The experts have all weighed in. 2016 will be the year of Virtual Reality. The problem is that the experts are very often wrong. Still that has not stopped multiple companies from pushing out new VR headsets, APIs, development kits and more. The craze has gone so far as to start effecting the way that companies are making core hardware. We already know that AMD is pushing for VR mastery with new products and by showing which existing products also have a level of VR support.
AMD says it’s a VR thing now. Well ok, not really, but AMD is leveraging the increased memory bandwidth in their high-end R9 Fury cards to push both 4k and VR. They showed off the R9 Fury X dual-GPU reference design working for the first time at VRLA (Virtual Reality Los Angeles). This card will feature two 28nm Fiji GPUs plus an estimated 8GB of 2.5D HBM 1.0. The memory would be split between the two GPUs at 4GB each.
Recently a comment from former Valve contractor, Fabian Giesen that VR is “bad news” brought up an interesting point. On the surface the technology has some interesting implications for making gaming, multi-media and even social networking more interactive and engaging. However, there is a much darker side to this technology that might escape the eye because of the flashy parts.
Virtual reality is one of the new “buzz” words in the industry these days and it seems that everyone wants to have a headset of their very own. So far in this round of VR (there have been companies doing VR before) we have seen the rise of Oculus as the leader despite not actually having a product on the market in any real form. Other players that have officially announced their intent are Sony, Google and Samsung.
If it only takes a couple of people to ruin a good thing then what happens when it is lot more than a couple? Well in the end things get shut down, just ask Oculus. After launching their development kit for the Oculus VR in China they had to pull it quickly when they discovered that people were not buying it for themselves, but to put it up for resale. This is not the coolest thing to do and could have a big impact on if Oculus releases a kit to other parts of the world.
If there was ever an indication that virtual reality might make it in the mainstream market it is when the web browsers start to support it. So far we have heard rumblings that Microsoft, Google and even Mozilla will be throwing their lot in with the VR gang. One of the big reasons for this is that Facebook has already pushed into that territory with their purchase of Oculus VR. After buying the virtual reality headset maker there have been multiple rumors of Facebook making a VR social world as an extension of their existing social network.
Facebook bought the startup company Oculus VR for reasons that they have not quite made public, but it has been assumed that it was to help them get into the gaming industry as well as expand Facebook in a new way. So far we have heard a few rumors about what this goal might be including a vast virtual world that takes online social interaction to a new level.
Although the concept of Virtual Reality (VR) is nothing new, there has always been something of a roadblock for this technology. That roadblock is money, if you do not have the money for the hardware and the programing APIs you are not going to develop for it. This is pretty much the fate of any technology that is stuck in the hands of a few large companies. Just look at 3D, we do not see 3D as more prevalent in gaming and movies because of cost.
Over the last few weeks Oculus VR has been in the news; first for being bought out by Facebook, then for being sued by a few former friends and then for Facebook allowing Samsung to use their tech to get the jump on a few others. This has put the whole world of virtual and augmented reality back into the mind of the consumer. We have noticed that there have been some new companies coming out of the word work with their own VR devices and technologies. The latest of which is Valve.
After the purchase of Oculus VR for a cool $2 Billion many people wondered what Facebook was up to. The purchase did not seem to make any sense. However, if you looked closely at some of Facebook’s other purchases and also where many big players in the market were heading it made a lot of sense. Facebook wanted to enter the world of augmented reality and had plans for a social game with an immersive user experience. Oculus VR was almost tailor made for what they wanted to do.