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posted by martyb on Monday July 15 2019, @06:17PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the predicted-sales-of-6-or-7-mainframes-by-IBM dept.

Facebook will never break through with Oculus, says one of the VR company's co-founders

Five years after its $2 billion purchase of Oculus, Facebook is still pushing forward in its efforts to bring virtual reality to a mainstream audience. But one of the company's six co-founders now doubts Oculus will ever break through.

Jack McCauley told CNBC he doesn't think there's a real market for VR gaming. With Facebook positioning its Oculus devices primarily as gaming machines, McCauley doesn't believe there's much of a market for the device. "If we were gonna sell, we would've sold," McCauley said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

[...] The $199 Oculus Go has sold a little more than 2 million units since its release in May 2018, according to estimates provided by market research firm SuperData, a Nielsen company. The Oculus Quest, which was released this May, has sold nearly 1.1 million units while the Oculus Rift has sold 547,000 units since the start of 2018, according to SuperData.

[...] Since leaving in November 2015, McCauley has enjoyed a semi-retired life. He's an innovator in residence at Berkeley's Jacobs Institute of Design Innovation and he continues to build all sorts of devices, such as a gun capable of shooting down drones, at his own research and development facility.

The cheaper, standalone headsets are selling more units. Add foveated rendering and other enhancements at the lower price points (rather than $1,599 like the Vive Pro Eye), and the experience could become much better.

Related: Oculus Rift: Dead in the Water?
HTC: Death of VR Greatly Exaggerated
As Sales Slide, Virtual Reality Fans Look to a Bright, Untethered Future
Virtual Reality Feels Like a Dream Gathering Dust
VR Gets Reality Check with Significant Decline in Investment
Creepy Messages Will be Found in Facebook's Oculus Touch VR Controllers


Original Submission

Related Stories

Oculus Rift: Dead in the Water? 42 comments

Facebook has cut the price of the Oculus Rift for the second time this year. It debuted at $800, was cut to $600 in March, and is now $400. Is there real trouble in the virtual reality market, or is it just a normal price correction now that early adopters have been served?

It means that the Rift now costs less than the package offered by its cheapest rival, Sony, whose PlayStation VR currently totals $460 including headset and controllers.

Even so, it's not clear that it will be enough to lure people into buying a Rift. A year ago, our own Rachel Metz predicted that the Rift would struggle against Sony's offering because the former requires a powerful (and expensive) gaming computer to run, while the latter needs just a $350 PlayStation 4 game console.

Jason Rubin, vice president for content at Oculus, tells Reuters that the reduction isn't a sign of weak product sales, but rather a decision to give the headset more mass market appeal now that more games are available. Don't believe it: this is the latest in a string of bad news for the firm, which has also shut down its nascent film studio, shuttered in-store demo stations of its hardware, and stumped up $250 million as part of a painful intellectual property lawsuit in the last six months.

Here's a February story about the Oculus demo stations at Best Buy stores being shut down.

Previously: Facebook/Oculus Ordered to pay $500 Million to ZeniMax
Google Partnering With HTC and Lenovo for Standalone VR Headsets


Original Submission

HTC: Death of VR Greatly Exaggerated 22 comments

HTC has hit back against claims of declining VR sales figures:

The blog post in particular references a report from Digital Trends which talks about VR sales figures from Amazon, and proceeds to point out a number of ways which the data presented could be misleading.

Several points made by HTC Vive are ones that have also been addressed by VRFocus, as seen in an article about the modern VR cycle, and some comments in the weekly VR vs. article. HTC Vive were not pulling punches right from the very start, evening saying in the introduction: "Analyst reports are in and apparently, it's curtains for Virtual Reality (VR). Pardon us if we're not heeding the alarms. News of the so-called death of VR comes once a year and is greatly exaggerated."

From there, the blog post proceeds in a point-by-point fashion, discussing how early consumer VR was largely driven by smartphone-based devices such as the Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. Not only have these devices been superseded by standalone units like the Oculus Go, which offer a better visual experience, but the promotional offers which were available for phone launches have now long since passed. HTC Vive also point out that PC-based VR companies are yet to release any solid sales figures, and that much of the growth of premium VR has been centered around location-based VR centres, something which the Digital Trends report did not address.

Vive blog post.

Related: HTC's Vive Pro to Launch on April 5
Facebook Launches Oculus Go, a $200 Standalone VR Headset
VirtualLink Consortium Announces USB Type-C Specification for VR Headsets


Original Submission

As Sales Slide, Virtual Reality Fans Look to a Bright, Untethered Future 10 comments

El Reg:

Wearable watchers, CCS Insight, had good news and bad news for the virtual and augmented reality industry today. Sales are tanking but look! New hardware!

The report underlines just how much the industry has been driven by users of smartphone-based VR, which peaked at 8 million units in 2017 before plummeting to just 3 million in 2018. The net result is the total VR shipments in 2018 will actually end up less than 2017.

[...] But all is not doom and gloom. Stand-alone VR is tipped to hit the big time in 2019, with 29 million of the wireless beauties expected to ship in 2022.

