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  1. #4771
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    Sounds like unreasonable expectations.

  2. #4772
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    Quote Originally Posted by RM View Post
    Who's saying VR "sux"? My critique has not been of the "fun factor" (which I'm sure is great for those interested), but the predictions from many around the web that it was going to blow up and become "the future of gaming". I've been pushing back against the hype, not the tech.

    I haven't seen anyone here who's against VR. Apathy is a different thing.
    I could point out the various shots you guys take. It’s not any one person or statement; not giving credit to solved problems; focusing on the negative only; things like that. Overall it points a “sux/FUD” picture. When someone is determined to shit on a concept they don’t even notice all the shots they take. And on the flip side of that coin, knowing it’s not a commercial success makes me extra sensitive and defensive about it.

    It’s demoralizing, like I said, but on the other hand the experience is so convincing, I know it’s only a matter of time before it’s the “in” thing. Put simply, it owns in a new way. I managed to impress my 76-yo father, and all it took was Google Earth and the admittedly kickass (for a demo) Touch demo. Sooner or later it’ll be wireless and $100, and it’ll be a standard for game development. Not THE standard but one of them; a segment like handhelds vs. TV consoles.
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  3. #4773
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
    Saw that and caved, bought a bunch of stuff. I finally gave that Apollo 11 VR experience a shot. Simpler graphics aside, it was actually a pretty cool educational experience. I can see that being a lot more educational than a textbook. And man, the Apollo command module is absolutely claustrophobic, it's crazy that they were cramped in that thing for a week.

    Also got Drive Club VR, but I haven't taken a look at that yet.
    I got the Apollo 11 experience when it first came out and yeah.....it's really cool Just getting to land the Eagle...even if very simplistic controls was really fun

    I'm going to be picking up a few things in the sale that I missed first time around....looking forward to resident evil since the various demos of that had all been really good and creepy as hell...
    The Statik demo was also good.....didn't want to pay full price but could go for the sale.

    Driveclub VR.....eh....even at $6
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  4. #4774
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveS1138 View Post
    I'm going to be picking up a few things in the sale that I missed first time around....looking forward to resident evil since the various demos of that had all been really good and creepy as hell...
    Resident Evil 7 may be the single best VR experience currently available on any VR platform. However, it is also impossible to play for any sustained period of the time, the stress level is simply too great.

    If you can make it past the opening chapter and then still have the guts to be willing to keep playing after that, rather than saying "Oh man, I need a break to decompress," you probably are a sociopath with abnormal emotional responses. No game has ever personally scared me as much as RE7 in VR. Hands down the most terrifying gaming experience I've had to date, though I don't doubt that eventually some other VR horror title will steal the crown. But for now, RE7 is it. It just doesn't get more vicariously upsetting than that game.

  5. #4775
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
    Resident Evil 7 may be the single best VR experience currently available on any VR platform. However, it is also impossible to play for any sustained period of the time, the stress level is simply too great.

    If you can make it past the opening chapter and then still have the guts to be willing to keep playing after that, rather than saying "Oh man, I need a break to decompress," you probably are a sociopath with abnormal emotional responses. No game has ever personally scared me as much as RE7 in VR. Hands down the most terrifying gaming experience I've had to date, though I don't doubt that eventually some other VR horror title will steal the crown. But for now, RE7 is it. It just doesn't get more vicariously upsetting than that game.
    You're sounding like me describing my first foray into the world of Condemned back in 2006.
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    Quote Originally Posted by twonunpackmule View Post
    You're sounding like me describing my first foray into the world of Condemned back in 2006.
    Well, it's pretty much like that, as far as that first feeling of having a premium horror VR experience. When you're "in" the messed up crazy people house and actually peeking over tables or leaning around corners while being stalked, or when you've got the knife pointed right between your eyes, it's a whole different experience.

    Every person I've put through a VR demo with a horror slant to it has completely freaked out once the horror starts ramping up. It's just on another level. RE7 is one of the best in the bunch in that regard, and it's also a full VR game from start to finish, so I would put it at the top of the any list for recommended VR titles, provided you've got will power to get through it.

  7. #4777
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    Speaking of dying peripherals... *poke* *poke*

    Exclusive: Microsoft Has Stopped Manufacturing The Kinect

    Manufacturing of the Kinect has shut down. Originally created for the Xbox 360, Microsoft’s watershed depth camera and voice recognition microphone sold ~35 million units since its debut in 2010, but Microsoft will no longer produce it when retailers sell off their existing stock. The company will continue to support Kinect for customers on Xbox, but ongoing developer tools remain unclear. Microsoft shared the news with Co.Design in exclusive interviews with Alex Kipman, creator of the Kinect, and Matthew Lapsen, GM of Xbox Devices Marketing.

