Facebook’s Oculus Unveils New Social, Video Features for Samsung Gear VR

Facebook's Oculus Unveils New Social, Video Features for Samsung Gear VR

Facebook-owned Oculus VR is bringing new social and video capabilities to the world of virtual reality. The company announced an update to its software that will enable Samsung Gear VR users to create a social profile while also leveraging several other features. The update will go live on Thursday. Oculus added that it also plans to introduce a feature to allow users to connect their Gear VR account with their Facebook account. The rollout of this feature, however, is planned for next week.

Oculus announced on Wednesday that its new set of features for Samsung Gear VR, which runs its software, will allow a user to look for friends, make a profile, and also rate different apps on the Oculus Store. The feature is similar to Xbox Live, Microsoft’s gaming network for Xbox One that allows users to interact and play with their friends.

The company has also added the ability to create rooms with friends in Oculus Social. This will enable friends to watch video streams on Twitch or Vimeo. On the sidelines, Oculus also announced Social Trivia, a game that lets users play with up to four friends to test their knowledge. A multiplayer adventure game called Herobound allows users to band together and fight for a common mission.

As previously promised, Facebook is also bringing some video capabilities to Samsung Gear VR. Dubbed Facebook Videos, the feature allows users to connect their Facebook account with Oculus Video. This will enable them to see personalised 360-degree videos to their taste based on the pages and people they follow. Oculus also noted that users will soon be able to like, share, and react to such videos from Samsung Gear VR headset.

Download the Gadgets 360 app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with the latest tech news, product reviews, and exclusive deals on the popular mobiles.


Gears of War: Ultimate Edition PC Requirements Revealed

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition PC Requirements RevealedGears of War: Ultimate Edition – a remaster of the 2006 Xbox 360 classic released on the Xbox One last year to rave reviews. Prior to the third-person shooter hitting Microsoft’s latest black box, the company announced at E3 2015 that the game would be coming to Windows PCs. Since then though, we haven’t heard much else. That is, until now.

Perusing through the Windows 10 Store led us to a listing for the game. It’s unavailable for purchase at the moment and there’s no price either, but we won’t be surprised if it isn’t long before it will be. Most importantly though, the page indicates what kind of machine you’d need to play it.

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition minimum requirements:

  • OS: 64 bit Windows 10 (v. 1511)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 @ 2.7Ghz / AMD FX 6-core
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • VRAM: 2GB
  • GPU: AMD R7 260x / NVIDIA GTX 650 Ti
  • HD Space: 60GB
  • DirectX12

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition recommended requirements:

  • OS 64 bit Windows 10 (v. 1511)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 @3.5GHz+ / AMD FX 8-core
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • VRAM: 4GB
  • GPU: AMD R9 290X / NVIDIA GTX 970
  • HD Space: 60GB
  • DirectX12

(Also see: Quantum Break for PC Shows the Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the Few)

As per the store page, the above configuration is the “recommended system requirements for 1920X1080P”, what this means is, you should ideally be able to play the game at full HD/1920×1080 at 60 frames per second without much trouble. There’s a third configuration that’s even steeper.

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition ideal requirements:

  • OS 64 bit Windows 10 (v. 1511)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 @4GHz+ / AMD FX 8-core
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • VRAM: 6GB
  • GPU: AMD R9 390X / NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti
  • HD Space: 60GB
  • DirectX12

With a Windows PC of this calibre, the listing claims it is the “recommended system requirements for 4K”, so hitting 3840×2160 at 60 frames per second should be of little worry.

Much like Quantum Break it appears that you’ll need a superlative Windows PC to get the most out of it. Perplexing considering how underpowered the Xbox One is in comparison to the average gaming PC these days.

As with all Microsoft first-party games, this will be exclusive to the Windows 10 Store, ruling out Steam and other digital storefronts. The Redmond-based firm is hosting an Xbox One and Windows 10 event on February 25 so don’t be surprised to see more information, including a potential release date soon.


Revealed: Aston Martin’s seven year supercar plan

Read more on:


Andy Palmer is a car guy. Even in his former life as chief planning officer at Nissan he was focused on producing the most relevant and exciting products he could. By his own admission, though, his first job when he arrived at Aston in 2014 was accountancy.

“The DB11 project started in 2012, it’s a Marek Reichman creation, he deserves all the credit for how the car looks,” Palmer told us at the Geneva show, just minutes after the DB11’s unveiling. “What the car didn’t have was a business case and funding, so that’s what I focused on initially.”

As it stands, it’s paid off handsomely, because Palmer has secured around £700m in funding – enough for the next four years, by which time the debts will be paid.

“Aston has always been about getting enough money to get to the next car, but that doesn’t work because this industry requires a cadence of cars,” he explained. “Ultimately the money I’ve raised gives me DB11, Vantage, Vanquish and DBX. After that I’ve got free cash flow so I can invest in the three that come after that. Seven cars, seven years.”

