Field of view: The week in virtual reality

Your weekly roundup of VR news, games and recommendations
The week in virtual reality

Our week may have been dominated by the first ever Wareable Tech Awards, but the world of virtual reality has been firing on all cylinders. Microsoft announced it's working with a bunch of third parties to launch affordable mixed reality headsets, and we learned Google is working on a VR/AR headset of its own.

Also, with Halloween just around the corner, we've rounded up a bunch of the best VR horror games to spook yourself with. Just don't come crying to us if you pee yourselves. That's on you.

Read this: VR news blips and tidbits

Oculus looks to go big on AR

Right now Oculus is fully focused on virtual reality, but like others it's turning an eye to the massive potential of augmented reality too. UploadVR reports that Oculus has listed 31 positions on its careers page related to AR including an 'AR Incubation Lead' who will lead a team to "build AR technology that opens the path to everyday use for a billion people."

That seems like pretty conclusive evidence that Oculus is diving into AR in a big way, but it doesn't tell us when, or even if it will materialise into a product. But it's certainly no surprise, with AR promising to be the next logical step in VR - even Oculus chief scientist Michael Abrash predicted 'augmented VR' will be an integral part of virtual reality in five years time.

Music VR

We've delved into the rise of the VR gig, but what about building an entire VR music venue? That's what Boiler Room and VR hub Inception are teaming up to make - a world first, they claim. They'll be producing special VR events, which will kick off next year, and we're promised some authentic gig experiences - minus the sweat.

Fighting harassment in VR

The issue of sexual assault in VR has been a big topic of discussion this past week, after one victim wrote (on Medium, now removed) about her experience of being groped in the game QuiVR. The woman said she was playing the game when someone came up to her and started virtually rubbing her chest, continuing to do so despite asking them to stop. It's inevitably a problem VR will have to deal with, and it's good that the discussion around it is starting while the medium is so young.

After reading the piece, the developers of QuiVR quickly implemented a fix to stop the incident being repeated. They also responded with a considered and thoughtful response that you should go and read. It's important we talk about these types of incidents if we're going to make sure VR is safe and inclusive, especially as it becomes more immersive and prolific.

Play this: Don't Knock Twice

As it's Halloween, it seems appropriate to suggest something spooky. Don't Knock Now doesn't launch until March 2017, but if you have an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive you can try the demo right now. You can get a teaser of the first-person title in the video below, but we recommend going in blind for the terrifying full effect.

Watch and try this: Vivepaper

This week Vive announced the launch of Vivepaper, an app that lets users flick through magazines in virtual reality. The benefit of doing this in VR is that the pages come to life, be it through 360-degree videos or 3D images. Vive teamed up with Condé Nast China for the project, but you don't have to have a Vive to try it - it also works as a smartphone VR app.

And watch this: Tethered trailer

With the PS VR now out, all focus is on the games. This week saw the launch of Tethered, a new strategy title for the system that turns you into the god of a world of floating islands. There's a 20-minute taster video of the game below - check it out. Then, if you're sold, go and read our full PlayStation VR review.


Shop for VR headsets on Amazon

Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift
$599.99
PlayStation VR
PlayStation VR
$399
HTC Vive
HTC Vive
$799
Samsung Gear VR
Samsung Gear VR
$97.98

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1 Comment

  • fenix-runner says:

    Microsoft announced on Wednesday that they are working with HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Acer to bring VR headsets with inside-out tracking and 6 degrees of freedom to Windows 10, starting at $299! In my opinion one of the biggest stories in VR this week.

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