CES 2019: The PC gear and smart home tech we can’t wait to see

More than 4,400 exhibitors showed off their hardware at CES 2018. That’s a lot of gadgets, and the show can become an unmanageable circus if you don’t enter with a game plan—and that counts for people following the action at home, as well. To give you a little head start, here’s our cheat sheet on what to look for at CES 2019. We’re focusing solely on PC gear, home entertainment and smart home gadgets—because that’s our bread and butter at PCWorld and TechHive.

AMD’s 7nm CPUs, including Ryzen 2

It’s pretty easy to predict what AMD will be revealing at CES—because the company has already told us. AMD chief executive Lisa Su will host a keynote address on Wednesday, Jan. 9 where she’ll talk up the company’s 2019 plans to “catapult computing, gaming, and visualization technologies forward with the world’s first 7nm high-performance CPUs and GPUs.” You can expect demos covering the future of gaming, entertainment and virtual reality.

To read this article in full, please click here

from PCWorld http://bit.ly/2F6PtQv

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.

To read this article in full, please click here

from PCWorld https://ift.tt/2B4KhIw

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.

To read this article in full, please click here

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.

To read this article in full, please click here

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.

To read this article in full, please click here

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