Wilson’s Heart review: Not a perfect virtual reality game, but certainly the best so far

Wilson’s Heart is the first can’t-miss virtual reality game. That’s my gut reaction.

Now, the reality of the situation is a bit more complicated. I’ve gotten plenty of use out of both my Oculus Rift and HTC Vive over the past year, experimenting with dozens if not hundreds of games and experiences. Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption impressed early on, Call of the Starseed took spectacle to a new level, and Arizona Sunshine was both lengthy enough and polished enough to feel like a “full game.” To say nothing of Google Earth VR, Tilt Brush, Oculus Medium, and other non-gaming applications.

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Oracle plans ‘startup organization’ focused on cloud computing, AI and VR

Oracle is hiring people for a “new startup organization” inside its North America operation that will focus on key technology trends, including cloud computing, internet of things, artificial Intelligence, and augmented and virtual reality.

The Solution Engineering organization the company is setting up will consist of Solution Engineering Centers in Reston, Virginia and Denver, Colorado.

The database and enterprise software company has previously indicated its interest in investing in some of these technology areas like machine learning and analytics.

It announced in September last year that it was investing in intelligent cloud applications, called Adaptive Intelligent Applications, “that automatically offer individualized recommended actions and streamline the tasks of business users such as human resource or finance professionals.”

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Facebook launches tool for capturing 360 video inside VR

Facebook is giving virtual reality developers the ability to embed 360-degree photo and video capture into their experiences with a new software development kit made available Wednesday.

The 360 Capture SDK will let users capture the complete scene around them, for sharing to other platforms like Facebook. It’s a tool that’s designed to give people who don’t have VR headsets a window into the action and also lets people with the right hardware replay moments in full VR.

A key detail about the capture tool is it’s designed to work even on the minimum hardware necessary to run VR without degrading performance. The SDK can be used to capture 30 frames-per-second, 1080p video on less powerful hardware, while still maintaining 90fps frame rates for users who are in VR. On more powerful machines, it’s possible to capture higher-resolution 4k content.

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Hands-on: Oculus Rift’s Spaces shows Facebook doesn’t understand social VR

Facebook has made no secret of its reasons for buying Oculus VR, the company that kickstarted the virtual reality craze: Mark Zuckerberg and co. see virtual reality as yet another outlet for social interactions at some far-distant point in the future. Can’t get the family in one room? That’s fine, just load everyone into VR and you can all hang out. It’s a cyberpunk dream, straight out of Neuromancer—albeit a dream that’s a long ways off.

But Facebook is forging ahead, taking those baby steps. Yesterday it released Spaces, its first attempt at a social VR hub, onto the Oculus Store. The irony? The social media giant is neither first out the gate, nor the best option.

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Facebook Spaces wants you to hang out with your friends in VR

Facebook is making it possible to hang out with your friends in virtual reality using Spaces, a new app the company launched Tuesday for the Oculus Rift. The app will allow people to join a shared, immersive video call, represented by a personalized avatar.

Using Spaces, people can hang out around a virtual reality table, share three-dimensional drawings and use the Rift’s built-in microphone to chat with one another. Users can also surround themselves and their friends with 360-degree photos and videos from Facebook’s library of content.

People who don’t have a Rift headset can also be included in a Spaces hangout by using Facebook’s Messenger video calling functionality. Users will be able to view a Space from their smartphone, and have their video call shown inside the virtual reality environment.

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HP to ship its Omen X VR backpack PC in June

HP will make a major virtual reality push in June, when it will start shipping its Omen X VR backpack PC.

The backpack PC has already been announced, but the company until now had not provided a shipping date. HP is accepting applications from gamers and commercial developers to test the product.

There will be two types of Omen X backpack PCs, Ron Coughlin, president of the Personal Systems Business at HP, said in an interview. HP will release a VR backpack for gamers, and one for commercial customers, he said.

Users will be able to carry the PC like a backpack and hook up a VR headset like HTC’s Vive. Wearing the backpack PC allows users to move around freely.

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