Field of view: The week in virtual reality - Oculus gets cheaper and more

Your weekly roundup of VR news, videos and recommendations
Field of view: Oculus gets cheaper

Welcome to your Friday roundup of the biggest virtual reality news, features and recommendations from the week.

If you've been on the site over the last seven days you'll have seen our full Google Daydream View review, giving our verdict on the company's new mobile virtual reality headset. If you're planning to pick one up - or already have - you should head on over to our roundup of the best Daydream apps and games to download.

This week we also brought news of surprise-dropping an accessory for the Vive that lets you use the headset wirelessly, and we think that could have big implications. Elsewhere, we reported on more of Apple's AR plans - Robert Scoble claims we'll see the company launch a mixed reality TV within 11 months. Yikes.

Read this: Spacewarp makes Oculus more accessible

This week Oculus announced the launch of a new feature that will the headset run on lower-powered PCs, effectively lowering the price of entry to VR. Called Asynchronous Spacewarp, the feature lets games run at half the frame rate while maintaining the same performance.

The company also detailed its new avatar system, which you'll be able to use from 6 December, the same day Oculus Touch launches. The new feature will let you step into a dressing room and choose what you want to look like. Even better, Oculus is making the SDK available - also on the same date - so developers can integrate avatars into their games.

Think of it a bit like Nintendo's Mii avatars, which can be used in a number of titles. Oculus has more information on its blog here.

Also read this: News blips and tidbits

Field of view:

MSI's VR One backpack is now up for pre-order

Remember this? MSI's backpack is a portable PC that lets you move around with VR wire-free, built with the HTC Vive in mind. The backpack is now up for pre-order on Newegg for the price of $2,299. That will get you a PC running an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 card and 2.7GHz Core i7 processor, but of course you may be happy using wires for the time being. Or you could just pick up HTC's wireless adapter. Up to you.

Hillary wins... in VR

VR has the power to take us to other worlds, often better than the one we actually live in. And what better alternate reality than one where Hillary Clinton beats Donald Trump in the election? Now you can go there, and remain there for the next four years if you so desire.

BBC virtual reality project launches next week

The BBC has confirmed its VR fairytale, The Turning Forest, will be available next year for Google Daydream. The short film was initially intended for the Oculus Rift, and debuted at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Since then work has been done to enhance the sound design, and it sounds like the "spatial" design is going to be pretty special.

IMAX VR gets the big bucks

IMAX this week announced it's completed the first phase of a whopping $50m fund to finance virtual reality content. It will be making at least 25 VR experiences over the next three years, and you can expect to see IMAX VR 'Centre' in the UK and Los Angeles this year, with more to follow. The work includes collaborating with studio Starbreeze and Acer on a headset called StarVR.

Watch this: Red Alert 2 in VR

We were big fans of real-time strategy game Red Alert 2, which is why we're incredibly excited to see it transformed for VR, even if not officially. Developer Ádám Horváth has recreated the game in Unreal Engine 4, and got it running on the HTC Vive. The player gets a virtual tablet to select things to place on the map, which you can then do using the wireless controllers. Sadly it's not yet playable for the rest of us, but you can see it in action below.

And watch this: Veteran uses VR

Something to tug on the heartstrings a little. A World War 2 veteran has returned to a French town he helped liberate in 1944, thank to the power of virtual reality. Roger Ebert once described the cinema as a machine for creating empathy which, we think, makes VR a machine twice as big and powerful.

Play this: Robinson: The Journey

We've already included this game in our roundup of upcoming must-play PS VR titles, and now you can actually get your hands on it. We'll save you from any spoilers, but we think the Crytek game is worth a play for sheer atmosphere alone. There are also dinosaurs. VR dinosaurs. Do you even need anything else?


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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