3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

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Facebook 2.0 To Be Powered by Oculus Rift, a Good or a Bad Thing

March 26th, 2014 · 12 Comments · General 3D News

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The Oculus team has announced that they have “joined forces with Facebook to create the best virtual reality platform in the world” in their blog, but the truth is that Facebook is going to be buying Oculus for approximately $2 billion USD. According to the official press release the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014. The reaction to this news by the community is mostly negative and you can easily figure out why. Initially Oculus was a gaming oriented VR-capable device and most if not all people that have backed up the project have done so because of that promise. Now with Facebook buying the company as it clearly sees the potential in VR in the future, the things will undoubtfully move away from the gaming side and will most likely focus on the use of the VR hardware for the next level of social platform or what you may easily call Facebook 2.0. Even with The Facebook CEO reassuring that gaming will continue to be the main goal of the project for now, people still feel cheated:

Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won’t be changing and we hope to accelerate. The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming community, and there’s a lot of interest from developers in building for this platform. We’re going to focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships to support more games. Oculus will continue operating independently within Facebook to achieve this.

But this is just the start. After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face – just by putting on goggles in your home. This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.

Yes, VR does have a lot of potential and apparently Facebook knows that and the fact that Oculus was way ahead in achieving really immersive and affordable VR experiences, way ahead of competition, so they have acted in doing what is the best thing if they wanted to get into VR now. Facebook certainly can afford to do a deal like that and has the financial resources to really do something great with VR technology, however the most serious concern is that they will use all of that only to integrate the technology in Facebook. Things could’ve been better if another company with more interest into gaming such as Microsoft or Sony has made the deal with Oculus instead of Facebook. Sony has just recently announced their alternative of Oculus that seemed a lot like a copy of the Rift, but not yet to technologically advanced, but now they may actually get ahead of Oculus if gamers decide to back up their product instead of Oculus Rift. We’ll see how the final Sony product will compare to the new Oculus Rift, but it will may not come as a surprise if Sonny announces that their Project Morpheus will become a new top priority for the company.

Now, looking at the Oculus Rift just from a gamers’ perspective is probably not right anymore, even Oculus is not talking about the Rift as a gaming only device, but as a VR platform with many possibilities. The fact that Facebook may kill most of them in order to bring users to the next level by integrating Virtual Reality experiences in their social network still remains highly possible, even when Mark Zuckerberg says that they will not kill the original idea and the team at Oculus will remain the same. We’ll see how this will turn out, if it will be for good or for bad. The fact is that Facebook is a social media and their interests are mainly there, not games, or not games in the way that people like to experience with the Rift. Instead of providing the best VR experience that consumers want, Facebook may actually deliver the “best experience” the way the want it to be and force you to either accept it this way or not use it at all.

I have personally pre-ordered the new Oculus Rift DK2 the moment it was announced without even thinking twice about it, however if the deal with Facebook was announced before the pre-order was put on the website I might have thought about it before hitting the order button…

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Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 (DK2) Now Available for Pre-Order

March 20th, 2014 · 12 Comments · 3D / AR / VR / HMD

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Oculus has announced the DK2, the second development kit for the Oculus Rift, already available for pre-order at $350 USD and shipping in July. The second development kit features many of the key technical breakthroughs and core elements of the consumer Rift including a low-persistence, high-definition display and precise, low-latency positional head tracking. The new DK2 isn’t going to be identical to the upcoming consumer version of the Rift, however it will be very close to what you should expect from the final consumer model. All the content developed using DK2 will supposedly work with the consumer Rift.

The new DK2 uses a low persistence OLED display to eliminate motion blur and judder, two of the biggest contributors to simulator sickness. Low persistence also makes the scene appear more visually stable, increasing the potential for presence. The new high-definition 960×1080 per-eye display (Full HD OLED screen split into two) reduces the screen-door effect and improves clarity, color, and contrast according to Oculus.

The new Oculus DK2 is supposed to also come with integrated precise, low-latency positional head tracking solution using an external camera that allows you to move with 6-degrees-of-freedom and opens up all sorts of new gameplay opportunities like peering around corners, leaning in to get a closer look at objects in the world, and kicking back on a virtual beach. Precise positional tracking is another key requirement for comfortable virtual reality; without it, an enormous amount of your real world movement is lost. Time to pre-order… total cost was $486 USD with the shipping to Europe and taxes added to the price of the unit.

- For more information about the new Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 (DK2)…

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Steam with New VR Support Category for Oculus Rift Enabled Games

December 28th, 2013 · 1 Comment · 3D / AR / VR / HMD

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It seems that Steam has added a category in their search that allows you to easily see what games are available in the platform that have support for the Oculus Rift 3D VR HMD and even though the category is called VR Support it essentially means Oculus Rift support for now. And while we may see other games supporting different VR platforms as they become available in the future, at the moment Steam has listed 14 titles in the VR Support category though the number of games is actually a bit different. You can see the list if you open the search on Steam and go to the advanced search where you have the option to select category and at the bottom of the category list you will see the new VR Support category.

We mentioned 14 titles available under the VR Support category, but the number is actually a bit different as the list includes Team Fortress 2 two times and it is also included in the Valve Complete pack where other Valve games with Oculus Rift support are only available. The game Strike Suit Zero is also available as a standalone in the list as well as in the form of a pack Strike Suit Zero Mega Bundle that includes some extra features. There is also the game Estranged: Act I that is not yet available, but should come out next month that is listed in the VR Support category.

- For the full list of games currently listed in the VR Support category on Steam…

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