 Lens Right. Image from iFixit.

    The decision to use fresnels came with a nasty downside of course- “god rays”. Internal reflections in the fresnel rings which create distracting streaks of light on high contrast scenes.

    But in most other ways, the lenses were an upgrade. Fresnel lenses don’t suffer from the same uncorrectable chromatic abberation issues. The hybrid fresnels also offer a much wider “sweet spot”. Whereas the DK2’s image is only sharp in the center, the Rift’s area of clarity is much larger.

    However if the book’s account is to be believed, these optics were perhaps ahead of their time, and too difficult to manufacture. It wasn’t until September that Oculus fully cleared the backlog of Rift orders. Perhaps a simpler lens design would have been the right decision.

    Thankfully, with the Oculus Go Facebook introduced their “next generation” hybrid fresnels. These lenses are also slated to be used in the Oculus Quest and may be used in the Rift S. These new lenses keep the same large sweet spot and sharpness but with significantly reduced god rays. Given Go’s price point and apparent market success it seems these new lenses are also much easier to manufacture at scale.

    Tagged with: oculus, oculus rift

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  • Dick Wilde 2 Review: Same Dick, Different Stream
    Dick Wilde 2 Review: Same Dick, Different Stream

    Sequels are a rare thing in this industry. You’re lucky if you get to make a second game, let alone something that warrants a follow-up. Truthfully, there’s a lot of other VR games more deserving of a second shot than Dick Wilde. The first game was a decent shooter with a less-than-decent tone. But, to my surprise, you get all you could ask for with Dick Wilde 2.

    Bolverk Games does a competent job ticking the boxes in this downstream shooter. In single-player at least the first-person fish shooting action is as mechanically sound as it was before. Blast away incoming enemies, lean out of the way of attacks, rinse and repeat. It’s one of the cleaner, more concise takes on the genre. There’s no spinning you around in circles or tying you up in needless plot.

    Additions are expected but appreciated all the same. This is longer, more balanced and more approachable than the first. It’s not brutally punishing like the first nor is it toned down too much. I still felt myself working up a sweat, though not as often as I did last time around.

    Not every change is for the better, though. The original game’s inventive arsenal, one of its few claims to fame, has largely been traded in in favor of more pedestrian weaponry. Highlights are here but, for the most part, you’ll be using more standard-issue instruments of death this time. They still pack a certain clumsy charm. That’s especially true on PSVR where Aim controller support sees knives stuck into barrels as makeshift handles. Overall, though, it’s definitely on the blander side.

    Co-op is the big inclusion, though it’s a bit of a mixed bag too. As we said in our co-op-focused preview, the game is unavoidably easier with a second player, sometimes to the point of making it redundant. Sharing the shooting doesn’t fill the void the reduced difficulty creates. Ultimately I preferred to tackle levels by myself with the added challenge.

    For all the flashy extras, though, Dick Wilde 2 can’t hide the fact it’s merely polishing a fairly simple shooter. This has the same frills and spills we’ve been having since the launch of the Gear VR, let alone the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. You’ve played this before and, frankly, you’ll know if you want more of it. VR gaming has come way since the launch of even the first game and this feels faintly archaic as a result.

    Perhaps the most notable (and my personal favorite) change is that the game is just a little less, well, cruel. There’s still a lot of animal murder going on here but some of the character designs give it a little more justification. Humanoid rats surf the backs of crocodiles as they spit attacks at you, and beavers glide in on ridiculous wooden flying machines. Special mention has to go to the reduced number of irritating and frequently disturbing lines of dialogue from Dick himself. It’s been toned down a lot since last time around and, heck,

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  • NVIDIA’s new VR-Ready GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Arrives for £259.99 It's supposedly 1.5x faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB.
  • Apex Construct Dev Working On ‘Multiple Games’ For Oculus Quest
    Apex Construct Dev Working On ‘Multiple Games’ For Oculus Quest

    Oculus Quest’s spring 2019 release window is nearing. Despite this, we still don’t know much about its software line-up. But it looks like at least two games are coming from the makers of Apex Construct.

