Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Cool VR Things Happening

Posted by Rampant Coyote on March 21, 2018

This is the gaming world I wanted back in college in the early 1990s. Better late than never.

SKYRIM VR FOR PC IS COMING in just a few days!!!

I know there were plenty of issues with the PSVR version of this game. I hope the team made some improvements for the PC version.  In good news for Oculus owners, it is launching with full Oculus Rift support. Kind of interesting considering that history.

I’m hoping it will be awesome. I’m still pretty happy with Fallout 4 VR, although I haven’t had the chance to play it nearly as much as I’d hoped. As you have no doubt seen if you are a regular to the blog, I’ve been a bit busy the last couple of months. It’s been long enough since I played Skyrim – it feels like ages – so hopefully it will all feel new to me again. But as much as I enjoy the Fallout series, my heart is still much more in the straight-up fantasy worlds.

Sadly, I’ll be out of town the day it releases (but on a badly-needed vacation, so it’s not really that sad), and then I’ll be out of town on business the week after. But hey, that’s a week of awesome in-between, right? VR was made for fighting dragons, right?

The other big recent news is the pricing and earlier-than-expected (for me) release of the VIVE Pro. 75% more pixels. Two cameras. And the headset alone costs as much as the entire VIVE kit (with controllers & lighthouse boxes) on initial release. So it’s not cheap. NVidia still hasn’t officially announced its newest video cards yet, and thanks to cryptocurrency mining and inflating RAM prices, even the older stuff is hard to find and selling at highly inflated prices.

So… while in theory the VIVE Pro is shipping almost in time for me to play Skyrim VR on it, I’ll probably be another year before I upgrade. While my 1070 is proving more than adequate for the task of even games like Fallout 4 VR on my VIVE, I suspect the VIVE Pro might test it. That, and my budget right now for more powerful gaming hardware is not up to the task. At least we should have a couple of ’em in the office at the day job so I can try it out.

In more bits of good news, the original HTC Vive is enjoying another price drop. It’s still not cheap, at $500 for the entire kit-and-caboodle, but that’s more than a third less than its launch price. Nowadays, I have a tough time recommending it without the Deluxe Audio Strap, which is another $100 and totally worth it for the comfort it adds.

Anyway – I suppose that’s the cost of being an early adopter. Still, it’s been worth it. 🙂

In other news… HTC announced that the formerly China-only VIVE Focus will be going international later this year. It’s a stand-alone headset that still enjoys 6 degrees of freedom with its tracking… without need for Lighthouse base stations or anything. This is the wave of the future, I think. However, the stand-alone device is nowhere near as powerful as the console and PC-based solutions. There’s no word on pricing, yet, but if you don’t have a PC or PS4 that is VR-capable right now, it might prove a decent solution for lower-end experiences.

Of course, it has to compete with the upcoming Oculus Go, which has a price point of only $200!

On the tools front, Unity and Unreal will be packaging built-in support for Magic Leap AR, whenever that hardware actually ships to consumers (supposedly later this year). Also, Microsoft and NVidia have announced support for real-time ray-tracing, which is one of those incredible things we’ve talked about for decades. I expect the capabilities will be pretty limited for the next few years, but it looks like that technology, like VR, may finally be arriving in the near future.


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