Oculus Rift News | PCGamesN

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Smell-o-vision is real with the FeelReal Oculus Rift add-on

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Smell-o-vision is real with the FeelReal Oculus Rift add-on

Smell-o-Vision was invented in the 1960s, but it’s safe to say the technology hasn’t really ever taken off. There have been multiple attempts to revive the idea over the decades, and the latest clips onto Oculus’ VR goggles to provide you will a full sense-o-rama experience. FeelReal fills your nose with various odours, as well as spraying you with water and blasting hot or cold air into your face. 

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John Carmack thinks that the future of VR is in mobile tech

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John Carmack thinks that the future of VR is in mobile tech

Since Oculus got everyone sweaty over virtual reality, the focus has mostly been on games, and specifically PC games. But that’s been slowly changing since it was acquired by Facebook, and the Oculus Rift has started to be positioned as this ubiquitous device in the same way the smartphone is now. 

That’s always been the plan, though. At his GDC talk today, John Carmack discussed the potential of mobile VR, and why it was the reason he originally started working with Oculus in 2013. 

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I ate too many egg bagels and span around in a virtual reality chair and now I feel sick

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I ate too many egg bagels and span around in a virtual reality chair and now I feel sick

Roto is an invention that aims to improve the experience of using a virtual reality headset by allowing full 360-degree turning using a special chair that rotates when you apply pressure to a pair of footpads. It operates on the notion that nobody should be allowed to stand up when using any kind of headset that teleports them to unknowable fantasy universes, lest they trip over a cable and die. It's a solid notion and one that I approve of, having once knocked over a stack of Easter eggs while inside Oculus Rift.

Spinning around in a motorised office chair might be the future of virtual reality. It might also be something that isn't the future of virtual reality. It might be a part of some version of one potential future of virtual reality. It might also be the case that virtual reality doesn't have a future to be a part of. I honestly don't know. I'm just a bit dizzy from all the spinning.

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Earthlight is a first-person exploration game set on the ISS using the Oculus Rift and Kinect 2

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Earthlight is a first-person exploration game set on the ISS using the Oculus Rift and Kinect 2

Have you ever wanted to do a spacewalk above the vast and encompassing blue dot that we call home? Well developers Opaque Multimedia are about to offer you the chance to do just that, albeit in the space of virtual reality. Their new game, Earthlight, is a first-person exploration game that’s set on the International Space Station. It’ll use both the Oculus Rift and Microsoft Kinect 2 to provide a full body mapping system, and ensure that immersion is at the forefront of the experience.

“Earthlight demonstrates the very limits of what is visually achievable in consumer-oriented VR experiences," Opaque states. “Featuring the most realistic depiction of the International Space Station used in an interactive VR setting to-date."

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Oculus: VR could be more about movies than games; "We don't know what the killer app is"

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Oculus: VR could be more about movies than games; "We don't know what the killer app is"

When the Oculus Rift was Kickstarted, it was taglined ‘Step into the Game’. First and foremost, we expected, VR would revolutionise gaming. But two years and a Facebook buyout later, its scope has widened.

“We’ve said from the beginning we’re big gamers," said Oculus’ Nate Mitchell. “But it may well end up being that VR is more about film than games."

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Oculus: "a new platform emerges every 10 years; Zuckerberg believes VR is coming next"

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Oculus: "a new platform emerges every 10 years; Zuckerberg believes VR is coming next"

CES doesn’t do many panels - it’s all about the blue LED lights of the show floor. But this year the LA tech event held a session on ‘Emerging Trends in Gaming’. VR was sure to be the first item for discussion, even if Oculus head of studios Jason Rubin hadn’t been mic’d up for the occasion.

“Mark bought Oculus because he believes that a new platform emerges every 10 years," said Rubin. “And he believes that VR is coming next."

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Oculus VR swallows up a three course meal of one mo-cap expert and two developers

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Oculus VR swallows up a three course meal of one mo-cap expert and two developers

The news that there were still people not employed by Oculus VR did not go down well in the company's underground lair, which is also on the moon. That’s why the VR developer isn’t just hiring individuals, now, it’s swallowing up whole teams. You probably know someone working there now, or perhaps you are reading this from your office in the aforementioned underground layer. 

Today, Oculus VR announced three new acquisitions amounting to many brains that will be consumed by the virtual hive mind: Nimble VR, 13th Lab and mo-cap expert, Chris Bregler. 

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Oculus console partnership was never on the cards

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Oculus console partnership was never on the cards

Back in March, Oculus were bought by Facebook for $2 billion. The deal took much of the tech world by surprise because there’d been rumours that the console giants, Sony and Microsoft, had been interested in buying the VR company.

