2019 has begun, and with it comes the year's first installment of Field of View, our look back at the VR and AR news from the past week.
The biggest story this week was the launch of Vuzix's AR Blade glasses, which will ship this month. Not only that, but Vuzix hopes these will be its first smartglasses with general consumer appear. We've been trying them out for ourselves to see - go see what we thought.
But what else has been going down this week? With CES about to kick off, the news is starting to trickle in. Let's get to it.
Read this: News blips and tidbits
HTC teases new VR gear for CES
In previous years HTC has used CES as a launchpad for its latest tech, and 2019 will be no different. The company teased some "new gear" for the Vegas show in a tweet, showing a collection of boxes with some of the words blurred out. However, as plenty of people have pointed out, one of the boxes looks very much like it reads 'Vive Gloves', which isn't an outlandish possibility.
There's also the Vive "Cosmos", which HTC has trademarked, and may point to a new standalone system being unveiled at the show. Remember that the Vive Focus was launched as an enterprise product, but HTC also revealed a more advanced developer kit with 6DoF controllers. Does this lead to a new system? We'll find out in a few days.
New Mad Box console will have VR support
Pico reveals new standalone 4K headset
Chinese VR company Pico is back with a new standalone headset. Following the Goblin 2, which the company launched last August, the new Pico G2 4K VR headset is basically a 4K version of the same system.
Like HTC and its Vive Focus, Pico is pitching its new headset for the enterprise market rather than general consumers - that's where the money is right now. But specs suggest the new system will have some decent clout. Inside is a Snapdragon 835 chipset, making this a little more powerful than the Oculus Go. In fact, in terms of power it's more comparable to the upcoming Oculus Quest, though it will only offer 3DoF (degree of freedom) tracking while the Quest does 6DoF.
No word on price or release date just yet.
Microsoft's cool idea
Microsoft did well to get into the augmented/mixed reality game early, with HoloLens establishing itself as a leader of the category. The company has confirmed a follow-up is in the works, and a new patent suggests Microsoft's next HoloLens will have some interesting cooling technology.
The patent describes a component that will monitor for the headset getting too hot and - when it does - will dissipate the heat out of the rear edges. There are different versions detailed in the patent, but all have the same basic idea. One sketch shows a visor-style headset like the HoloLens, while the others look more like VR systems, suggesting the idea could apply across all of Microsoft's mixed reality systems. More at Android Headlines.
Nintendo joins new VR alliance
Nintendo has kept itself out of the VR race (nobody mention the Virtual Boy), but it will be collaborating with several other Japanese companies to explore VR technology. The VR Consortium, as it's named, will initially focus on creating 3D avatars in VR. Nintendo is only an "observer" in the consortium, but it will have access to the discussions, suggesting the company is keeping half an eye on this emerging area.
You can read more at Perfectly Nintendo.
Watch this: The Mage's Tale trailer
Next month first-person dungeon crawler The Mage's Tale will come to PlayStation VR. You'll take on the role of an apprentice wizard out to rescue your kidnapped master (we've all been there). The game is already out on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, and it's pretty decent, so it's great that PS VR users can now get involved.
Play this: PT gets a fan-made remake with VR support
You may recall that a few years ago Hideo Kojima Guillermo del Toro teamed up for a Silent Hill reboot that went under the guise of P.T. Said project was tragically killed, but the demo has become something of a legend. It's also absolutely, utterly terrifying.
One developer has now resurrected P.T. in the Unreal Engine and added pant-wetting VR support. The game can be grabbed on itch.io but we don't know how long it will survive before a takedown over IP infringement. The game was removed from the PlayStation Store when Kojima left Konami.