Category Archives: Features

A collected archive of VRFocus’ feature articles.

VR vs. Oculus Connect

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Oculus VR has been on quite a journey in 2014. Cast your mind back to January of this year when the company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) was a much smaller outfit with one of Kickstarter’s biggest success stories on its side. Just nine months on and we’ve been treated to new development kits, high-profile hires, collaborations with Samsung and, of course, an acquisition that totalled some $2 billion USD. You’d be forgiven for thinking that, following the shipment of the second development kit (DK2), Oculus VR would be lying low for the rest of 2014, but in fact one of the company’s biggest events is still to come. READ MORE

Hands-On with Kite & Lightning’s The Voice 360: Be the Coach

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Kite & Lightning are a widely respected independent development studio that has established huge credibility within the virtual reality (VR) community. Their original creations such as The Station and the highly praised Senza Peso have been regularly touted as the current pinnacle of passive VR experiences. As the studio matures it was inevitable that such a reputation would lead to commercial products and high-profile licenses, but their first release, The Voice 360: Be the Coach, no one could have guessed. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Destiny

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While it’s easy to get tired of the sheer amount of first-person shooters (FPS) in today’s videogame climate, it’s hard to deny their simply joys. Their accessibility and instant payoff make them the ideal test bed for new consoles, controllers and technologies. That said, traditional FPS videogames undoubtedly prove something of a conundrum for virtual reality (VR) technology at this stage. Without a gun to hold in player’s own hands as they take cover and return fire, immersion can be broken instantly. There’s also the issue of keeping pace with some of the more fast-paced entries in the genre such as Call of Duty, which even the Oculus Rift’s second development kit (DK2) may struggle to meet demands of without players getting simulator sickness. READ MORE

VR vs. Gear VR

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If you’d asked any virtual reality (VR) enthusiast about mobile VR this time last week, they’d have told you that, while certainly possible, it’s seen as a low-end quick fix while we continue to wait for the consumer version of the Oculus Rift VR head-mounted display (HMD). In the past seven days that assumption has been turned upside down, making mobile VR a much more exciting prospect that it was before. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Best of Mobile

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Earlier this week the floodgates to mobile virtual reality (VR) opened as Samsung revealed its Gear VR head-mounted display (HMD), compatible with its new Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. A raft of developers have since come forward to confirm support for the device, including many that were already working with Oculus VR’s Oculus Rift HMD to some degree. Some are even porting beloved mobile classics to the new platform. This begs the question; what other mobile titles could come to VR? READ MORE

Hands-On with Samsung’s Gear VR

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Samsung today unveiled the much rumoured Gear VR head-mounted display (HMD), a partnership with Oculus VR that will see virtual reality (VR) brought to mobile technology in a more impressive fashion than any other vendor has yet presented. Oculus VR’s Palmer Luckey has famously stated that ‘the enemy of VR is bad VR,’ and it’s clear that the partnership has resulted in a device that manages to leap that difficult hurdle. READ MORE

VR vs. Ubisoft

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Virtual reality (VR) technology almost came out of the 2014 Game Developers Conference (GDC). With Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) announcing the Project Morpheus VR head-mounted display (HMD) and Oculus VR lifting the lid on its second development kit for the Oculus Rift (DK2). The technology was riding on a wavy of positivity, with developers expressing enthusiasm for creating innovative new experiences and press and attendees clearly impressed by what they got to sample at the event. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Pokemon

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“So I have a lifelong dream. It’s something I’ve been passionate about since I was a kid and I think virtual reality could really enable it. I’ve always wanted to be a Pokemon master and that’s really what I want to do. I want to play an incredible, virtual reality Pokemon MMO.If I got my golden ticket, that’s where it’s taking me. I’m gonna catch them all, I’m gonna battle all my friends, I’m going to meet whatever the vague definition of a Pokemon master is. “ READ MORE

VR vs. PAX Prime 2014

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With Gamescom 2014 now in the past it’s easy to forget that PAX Prime 2014 is right around the corner on 29th – 31st August 2014. The popular public convention, based in Seattle, Washington, isn’t known for its high-profile announcements so much as it is for allowing videogame fans hands-on time with the biggest releases and in-depth looks at their favourite titles. It’s an event more for the fans instead of the press, and thus represents a unique opportunity for many to experience virtual reality (VR) for the first time. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Grand Theft Auto

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If there’s one franchise that could and should prove to be the ultimate virtual reality (VR) sandbox, it’s Grand Theft Auto. Ever since Rockstar Games revolutionised videogames with 2001’s Grand Theft Auto III the series has remained a consistent example in how to let players run free in the world and have fun the way they want to. Imagine transporting those open worlds and countless activities to the world of VR. READ MORE