Pretty jam-packed schedule isn’t it? The new Vantage is due in 2017, will be based on a cut-down version of the DB11’s all-new bonded aluminium chassis and will be the first model to feature the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 bought from AMG. “The DB11 and new Vantage both look like Astons, but side by side they don’t look anything like each other,” said Palmer. “I wanted the ride and handling to reflect that so Matt Becker has tuned the DB11 so you can drive 500 miles and still be fresh, whereas the Vantage should knock your fillings out.”

In 2018 we’ll see the next Vanquish – essentially a DB11 turned up to, erm, 11. Expect close to 650bhp from the new 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 and a more aggressive slant to the styling. Then, in 2019 we’ll see the Welsh-built five-door, all-electric DBX crossover – Palmer’s two-birds-one-stone model that will reduce the average fleet emissions and attract more female buyers to the brand.

Beyond that the other three new model lines are “crystal clear” in Palmer’s head, but he’s not letting on. What we do know is the Lagonda brand will continue its resurgence, so our educated guess is one large and one small saloon, as well as a range-topping successor to the One-77.

But wait, there’s more. Aston’s special ops department, referred to by Palmer as his “Q division”, will be tasked with producing two special runs every year. Palmer defines a special as cars like the GT12 and Vulcan, models with production runs of “no more than 100 to 150 units, or sometimes as low as one.”

“They are our provenance cars. We’ve made less than 80,000 cars in 102 years, but when Gaydon and St Athan are up to full capacity we will be building 14,000 or 15,000 a year,” He explained. “That’s a very different place, so we want to make some cars which are the future DB5s. They let us experiment with things we wouldn’t necessarily do on full production cars. A lot of aero on DB11 comes from the Vulcan.”

And the DBX won’t be the only EV in Aston’s arsenal either. An electric version of the Rapide, previewed by the RapideE concept late last year should be ready by 2018 and ditch the 6.0-litre V12 in favour of 800bhp to 1000bhp-worth of batteries and electric motors. It’s Aston Martin, Jim, but not as we know it.


MGS 5’s ending IS finished argues Japan’s biggest Metal Gear expert (but it’s complicated)


There’s no doubt that MGS 5 is an excellent game but the odd pacing and strange ending led many to argue that it was ultimately unfinished – with the ongoing disintegration of Kojima and Konami’s relationship clearly being held up as the culprit.

It didn’t help that one piece of content, the game’s 51st chapter, titled Kingdom of the Flies, was apparently cut and only turned up on a bonus Blu-ray disc in the collector’s edition of MGS 5.

Much of the discussion about whether MGS 5 got the ending it deserves hinges on how integral this missing piece was to the story (it’s something we’ve discussed at length before). Which is where Kenji Yano comes in. He’s the author of ‘METAL GEAR SOLID Naked’, a hugely authoritative Japanese book on the series, as well as the editor of several Japanese MGS novelisations. He’s basically probably one of the few people in the world that has a Kojima-level grasp on the series.

He’s spoken on the ending previously, talking to Famitsu in December, but his take on what happened has only recently been translated. As far as he’s concerned, Episode 51 is not “essential to the game.” Instead it has become “an outlet for venting all the unease and confusion” that followed the end game reveal that you’d actually been playing as an impostor the whole time. “Up until Episode 46, The Man Who Sold The World, players experience the story as Snake,” explains Kenji, “but then they have the rug pulled out from under them.”

One thing Kenji is sure about is that “as a commercial product and physical thing Metal Gear is definitely over.” (Which might come as news to Konami as it prepares to make a non-Koj MGS 6.) However, he also thinks that “in a way it isn’t,” highlighting a passage from Moby Dick (a reference that runs rife through the entire game). The passage in question involves the Moby Dick character Ishmael lamenting his role as narrator (the “shabby part of the voyage”) before taking the place of Ahab’s bowman, “when that bowsman assumed the vacant post”. Sounds a little like the role swapping in MGS 5 to you?

As I mentioned earlier, we’ve talked about MGS 5’s ending before  and spookily a lot of what Kenji says ties in to our own interpretation:

“If MGS5 is Kojima’s final MGS game, it’s clear he is passing on ownership of the series to us. Not only do MGS5’s open-world systems make you author of its legacy (each gamer’s story will be their own), but he is deliberately stepping back from didactic cut-scenes and holding our hand. It couldn’t be any more clear: we are Big Boss now”

The elements of confusion and ambivalence, making it hard to pin an ending down more clearly, appear deliberate. In a translation of Kojima’s own thoughts on the game, he says, “there is a blank space, but it will not be filled. In that blank space there is always a hero. Because there is a blank space, you can advance ahead. It is this blank space exactly that is ‘V’” Kojima also explains the idea that the player “(as Ahab, or BB’s double) is facing up to this ‘blank space’…” When you think about it, even the game’s reveal was built around the blank spaces that appeared in the logo.

Finally, in the same translation Kojima actually added extra fuel to the ‘Metal Gear is totally over’ fire (in his eyes) by talking about the series’ 28 year lifespan and quoting author, Dennis Lehane: “No matter what kind of series it is, there is a time that it must end.”