Field of view: Penalty in Zenimax vs. Oculus case cut to $250 million

We break down the week in alternate realities

Who needs the real world? That's what we say here at Field of view - the place where we round up the latest news in VR and AR from the week gone by.

And since we're all now slowly being weaned off World Cup football, you can begin to put your endless viewing through the VR headset to the side and catch up on everything you've been missing.

We've already seen HTC partner with China Mobile to prepare for the 5G future and taken a dive deep into Oculus TV this week, but what else has been going on? Well, below, we catch you up on some of the news hits you may have missed, as well a couple of quick video recommendations.

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Read this: All of the news

Penalty in Zenimax vs. Oculus case reviewed

Penalty reviewed, you say? Yes, but not the football, VAR kind. No, this week saw the $500 million penalty levied in the Zenimax vs. Oculus case slashed in half. The latter is still on the hook for a cool $250 million for the copyright infringement and breach of contract, as found by the jury last year, but the other $250m penalty for trademark infringement and false designation (which involved $50m against Oculus, $150m against founder Brendan Iribe and $50 million against founder Palmer Luckey) has now been nullified.

Interestingly, the report, from Bloomberg, also indicates that a motion seeking to prevent the sale of Oculus products, such as the Oculus Rift and Oculus Go, using code attributed to ZeniMax has been rejected.

Oculus' Medium gets a refresh

Oculus Medium, the company's platform for creating virtual reality sculptures and models, is getting a big update, with improved tools, stronger performance and the option to export creations to Oculus Home.

Medium 2.0 follows the beta launch of Oculus' Rift Core 2.0 software refresh, adding artistic tools and options requested by users, bringing a tweaked interface and Vulkan API support for improved graphics.

Oculus says the app now supports up to 100 layers, multiple lights, and snapping to a grid. It's also supposed to be easier to move objects between Medium and other design platforms, helping it potentially become a more serious design tool, as opposed to a glorified version of Microsoft Paint.

Marvel Powers United VR set for release

After initially being teased last year, Oculus has announced that Marvel Powers United VR will finally launch on 26 July.

The game, which we tried out back in October, allows you to work in a team with your friends and play as a range of Marvel superheroes. Sanzaru Games, the studio behind the title, also revealed that it will be including Black Panther to the lineup of playable characters. Wakanda forever, and all that.

Field of view:

Google Tilt Brush is ready for beginners

It's not just Oculus' VR design platform that's getting a refresh, with Google also announcing that Tilt Brush is receiving a mode to help beginners.

Users will be free to access seven new things with the art studio, Google said in a blog post, with the novice mode also joined by an advanced mode for those more adept at handling Tilt Brush. We now also have 12 new brushes with different textures and volumes, and users can now lock objects in place for easier editing around them.

Watch this: Niantic teases the AR realism

You remember the heady days of Pokemon Go, right? Well, it appears the studio behind the smartphone game, Niantic, has been busy working on making the augmented reality portion more realistic. As shown in the video above, Pikachu and company may soon be able to 'sense' real-world environments and blend in around them using the company's Occlusion Technology.

Right now, it's all in the proof-of-concept stages, but there's legitimate scope for this kind of technology to make it to headsets, as well as smartphones, further down the line. Let's hope it drops sooner rather than later.

Try this: Learn to spot constellations

Nobody knows if watching the stars is a real thing ordinary people actually do, or whether we've all just been duped by countless high school-set TV shows showing teenagers lying on an American football field, or on the bonnet of a car, and staring up into space.

Either way, you can soon impress/scare potential dates with your knowledge of the constellations - all through the help of this 360 tutorial. Don't know what the Big Dipper is? You will after this, astronomer extraordinaire.

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