Ba-bam, we’re back for another edition of Field of view — the place where we catch you up on the latest happenings in the world of VR and AR.
After last week brought us all the announcements from CES 2018 in Las Vegas, we’re back to normal duty and hunting down all the stories you may have missed from the past week.
On the site this week, we’ve revamped our recommendations for the best PlayStation VR games you can play and took a deep dive into the progress of virtual reality eye tracking — the next big killer VR feature.
But for the rest of the action, as well as this week’s video and game recommendations, put down your VR headset and read on below.
Read this: News tidbits
Nintendo quashes VR rumours once again
After initial optimism, Nintendo has once again turned the cold tap on rumours involving plans to bring VR elements to the Nintendo Switch.
Back in February last year, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima revealed that the company was looking at the technology. However, that was then downplayed by Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime in September, and now we have more bad news for Ninty fans looking to go under a headset.
According to Les Numériques (via Game Informer), the head of Nintendo France, Philippe Lavoué, reiterated the company’s stance against VR. Lavoué stated that he doesn’t believe the tech is viable in a mainstream way, and that consumers aren’t going to buy into something that isn’t a complete package.
With this representing the second time one of the company’s heads has openly voiced their scepticism regarding VR as a widespread platform, we imagine this means we won’t be playing Mario Kart in our headsets any time soon. Time to book a flight to Japan and hit the arcades.
Oculus gives developers a head start
Oculus has announced a new initiative that’s designed to make it easier and cheaper for developers to build and distribute apps to users.
Oculus Start will focus on giving developers access to kit such as Oculus Go, Oculus Rift or even Santa Cruz when it’s ready to go, supporting those devs in up to five instances per year and also providing those who sign up with a free one-year pass for Unity Plus or a royalty-free Unreal licence.
Those looking to get involved with Start, though, will have to prove their commitment to the platform and also not have previously received funding of more than $10,000. Naturally, companies also have a limit of two developers per team.
Oculus Story Studio makes an unlikely comeback
Former members of Oculus Story Studio, the cinematic team that closed last year, have formed a new studio that will be known as Fable.
The studio will be making its debut at the Sundance Film Festival, as a VR adaptation of The Wolves in the Walls hits headsets, though it also has four more projects in the works. In order to maintain its work, it also plans to charge people $1 for every 10 minutes they view.
Hugo Barra thinks standalone is the key to social VR
Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t just blowing smoke when he stated at Oculus Connect last year that he’s aiming to bring VR to a billion people, and the teams at Facebook and Oculus will seemingly look to make social VR front and centre of this push. And in doing so, standalone devices (like the Oculus Go) will be the key, according to the head of Facebook’s VR wing, Hugo Barra.
Speaking to Engadget, he said: “The more people we have in VR, the more people are going to start spending time together in VR. Which brings us back to why standalone VR is a huge focus for us. Everything is integrated together in one device. That is the best experience that we think can be created.”
Watch this: The Miracle in Minnesota
After one of the most dramatic finishes in NFL playoff history, we wouldn’t blame viewers of the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints Divisional Round game for still not fully recovering from the entire experience.
But if you have managed to get over Case Keenum’s last-gasp, heave-turned-touchdown to Stefon Diggs, why not relive some of the game in virtual reality? One major caveat here is that the video doesn’t include the final play, but it’s worth watching just to get a better view of that Skol clap.
Play this: Shooty Fruity
You remember Fruit Ninja on your phone, right? Well, think of this as the same kind of thing but on steroids. Yes, Shooty Fruity essentially consists of you wandering around a grocery store trying to do your job – you know, scanning and packing – while also dealing with the small matter of oversized, aggressive fruits that have come to life. And not only is this one of the more well done, frantic VR shooters out there, but it’s now available on Steam after initially coming to PlayStation VR late last year. Go get your five-a-day.
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