Full SteamVR support doesn’t fix Windows Mixed Reality’s proof-of-concept feel

Hardware doesn’t really have an “Early Access” period per se, the way games often do nowadays, but I’ve put off writing about Microsoft’s Mixed Reality headsets for essentially that reason. A half-dozen headsets emerged last October with few games and even less fanfare. To make matters worse, they were locked to the Windows 10 Store at launch, making it particularly unattractive to those who’d already amassed a sizable amount of VR content on Steam.

That sin wasn’t rectified until December when Microsoft added rudimentary SteamVR support—in beta. And it wasn’t officially rectified until about a week ago, when Windows 10’s April 2018 Update coincided with SteamVR-on-Mixed-Reality getting the 1.0 seal of approval.

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

Microsoft’s mixed reality isn’t dead, it’s just moving to where businesses will pay for it

Anyone concerned that Microsoft is evolving into a more accessible version of IBM, rather than the consumer company many would like it to be, isn’t going to feel any better after the company’s Build developer conference starting May 8 in Seattle. Two expected moves will reinforce that enterprise direction: a Kinect sensor for Azure, and two HoloLens apps that are being adapted for businesses using mixed reality.

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella is expected to open Build on Monday by describing the “intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge,” which has been Microsoft’s unofficial mantra for about a year. Microsoft plans to define what it means by intelligent edge: By 2020, there will be about 30 billion connected devices, each generating about 1.5GB of data per day. Smart buildings and connected factories will add to that. Expect to hear quite a bit about the Internet of Things on Monday—“the world is a computer,” Nadella is expected to say.

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

Lenovo Mirage Solo Review: No-wires VR arrives, and it’s pretty awesome

Lenovo’s new Mirage Solo with Google Daydream separates “good” VR from a glorified View-Master experience because of one thing: the ability to move. No, not turn your head as though locked in a brace, but actually kneel on the floor and feel as though you just put your head underwater to get a better look at a kelp bed below.

As the first stand-alone VR headset to let you do just that, without needing a gaming PC, console, or separate doohickeys and emitters, the Mirage Solo with Google Daydream almost aces it, despite a few key letdowns. But first let’s bask in its wireless six degrees of freedom.

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

Try VR for cheap: The Google Store’s selling the Daydream View headset for just $50

Virtual reality is still something of a curiosity despite the best efforts of Google and Android phone makers to push it to the mainstream (not to mention PC-centric companies like Microsoft, Valve, and Oculus). VR’s sky-high entry costs are one of the major barriers to entry—but not today. The Google Store is selling the latest version of the Daydream View VR headset for just $50 through April 28. That’s $50 off the usual price

The latest version of the Daydream View debuted in October. It offers high-performance lenses that are supposed to offer better visual quality and a wider field of view than the original. The original’s FOV was 90 degrees. You’ll need a Daydream-compatible phone like the Pixel 2 or a recent Samsung Galaxy S model to power the device.

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

The best VR games for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift

It’s been two years since consumers officially got their hands on virtual reality with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, and in that time a lot of VR games have released. Sure, there may still be no singular headset-seller, but trawl Steam or the Oculus Store and you’ll still find hundreds of hours of entertainment—some of it pretty good!

So where to start? Well, we compiled a list of our favorite Oculus Rift games and our favorite HTC Vive games back in 2016, and some of those (Job Simulator, Tilt Brush, Chronos) are still worth checking out. The Vive Pro’s recent release is a handy excuse for an update though, and below you’ll find an additional (meaning no repeats from the earlier lists) batch of VR games to jumpstart your collection. Note: Some games are exclusive to one platform or the other, and these have been marked where appropriate.

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

HTC’s next-gen Vive Pro gets a price, and the original Vive gets a $100 price cut

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Oculus Rifts worldwide temporarily break due to an expired certificate

If you want a hint of how fragile our tech-reliant world is, look no further than the Oculus Rift. This morning, Rift owners the world over discovered that their $400 virtual reality headset had become a paperweight overnight—at least temporarily.

Seems as though Oculus uh…forgot(?) to issue an updated Windows certificate, the security feature that confirms that, yes, Oculus’s software is actually Oculus’s software. As Microsoft’s decade-old primer puts it, “Digital certificates function similarly to identification cards such as passports and drivers’ licenses.” That’s a pretty good analogy.

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from PCWorld http://ift.tt/2Ib1yCL

The HTC Vive Pro’s upgrades make the Vive finally feel complete

Virtual reality’s second generation edges ever closer. We saw Oculus’s new Santa Cruz prototype this past October, and today HTC countered with its own plans: A “Vive Pro” upgrade, wireless adapter, and a new iteration of Valve’s SteamVR tracking.

Let’s jump in.

Vive 2.0

The Vive Pro isn’t specifically billed as Vive 2, perhaps because it runs all the same software. Make no mistake, though: This is the next step for HTC.

The most obvious change is that it’s…blue. Like, really blue. All the marketing materials for the HTC Vive Pro portray it clad in rich sapphire. I can’t say I’m a huge fan, and hopefully there’s a black version for those who want it.

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from PCWorld http://ift.tt/2m9D6ao