Welcome to Field of view, our weekly VR round-up,where no-one goes home empty handed. Unless of course you're still saving up for that VR headset - I mean, we're not a charity.
As expected, the big news this week came courtesy of Mountain View, specifically Google I/O and the announcement that Daydream is getting standalone headsets made by HTC Vive and Lenovo. That's right, they won't need a phone or PC, everything's inside.
Also from I/O news that Daydream is getting more social with the Euphrates update which lets users capture what they see in VR and then share with friends. Plus co-watching YouTube 360 is coming too.
Plus: why we're more excited about Google's AR plans than Daydream. We look at multisensory experiments in touch, taste and smell in virtual reality. A small haptic accessory for your finger. Oculus research into focal surface displays. And the wackiest uses for HTC Vive Trackers we've seen so far.
Read this: News blips and tidbits
Xiaomi's mobile VR sales are flames
You don't pay attention to Xiaomi for two seconds and it sells one million mobile VR headsets in six months. That includes both the more substantial Mi VR headset and the Mi VR Play which just slots your phone in. According to GizmoChina, the news was announced by Xiaomi's VR general manager. So how does that stack up? Well...
Samsung's mobile VR sales are... flamesier?
OK so according to SuperData Research estimates, Samsung meanwhile sold 782,000 Gear VR headsets in Q1 of 2017. For the record, that's just three months, so if we use our advanced maths that'd be about 1.5 million per six months to Xiaomi's cool million. Still, pretty cool all round for mobile VR.
PlayStation VR is still selling nicely
Let's just go through the rest of those estimates for Jan to March. PSVR sold around 375,000 - pretty damn decent. Google Daydream - 170,000. In our opinion the platform needs better affordable mobile headsets, stat. HTC Vive - 95,000 = not bad. But Oculus is trailing with just 64,000 units.
Half-Life 2 gets a VR mod
Rather than make one great VR game, Valve decided to work on its Lighthouse tracking system and help devs like Owlchemy and Cloudhead Games get off the ground, although it is working on some secret content of its own. But the people still want Half-Life 2 in VR so here it is, kinda. The creators have started a campaign on Steam Greenlight as a community project for Vive and Rift - expect a 3D interface and various locomotion methods.
VR porn is watched 500,000 times a day
Oh my, that's a lot. Pornhub has released stats showing that VR porn is its fastest growing category with more than 2,600 360-degree videos now on the site. Aside from the obvious, searches in the UK and Ireland include 360 Cam and VR hentai, it's most popular with 25 to 34 year olds and men are 160% more likely to watch VR porn than women.
MLB goes virtual
With the new At Bat app launching for Daydream on 1 June. You'll get on-demand 360 videos of baseball games with scores, stats and whatnot, but no live games in VR till later in 2017. It'll be $2.99 for the subscription.
Watch this: Night of 1,000 Stevies
The New York Times is working with Samsung to produce a ton of cool 360 videos like this short but sweet one, which goes on stage and backstage at an annual night dedicated to Stevie Nicks in New York City. Get in on the drag queens and tambourines action.
Play this: 3DNes i.e. Super Mario Bros VR
Aaaargh. Sometimes something is so nerd-cool it hurts a little bit.
If you've got a Vive, Rift or mobile headset plus access to SteamVR, spend $4.99 on the 3DNes Pro emulator to play Super Mario Bros, Zelda & other NES classics in VR. And did we mention you play in first person? A bit rough so probably only good for a minute or two but hey, what a minute. (h/t UploadVR)
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