Field of view: The week in virtual reality

VR notes from the past seven days
Field of view: The week in VR

It's Friday so welcome back to Field of view, our new weekly VR column. We see last week's round-up of VR news and recommendations didn't put you off entirely. The biggest headline in virtual reality news from the past seven days was the confirmation of a Samsung standalone VR headset which is in the works and will rival Oculus and HTC's first gen efforts. But there's plenty more that we didn't get a chance to cover.

Read this: VR news blips and tidbits

Minecraft hits Gear VR

If you're into Minecraft, all you need to know is that it's here for Gear VR (not Oculus yet) and you'll need a Bluetooth controller. And yes, there's cross play with the Pocket Edition and Windows 10 editions.

Samsung shakes up bedtime stories

This is nothing if not odd. Samsung's new prototype Bedtime VR Stories app wants to help parents read to their kids, even when they're away from home. The parent wears a Gear VR headset and the child wears a Google Cardboard (with a character mask). They then sit on a magical, shared VR bed while journeying to three fantastical locations while chatting. Sounds bonkers, IS bonkers but it's also quite sweet. Watch the YouTube video and ad for more.

Obama tries 'brave, new' VR

Someone get this guy an Oculus Rift. Earlier this week, President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were snapped trying out virtual reality in Hanover. Via what looks to be a branded Cardboard viewer with googley eyes. Apparently he said it was a "brave new world". Right you are, Obama, just get your staff to sort you out with a high end headset next time.

Disney will use Nokia's OZO camera

We've seen the first examples already in the form of 360 degree The Jungle Book promos but Disney has officially announced that its filmmakers and marketers will be using Nokia's high end OZO VR camera to shoot VR content like behind the scenes extras. Yep, the deal includes Lucasfilm and Marvel.

Play this: Hover Junkers

This week, we've mostly been staying late in the office so we can spend more time with the HTC Vive. One of our early recommendations is the tricky to figure out but ultimately awesome Hover Junkers, a $34.99 multiplayer shooter which sees you bouncing around in ships, scavenging and shooting up enemies while hiding behind your scrap and junk. A real game, not a demo, that makes great use of the room scale tracking and has an absolutely superb 'start screen'. Get it on Steam now.

Build this: Project Sansar

Linden Lab, the makers of Second Life, just opened up applications for the Creator Preview for Project Sansar, the hugely ambitious, upcoming VR platform. Professionals and hobbyists are encouraged to submit entries to build social VR experiences and if you're successful, you'll receive an invitation to get building in the summer.

Watch this: 6x9 by The Guardian

6x9 was our pick for best VR documentary at Tribeca Film Festival earlier this month and now it's available to view on desktop, smartphone and Google Cardboard. The perspective is of an inmate in solitary confinement and it's extremely claustrophobic to experience in VR. Not an easy watch but it's both well executed and a timely reminder of how tens of thousands of people in the US spend their days.

Main image credit: Jim Watson/AFP

Let us know what you're watching, playing and building in VR this week, in the comments below.

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