Category Archives: Features

A collected archive of VRFocus’ feature articles.

VR vs. The Perfect VR HMD

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Standardisation is a distant dream for the virtual reality (VR) industry in its current state. A set of expected features for any head-mounted display (HMD) is hard to form with no real consumer hardware to base them off. As a result, the first generation of devices, set to release over the next 10 months, will form an immensely varied landscape, for both better and worse. Weighing up the pros and cons of each HMD (sometimes literally) is something that every VR fan is going to have to do in the near future, unless they’re fortunate enough to be able to splash out on more than one. READ MORE

VR vs. Taste

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Sight is on its way to being solved, as is sound. There’s promising progress being made when it comes to feeling and even some rather surprising experiments with smell. Virtual reality (VR) technology, then, is beginning to grasp the first 4 of the 5 major senses. But what about taste? It’s the missing part of the puzzle, even if it can be hard to picture the kind of virtual experience in which someone would utilise it. This is arguably far more complex than tricking any of our other senses, requiring a deep understanding of the human systems that allow us to tell the difference between foods rather than simply tricking us into seeing or hearing something. READ MORE

Meet Solid Eye – PlayStation’s First 3D Headset from the Creators of Metal Gear

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The PlayStation 4, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) claims, is the first videogame console it’s made that is capable of running virtual reality (VR) software. Similarly, its predecessor, PlayStation 3, was touted as its first system capable of 3D. Both of these statements are largely true; SCE’s newest hardware seems to be just about capable of meeting VR’s high demands and the PlayStation 3 was the first console to make a good (albeit unsuccessful) push for 3D titles. But, dig a little deeper into the history of one of the biggest names in the industry, and you’ll find that it was neither the PlayStation 3 nor PlayStation 4 that first dabbled with the technology. It was in fact a significantly less powerful machine, the PSP. READ MORE

Make It A (Virtual) Reality: Tachyon: The Fringe

Tachyon: The Fringe

If, as a gamer, there’s one genre I’ve really wanted to get involved with but have simply failed to connect with it’s that of the space combat sim. There’s been plenty of rich worlds down the years but the vast majority have felt, at least to me, inaccessible due to the amount of time they inevitably require as well as the fact my PC was inevitably never up to scratch. READ MORE

Indies: Driving the VR Revolution Forwards

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There are some studios that cause videogame fans to froth at the mouth when thinking about what they could do in virtual reality (VR). Seeing Naughty Dog bring its flawless brand of storytelling to the technology, or getting to experience one of Bethesda’s celebrated open worlds in VR is what some enthusiasts have been dreaming about ever since they first heard the term ‘Oculus Rift’. But, over the 3 years of painstaking patience and eager anticipation, it’s become clear that these AAA studios aren’t what will truly drive VR going forward, at least not for its first few years of consumer availability. It’s not the 100-man teams that will prove VR’s worth but instead the groups of 1 – 10 passionate developers that form the increasingly important indie scene. READ MORE

VR vs. Exclusives

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Exclusives have changed dramatically over the past decade. In the PlayStation 2-dominated landscape of 10 years ago companies like Square Enix were happily bringing anticipated RPGs and sequels to just one platform. But that’s clearly no longer the case, as the same publisher’s announcement last year that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be a holiday 2015 exclusive on Xbox One was met with such negativity that it was practically forced to admit a PlayStation 4 version would also be arriving later on. Unless you’re owned by a platform holder or having your content published by one, the chances are that you’ll want your videogame to reach as many platforms as possible. How is that going to translate to VR? READ MORE

Project Morpheus – The PlayStation Move Redemption Story?

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For those on the outside looking in, motion controls are one of the many case studies levelled against virtual reality (VR) technology and its chances of success. It wasn’t so long ago that a Wii-dominated videogame landscape heavily influenced both Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) and Microsoft’s visions for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 respectively. The latter console would eventually be introduced to Kinect, a system that arguably never reached its full potential before the company pulled the plug on its necessity in the Xbox One. As for PlayStation, SCE came up with something less fondly remembered; PlayStation Move. READ MORE

Unpacked, unrevealed, unreleased: When Will We See the Consumer Gear VR?

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There seemed to be a very clear pattern to follow with the Gear VR mobile virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD). Originally revealed alongside the Galaxy Note 4 smartphone at least year’s Samsung Unpacked event in Berlin, Germany, the first kit released in time for holiday 2014. A second version quickly followed at the next Unpacked event in March 2015, supporting the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge phones. When Samsung announced a new Unpacked event for 13th August, then, everyone assumed that the promised consumer version of the Gear VR would be making its debut here. But, days before the event, word arrived that co-creator Oculus VR wouldn’t be attending. READ MORE