Here is how the latest working prototypes of the development kits of the Oculus Rift 3D-capable HMD device currently look like and the Oculus team expects that this is how the final Dev Kits will most likely look like as well, maybe with some minor changes. Probably won’t win any design awards, but with the development kits of the device the functionality is far more important and when the consumer version of the Rift becomes available then they can focus on more appealing design. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait around four more months before we’ll be able to actually get the first Dev Kits of the Oculus Rift, meanwhile there should be more information about the device becoming available soon from Palmer Luckey and the Oculus team…
November 28th, 2012 · 6 Comments · General 3D News
November 28th, 2012 · 2 Comments · General 3D News
The Oculus team has just announced that the shipping for the developer kits of the Oculus Rift 3D VR headset have been rescheduled to March next year due to various reasons causing the delay. Can’t say I’m surprised as similar faith probably will follow with other Kickstarter projects that simply did not expect to get such an overwhelming user interest such as the Rift. That however does not mean that I’m not disappointed by the fact that my early DIY dev kit is not already in my hands as initially promised and that I’ll have to wait 4 more months as literally thousands of other Kickstarter backers of the project. Hopefully the extra wait will be for good as apparently the latest prototype of the device that the Dev Kits will be based on has some changes from the specs of the earlier prototype. Based on this current schedule, the goal is to ship the majority of the Dev kits by mid-March shipping them in the same order as the Kickstarter pledges were received (first come, first served) with all the kits expected to sent out by mid-April 2013. Any pre-orders taken post-Kickstarter are expected to ship in late April 2013 with the delivery for US residents expected to take 5-7 business days and international backers should receive theirs in 2-3 weeks, depending on the destination.
The early Oculus Rift prototypes were using 5.6″ LCD panels, but unfortunately the production of that display panel has been discontinued, so the final design will apparently use a new slightly larger 7″ LCD panel with resolution 1280×800. The bright side is that the new display should be better than the old one in almost every key area including response time, switching time, contrast, and color quality. The improved switching time of the panel actually alleviates most of the motion blur people saw in earlier prototype demos according to Oculus. The downside to the new 7″ panel is the weight is going to be approximately 30g more.
The original Oculus Rift prototypes used an off-the-shelf sensor from one of the leading sensor vendors and while the original sensor was high quality, the Oculus has decided to develop their own 9DOF motion sensor that excels in VR-critical areas. These new sensors should be part of the developer kits shipping in March. The new Oculus sensor will support a refresh rate of up to 1000 Hz, which is several times faster than the previous sensor. In addition to the accelerometer and gyroscope, it also includes a magnetometer, which opens new doors in terms of sensor data and head-tracking. The data coming from the new sensor will be accessible using the Oculus SDK in easy to manipulate formats (quaternion, matrix, Euler angles). The raw sensor data will also be available for those that want to do the math themselves.
Also all developers will be invited to join the Developer Center and start discussing Rift development before the kits begin shipping. The Developer Center will have the latest Oculus SDK, engine integrations, official forums, support system, and ways to send hardware/software feedback directly to the Oculus engineering team.
The other good news is that plans for an even better consumer version of the Oculus Rift are already underway, but these will not be coming anytime soon and if we consider the time needed for the production of the Dev Kits we could probably expect an improved consumer version not earlier than the end of the year 2013 or more realistically sometime in 2014…
November 13th, 2012 · 12 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision
Nvidia has just released new beta drivers from their R310 family of drivers, the 310.54 beta is the second one after the version 310.33 beta released last month. The focus of the new version is the typical performance improvement and bug fixes in games, but it also includes some new things regarding stereoscopic 3D support as well. You should be well aware of the fact that starting in R310 drivers Nvidia has dropped support for the legacy GeForce 6-series and GeForce 7-series GPUs, these are supported up to the R304 releases.
If you still haven’t installed 310.33 or 310.54 beta drivers and you are using the new Windows 8 operating system, then you might want to do so as these add support for windowed 3D stereo mode for all DirectX 9 games, Silverlight 3D video streaming, YouTube 3D, NVIDIA PhotoViewer, NVIDIA Video Player, and 3D Blu-ray applications. Also they add HDMI Checkerboard mode to the list of stereoscopic 3D display types for users who want to use the DLP checkerboard 3D format on their compatible 3D-capable DLP HDTVs, this does not only apply to Windows 8. The new GeForce 310.54 beta drivers add support for the following 3D HDTVs/Projectors in 3DTV Play displays: Samsung UN46ES8000, LG 42LM6700 and Acer H6510BD. The previous 310.33 beta added support for 3DTV Play for the Sony VPL-VW95ES Projector.
The new beta adds or updates the following 3D Vision profiles:
- 007 Legends – rated Fair
- The Amazing Spider-Man rated – Not Recommended
- Bunch of Heroes – rated Good
- CABAL2 -rated Good
- Euro Truck Simulator 2 – rated Excellent
- Hawken – rated 3D Vision Ready
- Lucius – rated Fair
- Mabinogi Heroes – rated Fair
- Medal of Honor: Warfighter – rated Fair
- Metro: Last Light – rated Good
- NBA 2K13 – rated Good
- Novlum Demes Editor – rated Excellent
- Of Orcs and Men – rated Fair
- Painkiller: Hell & Damnation – rated Fair
- Planetside 2 – rated Not Recommended
- Prepar3D – rated Good
- Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 – rated Poor
- Unmechanical -rated Good
- War of the Roses – rated Fair
- World Rally Championship 3 – rated Good
Among the most notable issues that still need to be resolved and that you might have trouble with is the fact that you might see screen corruption after pressing the Windows key while viewing content in stereoscopic 3D mode under Windows 8 64-bit, to eliminate the corruption just press the Windows key a second time. Also when installing the NVIDIA graphics driver, if the 3D Vision USB emitter is not plugged in, the 3D Vision USB Controller driver might not get installed. If you plug in the emitter after installing the driver, the indicator light on the emitter may continue to flash red and will not turn green. The recommended solution for this is to reinstall the driver with the emitter plugged in, using the “Perform a clean Installation” option is recommended.