VR vendors, not least the Facebook-backed Oculus, hope so. The Oculus Quest is due to ship in 2019, free of the pesky wires and PC gear needed with the Rift. A cheaper tetherless variant, the Go, has already shipped.

Meanwhile, virtual reality cafes are empty.


Original Submission

Virtual Reality Feels Like a Dream Gathering Dust 50 comments

CNet:

it's 2019. I'm at CES, and VR is an idea gathering dust for all the wrong reasons, lost in a sea of strange peripherals and pipe dreams. Self-contained VR devices, like Oculus Quest and the newly announced HTC Vive Cosmos, are en route, but it feels too little, too late. VR has lost the attention of mainstream audiences.

In 2019, VR is a sideshow in a theme park, a marketing stunt, a slide in a PR powerpoint presentation, a niche hobby for people locked in rooms with a ton of money to spend, and -- worse -- no one seems to know what direction we're headed in, or even what virtual reality should be.

TFA cites motion sickness as a continuing issue, one of the same reasons VR didn't catch on 20 years ago. What will it take for VR to finally realize the potential everyone keeps believing it has?


Original Submission

VR Gets Reality Check with Significant Decline in Investment 14 comments

Phys.org:

A few years ago, virtual reality was all the rage in Hollywood, helping to fuel the rise of Silicon Beach with the promise of reinventing the entertainment business.

At its peak, investors pumped $253 million into two dozen deals involving virtual and augmented reality start-ups in L.A. and Orange counties in 2016, hoping that pricey headsets projecting virtual worlds would become as popular as smartphones. But investment in the technology has slowed dramatically in recent years, and what seemed like a promising boom has largely fizzled.

Several California companies that raised millions of dollars have shut down or have laid off dozens of workers, as businesses scrambled to readjust their strategies in the face of lackluster consumer demand for VR headsets and a drought of capital.

Take heart, VR enthusiasts. It took several tries for video streaming to catch on, too.


Original Submission

Creepy Messages Will be Found in Facebook's Oculus Touch VR Controllers 22 comments

Creepy Messages Will be Found in Facebook's Oculus Touch VR Controllers

Facebook has revealed that hidden messages were inadvertently printed inside VR controllers that will be shipped to customers soon:

Facebook said it accidentally hid bizarre and "inappropriate" messages inside "tens of thousands" of virtual-reality controllers, including "Big Brother is Watching" and "The Masons Were Here." Nate Mitchell, the cofounder of Oculus, the Facebook-owned VR company, said on Twitter on Friday that the company inadvertently printed some unusual messages in its Touch controllers, handheld devices for playing games and navigating VR environments.

These messages were intended only for prototypes, but a mistake meant they were included in regular production devices, he said. Some messages were included in developer kits for people building software for the product, while others made their way into consumer devices in significantly larger numbers. While there should have been no internal messages of any kind in any of the devices, a Facebook representative told Business Insider that the company would not recall them.

"Unfortunately, some 'easter egg' labels meant for prototypes accidentally made it onto the internal hardware for tens of thousands of Touch controllers," Mitchell wrote. "The messages on final production hardware say 'This Space For Rent' & 'The Masons Were Here.' A few dev kits shipped with 'Big Brother is Watching' and 'Hi iFixit! We See You!' but those were limited to non-consumer units," he said. iFixit is a tech repair company known for publicly deconstructing new gadgets and posting photos of their innards online.

Also at Road to VR.

Related: Facebook Announces a New Standalone VR Headset: Oculus Quest; HTC Releases Vive Wireless Adapter
(nobody made a submission about Rift S because it is boring)


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

Oculus to Begin Requiring Facebook Accounts to Use VR Headsets 40 comments

Mandatory Socialization: Facebook Accounts To be Required for Oculus Headsets

Signaling the end to any remaining degrees of separation between Facebook and its VR headset division, Oculus, today the social media company announced that it will be further integrating the two services. Coming this fall, the company will begin sunsetting stand-alone Oculus accounts as part of an effort to transition the entire Oculus ecosystem over to Facebook. This will start in October, when all new Oculus accounts and devices will have to sign up for a Facebook account, while support for existing stand-alone accounts will be retired entirely at the start of 2023.

Previously: Facebook to Buy Rift Maker Oculus VR for $2bn
Facebook/Oculus Ordered to pay $500 Million to ZeniMax
Founder of Oculus VR, Palmer Luckey, Departs Facebook
Facebook Announces Oculus Go for $200
Facebook's Zuckerberg Wants to Get One Billion People in VR
Facebook Launches Oculus Go, a $200 Standalone VR Headset
Oculus Co-Founder Says there is No Market for VR Gaming
John Carmack Steps Down at Oculus to Pursue AI Passion Project
Facebook is Developing its Own OS to Reduce Dependence on Android


Original Submission

Oculus Quest Becomes First VR Set With Native Hand Tracking 1 comment

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Surprise! Oculus Quest becomes first VR set with native hand tracking

Starting this week, the Oculus Quest VR headset becomes even more tantalizing by adding a feature we've never seen ship as a built-in option in a VR system: hand tracking. VR users will be able to put down their controllers and use their fingers to manipulate VR worlds, as tracked by Quest's array of built-in cameras.

