Tag Archives: vr

Minecraft Creator Notch Deeply Elaborates On Virtual Reality / Oculus / Facebook Beliefs

Minecraft Oculus

Notch made waves when he very publicly reacted to the news that Oculus Rift VR has been bought by Facebook the other day calling the Facebook corporation ‘creepy’ and stating that Minecraft for the Oculus Rift device was in production and will not be cancelled. However, Notch decided to go beyond this simple statement and elaborate on his beliefs regarding Virtual Reality, Facebook, and the Oculus Rift situation as well as the emerging controversy regarding the profits of the Oculus / FB deal with consideration to the fact that the product has its start on Kickstarter being funded by fans of the video games industry in hopes to get their hands on VR Gaming a lot sooner by directly funding the R&D and hopefully whatever would come next.

In fact Notch had recently taken a visit to the Oculus HQ in addition to being one of their original, top-level backers. Notch shares his enthusiasm and belief that the Oculus Rift product (before Facebooks buyout) is definitely something he calls “near the cusp”  of a future technology gaming and the world overall definitely needs. He mentions meeting up with John Carmack at Oculus to try out a late iteration of the device and claims that Oculus had fixed almost all of their major issues with the platform. Though the full and complete Minecraft experience was never planned to land on Oculus, Notch tells us a slimmed down version capable of doing the solid 90fps required of Oculus titles was going to be created – until now.

During this discussion from a well respected gaming philosopher, creator, developer, and perhaps most important of all video games player Notch.

“Of course, they wanted Minecraft.”,  Notch recalls, “And then, not two weeks later, Facebook buys them.”,  the designer continues with his conclusion on VR and Facebook buying Oculus Rift:

“Facebook is not a company of grass-roots tech enthusiasts. Facebook is not a game tech company. Facebook has a history of caring about building user numbers, and nothing but building user numbers. People have made games for Facebook platforms before, and while it worked great for a while, they were stuck in a very unfortunate position when Facebook eventually changed the platform to better fit the social experience they were trying to build.

Don’t get me wrong, VR is not bad for social. In fact, I think social could become one of the biggest applications of VR. Being able to sit in a virtual living room and see your friend’s avatar? Business meetings? Virtual cinemas where you feel like you’re actually watching the movie with your friend who is seven time zones away?

But I don’t want to work with social, I want to work with games.

Fortunately, the rise of Oculus coincided with competitors emerging. None of them are perfect, but competition is a very good thing. If this means there will be more competition, and VR keeps getting better, I am going to be a very happy boy. I definitely want to be a part of VR, but I will not work with Facebook. Their motives are too unclear and shifting, and they haven’t historically been a stable platform. There’s nothing about their history that makes me trust them, and that makes them seem creepy to me.

And I did not chip in ten grand to seed a first investment round to build value for a Facebook acquisition.”

[Source: Notch (Creator of Minecraft)]

Oculus Rift Purchased By Facebook – What Does It Mean For Gamers?

Oculus RiftCon

With many instantly reacting negatively to the news that Facebook bought out Oculus Rift today for $2 Billion dollars ($400 million in cash and $1.6 billion in stock options approximately), let’s take a look at the potential benefits first and then examine the very valid concerns of the video game industry community.

Potential Benefits:

– larger reach

– bigger marketing budgets

– more comfortable completion of original goals with stable funding from Facebook (three founding figures from Facebook and Oculus Rift have already provided decently genuine sounding interview material in which they commit to keeping the project going as planned.

– innovations in virtual reality simulation such as a life-like social networking simulator for the Facebook brand (eventually).

Concerns of the community:

The most early and perhaps most prominent example of this line of thinking has been set by Notch (the creator of Minecraft) who cancelled the Oculus Rift VR version of the game after finding out about the Facebook buyout and providing the world with this explanation:

“Facebook creeps me out.” – Notch (Creator of Minecraft)

Facebook is part of an operation with the NSA, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Microsoft, and many others which combined have created a shared database of copyrighted material, information on individuals including facial recognition through manually training buy user tagging activity, and much more.

Notch is surely aware of this as most well versed programmers worth their salt in skills would be, and though he is too busy making awesome games to stop and comment about such a divergent event taking place in human history – Notch has shown he is going to make his decisions based on what he feels and not worry about who disagrees with him.

Others are even worried that Facebook will either silence the tech by just halting production or slow it down to such a dull grind that the company will no longer function. These concerns sound reasonable in theory for some cynical moment, but in reality – I just don’t see that happening. I believe right now the pros outweigh the cons in terms of technological advancement that can be achieved using virtual reality as a means to experience events simulated, social in real-time, and crafted as a film and/or video game.

Conclusively speaking, the tradeoff seems to be that the more technologically advanced humans become the less privacy individuals will have access to. In the end, that price to pay could be a relatively small one for those hours during your gaming (or in the future, virtual reality) experiences. If one is in the virtual world, a bit less privacy is going to be expected anyways.

