Field of view: The week in virtual reality - Tour the White House in VR

All the happenings from the week in VR and AR
Field of view: The week in VR

Virtual reality fans have even more to ponder on after this year's CES, with the show bringing a handful of notable announcements and exciting reveals. If you missed any of it, you can catch up here.

But onto this week. We've played with the most impressive inside-out VR tracking yet, learned about Huawei's Daydream headset and talked to HTC about what's happening with the Vive 2.

But plenty more has been going on out there in the exciting world of virtual and augmented reality.

Read this: News blips and tidbits

Field of view: The week in virtual reality -

Resi 7 brings smell-o-vision to VR

Virtual reality has the power to transport us to exotic beaches and far-flung reaches of the galaxy, but can you really believe it if you can't smell it? For the upcoming VR title Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Capcom has teamed up with merchandiser Numskull to make a scented candle for burning when playing the game. What does it smell of? "Horror", "fear" and "adrenaline" according to this promotional video. Our guess is mould and death.

Valve snaps up 3D audio company

Valve is still heavily involved with the HTC Vive, but the notoriously enigmatic gaming company rarely lets us know what it's up to. We do know, however, that it's just bought a VR audio company, Impulsonic. Phonon 3D, Impulsonic's baby, is a physics-based tool for delivering realistic, immersive audio in virtual reality. Impulsonic announced it had been snapped up by Valve, and that its team will be absorbed by Gabe Newell's company to be part of Valve's big VR mission.

Oculus being left behind?

Oculus, HTC and Sony are all being elusive about sales figures right now, but according to Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney, Vive is well in the lead. In an interview with Glixel, Sweeney said that PC VR has currently sold around half a million headsets in total. "HTC Vive is outselling Oculus 2-to-1 worldwide," he added. "I think that trend will continue."

Essential reading: The best VR headsets

Now these figures are likely rough and not something that can be verified, but if Sweeney is correct then that's a huge disparity between Oculus and HTC. According to Sweeney, Oculus needs to open up its platform in the way the Vive has. While we agree to some extent, the arguments for and against open/closed systems aren't cut and dry. It's also perhaps an odd comment for Sweeney to make given that Epic's new VR game, Robo Recall, is an Oculus exclusive.

Play this: Drunk or Dead

Field of view: The week in virtual reality

Here's the premise of Drunk or Dead: You're witnessing the zombie apocalypse, but in this version of events, zombies can only affect sober people. To stay alive you must drink. Drink and shoot zombies. Of course, the more you drink the drunker you get, and your accuracy starts to falter. But the zombies also start to slow as you become more inebriated. Get too drunk and you lose. Sober up? You lose. It's like an even more messed up version of Speed, and a great twist on the wave shooter.

Watch this: Tour Obama's White House

Field of view: The week in virtual reality -

Obama has just a few days left in office, and as a parting gift he and Michelle have recorded a 360-degree video tour of the White House. Only half of it is viewable right now - the other half will release later in the year - but if you have an Oculus Rift of Gear VR you can strap it on and take a walk through the corridors of power. The Obamas also provide narration on the video, which was shot by studio Felix & Paul, and lets you peek into the Oval Office, the Situation Room and other areas of the White House. Obama has shown up in VR before, recently with his farewell speech in Chicago, and before then in a video to mark the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service. No word on whether Trump will be championing the technology as fervently when he comes into office.




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