    Stockholm-based Fast Travel Games announced this week that it’s working on “multiple games” for the upcoming headset. The studio wouldn’t confirm any details but did say that more information would come “further down the road.”

    We are extremely excited to announce that we are working on multiple games for Oculus Quest! No details at this point but stay tuned for more information further down the road… #OculusQuest #VR

    — Fast Travel Games (@fasttravelgames) February 21, 2019

    “Getting rid of the cables has been one of the main blockers from getting mass market adoption of 6DOF VR, and this is why we’re so excited to be working on several projects for the Oculus Quest,” Fast Travel CEO Oskar Burman told UploadVR. “It’s an amazing device with a very compelling price that will democratise VR. Expect more info from us in the next couple of months.”

    If we were to speculate, though, one of these games could be an Apex Construct port. At GDC last year Fast Travel showcased its PC and PSVR game running on Gear VR. It was just a tech demo in collaboration with semiconductor group Arm to show it could be done. Now that it’s been proven, though, a full port that utilizes Quest’s six degrees of freedom (6DOF) inside-out tracking and Quest controllers makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

    As for the other game? Your guess is as good as ours.

    Oh, and don’t worry PSVR fans. Fast Travel says its work on Quest isn’t stopping future PSVR plans. We’d assume that goes for PC headsets too.

    We are not taking our hands off the awesome PSVR platform because if this:-)

    — Fast Travel Games (@fasttravelgames) February 21, 2019

    We’re set to learn more about Oculus Quest at GDC in late March. Oculus is going to be at the show with some previously unannounced demos for the kit.

    Tagged with: Apex Construct, Fast Travel Games, Oculus Quest

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  • Microsoft Is Bringing Its HoloLens AR Apps To iOS And Android
    Microsoft Is Bringing Its HoloLens AR Apps To iOS And Android

    Microsoft’s Mixed Reality ecosystem is soon to expand to another platform – smartphones.

    The company announced this week that it’s bringing apps previously designed for HoloLens to iOS and Android. HoloLens is Microsoft’s AR headset. You slip on a pair of glasses that project virtual objects into the real world. The tech uses positional tracking to allow you to walk around and view virtual images as if they were physical objects. When the tech was first revealed in 2015 it was pretty revolutionary.

    But, as time has moved on, everyday smartphones have become increasingly capable of doing what HoloLens does through their screens. Android’s ARCore and iOS’ ARKit both bring convincing AR to phones. To that end, Microsoft will soon publish Dynamics 365 Product Visualize as an iOS preview and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist as an Android preview.

    Product Visualize is essentially a 3D model viewer. It lets sellers project their products into real-world spaces. It’s like that classic AR use case of projecting a virtual couch into the corner of your room before you buy the real one.

    Remote Assist, meanwhile, is another much-touted use case. It allows people to call remote experts when using complex machinery. The expert is able to give on-screen instructions and walk you through the process.

    Microsoft didn’t provide release dates for either app. Both are designed for professional use.

    And, no, you shouldn’t take this is a sign that HoloLens itself is in trouble. In fact, we’re expecting Microsoft to announce HoloLens 2 at MWC in Barcelona next week. We’ll be there to check it out.

    Tagged with: HoloLens, microsoft, mixed reality

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  • Frantic Sci-fi Racer JetX Coming to Steam, Demo to be Released Soon It'll feature cross-platform gameplay for VR and non-VR players.
  • Gungrave VR Headed To Oculus Rift/HTC Vive Next Month
    Gungrave VR Headed To Oculus Rift/HTC Vive Next Month

    Iggymob’s less-than-stellar revival of the Gungrave franchise, Gungrave VR, heads to PC VR in March.

    The game will launch on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on March 6th. It was previously only available on Sony’s PSVR. The base game will cost $24.99 with the add-on episode, Gungrave VR U.N. coming in at $9.99. A package containing both of them costs $29.74.

