Whirlwind FX VortX review: The PC’s first “environmental simulator” is just hot air for now

“Immersion.” It’s become a meaningless buzzword in video games because it represents a dream. We might scoff when it’s applied to the latest Battlefield or whatever, but “Immersion” remains a driving force in the industry. We want to feel like we’re there, like these digital worlds are real. In virtual reality we speak of “Presence,” which is really just immersion by another name. But at a fundamental level, games play much the same in 2018 as they did in 1998: We sit at a PC with a mouse and keyboard and watch images on a screen.

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HTC Vive Focus hands-on impressions: No-PC, no-wires VR at a too-steep price

In 2016 I defended the HTC Vive’s hefty $800 price tag. Sure, it was $200 more than the Oculus Rift, but it was also the only virtual reality headset (at the time) to nail room-scale and hand-tracking. Then earlier this year I defended the Vive Pro’s $1,100 price. Sure, it’s outrageous and ostentatious and nobody should pay for it, but the Vive Pro is also the best VR headset on the market today, bar none.

But on Thursday HTC announced its standalone Vive Focus headset is coming stateside with a list price of $599, and well, that’s pure hubris with slick standalone rival Oculus Quest ready to debut at $399 early next year.

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from PCWorld https://ift.tt/2QvpLat

HTC’s standalone Vive Focus VR headset is coming to the U.S. for $600

Virtual reality’s entered a new phase. The era of the desktop VR headset is all but dead, it seems. Sure, HTC released the Vive Pro earlier this year, but its $1,400 price tag puts it firmly outside what most people can afford. Software’s slowed to a trickle, as well. Brendan Iribe departed Oculus last month and rumors at the time said it coincided with the cancellation of his planned Rift successor.

Companies are betting on standalone VR instead. Oculus revealed its untethered Quest headset at Oculus Connect in September. Now HTC’s firing back with its own device, the Vive Focus.

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from PCWorld https://ift.tt/2qAPPWl

Oculus Quest impressions: This no-hassle wireless VR headset could be a breakout hit

Surprised. That’s how I felt coming out of Oculus Connect 4 last year, where for the first time we got a glimpse of “what’s next” in VR. At the time it was called Project Santa Cruz, a standalone VR headset—meaning no wires—that nevertheless had full position- and hand-tracking capabilities. “I thought we were further away from wireless VR,” I wrote at the time. Even now, I still feel that way.

But come next spring, truly wireless VR will be here in the form of the newly christened $399 Oculus Quest. We already wrote up most of the technical details, but after yesterday’s keynote wrapped up I had the chance to run through some demos.

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from PCWorld https://ift.tt/2NJ8IVh

Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Remote Assist finally makes the HoloLens useful for anyone

In 2015, when Microsoft unveiled the very first public iteration of the HoloLens, product managers demonstrated the augmented reality headset by asking users to re-wire an actual light switch, live, guided by a remote professional. Three years later, Microsoft has finally commercialized that demo with a HoloLens-enabled version of Microsoft Dynamics.

Microsoft is commercializing two Dynamics apps with HoloLens: Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, which allows a remote viewer to assist a front-line worker, and Dynamics 365 Layout, which uses the HoloLens spatial-mapping abilities to help lay out a retail space or factory floor. 

Remote Assist is what Microsoft originally wowed journalists with, and here’s how it works: Imagine building a PC, wearing a HoloLens, but you forgot to insert the memory with the proper spacing, or some other error. HoloLens Remote Assist would allow a remote support tech to see what you’re seeing via your HoloLens, with the ability to highlight what you should be doing. In addition, the remote assistant could use Skype to tell you to tighten the proper bolts, for example, or not to mix CPU pastes. 

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TimeRide VR offers Gamescom visitors a fascinating virtual tour of Cologne’s imperial age

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