VR Digest: John Carmack gives rare interview;
HTC Vive delayed?

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VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
written by Ian Hamilton (@hmltn) issue 31 – September 2, 2015

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

Is HTC Vive delayed?

When the Valve-powered Vive debuted in March, HTC said it would make “the consumer edition available by the end of 2015.” A new statement from Valve raised a lot of questions about Vive's availability: “HTC will offer the first commercial Vive units via a limited quantity of community and developer systems with larger quantities shipping in calendar Q1 2016.”

Gizmodo and Re/Code took that to mean “HTC’s Virtual Reality Headset Has Been Delayed”, but the statement could just be a clarification of the launch plans that were shared earlier this year. That said, as the company suffers a 15 percent headcount reduction due to poor sales of its Android phones, the Vive program could be sailing in perilous waters.

Meanwhile, Kent Bye interviewed an HTC vice president for his podcast and RoadtoVR got some details about changes coming to the Vive in the consumer hardware.

“The controllers won’t look anything like [the dev kit], the form will change,” said HTC’s Brian Lowe. “The controllers have gone through a few iterations now and it’s looking pretty cool.”

John Carmack gives rare interview

Oculus CTO John Carmack gave David Marlett a rare interview for a piece published in D Magazine. The whole article is well worth the read, but there are two Carmack quotes that stood out:

“When things don’t work, that doesn’t crush me. I don’t carry the weight of the previous failures. Many people just add more on, burdened by their previous failures, and their previous successes. But you run out of mental energy if you keep paying attention to everything you’ve done in the past...”

“...We say we’re going to accomplish a whole heck of a lot this year, and others will say there is no way we can. Well, maybe. But I know we’re going to get more done than people think is possible.”


Oculus Story Studio shared a very helpful guide to its toolsets used in the creation of immersive movies like “Henry” the huggable hedgehog.

The VRLA conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center was big enough to draw coverage by the Associated Press, which reported more than 2,000 attendees came to the event.

“It really feels like the momentum has shifted,” said VRLA co-founder Cosmo Scharf. “More people care about VR today than ever before.”

Google Ventures invested $6 million into Swedish VR game maker Resolution Games.

“The pace of development in VR will be very high over the next five years, with mobile VR at the forefront because anyone with a smartphone has the core of a VR experience already in their pockets,” Google Ventures partner Joe Kraus told the Wall Street Journal.

Oculus began supporting Windows 10 with the 0.7 release of its runtime.

Discovery debuted a mobile VR app you can download on iOS or Android to view panoramic videos, including some from “Mythbusters”.

Quartz wrote about the efforts of James Blaha and his company See Vividly to try to help people who can’t see stereo 3D. The technology improved the vision of a majority of people in a small-scale study and a larger one is currently underway.

MTV teamed with IM360 to produce a live-streaming panoramic video of the MTV Music Awards red-carpet pre-show.



Los Angeles-area developer Otherworld Interactive received a Vive development kit just a few weeks ago and already put together a cute real-time strategy game called Nimbus Knights. Here’s a video of the game in action.

At VRLA, Seattle-based VRstudios showed off its positionally tracked wireless headset and “Time Zombies” game that’s being piloted at a Silicon Valley Dave & Busters for $5 per play.

Vancouver-based Radial Games debuted a teaser for “Fantastic Contraption”, a Vive game which uses SteamVR controllers to grab objects so you can “build contraptions the size of a horse with your hand and then watch them roll off and gallop off out of your living room”.

This online commercial by Framestore shows how mobile VR works with actual experiences that can be played today.

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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