    The Kinect had already been slowly de-emphasized by Microsoft, as the Xbox team anchored back around traditional gaming to counter the PS4, rather than take its more experimental approach to entertainment. Yet while the Kinect as a standalone product is off the market, its core sensor lives on. Kinect v4–and soon to be, v5–powers Microsoft’s augmented reality Hololens, which Kipman also created. Meanwhile, Kinect’s team of specialists have gone on to build essential Microsoft technologies, including the Cortana voice assistant, the Windows Hello biometric facial ID system, and a context-aware user interface for the future that Microsoft dubs Gaze, Gesture, and Voice (GGV).

    Launched in 2010 with a $500 million marketing campaign, the Kinect painted a room in a discoball of invisible, infrared dots, mapping it in 3D space and allowing unprecedented tracking of the human body. The Kinect seemed perfect for getting gamers off the couch. Why press a button to duck, when you can just duck? It also enabled handy voice commands, when they worked, like “Xbox On” to turn on the Xbox One console.
    As one of the first journalists to try Kinect back in 2010, though, it was immediately apparent to me that Kinect was a lot more important than what was then popularly framed as Microsoft’s Nintendo Wii killer. (Remember the Nintendo Wii?!?) It was Microsoft’s greater attempt to blur the line between the human body and the human interface–beyond the existing limitations of keyboards, mice, and even touch screens.

    As I wrote at the time, “There’s something very special about using Microsoft’s Kinect system, something that separates it from every other combination of software and hardware I’ve ever used. Kinect adapts and accommodates the user. I’m not learning it; it’s learning me . . . I’ve never felt that a computer understood me—a flesh-and-bone human—so well.”

    In the years since, I don’t believe it an exaggeration to say that Kinect has been the single most influential, or at least prescient, piece of hardware outside of the iPhone. Technologically, it was the first consumer-grade device to ship with machine learning at its core, according to Microsoft. Functionally, it’s been mimicked, too. Since 2010, Apple introduced the Siri voice assistant copying the speak-to-control functions of Kinect, and Google started its own 3D tracking system, called Project Tango (which was founded and continues to be led by Johnny Lee, who helped on the original Kinect). Vision and voice systems have become nearly ubiquitous in smartphones, and they’re gradually taking over homes, too. Take Amazon Echo bringing voice assistants to our grandparents’ living rooms–or the newer, Echo Show upping the ante by adding a camera to Alexa. Even the networked Nest Cam owes a debt to the Kinect being first through the gate, and taking the brunt of criticism on a whole new era of privacy concerns.
    “Trust is something you earn in drops and lose in buckets,” says Kipman, alluding to industry-wide concern over consumer privacy. “I’d say Kinect started the process in 2010 in having to earn drops of trust. Any number of [bad] events in the world, each one, you lose a bucket.” But it wouldn’t be trust, or privacy, that would lose the Xbox consumer. It would be a fickle fanbase that thought innovation came at the price of fun.

    INVENTOR VS CONSUMER
    “Oh my god. Jesus. There’s my reaction. You can quote me saying, ‘Oh, comma, shit, period.'”

    That’s Golan Levin, director of the esteemed Studio for Creative Inquiry at CMU, when I broke the news that Kinect is being discontinued. His lab, and others like his, use Kinect for everything from experimental art, to creating next generation UI prototypes. It’s been a vital tool to the greater research community.

    “You know, we’re all at the whim of capital. And there’s no expectation that Microsoft should do something that doesn’t support their bottom line,” he continues, choosing the words of his swallowed rant very carefully. “But this is one of those times I’m sad to hear that a tool which is used for so many different applications, and is so ubiquitous, and has served crucially as a platform for so much creative experimentation, cultural progress, and secondary innovation, in so many different fields, isn’t supporting their core business.”

    “Someone has made the decision that there aren’t enough games being sold that use it and it’s a shame,” he concludes. To at least some extent, that’s true.

