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VR Digest: Competition Gets Heated
Between Oculus and Valve

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VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
written by Ian Hamilton (@hmltn) issue 30 – August 26, 2015
Hi Friends,

We’ll be at the sold-out VRLA Expo this weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center showing “Rapid Fire: A brief history of flight” which was recognized by the Proto Awards with a nomination for “best educational experience”. The Oscars-style event received hundreds of entries and will award winners in each category at an event in Hollywood on September 22, the day before Oculus Connect kicks off.

Best Regards,
Ian, John, Aaron and Elissa from Studio Transcendent

VR Digest: A Virtual Reality newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent

Oculus and Valve Competition Gets Heated

While Facebook’s VR division has been friendly to Sony’s Morpheus efforts on their PS4 console, Oculus CTO John Carmack wasn’t invited to see HTC’s Valve-powered Vive when it debuted back in March. This week founder Palmer Luckey told golem.de “I haven't had a chance to try their hardware so I can't really fairly comment.” The comment raised eyebrows, as he should’ve had ample opportunity to try his chief competition by now.

Chet Faliszek of Valve wrote on Twitter “we want developers to publish everywhere — no exclusives” to which Oculus founder Palmer Luckey responded on Reddit suggesting his company has “been investing countless millions into funding tightly optimized VR content from AAA and startup studios alike for years. Anyone with a store would obviously love to reap the benefits without taking the risk.”

The comments are indicative of the schism forming between the two companies, which prior to the Facebook acquisition had worked closely together pushing for the adoption of consumer VR on the PC. With prices and many details of the respective product launches still unknown, the final push toward consumer VR is going to get very interesting.
 

Bits:

A dreamy scene in the clouds is the $35,000 grand prize winner in the three-month-long “Render The Metaverse” competition hosted by rendering company OTOY. You can explore 220 entries made for the competition in a gallery and see an interactive preview of the winner here that should work in the browser. The gallery is also available in the Oculus 360 Photos app on a Gear VR, which is the best way to view the renders.
 

Augmented reality gaming startup castAR will be getting a $15 million investment from Android co-founder Andy Rubin’s startup incubator Playground Global and the original seed investors.

“They're the only company I found to be simplifying the utility and application of augmented and virtual reality technology into a fun, accessible, and portable system that will wow kids and adults alike,” said Rubin in a prepared statement.

Virtual Boy was Nintendo's answer to the growing VR craze in the early 90’s. Fast Company took an in-depth look at the innovative technology behind the device, which failed in the marketplace.

 

Videos:

 

dad is brought to tears in this video of a Rift developer kit showing a trip in the Apollo 11 educational experience.

A video by Stress Level Zero created with the Vive shows what it is like to bring your pet into VR with you.

The guys at Tested try Real Virtuality and are able to throw a physical torch prop to one another in VR even though they can’t see the real world.

You might feel like it’s a glitch in the Matrix (déjà vu) if you view these videos one after another: Maria Sharapova in 2015 promoting a Vive VR experience for American Express vs. Andre Agassi in 1997 promoting Nike.

Jimmy Kimmel performs a skit on his show imagining what Facebook in VR might be like.

 

Virtual Reality Digest is a VR Newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent, a producer of premium Virtual Reality experiences. We publish weekly on Wednesdays.
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