Apple Announces Metal 2, External GPU Support, and Steam VR at WWDC 2017

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple revealed the new Metal 2 API at WWDC 2017
  • Metal for VR was announced as well
  • Support for Steam VR, Unity, and Unreal was confirmed too

Aside from announcing macOS High Sierra, Apple at WWDC 2017 revealed the new Metal 2 graphics API which the company claims will make code run 10x faster versus last-gen Metal. Also, Metal for VR was announced as well. There are driver optimisations, indirect argument buffers, and sampler arrays to name a few improvements for creators.

Furthermore, Metal will now support external graphics via a Thunderbolt port with the Metal 2 developer kit that ships with the recently announced AMD Radeon RX 580 GPU.

To drive home Apple’s commitment to creators, the company stated that Metal 2 will support the Steam VR SDK as well as Unity and Unreal Engine. Combined with external GPU support, it means you should be able to use HTC Vive on the Mac.

Does this mean Apple’s hardware will actually work with everything in your Steam library as well as it does on a Windows PC? Not really. But it is a statement of intent. Combined with renewed focus on creators, it could have more than enough to give Microsoft and Oculus cause for concern.

“That is up to Apple. If they ever release a good computer, we will do it,” Oculus founder Palmer Luckey said last year. He went on to clarify the meaning behind his statement and said it’s down to how Apple doesn’t provide high-end GPUs in its computers, which is essential to running the demanding Oculus Rift VR platform.

“You can buy a $6,000 (Rs. 4,00,000) Mac Pro with the top of the line AMD FirePro D700, and it still doesn’t match our recommended specs. So if they prioritise higher-end GPUs like they used to for a while back in the day, we’d love to support Mac. But right now, there’s just not a single machine out there that supports it.”

[“Source-ndtv”]

Doom VFR and Fallout 4 VR Announced at Bethesda E3 2017

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Doom VR is announced as Doom VFR
  • Fallout 4 VR will be out in October
  • No release date for Doom VFR has been given

Doom is getting a VR version. Called Doom VFR it was announced by Bethesda at its E3 2017 conference. In addition to this, the company also revealed Fallout 4 in VR, dubbed as the first open-world game completely made in VR.

Doom VFR will be available on PS VR and HTC Vive. Fallout 4 VR will be available for HTC Vive in October. No date for Doom VFR has been given just yet.

This marks Bethesda first attempt at bringing its IPs to VR. With Fallout and Doom, it seems that VR will get a shot in the arm it so drastically needs.

For what its worth we found Doom to be one of the better games of 2016. Bethesda had the right idea in mind when it brought back Wolfenstein, and reviving Doom back after a prolonged spell in development hell is just as welcome. The game offers more than enough for fans to sink their teeth into, while it injects some purely-optional new ideas to keep in-step with modern games.

How Fallout 4’s dystopia translates to VR would be interesting. With an immersive world, open-ended gameplay options, and so much to do, Fallout 4 is well worth the price of entry. Chances are, you’ll be spending a lot of time in Boston. We know we have and will be in the months to come.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Google Daydream View VR Headset Launched in India at Rs. 6,499

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Daydream View VR headset available for Rs. 6,499
  • Apps include YouTube VR, Street View, Play Movies and more
  • Daydream supported phones include Google Pixel, Pixel XL, and Moto ZGoogle’s Daydream View VR headset is now available in India priced at Rs. 6,499. The VR headset has been listed on Flipkart and will include the controller as well. The headset was first made available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany back in November last year.

    The headset is being offered on Flipkart with 5 percent off for Axis Bank Buzz Credit Cards and Rs. 300 cash back on payment through PhonePe. EMI options are also available and each pair of headset comes with 1 year of warranty. First 30 customers to buy Google Daydream View VR via Flipkart will also receive Google Chromecast for free, while the first 50 customers will receive a Google Play Store Credit worth Rs. 500.

    The Daydream View VR headset functions along the lines of Samsung’s Gear VR and you will need Daydream-supported smartphones for the headset to work. As of now, the list of phones that support Daydream is small with the likes of Google Pixel, Pixel XL, and Moto Z, to name a few and will also come to Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ soon. So, for those considering to buy the headset in India may want to check they have a Daydream-ready smartphone first.

  • google daydream vr google
  • The Daydream View VR headset is made up of a lightweight fabric for a comfortable feel. The controller lets you interact with the virtual world, letting you take various actions with help of motion and gesture sensors and physical buttons. The Daydream app that houses a collection of apps and games for Daydream-ready phones. The YouTube VR app will let you watch 3D or standard 360-degree videos with the Daydream View headset. The Street View app lets you tour over 150 popular real-world places, while Play Movies offers some VR-ready movies. Third-party developers too provide Daydream-ready content via their apps.

    “Daydream View promises users a mesmerising experience. Swim with a pod of dolphins, stand at the edge of a volcano and even visit Pluto with Daydream View. Users can teleport from virtually anywhere to pretty much everywhere. Our aim is to make the VR experience mobile so that customers can easily carry it anywhere with them. We at Google are also working with developers, smartphone companies, and content creators to make VR accessible to all,” said Clay Bavor, Vice President of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality at Google.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Samsung Gear VR Gets Refreshed at MWC 2017; Comes With Touch Controller

Samsung Gear VR Gets Refreshed at MWC 2017; Comes With Touch Controller

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The new Gear VR comes with a strap to hold controller
  • The controller helps users in navigating through VR apps and games
  • The controller provides users with more interaction options within the ap

Samsung has launched the latest version of its Oculus-powered Gear VR headset at MWC 2017 and for the first time around, the South Korean company has introduced a VR controller that goes along with the headset. The new controller is aimed at providing users with convenience while interacting with the user interface in VR apps and games with the help of the headset.

The South Korean conglomerate says that the curved design of the newly introduced Gear VR controller offers users with convenient one-hand control and provides better motion interaction with minimised head movement. The touchpad on the motion controller provides quicker selection and interaction within VR apps. With the controller, users get the ability to “point, drag and drop, tilt, shoot, among other actions, while the Trigger allows for enhanced gaming experiences,” the company said. The Home, Volume and Back keys located on the controller help users to navigate easily within the interface.

“At Samsung, we are focused on setting and exceeding the standard for VR experiences, making them even more accessible and delivering the highest in quality,” Younghee Lee, executive vice president of mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics, was quoted as saying in company’s blog post. “The Gear VR with Controller expands our VR ecosystem to help consumers get more engaged and immersed in VR content – whether it’s games or videos,” Lee said.

The Gear VR with controller offers 42mm lenses with 101-degree FOV (Field of View) and “advanced distortion correction technology” to minimize users’ motion sickness. The Samsung Gear VR with Controller will support both Micro-USB and USB Type-C port with a converter in-box. Further, the new Gear VR comes with a strap on the headset that allows it to hold the controller when it is not being used.

The new Gear VR with controller is compatible with Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones. You can find the full specifications of the new Gear VR over here.

Tags: Samsung New Gear VR Headset With Controller, Samsung Oculus-Powered VR Headset, Wearables, Apps, Home Entertainment, Gaming, Samsung, Gear VR, MWC, MWC 2017
[“Source-Gadgets”]