    If there’s one thing that went wrong with Kinect as a market success, you might call it “gamers.” While the device certainly had its functional flaws, including lag and occasional trouble hearing the user–it caught quick traction as an Xbox 360 accessory. The amazing games, however, never really arrived on the 360. There was no franchise with a $100 million budget developed for the Kinect, like a Call of Duty, or a Grand Theft Auto. In turn, Microsoft seems to have formulated a sensible plan. To ensure it was worthwhile for developers to invest heavily into Kinect games, it doubled down on Kinect, bundling it in every Xbox One it sold. That would ensure a larger market. However, Microsoft would also design the Xbox One to reserve a small part of its RAM and processing power, at all times, for the Kinect itself–meaning game developers couldn’t tap those resources for their own graphics and physics.

    As the Xbox One was announced, it promised a living room computer that could control your games, cable box, and even, one day, your entire home, in a combination of spoken words and gestures that would be accessible to anyone. Amid innovative UI, Sony strategized the perfect counterpunch. On stage, at the E3 gaming convention just three weeks after the Xbox One’s announcement, then-CEO Jack Tretton delivered a borderline quiet speech, stating in a slow cadence that Sony “focused what gamers want most . . . for instance, PS4 won’t impose any new restrictions on the use of–” The discernibility of the quote cuts out there because the crowd is cheering so loud, knowing that the full system resources of the PS4 would be made available to developers. Tretton then hit on other concerns about the Xbox One, promising that Sony was a gamer’s first company, and announced a lower price for the PS4. Those sentiments echoed through message boards like Reddit, becoming something of a rallying cry to self-ascribed “hardcore gamers.” Years later, the PS4 is reported to have outsold the Xbox One by a factor of 2:1. And Microsoft, in an attempt to limbo the Xbox One’s price down and get more gaming performance out of its chipset, unbundled the Kinect and freed its dedicated system resources. The Kinect was no longer a mandatory purchase with the Xbox, diminishing any guaranteed market for Kinect game developers.

    “When we introduced Xbox One, we designed it to have the best experience with the Kinect. That was our goal with the Xbox One launch,” says Lapsen. “And like all product launches, you monitor that over time, you learn and adjust.” In practice, the Xbox’s target demo cared more about a few extra polygons than some new paradigm in human-computer interaction. So Microsoft decided to invest its talents in other products.
    But Levin, and other researchers like him, adored the Kinect for its forward-looking technologies. “The important thing about Kinect is it showed you could have an inexpensive depth camera. And it supported the development of thousands of applications that used depth sensing,” Levin says. He points out that it was literally Microsoft Kinect hardware that made it possible for a startup like Faceshift to exist. Built to perform extremely 3D tracking of the human face that’s suitable for biometric security, Apple acquired Faceshift to replace its thumbprint scans. And to take advantage of the technology, Apple essentially built a Kinect clone right into the iPhone X, having acquired PrimeSense in 2013, the Israeli company that developed 3D tracking technology that Microsoft licensed for the first Kinect.

    “That’s one of thousands of applications Kinect made possible,” Levin continues. “Not to mention its immense impact on computer research, robotics research and interactive media arts, which is my field.” Some of Levin’s own students used Kinect to make a documentary in pointillist 3D–and then, expanded the technique to create an interactive film inside a real NYC subway car. Today, Levin points out that there are other depth-sensing cameras on the market, aside from the hackable, standalone Kinect. But he also adds that, to all the museums which feature Kinect-powered interactive art in their exhibitions? They might want to go on eBay and buy a few backups. (I suspect that Levin himself is making a trip to eBay today, too.)

    KINECT EVOLVED
    The Kinect may be done for gamers and researchers, but it’s not disappearing entirely. The truth of development at major corporations is always more nuanced than the fate of any single product. And aside from the fact that key Microsoft technologies like Cortana were built from Kinect, Kinect is still a vital sensor platform in which the company will continue to invest.

    Skyping with Alex Kipman, he whiteboards out the last 10 years of his life–from developing the Kinect in 2007, to the Hololens products of tomorrow.

    “We looked at the problem ahead of us. We were using technology more and more. So we said, ‘Look, if we’re spending more and more time with these [technologies], one of two things will occur,'” recounts Kipman. “Either we’re going to spend more time interacting with machines in machine ways, and dealing with what’s behind the screen. Or we’re going to have to teach machines to interact better in our world, the analog universe, and teach them to coexist.”

    “I choose path two for us, as humans,” he concludes.

    To understand just how computers might one day understand the totality of human existence, his argument can be broken down into a 3×3 box. On the X axis, you have input, output, and haptics. On the Y axis, you have human, environment, and object. Each square is an order of magnitude harder than the last. So tracking a human? That’s hard. But tracking environments, with all their nuances is 10 times harder than tracking people. And tracking objects, with all their textures and variances in context? That’s 100 times harder than people.