Sony is still producing a Virtual Reality headset which will be compatible with the PlayStation 4 (and likely Steam as well for PC Gaming). Microsoft will be licensing a similar technology through a well known manufacturer to produce a Virtual Reality headset for the Xbox ONE at some point, plans are already underway. So in any event, the world will still see an industry-wide push for this tech to be accepted by consumers – and begin what could perhaps become a 5-7 year process to convert the entire world to virtual reality inhabitants.

Oculus Rift Gets FPS Zelda VR Project And ‘RiftCon’ Trademark Among Trending Topics

Oculus RiftCon

RiftCon, most likely to be revealed soon as a yearly event hosted to talk about Oculus hardware / software development, VR Gaming etc., has been trademarked by the creator of the Oculus Rift. This could be in direct response to rumors that Sony will debut their own virtual reality headset at this year’s GDC 2014 (Game Developers Conference), a yearly industry trade event where the latest development discussions are held between devs of all fields and platforms. RiftCon is expected to be revealed as an Oculus exclusive trade show that would present the latest in Oculus development and technologies.

Beyond that, another exciting front that had gamers interested in the advanced virtual reality technologies from Oculus is the fact that a retro-inspired Zelda VR project began making headlines. The project is open to those who want to play it at no cost (of course likely without the direct blessing of Nintendo as well) and can be downloaded here now at VirtualRealityIO.

Zelda VR

[Some Info Sourced: Engadget] 

Steam Dev Days: What VR Could, Should, and Almost Certainly Will Be within Two Years [HD]

Steam Dev Days

The What VR Could, Should, and Almost Certainly Will Be within Two Years presentation from Michael Abrash of Valve for Steam Dev Days Conference is presented below in high definition.

PDF Here | PowerPoint Here

“On Jan 15-16, 2014, Valve hosted over 1,200 game developers from around the planet at Steam Dev Devs in Seattle, WA. Now Valve has made videos of 28 Steam Dev Days sessions, covering a wide range of game development topics available.”

Watch them all in the new Steam Dev Days Section of RealGamerNewz.

Steam Dev Days: Game Development with SDL 2.0 [HD]

Steam Dev Days

The Game Development with SDL 2.0 presentation from Steam Dev Days Conference is presented below in high definition.

PDF Here | PowerPoint Here

“On Jan 15-16, 2014, Valve hosted over 1,200 game developers from around the planet at Steam Dev Devs in Seattle, WA. Now Valve has made videos of 28 Steam Dev Days sessions, covering a wide range of game development topics available.”

Watch them all in the new Steam Dev Days Section of RealGamerNewz.

Steam Dev Days: Portal 2 and Team Fortress 2 Alternate Reality Games Q&A [HD]

Steam Dev Days

The Portal 2 and Team Fortress 2 Alternate Reality Games Q&A presentation from Jeep Barnett, Kyle Davis, and Adam Foster of Valve for Steam Dev Days Conference is presented below in high definition.

PDF Here | PowerPoing Here

“On Jan 15-16, 2014, Valve hosted over 1,200 game developers from around the planet at Steam Dev Devs in Seattle, WA. Now Valve has made videos of 28 Steam Dev Days sessions, covering a wide range of game development topics available.”

Watch them all in the new Steam Dev Days Section of RealGamerNewz.

Unreal Engine To Be Used In Latest Military Training VR Simulation by Intelligent Decisions

RGN Unreal Government Network VR

As many gamers in the world are aware, video games are not the only application for such high-end 3D environment engines as the Unreal Engine. The Simulation industry is a booming one and includes some of the worlds’ largest customers including defense contractors and government agencies throughout the country. Video Games may be the front-end of this biz, but believe that these virtual worlds aren’t only being created for your enjoyment.

The fact is that the military also uses them in virtual reality simulations purposed for various training exercises including many specialized mission ‘rehearsals’ and more. The latest announcement from Epic Games today details the newest of those simulations which involves virtual reality gear as well as the use of the Unreal Engine as a company called Intelligent Decisions has joined the ongoing Unreal Government Network project. You can find more information about the Unreal Government Network (or UGN for short) at the following website: http://virtualheroes.com/products/unreal-government-network-ugn. Here’s what Jerry Heneghan, Licensing Manager for the UGN had to say about today’s announcement:

“ID consistently leads the simulation industry with its end-to-end customized virtual training programs and the adaptation of wearable device integration for training and mission rehearsal.”

Virtual Reality Could Start Next Gen

Virtual Reality Next Gen RGN

The following discussion revolves around Virtual Reality. Video Games are a booming business that will inevitably (read: probably) become replaced by some higher format of experience simulation in the future. As video games exist we begin to see Virtual Reality technologies becoming manifested in the mainstream market. Many may not yet be aware of attempts beyond the now mainstream 3DTV technology. Have you ever heard of a real virtual reality gameplay experience on the mainstream market as of yet? Well, let’s find out…

Have you heard of…

Emotiv Epoch

? …


Oculus Rift???