    In Gungrave VR you control a gun-slinging steampunk cowboy named Grave. Through a mix of third and first-person shooting, you take down scores of enemies that pour in from all sides.

    Both games are now listed on Steam. As with the PSVR version, they can only be played using a standard gamepad as a seated experience.

    We frankly thought Gungrave VR was one of the worst VR releases of 2018. Not only did the core gameplay not make much sense inside a headset but there was barely any content and the presentation was hugely inconsistent. It played like an outdated shooter that was struggling to find a reason to exist. Somewhat impressively, Gungrave U.N. was even worse, adding in pointless 2D side-scrolling sections.

    “Gungrave VR is probably the worst game I’ve played in VR this year,” we said in our review. “It’s a stripped back PS2-era shooter that can be beaten in less than an hour and has absolutely no reason to be in VR. It’s entirely incoherent, utterly devoid of intrigue and, despite releasing in Japan last year, plays like it’s half-finished.”

    We obviously wouldn’t advise picking this one up, then.

    Tagged with: Gungrave VR, Gungrave VR U.N.

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  • Marvel Powers United Update Adds Bomb Defuse Mode And More
    Marvel Powers United Update Adds Bomb Defuse Mode And More

    Yet another new mode and enemy type has been added to Marvel Powers United VR this week.

    Developer Sanzaru Games just patched the Nuke Defense mode and Data Runner enemy into the Oculus Rift exclusive. In Nuke Defense players must battle their way over to and then deactivate nukes. But, rather than just pressing a button, Nuke Defense takes a page from Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes. Players need to enter a code displayed on a terminal and then pull a corresponding cable. Get it wrong and things go boom.

    The Data Runner, meanwhile, is a tougher enemy type that collects data on the player. You’ll be given a limited time to take them out before they transmit that data back to other evil people.

    Elsewhere, Sanzaru has tweaked a few things. The game’s default difficulty is now ‘Beginner Mode’, which will introduce players to the challenge at a more gradual pace. There’s also a heap of character tweaks, all of which and more you can see here.

    As always, it’s great to see Marvel Powers United getting more free stuff. Our main issue with the game was its lack of variety and Sanzaru’s definitely been committed to resolving that. All that said, it’s starting to look less and less like that we’ll see any new heroes added to the game as DLC. It’s been over six months since the game launched and we haven’t seen any new characters. That said, Oculus did tell us that Iron Man was a possibility last Septemeber.

    We’ll keep our fingers crossed for a surprise as Avengers: Endgame approaches.

    Elsewhere, Sanzaru is working on another new game, Asgard’s Wrath. It doesn’t star Thor (at least as far as we know).

    Tagged with: co-op, Marvel Powers United VR, oculus rift, Sanzaru Games

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  • Gungrave VR is Coming to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive Next Month The PC version gets expanded graphical options.
  • Presentation Platform VRtuoso Secures $650,000 Investment to Boost Global Expansion VRtuoso enables enterprises to cut training costs and boost sales.
  • HTC Reveals Vive Focus Plus, Coming Q2 2019

    The enterprise-only standalone headset features dual 6DoF controllers and improved Fresnel lenses. Continuing their push towards enterprise VR technology, HTC has unveiled a new version of their HTC Vive Focus headset designed specifically for use by businesses and corporations. Dubbed the HTC Vive Focus Plus, the 6DoF standalone device boasts an array of new features

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  • Eminem Arrives On Oculus Headsets In Marshall From Detroit
    Marshall from Detroit Eminem

    Felix & Paul Studios’ Eminem project is now available on Oculus headsets.

    Marshall From Detroit is a 21-minute look into Marshall Mathers aka Eminem and his origins in Detroit. You can grab the 8 GB download for free on Oculus Go, Rift and Gear VR.

    Marshall From Detroit premiered at the Sundance Film Festival with the release of the above 360-degree trailer.