    So Kipman, being what he calls a “lazy” engineer, focused on the simplest square in his matrix to solve–the 1×1 problem, as he put it. Human input. That meant computers had to understand gestures and voice.
    “People say I invented Kinect,” says Kipman. “I didn’t invent Kinect. I went through this table and identified the [easiest opportunity].”

    Over time, Kinect got a lot better. It began to see more–from a mere 50-degree field of view, to 80 degrees, to 120 degrees in the V4 sensor used in the Hololens. It also, crucially, began to use less power: from 50W, to 25W, to a 1.5W peak today.

    These steady improvements allowed Kinect to be miniaturized into something small enough that we could wear it. And on that matrix? “We went to the right, and one down,” says Kipman. “We said, we kinda know how to do simple 1X1 problem, now it’s time to get more ambitious.” So in 2015, Microsoft announced the Hololens. The 10×10 problem: Environmental output. That means Hololens could see not just a person, but space. And it could not just recognize this space, but allow people to output things into that space–dragging and dropping holograms.

    “And that’s essentially what Hololens does,” Kipman continues. “Understand everything in human input, best of breed, but also human from the output perspective. Now, I can put photons on the back of your eyes and see holograms. I can [also] make something float. It’s materially different to then pin it to the real world. It means we also understand the environment.”
    Next up? Hololens R&D will continue mandating that the Kinect sensor gets even better. I’m told an unannounced V5 version for the Kinect will sip on less than 1.5W at its most active–making it around 50 times more power-efficient than the original Kinect. And with more help from AI–along with oodles of hardware yet to be dreamed up–Microsoft can continue its quest to fill the 100×100 problem. Object haptics. At its most extreme, this is the Star Trek Holodeck. No longer do we manipulate mere photons. We can manipulate matter. Much as has been teased by Google and the MIT Media Lab, data and objects become one.

    “The vision here, the thing we’re infinitely patient about, and I’m personally going to spend the rest of my life working on, is the quest of making sure we fill out this table ever more pervasively,” says Kipman. “To empower people to work with technology from ever more human ways.”
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  8. #4778
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    Can't say I'm sad that Kinect is gone. Still, I imagine the possibilities.
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  9. #4779
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    Quote Originally Posted by twonunpackmule View Post
    Can't say I'm sad that Kinect is gone. Still, I imagine the possibilities.
    They need to give it a gravestone so I can go piss on it. What piece of broken garbage to have to have developed for.
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  10. #4780
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    Quote Originally Posted by twonunpackmule View Post
    Can't say I'm sad that Kinect is gone. Still, I imagine the possibilities.
    IMAGINING, the only thing you could do with a Kinect

  11. #4781
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    Oh Kinect. I bought into the hype during the 360 days. Had fun with Fruit Ninja, Gunstringer and the sports game. But in the end, I'm not going to miss you.
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    Thejnc has essentially perfect grammar around here...

  12. #4782
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    Quote Originally Posted by thejnc View Post
    Oh Kinect. I bought into the hype during the 360 days. Had fun with Fruit Ninja, Gunstringer and the sports game. But in the end, I'm not going to miss you.
    I gave it the old karate chop salute.
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  13. #4783
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    Pressure Mounts for Xbox’s Missing VR Strategy as PSVR Rakes in Half a Billion in Hardware Alone


    VR may still be young, and adoption still low compared to the world of traditional gaming, but it can’t be ignored that mounting sales of the Playstation VR headset—effectively a very expensive accessory for the PS4—is adding up to considerable revenue. In an era where Sony appears to have a significant lead in console sales already, and with PSVR sharpening the system’s competitive edge, pressure is mounting for Microsoft to figure out its Xbox VR strategy

    Moving the Needle

    Gamespot reports Sony’s latest PS4 sales figures (including both PS4 and PS4 Pro) at a whopping 67.5 million units. Microsoft meanwhile hasn’t publicly revealed their Xbox One sales figures for some time, though estimates earlier this year put it somewhere between 30 and 40 million units. Competitively, that’s a massive gap. And it isn’t helping Microsoft that, for gamers on the fence between the two consoles, PlayStation has a big fat check mark in the VR column while Xbox doesn’t.

    It isn’t just the weight of VR support that could be furthering PlayStation’s edge, but there’s revenue to be considered too. PlayStation VR’s sales figures might not be huge relative to PS4, but it’s an expensive device—often even more expensive than the console that powers it—and it adds up to something considerable.