The feature received a tease at October's Oculus Connect 6 conference and got an "early 2020" launch window from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. But someone on the Oculus engineering team clearly ignored Lord Zuck in getting this feature out the door a bit early, and it will land in an "experimental" tab in Quest's settings menus as a free update by week's end.

Today's news comes with two important asterisks. First, there's no fully fledged VR software available for the feature yet. At launch, the experimental feature will only work within Oculus Quest's root menu, which at least includes photo and multimedia viewing tabs. Within "a week" of the toggle going live, a Software Development Kit (SDK) for Quest hand tracking will go live for Oculus developers, which will allow them to tap into Oculus' hand-tracking system and potentially implement it in various games and apps.

And second, Oculus is limiting its hand-tracking framework to the Quest ecosystem. This update isn't coming to the PC-centric Rift or Rift S headsets, and it won't work if you use Oculus Link to connect a Quest to your favorite PC VR games.

Also at CNET

previously:
The Future Of Oculus Quest: Hands-On With Hand Tracking, PC-VR "Link" Mode
Oculus Co-Founder Says there is No Market for VR Gaming


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @06:34PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @06:34PM (#867277)

    This VR thing is such a fad, I'm impressed they shoved 3 million units, onyl proves that some people will buy anything.

    he continues to build all sorts of devices, such as a gun capable of shooting down drones

    You mean a rifle or a shotgun?

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday July 15 2019, @07:33PM

      by Freeman (732) on Monday July 15 2019, @07:33PM (#867299) Journal

      More likely a $10,000 toy for what a $400 Shotgun could do over and over, for $0.50 a shot or less. You know, the kinds of research you get government grant money to do.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by stormreaver on Monday July 15 2019, @06:43PM (8 children)

    by stormreaver (5101) on Monday July 15 2019, @06:43PM (#867279)

    I have no desire to spend $1500 on a VR headset that requires, and ties me to, another $1500 computer. I do, however, have a great desire to have a VR headset that is:

    1) Completely self-contained.
    2) Between $200-$300.
    3) Is programmable using standard, cross-platform tools.

    So basically, the Occulus Go hits the sweet spot. As of right now, it's on Amazon for $160!

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Freeman on Monday July 15 2019, @07:39PM (2 children)

      by Freeman (732) on Monday July 15 2019, @07:39PM (#867301) Journal

      Essentialy, if you like the Oculus Go at all, or could see that it could be great. If only, it had more power behind it to run Fallout 4 like games. You'd like the more expensive VR headsets as well.

      Personally, I was already into gaming and was already thinking about VR support with my newest build as VR was in the works. So, the $600 computer, with $400 graphics card, got a $450 Vive from E-bay. I just had to plan my purchases. 'cause I can't justify dropping $1,400 all at once. Over 2-3 years, you betcha.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16 2019, @01:36AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16 2019, @01:36AM (#867395)

        Oculus? Isn't that the company that sends data to Facebook?

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday July 16 2019, @04:52AM

        by c0lo (156) on Tuesday July 16 2019, @04:52AM (#867427) Journal

        Essentialy, if you like the Oculus Go at all, or could see that it could be great.

        From "The Sacred Book of Tautologies":

        Remember, everything that you can see in VR is Virtual Reality

        (grin)

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Snow on Monday July 15 2019, @09:28PM

      by Snow (1601) on Monday July 15 2019, @09:28PM (#867327) Journal

      See, I'd prefer if it wasn't self contained. I'd prefer the heavy lifting be done by a computer so I can upgrade that independently. Plus GPU updates will also give me the benefit of better desktop performance. The headset should just be a monitor.

      Get rid of the wires though!

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday July 15 2019, @09:37PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 15 2019, @09:37PM (#867329)

      See: Google Cardboard.

      I got a "free" smartphone holder headset with a drone to facilitate FPV flying - never bothered to use it after the first time I tried the software. It worked well enough, just wasn't a compelling thing - I'd rather watch the real world than a delayed low res restricted field of view version.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by edIII on Monday July 15 2019, @09:44PM (2 children)

      by edIII (791) on Monday July 15 2019, @09:44PM (#867332)

      Exactly. I want to create window managers in VR. I don't want to be tied to monitors anymore, or keyboards for that matter.

      They get a neural interface going, enough to operate a keyboard and mouse, and I can use VR with that to interact with my systems. That would be a heck of a lot more preferable.

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16 2019, @12:20AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16 2019, @12:20AM (#867378)

        Arcan is already doing exactly this, but people would rather complain about X and Wayland. I agree with the guy in the article - VR /gaming/ is a dead end. The only tag that turns me off more than "VR only" is "visual novel" (the constant shitting on the reputation of all the epic roguelikes by allowing horrible ptw dumpster fires to call themselves "roguelite" is worse though). VR is still the only route for a next-gen advanced computer interface and hopefully in the future becoming badass portable units (even if it's just a thin client!). The problems of unsatisfying input devices and tethering for power are all that's holding it back at this point.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday July 16 2019, @04:59AM

          by c0lo (156) on Tuesday July 16 2019, @04:59AM (#867428) Journal

          The problems of ... tethering for power are all that's holding it back at this point.

