Field of view: The big HTC and Google deal is good news for Vive

Your weekly roundup of all the VR & AR news, games and recommendations
Field of view: The week in VR & AR

Welcome one and all to Field of View, the only place to catch up on what's been happening the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.

In this week's big VR/AR news, we've heard about Pimax's 8K VR headset and Freefly's FF3 headset that now supports AR. Pictures of Google's next Daydream View instalment have also leaked and Skully AR fans will be happy to hear that the smart motorcycle helmet is coming back to life.

Read this: Top VR games to play in 2017

But we're not done. Read on for the best of the rest of the news including the future of HTC Vive, the VR doc about Trump's planned border wall and some more ARKit awesomeness. Plus, we choose a VR game you need to play and a 360-degree vid you need to watch too.

Read this: News blips and tidbits

HTC's deal with Google is good news for Vive

Google spent the big bucks on the Taiwanese company's smartphone business this week but it's a deal that's going to benefit the company's VR ambitions as well according to HTC's CEO Cher Wang.

"This agreement is a brilliant next step in our longstanding partnership, enabling Google to supercharge their hardware business while ensuring continued innovation within our HTC smartphone and VIVE virtual reality businesses," Wang said in a statement.

There's a VR doc on Trump's border wall

One of Donald Trump's big presidential campaign promises made in his quest to get into the White House was to build a border wall between the US and Mexico. That promise is the subject of USA Today's VR show, The Wall: Unknown Stories, Unintended Consequences, which attempts to create a virtual representation of how this border could take shape through 360-degree videos and documentary footage. If you want to give it a watch, it's available now on the HTC Vive.

People are making ARKit films

Apple's iOS 11 software update landed for iPhones this week and one of the biggest features at least from developer's perspective, is ARKit. So far we've seen a lot of fun, cool demos showcasing what is possible with augmented reality via Apple's phones and tablets. One developer has taken things further and used the platform to create an AR-based short film. London based dev Duncan Walker shot the entire flick on his iPhone 7 creating and editing it just a weekend. You watch the AR film experiment above and see if this could be the next big thing in filmmaking.

College football gets the VR treatment

Fox Sports is going to broadcast the Michigan State v Notre Dame game on 23 September and it'll be available through its Fox Sports VR app, which is available for mobile VR headsets as well as the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR. The social virtual reality experience will also include avatars and fans will be able to watch the action together from different parts of the stadium.

Watch an entire music festival in VR

If you don't fancy some immersive football action this weekend, you can always tune into live VR coverage of the Global Citizen Festival instead, which takes place in New York's Central Park and will feature the likes of The Lumineers and Alessia Cara. NextVR and Live Nation have teamed up for the concert series, which is free to enjoy and is available to watch using a Samsung Gear VR or a Google Daydream View headsets.

HTC is helping you ditch the VR rig

The HTC Vive is brilliant and is actually our current fave of the high end VR headsets, but there's one thing we don't like about it and that's having to invest in a PC rig to power it. Well it looks like HTC wants to take that rig out of the setup equation and is teaming up with Dalian Television and Beijing Cyber Cloud in China to create a cloud-based set top box where you can stream Vive VR games instead of tethering to a PC. Users will be able to access a few dozen games from the Viveport store along with some apps and 360 degree videos. It's only going to be available in China for now, but if it works without issues, there's every chance is could it be making Vive more accessible in other parts of the world as well.

Opera browser now supports 360-degree videos

Opera announced this week that it will be the first web browser to offer better support for immersive vids when you're using a Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and other OpenVR compatible devices. With the new developer build, a new VR 360 player feature will detect any installed headsets and offer the option to watch in VR. It doesn't work with smartphone VR headsets just yet, but we're sure that's something Opera is working on.

Play this: The Solus Project

Slowly but surely games that debuted on PC-based VR headsets are starting to find their way onto PlayStation's VR platform. The Solus Project is the latest to make the big leap onto the PSVR. The sci-fi adventure game is a single player experience that's all about survival and using VR to create the real sense of isolation. If you haven't played it on the Rift or the Vive, it's well worth the $19.99 it'll cost you to download it.

Watch this: West Side Story

Calling all musical fans, Google has opened its Arts and Culture doors to the modern day Romeo and Juliet story dedicating a spot in its virtual museum to West Side Story. Along with behind the scenes pics and stories behind the original production, there's also some 360-degree video to enjoy as well, which you can view above or through the Google Arts and Culture iOS or Android for the full VR treatment.


Shop for VR headsets on Amazon

Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift
$399
PlayStation VR
PlayStation VR
$299.99
HTC Vive
HTC Vive
$599.99
Samsung Gear VR
Samsung Gear VR
$94.63

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