    VR and AR intelligence firm Greenlight Insights estimates that Sony has sold 1.5 million PlayStation VR headsets through October 2017. The headset is sold in several different bundle configurations ranging, in the US at least, from the $500 Launch Bundle to the now discounted standalone headset at $290. Roughing out a $350 average selling price (which is conservative given the generally higher prices in Europe), we can estimate that Sony has pulled in some $525 million in hardware revenue. Software revenue on top of that stands to add considerably more.

    That’s not a huge amount in comparison to revenue from the PS4 console itself, but it’s definitely a needle-moving figure—and a new revenue stream that Xbox isn’t tapping—that furthers Sony’s console lead. Pressure is mounting Microsoft to figure out how its VR plans pan out on Xbox.

    A False Start for VR on Xbox One X

    Back when it was introduced at E3 2016, Microsoft made a clear point to talk about how that the Xbox One X (at the time called ‘Project Scorpio’) would “lead the industry into a future in which true 4K gaming and high-fidelity VR are the standard, not an exception.” It was even announced that Fallout 4 VR would be coming to the system.

    Hardly more than a month later, Xbox head Phil Spencer was giving mixed messages about VR support on the Xbox One X. In 2017 it became clear that the console wouldn’t have any type of VR support for its launch next week, and Microsoft hasn’t even said whether or not we’ll see VR on the Xbox One X in 2018.

    The marketing blunder is particularly odd, as Microsoft has executed an impressive rollout of their ‘Windows Mixed Reality’ VR platform on the PC side. Last month saw the launch of Windows VR headsets from a slew of PC hardware vendors, and a big update to Windows 10 which bakes VR directly into the operating system.

    With the Xbox One X purportedly running Windows 10 underneath the hood, and Microsoft continuing to push their ‘Universal Windows Platform’ (which encourages developers to build apps which are cross-compatible with any Windows 10 device), the writing is on the wall for Xbox One X to get roped into Microsoft’s Mixed Reality platform at some point. The big question is: when?

    In a candid interview earlier this year, Xbox Head Phil Spencer suggested that Microsoft was staying away from VR on Xbox because they didn’t feel that the family room is a good place for tethered headsets. He figured at the time that the industry is “a few years away [from a wireless VR solution].”



    But if Microsoft is planning on waiting “a few years” for wireless tech before rolling out a VR offering on Xbox, they could be handing away a couple billion dollars in extra revenue to a competitor which already has a sizable lead.



    https://www.roadtovr.com/xbox-one-x-...-psvr-revenue/

    Interesting article

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  14. #4784
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gutter21 View Post
    [B]P<snip>
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    That's a terrible article. Where is "MS's" VR strategy as Sony "rakes in" half a billion? Brilliantly absent. They say that PS4 sales are near the 70 million mark. They're selling 1.5 PSVR headsets for every 70 PS4's out there -- that's basically a 2% attach rate. That's terrible.

    Moreover, this is another fluff piece. It's $525 million in revenue. Revenue is not profit. Sony could be losing money, breaking even, or barely turning a profit despite all the effort. The author then assumes that Sony is making a bunch of money off the software and moves on with that assumption to conclude that MS has made a mistake by not heavily investing and reaping these assumed rewards.

    This is all assumed, even though the VR hardware market took an awful downturn about two years ago, and software is still trying to figure itself out - but is widely acknowledged by publishers as lagging and being a disappoint against expectations.

    I'd say that, at least so far, MS's strategy has paid off. VR likely won't be super proprietary -- MS can always easily jump in with the winner of the fight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger3920 View Post
    That's a terrible article. Where is "MS's" VR strategy as Sony "rakes in" half a billion? Brilliantly absent. They say that PS4 sales are near the 70 million mark. They're selling 1.5 PSVR headsets for every 70 PS4's out there -- that's basically a 2% attach rate. That's terrible.

    Moreover, this is another fluff piece. It's $525 million in revenue. Revenue is not profit. Sony could be losing money, breaking even, or barely turning a profit despite all the effort. The author then assumes that Sony is making a bunch of money off the software and moves on with that assumption to conclude that MS has made a mistake by not heavily investing and reaping these assumed rewards.

    This is all assumed, even though the VR hardware market took an awful downturn about two years ago, and software is still trying to figure itself out - but is widely acknowledged by publishers as lagging and being a disappoint against expectations.

    I'd say that, at least so far, MS's strategy has paid off. VR likely won't be super proprietary -- MS can always easily jump in with the winner of the fight.
    Hardware alone this is not for everyone but software could total a billion that can't be ignored.
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