          Seems like you enjoy the thrill of having slapped on your face a thingy powered by something with an energy density equivalent to a fragmentation grenade, right? Right?!?

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @06:45PM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @06:45PM (#867280)

    VR left its infancy of high-end arcade games and gimmicky products and finally delivered a real consumer device. It is now in puberty, not fully developed and ready for mass consumption.

    So what is required?

    1. Better hardware! No wires, easier set up, better ergonomics.

    2. Cheaper.

    I doubt VR will take over the role of a standard monitor any time soon, but no market? At least he is aware that his opinion is highly speculative and based off of a hunch.

    "I may be wrong, but I've been doing this a long time," he said. "I've already done a lot of what people do mistake-wise. You have your gut, and it tells you if you're right or wrong. And in this case I think I'm right."

    I think he is partially right, simply limited to VR not taking over everything like most sci-fi / cyberpunk predicts. Actually scratch that, even Snow Crash still had people using 2D screens.

    • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Monday July 15 2019, @07:02PM

      by ikanreed (3164) on Monday July 15 2019, @07:02PM (#867287) Journal

      $200 was cheaper. Look up what a "real" oculus costs.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @07:11PM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @07:11PM (#867290)

      Better hardware! No wires, easier set up, better ergonomics.

      It needs the equivalent of 1080p at least which is about 12k. For reference, the Pimax 8k costs $900 and is about as good as 720p.

      Cheaper

      A new console costs $500. A new TV costs $200-300. You'd need computer+headset+GPU costing about as much.

      Overall, it's multiple GPU and monitor node reductions away for over 5 years worth and then another 5 years for the prices to come down enough for actual market penetration. i.e. The market doesn't exist.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Monday July 15 2019, @09:11PM (6 children)

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday July 15 2019, @09:11PM (#867322) Journal

        Foveated rendering is the way forward. If you only have to render 5-10% of the screen in full quality at any given moment, maybe you can get away with having 1/10th of the GPU performance. It's a shortcut that will eventually allow 16K resolution in a standalone device using a smartphone SoC.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RamiK on Tuesday July 16 2019, @08:17AM (5 children)

          by RamiK (1813) on Tuesday July 16 2019, @08:17AM (#867463)

          Foveated rendering is the way forward.

          Assuming it works, only way actually: Keeping with OP's timeline, due to foveated rendering, in 5 years when screen nodes catch up you'll have an overnight revolution segmenting gaming and desktop graphics to silicon 10x cheaper and less power consuming. So, since embedded graphics will suddenly get good enough, all the new games engines and titles will use it.

          Of course, that's assuming it works and isn't an IP minefield. The right patent at the wrong hands can easily hold this back by half a decade.

          --
          compiling...
          • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday July 16 2019, @09:57AM (4 children)

            by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday July 16 2019, @09:57AM (#867479) Journal

            Oculus, HTC, and others are working on it. It seems like each company's headsets are advancing in features despite potential patent issues.

            Theoretically, monitors or laptops could support foveated rendering if they are capable of tracking the eyes as well as the distance of the head/eyes to the screen (so they would need to have sensitive front-facing camera(s) and a depth sensor). For fun, stare at the top right corner (or some other area) of your screen, from any distance. You can't read much text or notice fine details from other parts. The image on this article [theverge.com] also demonstrates it well. Even taking the 11.6" screen I'm using now and moving it several feet away from my face, portions outside of the view of the fovea centralis [wikipedia.org] are not well detailed and could be rendered at a lower resolution.

            5-10% may be a conservative estimate. If it's more like 1% of the field of view of a VR headset or screen being perceived by the fovea centralis, you could render 1% at 16K, 1% surrounding that (circle) at 8K, 1% at 4K, 2% at 1080p, 5% at 720p, and then 90% at 240p. Over a 16K display I assume for "ultimate" VR [soylentnews.org], that comes out to:

            Full 16K resolution = 15360*8640 = 132,710,400 pixels (132.7 megapixels)

            Foveated scenario = (0.01*15360*8640) + (0.01*7680*4320) + (0.01*3840*2160) + (0.02*1920*1080) + (0.05*1280*720) + (0.9*426*240) = 1,921,392 pixels (1.9 megapixels) = ~1.45% of 16K resolution, or ~92.7% of 1080p resolution

            Obviously, I have pulled numbers out of thin air here, and just because pixel count is that low doesn't necessarily mean that you can get away with having 1/70th of the GPU performance, but the example gives us an idea of what we're working with. Pushing a much lower pixel count could have implications for the memory bandwidth and internals of the device, or the data rate needed to transmit content wirelessly from a big GPU. It also allows you to get up to 240 Hz (or higher?) without breaking a sweat in terms of total pixels per second.

            LG and Google recently showed off [roadtovr.com] an 18.4 megapixel display, with plans to get up to 86.4 megapixels, not far off from an "even" 16K 16:9 resolution (132.7 megapixels).

