Samsung Expands Gear VR Giveaway
Samsung lowered the cost for a complete VR system this week, throwing in a free Gear VR with the purchase of any 2015 or 2016 Samsung phone through June 19. Unlike the S7 promotion earlier this year, the new offer includes a Gear VR free with the purchase of the Galaxy S6 or Note 5.
Valve Releases Updates
Valve released a series of updates this week, including a big software update for The Lab. The free software bundle on Steam includes a collection of mini-games which now have leaderboards and endless modes, making arcade game Xortex and archery game Longbow more fun and fully fledged titles.
For developers, Valve released rendering tools for the Unity game engine. The toolset was used to create The Lab and allows developers to use more dynamic lights in the scene while still taking advantage of MSAA, a technology which enables sharp, smooth graphics but is incompatible with “deferred” renderers like the new standard Unity 5 renderer.
The toolset also enables dynamic adjustments to the rendering complexity of the scene, helping to maintain a solid 90 frames per second even on minimum-spec hardware without relying on reprojection/asynchronous timewarp, a technique that can create artifacts in the image.
The company also released data detailing the room sizes among SteamVR users. 81% of Vive users have a play area at least 6x5 feet in size.
A wonderful 6-minute video by London-based designer/filmmaker Keiichi Matsuda packs in an enormous number of Mixed Reality use cases, warning us of a future digitally plastered over with too much information.