However, Oculus’ CEO Brendan Iribe says that “we were thinking the whole time that we wouldn't partner with Microsoft or Sony."

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James Cameron calls VR “a yawn, frankly”

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James Cameron calls VR “a yawn, frankly”

James Cameron, director of Aliens, Terminator 1 & 2, and... Avatar, is none too impressed by the new virtual reality tech on the market, saying "There seems to be a lot of excitement around something that, to me, is a yawn, frankly."

Cameron’s famed for looking to new technologies to enhance his films but he doesn’t think VR tech is “mature" enough to use yet.

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50-100 million Oculus Rifts will need to be sold for it to be a "meaningful thing as a computing platform"

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50-100 million Oculus Rifts will need to be sold for it to be a "meaningful thing as a computing platform"

Facebook has over a billion users. Even babies, unable to communicate with the world besides leaking, have Facebook pages. So it’s probably with good reason that Mark Zuckerberg thinks in big numbers, numbers like 50-100 million. That’s the number of Oculus Rift units that will need to be sold for the device to be a "meaningful" platform, which the Facebook head honcho dropped in an earnings call

Not quite a billion then, but gosh that’s still a very large number. 

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Hang out in the Batcave with the Oculus Rift this winter

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Hang out in the Batcave with the Oculus Rift this winter

Batman: The Animated Series is the Dark Knight at his very best, more faithful and entertaining than any of the films or that bewildering Gotham TV show that’s recently appeared. Come this winter, owners of VR devices like the Oculus Rift will be able to step into the Caped Crusader’s Batcave, based on the Animated Series version. 

A “narrative experience" rather than an objective-based game, this VR Batcave is being designed by visual effects company Otoy Inc. along with Bruce Timm, creator of the “Timmverse", DC’s animated universe. 

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Oculus Rift Development Kit 1 plans are now open source, go “make something awesome” say devs

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Oculus Rift Development Kit 1 plans are now open source, go “make something awesome” say devs

VR sensation Oculus Rift is two years into development now and is, what some would say, a ‘pretty big deal’. From a Facebook takeover to a deal with Samsung, Oculus has sprouted from the mind of a 19-year-old Palmer Luckey and bloomed into the biggest thing in consumer electronics. 

Whilst Oculus are proud of that progress, they acknowledge that none of it would be possible if not for their fans and supporters.  As a thank you, Oculus are making the hardware and software details for Development Kit 1 of the Oculus Rift open source. 

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John Carmack on what the Oculus Rift's integrated audio can do for gaming

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John Carmack on what the Oculus Rift's integrated audio can do for gaming

The weekend’s Oculus Connect conference has flooded the internet with keynotes from staff at the VR company - where water cooler chat, you imagine, ends with a totally reengineered water cooler.

In one panel, CTO John Carmack talked up the good VR can do for sound in gaming - where audio is traditionally under-resourced.

“All that audio stuff that everybody always wanted to do and we never thought made the grade for traditional gaming? Now we can actually make a difference," said Carmack.

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Get your face ready: a consumer beta for the Oculus Rift could kick off as early as next April

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Get your face ready: a consumer beta for the Oculus Rift could kick off as early as next April

Oculus VR has yet to spill the beans on its plans for the consumer version of the Oculus Rift, and when we’ll actually be able to slap the headset on our eager faces. However, a public beta of the consumer version may kick off as early as April, 2015. 

That’s less than a year away, so start moisturising your face now.

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The finished Oculus Rift will cost less than £250

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The finished Oculus Rift will cost less than £250

Right now, you can order an Oculus Rift dev kit 2 for $350, or about £215. But if you’re not a developer you absolutely mustn’t, say Oculus. The dev kit isn’t for you. Instead, you must queue up at conventions, or wait for the headset’s consumer version.

There’s still no word on when we’re getting that - but we do know how much it’ll cost. No more than $400, or a little over £245. And that’s the upper end of the price scale Luckey and co. are looking at.

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Oculus and Samsung announce the Gear VR headset for smartphones

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Oculus and Samsung announce the Gear VR headset for smartphones

That rumoured Oculus and Samsung-developed Gear VR headset has become a real, tangible device you’ll be able to plonk on your noggin in the Autumn.

Strap an empty Gear VR to your face and you’ll simply look a bit like Watchmen’s Owlman. But slide a Galaxy Note 4 into the side and you’ll be subject to a virtual reality experience not entirely unfamiliar to Oculus Rift dev kit owners.

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