            As far as GPUs are concerned, I think there's reasons to be optimistic. Node shrinks help GPUs much more than CPUs since they are embarrassingly parallel. A new technology [soylentnews.org] could come onto the scene and "extend Moore's law by decades". The end result (over a decade from now) being that various GPUs and even smartphone SoCs *could* render 16K graphics without foveated rendering, but the foveated rendering would allow it to be done with ultra low power consumption, which is good since strapping a big battery to your face is a risk.

            --
            [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
            • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday July 16 2019, @03:52PM (3 children)

              by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Tuesday July 16 2019, @03:52PM (#867590) Homepage
              Wouldn't you need to render in hig rez the distance the eye might move in the time it takes you to render the next frame?
              You don't want to be repeatedly saccading onto fuzz.
              --
              Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
              • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday July 16 2019, @06:22PM (2 children)

                by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday July 16 2019, @06:22PM (#867644) Journal

                http://vrguy.blogspot.com/2016/04/understanding-foveated-rendering.html [blogspot.com]

                If you have a peak saccade velocity of 900°/s or 0.9°/ms, the focus can't move very far in 1 frame.

                https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/0eb5/b4e1c437bef4d8942fb327be190a74537124.pdf [semanticscholar.org]

                Since received eye tracking results can only be used for the frame after the results have been processed, the refresh rate of the camera should be higher than the framerate of the application to limit latency. Another reason the refresh rate has to be high is human saccade, which is the most common, rapid movement of the eyes to focus on a new location, which the camera will have to be able to keep up with and detect. Consumer cameras for computers, such as webcams, do not offer this kind of performance yet.

                [...] The performance requirements increase with the decision to utilise headmounted displays, however, since in order to prevent cybersickness, a form of motion sickness which is caused by a conflict between perception and the user’s expectation in an immersive environment, the frame rate needs to be higher than on general monitors and 95 frames per second is the established target as that should eliminate noticeable flickering of the screen [Val14].

                [...] The smallest layer also refreshes at 120Hz, while the bigger layers alternatingly refresh at 60Hz. This is to be able to better account for saccades and to make the updating of the foveal region unnoticeable. A big factor in this is the system latency, the time between the capture of the eye gaze position and the rendered image being displayed on the screen. If that system latency is too big, the system lags behind and the user will be able to see the update of the foveal region of the image. All the systems in the method work asynchronously, making the exact latency hard to predict. Guenter et al. carefully chose their system to minimise that latency and made an analysis of the best and worst case latencies, which are 23ms and 40ms, respectively.

                [...] The user study between three rendering algorithms (no foveated rendering, the method from Guenter et al. augmented with the proposed TAA and their own proposed method) showed that they can render more coarsely up to 30◦ closer to the centre of interest than Guenter et al. without introducing gaze-dependent aliasing or blur. Through metrics, they also showed that their final result is highly similar to their perceptual target image.

                That study used FOVE [wikipedia.org], which tracks eyes at 120 Hz but has a refresh rate of only 70 Hz.

                Today's headsets are in the 90-120 Hz range, and the target is 240 Hz [reddit.com] (or higher? [blurbusters.com]).

                240 Hz is a little over 4ms per frame. If eye tracking is at 240 Hz or greater and that peak saccade velocity mentioned is accurate, then the focus can't move much more than 3°. If you render a circular area at 16K, and outer rings at 8K, 4K, etc. decreasing quality, your eye won't reach any ultra-low resolution area fast enough before the next eye positions are calculated and the spot moves.

                That article also covers some more advanced topics like temporal artifacts, etc. But the bottom line is that this is doable. All of the numbers are subject to negotiation/testing. If you want to be conservative, you render a bigger slice at higher qualities, and might only reduce pixel count by 90%. If you can track the eyes faster, maybe you can lower pixel count by 98%. So even though high frame rates are a bigger burden for the hardware, you could get to decrease the total pixels rendered as tracking/rendering Hz increases.

                It seems likely that you want a standalone headset in order to reduce latency as much as possible. Standalone headsets have worse GPU performance but better latency potential. Good thing that foveated rendering greatly reduces the GPU performance that you need. Long live the smartphone SoC.

                --
                [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by Rivenaleem on Tuesday July 16 2019, @02:32PM

      by Rivenaleem (3400) on Tuesday July 16 2019, @02:32PM (#867566)

      What is required is some method of playing all games in VR in a manner that actually works. 3D movies come and go as a fad, but there's no doubt that any movie, to a greater or lesser degree can be shown in 3D. The fact that VR games rarely overlap with non-VR games (exceptions include The Forest, PAYDAY 2). If my friends who don't have VR want to play Civ or Stellaris, then I have to leave my headset on the shel and play with them using a regular monitor. Virtual Desktop doesn't really cut it yet. Greater amount of crossover is what the ecosystem needs.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @06:48PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @06:48PM (#867281)

    3d movies keep coming in-and-out of vogue. Remember the old blue-and-red paper glasses? Much like smell-o-vision, it's a gimmick the industry keeps trying when sales are down and they are trying to get more people-in-chairs. However, the fact it never caught-on suggests that people think it is clever, but not a great idea (unlike, say, audio-in-movies, or color).