    “In Marshall From Detroit, we sought to explore the city impressionistically: Detroit as a memory, a feeling, a dream,” said director Caleb Slain, in a prepared statement. “With a front row seat down memory lane alongside Marshall and Sway, this lyrical experience offers an unprecedented glimpse into its eponymous titans. We all have a home. And the extent to which it shaped us is one of life’s great mysteries. But as any native would tell you, Detroit, Michigan is one hell of a place to call home.”

    A still from Marshall From Detroit, available now on Oculus headsets.

    Felix & Paul Studios produce some of the most compelling 3D 360 captures of the real world. So if you’re a fan of Eminem or just curious about the artist, we’d recommend checking this one out. The studio also recently released Traveling While Black on the NY Times website as well as Oculus Go, Rift and Gear VR, with its 20-minute look at race and restricted movement in The United States. The studio’s previous projects include close encounters with Jurassic World dinosaurs and front row seats at a number of Cirque Du Soleil performances.

    Tagged with: Eminem, felix & paul, Marshall From Detroit

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  • Book Reveals Canceled Oculus Rift Successors Tuzi and Venice
    prototype oculus rift

    Blake Harris’ new book The History Of The Future reveals two canceled Oculus Rift successor projects codenamed ‘Tuzi’ and ‘Venice’.

    In October of last year, TechCrunch reported the cancellation of a Rift 2 project codenamed ‘Caspar’. This means that a total of three reportedly canceled Rift successor projects are now public knowledge.

    The first Oculus Rift was revealed in mid-2015. It shipped at the end of March 2016 with Touch controllers arriving in December that year. Nearly three years later the hardware hasn’t changed.


    The Tuzi project was started in 2015, according to the book. On September 16, 2016 the executive team decided to kill Tuzi, the book explains.

    Code discovered by UploadVR in the Oculus PC software references Tuzi. For example, “tuziCameraImpl:SensorFPGAReg” is in the same region and format as the DK2 and Rift CV1 cameras, suggesting it had an external camera sensor. We’ve reached out to sources and confirmed that Tuzi could have had an updated external camera system.


    Another project called “Venice” is briefly referenced in the book and was apparently in the works as another Rift follow up that could’ve released in late 2018. Based on the timing, it seems likely Venice may have been a bigger upgrade from the original Rift compared with Tuzi.


    According to the TechCrunch report, Caspar is the most recent PC-powered VR headset project to be axed. It was canceled in October of last year and was reportedly related to Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe’s departure.

    Caspar isn’t mentioned in The History Of The Future. That’s not surprising because the book stops telling the story of Oculus in mid 2017. Given the TechCrunch description of Caspar and the passing of Q4 2018, it seems Caspar was another new high-end Rift project considered and cancelled after Venice.

    Rift S – The Survivor

    With Tuzi, Venice, and Caspar dead Facebook appears to be taking a new direction with the Rift line.

    TechCrunch reported  the company could release a more iterative ‘Rift S’ this year rather than a high end headset.

    Code found by UploadVR in the Oculus PC software confirmed the existence of Rift S. The code references we found suggested that headset will have on-board tracking and possibly software-based IPD adjustment.

    Rift S may be distinct from the previous successor projects in that compromises may have been made for cost reasons. We believe, for example, Rift S will focus on affordability with an inside-out tracking solution similar to the upcoming Oculus Quest.

    We reached out to Facebook and a spokesperson declined to comment on future products. We’d expect some kind of announcement, though, between now and the three year anniversary of the Oculus Rift at the end of March.

    Tagged with: facebook, oculus, oculus rift, oculus rift 2, oculus rift s, rift 2

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  • Researchers Discover Security Flaws In Bigscreen VR App

    The issues have since been addressed in a patch released by Bigscreen, Inc. According to researchers based out of the University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut (go Chargers!), Bigscreen, a popular remote desktop application/social experience for VR headsets, has been openly susceptible to hackers due to a series of critical security vulnerabilities; allowing

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  • Batman and The Scarecrow Will be at MWC19 Barcelona as a Mixed Reality Experience AT&T, Ericsson, Intel, Warner Bros., and DC Comics have collaborated on the project.