Oculus Rift Pre Orders

There’s been a few noble attempts at “Virtual Reality” mainstream research projects such as the ones mentioned above on PC but Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have yet to find a suitable partner to ink a deal with and possibly won’t ink a deal opting instead to do the research and development for first-party hardware entirely themselves. The Nintendo Wii-Mote, PlayStation Move, Xbox Kinect, and PlayStation Eye 4 can all be seen as taking steps to get the mass public to accept it first.

CyberLink and Emotiv Epoch have a huge documentation online if you want to look them up. The Epoch was debuted at around $250 on PC and would have been compatible with Sony PS3 and Xbox 360 for full mind control video games, in other words your controller is your brain. The VR visual screens for what you see becoming completely immersive end up inevitably becoming the other half of the equation. Oculus Rift is like a helmet type thing.

Sony has one too but their personal viewfinder display (looking like something out of Star Trek) is not heavily marketed at all. It’s already out and costs more than a game system. It’s not the same as Oculus Rift though, instead of PC it works with the Sony PS3. All greatness aside this device seems to have failed to garner much attention outside of a cult following. However, imagine both concepts of the Oculus Rift visual devices and the Emotiv Epoch brain wave controller at the same time on next-generation consoles becoming one of the first true VR in video games history. After research from devices like the Emotiv Epoch, such brain controllers can even tell a player’s frustration levels and adjust difficulty on the fly.

Will Xbox and PlayStation see fit to implement technology like this with their own manufacturing factories/partnerships respectively instead of going with existing third parties? Either way, imagine how gamers would feel to take that next step with their next-generation game consoles sometime mid-way through the life cycles of their already invested hardware. Privacy may become a concern, as many tech-savvy gamers are already scared of Xbox Kinect on Xbox ONE being implemented as a permanent feature, would they would be horrified to see their emotions, frustration, enjoyment, and possibly some of their thoughts become monitored? However, the tradeoff could be an incredible experience serving as a baby step on the Moon in the galaxy of Virtual Reality technology in the mainstream market.

Video games could have been ready for virtual reality last generation if only the Emotiv Epoch and something like the Oculus Rift had existed for the console games we now play and love. The graphic resolution might not have been optimal for such an experience, however personal viewing devices with enhanced degrees of view angles have proven others. Now with such technology on the market, we could be ready to see virtual reality begin this upcoming next-generation. With gamers possibly taking things too far and dying with Oculus Rifts on their heads at the same time as brain controllers, not to mention the possible increased wireless data getting through your head slowly causing cancer, the public may not be ready for something like this to take off in huge numbers, unless…

…to be continued…

Xbox Glasses Next After Xbox 720, Kinect 2 is Just the Beginning

The world as you know it is rapidly advancing and Microsoft don’t plan to be beat out by the invention of technology like Google Glasses. On the contrary, the following internal Microsoft image has been leaked and shows the conceptual design of what are essentially virtual reality glasses or “Xbox Glasses” as some are calling them for short. The technology of Xbox 720 and Kinect 2 is also confirmed in this piece of information which seems to analyze the way entertainment is experienced in the living room as well as the way that computer technology is used out in the world.

Whether conceptual brainstorm, or factual blueprint; Microsoft is looking for a way to get a jump-start on future technology by being one of the first major corporations to combine the ideas of cloud computing, the successful integration of consumer devices into society, and the human need for further technological evolution. In any event, Xbox Glasses are being seen as the next logical step in the human biological, technological symbiosis which will be advancing Augmented Reality without the need for scary implants (so far). Click here for the full size image.

Xbox 720: Always Watching You, Microsoft 100% Transparency w/ USA

The Xbox 720 could attempt to use the 3D Kinect 2.0 camera in order to achieve further virtual reality and augmented reality gameplay functions. It is currently being expected to see a reveal this April 27, 2013. If all signs point towards what could happen, the Kinect 2 could be implanted directly in the Xbox 720 box itself, rather than be a separate add-on hardware as seen with Kinect original on Xbox 360.

Microsoft has recently been subject to government requests for information. 75,000+ members of Xbox Live, Skype, Hotmail, MSN, and other Microsoft services including Office and Windows and in each case 100% of the time complete information profiles of these individuals were given to the government. Images, voice chats, private messages, and even video chats and Xbox Live gamertags were given upon request as Microsoft submits 100% transparency to the United States.

Persistent rumors (which may or may not be true) also suggest that Microsoft’s Xbox 720 will require always-online internet connection, and will render used games useless. Their cloud-based system will resemble the Blizzard Diablo III system with Battle.net accounts being the key to play the game with while discs and downloads of the entire games’ files are useless without an active connection to Microsoft servers. The data is rumored to be transferred by digital or blu-ray format but the key is what you are really buying, which will be associated with your Xbox Live account.

With “big brother” creeping into Microsoft Xbox Live and the illicit move to digital distribution, many gamers may take a different look at the Xbox brand its upcoming Xbox 720. More to come on these developments right here at RealGamerNewz.com.

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