    3d games have a lesser history, but I imagine it's the same thing. Remember the VirtualBoy? It's a gimmick, but for most games it just doesn't add that much value. Sure seeing Mario stereographic out a bit looks cool, but does it really add much to the gameplay? Moreover, it costs more to make the hardware and the game itself, and there is a non-trivial proportion of the population which gets headaches when using the technology.

    To be clear there is a very valuable use for 3d. However, I'd suggest it is niche, and probably industrial/commercial/military in nature.

    If we had genuine 3d games (not sterographic illusions) which doesn't give a substantial portion of the population headaches to use, it *may* catch on. Until then, though, it's a gimmick.

    (On a related note, I really want motion-controlled games to pair-down, too. 90% are distracting, hard to use, prone to input errors, and make me feel silly to do.)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @07:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @07:05PM (#867288)

      There is a market for VR games. There is no market for 3d Games in VR for the sake of VR, the same way there is no market for snake-and-ladders in a 3d game.

      For example, I had a pretty budget graphics card and my full pc was 500-600 dollars. Then I bought Skyrim and I just knew I had to upgrade, and I spent 300 USD on a graphics card and it was money worth spent. Was I ever going to do it for 3d Mario or the newest version of Doom? No way! The medium has to be also part of the gameplay if you want to sell it.

      Avatar made a lot of money. Avatar lent itself to 3d.

      VR games need a similar approach.

      If TES6 is anywhere close to TES5 (and not in the direction of FO4) then I might buy VR for it.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday July 15 2019, @09:18PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday July 15 2019, @09:18PM (#867324) Journal

      3D is a subset of VR. A VR headset can display a different image to each of your eyes so it should be able to display any 3D content, possibly with less eye/brain issues if increasing FPS helps.

      VR could be a subset of mixed/hybrid headsets, i.e. a headset or glasses that could do VR and augmented reality (AR). New technologies could eventually shrink it so that no bulky headset is needed, just glasses shooting content into your retina. That could be the final form of the technology with the most use cases available.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Freeman on Monday July 15 2019, @10:11PM

      by Freeman (732) on Monday July 15 2019, @10:11PM (#867342) Journal

      The "3D" movies with the glasses to let you see "3D" give me a headache. The only "3D" movies I ever liked, were in the Omni-Theater, because the movies were short and hurt my head less.

      VR doesn't do the same thing to my head. It can be a little disorienting at first, especially, dependent on the type of locomotion. The games that allow you to move around freely in a confined space and / or use that with the "teleporting" mechanic are much easier to get used to. I played the entirety of Fallout 4 VR with the teleport mechanic. It's a little clunky, but they definitely made it work.

      Modern VR isn't the old "VirtualBoy" gimmick for a new generation. Perhaps, the people who created the "VirtualBoy" had the same vision, but they were much more hampered by the technology of the day. Give Epic RollerCoaster a chance, it might change your mind on VR. It's not the greatest VR game/experience, but you don't have to move around to experience it. TheBlu is a fun undersea experience as well, also very newb friendly. There's lots of stuff that you can do with it, and it's a ton of fun. Straight-up there's a couple of fun short Star Wars VR games. One is the VR Droid Repair bay, where you play the part of a droid, that fixes those little roller ball droids. The other is a light-saber wielding, short VR game, Tatooine something, I believe. Then there's the quite fun Star Trek Bridge Crew game, quite a bit of fun.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Mer on Monday July 15 2019, @06:48PM (3 children)

    by Mer (8009) on Monday July 15 2019, @06:48PM (#867282)

    A market is where offer meets demand. And nobody seems to be offering anything serious.

    --
    Shut up!, he explained.
    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday July 15 2019, @07:26PM (1 child)

      by Freeman (732) on Monday July 15 2019, @07:26PM (#867297) Journal

      Fallout 4 VR is a full fledged game, with good enough VR. You're probably a couple years out, from any serious Fallout like games being produced for VR. Simply, if nothing besides dev time. Then, there's the whole, they would have needed to jump on it when it first came out to be releasing it so soon. Likely, for "serious" I.E. mainstream Studios to get in on the act, you're going to need cheaper headsets that are at least as good as they are now, if not better. Maybe, what's needed is a new Valve game or 3.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16 2019, @07:56AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16 2019, @07:56AM (#867457)

        But is Fallout 4 VR a more compelling game than its non-vr counterpart? That is the main sticking point for me right now, the VR is still a novelty like the motion controls from Wii were at first. The Zelda game for Wii was actually less fun to play than the Gamecube version, after the fun of motion-bow wore off. Right now, your are going to be much more competitive without VR. Just based on control inputs being more precise. Eventually, someone will innovate a play style that is abosuletly superior in VR but I don't think long form games are there yet. There is an interesting video on youtube with a NES Tetris champion playing the PSVR Tetris game, his experience my be predictive of how things will evolve.

    • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Monday July 15 2019, @08:55PM

      by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday July 15 2019, @08:55PM (#867316)

      Or is the demand not really there? I am not sure either way to be honest.

