GDC is right here as soon as once more, all subsequent week we’ll have boots on the bottom bringing you the most recent VR/AR information. Held yearly in San Francisco, Game Developers Conference has undeniably been a focus for VR the business, and as augmented actuality continues to warmth up, we count on it to be more and more vital for AR as effectively. Here’s a take a look at what we’re anticipating to seek out subsequent week from the highest VR/AR corporations.
When it involves HTC, most everybody’s thoughts is on the Vive Pro. The headset, revealed at CES in January, boasts improved decision, ergonomics, SteamVR Tracking 2.0, and extra, however the firm stopped in need of asserting the worth or availability of the headset past saying it will arrive in Q1. With GDC being the final main occasion in Q1, hosted only a week earlier than the tip of the quarter, and given the presence of HTC at GDC in years previous, it definitely looks like the suitable place and time to disclose the worth and launch date of the Vive Pro, if not a delay.
HTC has stated that the Vive Pro headset alone would be the first to launch (as an improve for many who have already got Vive controllers and base stations), and full package (headset with new base stations and controllers) will come later within the 12 months.
Given the timing, we count on to see HTC demoing content material virtually solely on Vive Pro headsets, and there’s likelihood we’ll see a number of extra experiences utilizing the brand new Vive Trackers with SteamVR 2.0 Tracking.
Vive Focus, the corporate’s first standalone VR headset, is a giant deal for HTC as a result of past the headset itself, the corporate is constructing its personal platform to run it, known as Vive Wave. For now although, Vive Focus hasn’t been introduced on the market within the US, and so whereas we anticipate finding it floating round GDC, we don’t count on any main bulletins, although HTC will most likely be encouraging cellular VR builders to have a look and take into account bringing their content material to the platform.
HTC is holding one sponsored GDC session, VR Best Practices: Maximize Your Audience with New VDA2 Winners, the place the corporate is bringing a panel of builders, who have been recipients of the latest Viveport Developer Awards, to speak about constructing VR titles for distribution throughout a number of VR platforms.
Don’t Expect Valve’s VR Games or Knuckles
When it involves Valve and VR, two issues instantly come to thoughts: 1) the truth that the corporate has stated they’re creating “three full [VR] video games, not experiments,” and 2) the Knuckles VR controllers that the corporate revealed all the best way again in 2016.
Unfortunately, we don’t count on to see both at GDC. For one, the timing doesn’t appear fairly proper. As a personal firm not pressured by shareholders or a board, Valve tends to work at their very own tempo and never present something till they’ve reached their very own inside milestones. And contemplating HTC has confirmed that Knuckles gained’t ship with the Vive Pro, it appears Knuckles remains to be a methods off.
We count on that when Valve reveals a near-final model of Knuckles, it’ll come on the similar time (or close to to it) that they reveal their first VR title, which most likely gained’t occur till later this 12 months, if not 2019.
So What Will Valve Be Showing?
If we’re unlikely to listen to something about Valve’s VR video games or Knuckles, then what’s the corporate doing at GDC? Well after all VR solely makes up a small portion of their enterprise, so I’m certain Valve might be busy selling its non-VR content material, however in years previous they’ve devoted a big portion of their GDC house to VR demos from third-party builders constructing SteamVR content material, and we’re anticipating one thing related this 12 months.
Santa Cruz is Oculus’ high-end standalone VR headset. It’s nonetheless only a prototype for now (therefore the bizarre identify), and Oculus has been coy a couple of launch date and value, not to mention what the headset will finally seem like and do when it’s prepared for customers.. We’re not anticipating to listen to main information about Santa Cruz at GDC, because it nonetheless appears a bit too early within the headset’s growth lifecycle. However, Oculus is planning an in-booth session to speak to builders about creating for Santa Cruz, honing in on what makes it completely different from constructing VR apps for Gear VR and the Rift.
Oculus Go, the corporate’s low-end standalone VR headset, was introduced again in October, 2017, and is alleged to be launching in “early 2018.” With Q1 shortly coming to an finish, evidently the headset should be launching quickly, however Oculus hasn’t supplied an replace on the launch of the $200 headset. With the Go already noticed in retail packaging, it appears attainable that we might see the primary hands-on demos of Go at GDC, however nonetheless powerful to say, particularly with rumors that the headset will launch at Facebook’s F8 convention in May.
Years in the past, Oculus used GDC to point out their newest hardware, however extra just lately they’ve used the occasion to give attention to content material. The firm has confirmed we’ll see some model new VR demos at GDC, however whether or not or not it’ll be all third-party content material or new Oculus Studios content material remains to be unknown. Oculus’ 6,000 sq. foot sales space on the GDC expo ground is among the many largest within the occasion’s South Hall.
As for more information on recognized titles, we count on to listen to extra about Marvel Powers United VR, and hope to listen to some more information about Echo Combat, although the latter is much less possible.
Oculus is holding two sponsored periods, certainly one of which guarantees an outline of Oculus’ roadmap for 2018, and the opposite is about designing VR content material for participant embodiment.
Beyond these two sponsored periods, the corporate is planning a number of different developer-focused periods, some at their sales space, and a few within the conventional GDC session setting; you will discover their full breakdown of periods right here.
Continued on Page 2: Sony, Magic Leap, LG & Microsoft »
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