      From my own point of view I bought a VR goggle thing for my phone because I could buy it for $11 second hand on an auction site.

      It actually works really well, and everything my phone can do I can now do in VR.

      The only thing I wound up actually enjoying was watching a movie in a virtual movie theatre with a bluetooth headset on, and even that was not really better than just watching a movie on my big screen TV.

      I might not be the target market though, as I have no interest in VR games and that seems to be the holy grail for the VR makers.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @06:49PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @06:49PM (#867283)

    This (buying Oculus) won't be the last mistake that Zuck makes. He's got so much money he can afford to buy lots of companies like this and hope that one or two of them have a real future.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @06:50PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @06:50PM (#867284)

    I suppose from a big business perspective he's right but I would think there is at least a niche market. First off, you are limiting to the gamer market right now at the low end and maybe adding some niche design or research markets for VR where 3d visualization is imported. But in the gaming market you are missing out on:

    * anyone on a tight budget. When the VR headset is the same price as a monitor, the monitor is going to win on the added utility alone.
    * social games that like to play with others in the same room. it's harder to do a hey look at this when everyone is in their own isolated world.
    * people with cats. don't believe me? Get one. The first time it tries to get you to pet it and you don't even know it's there.
    * people who prefer keyboard-and-mouse controls. This covers not only people on a budget, but people who need a lot of buttons.
    * people with kids. Hey dad (mom, brother, sister, etc.), what are you playing? Can I see (pulls headset off your face).

    Even if we take away the budget issue, until the VR experience includes me being able to see my hands and the keyboard on my desk, the limited input options are enough to make me question why I would spend even the low-end price. Also, when my cat hops up on my desk, I need to be able to see her or things start to get painful around the whole "hey why aren't you petting me" thing.

    There is also the lack of decent support for legacy games (my favorite game is approaching 15 years old. The control interface doesn't really work with VR (it very much needs a keyboard and a mouse, game pad alone won't cut it). But beyond that because it was never designed with VR in mind, they took a lot of short cuts (despite being an over-the-shoulder 3D game) so it looks horrible in VR.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday July 15 2019, @09:25PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday July 15 2019, @09:25PM (#867326) Journal

      Does the monitor have "added utility"? A VR headset of sufficient resolution should be able to render virtual monitors of any "size".

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Monday July 15 2019, @09:28PM

      by acid andy (1683) on Monday July 15 2019, @09:28PM (#867328) Homepage Journal

      people who prefer keyboard-and-mouse controls. This covers not only people on a budget, but people who need a lot of buttons

      I have to disagree with this. Obviously most of the designed-for-VR games will be expecting someone to use a controller, but for games that use it, you can certainly use a keyboard and mouse. It helps if you can touch type but some headseats will let you see a little bit of the keyboard if you look straight down.

      --
      Master of the science of the art of the science of art.
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Freeman on Monday July 15 2019, @10:21PM

      by Freeman (732) on Monday July 15 2019, @10:21PM (#867346) Journal

      For those that have issues with "I can't see my hands", "I can't see my kid", "I can't see my keyboard", "I can't see my cat", "I'm going to hit the wall!". The HTC Vive, and I assume the Valve Index, have the option to render the "Chaperone" using the Camera on the front of the headset. What this means is that you can use the camera, to create outlines of objects in the room, "ghosts"/ filled objects in the room, or even full color images of the entire room as your chaperone. (You can also vary the color, opacity, etc. of the chaperone. Depending on the mode.) So, you won't have to worry about stepping on the cat, can see your keyboard, if you want to, etc. You'd have a hard time seeing the letters on the keys, but I assume you can touch type at this point in your life. Otherwise, there's an app for that. Might I suggest "The Typing Dead" or whatever that Zombie typing game was called. Also, there's tons of tools out there for you to learn how to touch type. It's a very convenient and sometimes highly necessary tool in modern society.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Freeman on Monday July 15 2019, @07:19PM (1 child)

    by Freeman (732) on Monday July 15 2019, @07:19PM (#867293) Journal

    It's like saying, DVDs aren't a thing, when they were first introduced to the market. Yes, it cost $1k for the initial devices, but they don't now and the format is leaps and bounds better than VHS.

    I re-purchased Fallout 4, specifically for VR. Yes, VR has some rough edges, but this isn't your daddy's Virtual Boy. The initial investors in VR were in a sweet spot (Valve/HTC/Oculus/Facebook). No one had created a viable consumer VR product. Within a short time period, there were 2. Now there's a bunch of me-too bits of hardware out there.

    VR gaming is here to stay and that's a very cool thing. Sure, there's a bunch of arcade like games for it, but look at Fallout 4 VR / Skyrim VR, for what could be. Fallout 5 built for VR, would be a thing to behold. I akin VR to the Wii's smash hit with the Wii-Mote. The problem is that VR in it's current state, costs quite a bit to do well. Unfortunately, that means you're going to be seeing console like pricing on most everything, because there's just too few people to economize the sales. That didn't stop DVDs from essentially killing off VHS, though.

    Given all of the compromises and cost, VR is a very fun experience. Some of the funnest games I've played on VR, weren't detailed masterpieces, but fun game mechanics with proof of concept models. I'm a gamer. I love to play games. Eye-Candy is just Eye-Candy, not necessary, for a fun experience.

    --
    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    • (Score: 2) by Alfred on Monday July 15 2019, @09:54PM

      by Alfred (4006) on Monday July 15 2019, @09:54PM (#867339) Journal
      Maybe they need to make virtual boy emulators for VR. I'm sore this is google cardboard level stuff. It might be the shot the VR industry needs.

      lol
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @07:21PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @07:21PM (#867295)

    fsck OR

    https://www.tiltfive.com/ [tiltfive.com]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @07:36PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @07:36PM (#867300)

    there's two big issues
    * the headset costs a fair bit of money
    * the supporting hardware (the PC you hook up) is expensive
    like, that's it

    It's never going to be in every single home, but there's a definite, actual market for VR.
    Hell, the PSVR sold 4 million units to date. Like, explicitly sold to customers, while being a several hundred dollar addon to a system.
    Sony is doing the work of getting actual proper games onto the platform and being all around cheaper in terms of cost of admission (a Rift right now is like $350, a PSVR setup with everything included and two games is also around $350, you need a computer that costs more than a PS4 does for the Rift).

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @08:16PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15 2019, @08:16PM (#867310)

    look, VR is having a "hardish" time because it 95 percent relies on a crappy operating system.
    winblows isn't a foundation to build new break thru tech on.
    m$ has its operating system and if it runs their cash-cow suit of office tools good enough then nothing will change much.
    it's all about profit; not going out on a limb. fancy extensions or optimized algos require monies to be paid to programmers which,
    if not implemented yields a more profitable OS that powers yachts and mansion, not the next revolution.
    ofc the "kick_back" tactic and "ego balsam", which m$ is well versed in, ensures that people with vision keep building on a crap foundation.
    it's sad ... but one would THINK (lol) that a new media in its infancy like VR, would chose a open source platform/foundation like linux,
    where one could "weld", screw and cut at the fundamental level for performance, instead of having to wait for m$ to make a cost calculation for the monies required to implement the improvment in the blackbox-like core code of the os ...
    if there's no money in it, it's not m$. also threating cancer is more profitable then curing it, right?

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday July 15 2019, @09:23PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday July 15 2019, @09:23PM (#867325) Journal

      Looks like the vast majority of VR is tied to the PlayStation 4 (FreeBSD) or Android (standalone headsets like Oculus Go and Quest).

      Of course, people are using VR on Windows and it works just fine. So...

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday July 15 2019, @10:28PM

      by Freeman (732) on Monday July 15 2019, @10:28PM (#867349) Journal

      The vast majority of PC gamers are on Windows. One of the major contributors to VR tech, John Carmack, is the quintessential PC game developer. Consoles didn't push for VR, because they aren't pushing the envelope of technology. They're busy pandering after the masses, because Money, Money, Money. Some of us, don't like being treated like $$$$. The only way to escape a walled garden is to not play in it. Thus, you play with Nintendo, XBox, or Playstation, you're stuck. Though, at least Sony is actively pursuing the tech.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by CheesyMoo on Monday July 15 2019, @10:36PM (1 child)

    by CheesyMoo (6853) on Monday July 15 2019, @10:36PM (#867352)

    I agree that VR Gaming is not going to live up to the hype. VR is already breaking through in medicine, education and training.
    Big companies that can handle the hardware costs are investing in developing VR experiences that will save them $$$. Lots of opportunities here

    Did you ever play the KFC VR trainer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmRQBugNDGQ [youtube.com] ?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16 2019, @06:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16 2019, @06:52PM (#867656)

      I guess I need to normalize on your version of "hype." I've played VR games and some are very compelling and the experience is simply not achievable on a 2D monitor. There are definite niches and a lot of UI standardization that need to be worked out.

      Like FPS games using the teleport method of movement, just horrifying.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16 2019, @01:44AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16 2019, @01:44AM (#867397)

    Porn.
    Civil engineering.
    House sales.
    Porn.
    Search and rescue training.
    Education. History. Geography. Sex ed.
    Landscaping.
    Minority report detective UI for a modern police farce.
    Porn.
    Holiday travel shop advertising.
    Porn.
    Phonecalls. Better than face time.
    Porn.
    Cooking shows where .. Oh, screw it. Porn, OK, PORN

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16 2019, @09:36AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16 2019, @09:36AM (#867475)

    ...but for the people who give the best profits when discriminated. So no company will make a soup from hen which lays gold eggs.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ElizabethGreene on Tuesday July 16 2019, @01:16PM (1 child)

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Tuesday July 16 2019, @01:16PM (#867534)

    Oculus has a big blind spot. They don't seem to understand that some people want to be able to do VR in a chair instead of a 3 meter square on the floor. That, combined with eye-aching poor resolution, disappointed me with our Rift. My daughter still likes it, but it makes up only about 15% or her total gaming time.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16 2019, @06:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16 2019, @06:54PM (#867658)

      ^

      not just Oculus, and hopefully every game will give the option of sitting/standing and supporting all control setups.

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