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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Top VR 360 Movies on YouTube

Google started adding 360-degree movies back in early 2015. Their collection continues to grow, here are some of my favorites I've found.

See Also: How to watch 360-degree movies on your phone

Invasion! Sneak Peek 360

From the Director of Madagascar comes an enchanting new VR experience: Invasion! 

Download the Invasion! The app in the Oculus store to experience a sneak peek. Immerse yourself in this tale of aliens trying to take over the planet. They're thwarted by the Earth’s meekest and most adorable creatures – 2 fluffy white bunnies - and you are one of them. Baobab’s newest animated VR film will premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.

Invasion! Is also available within Oculus Home with the 1.3 update for DK2 or Oculus Rift consumer version.

Step inside the Large Hadron Collider

A 360 tour of CERN that takes you deep inside the Large Hadron Collider – the world’s greatest physics experiment - with BBC Click’s Spencer Kelly.

Red Bull F1 360° Experience

Red Bull have made some of the most exhilarating videos. This one is no exception with the added fun of 360 degrees VR. Watch Sebastien Buemi at the Rudskogen Motorsenter in Norway.

Noa Neal ‘Graffiti’ 4K 360° Music Video Clip

Noa Neal sings ‘Graffiti’ in one of the better 360-degree music video experiences. If you pan around you'll the band and dancers behind you.

Read the full story from Intel here

Grand Canyon 4K 360º Video by 360 Labs

Recently 360 labs added the 4K version, allowing you to explore the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon with Western River Expeditions and 360 Labs, a 360º VR production company based in Portland, Or. Starting with a reading from Maj. John Wesley Powell's journal entry as he passed the Confluence area with the Little Colorado River, considered the beginning of the Grand Canyon itself. Then we take you through some of the largest whitewater rapids in North America including Hance, Granite, and Hermit, where 15ft standing waves will definitely rock you! Hold on!

360° Cockpit View - Fighter Jet - Patrouille Suisse

Flying a figher jet is not something anyone can just decide to do one day. Which is why it is so perfect for a VR video.

Virtual Reality is REAL and no longer just a dream

Today, March 28 is the first official launch of any high-end VR device. The Oculus Rift is officially available today.
On behalf of all those here, we congratulate Oculus and Palmer Luckey for bringing the dream of VR to the world.

See you all in VR.

AMD Dual-GPU Radeon Pro Duo Set For Release April 26

Last month we disclosed that AMD planned to release a liquid cooled dual-GPU card called the AMD Radeon Pro Duo that AMD claims is the fastest VR GPU card available. The card is based on two Radeon R9 Fury GPUs jammed onto one card. There was, however, no definitive release date set.
According to Korean tech site Hardware Battle, an often cited source of GPU-related speculation, they appear confident the release is April 26.

Before you get too excited, the dual-GPU card is expected to cost around $1,500. In the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark, the Pro Duo is just over 50% faster than a GeForce GTX Titan Z at 4K resolution.

Truly impressive, but at a considerable cost.

HTC Vive now available to try in some stores

You may have been fortunate to attend a tech event within the last few years, such as CES and tried VR. Otherwise, you have probably not tried an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. VR is something you need to try to really "get it."
HTC announced today you'll shortly be able to try the HTC Vive in limited stores such as Microsoft stores and GameStop.

The first stores with an HTC Vive demo are the Microsoft stores in New York City (flagship store), Washington state (Bellevue Square) and Utah (City Creek Center). Later this week, another HTC Vive demo experience will also be available at the Park Meadows Mall in Colorado. More Microsoft stores will be added throughout this month, with a total of 30 stores planned for this year.

GameStop stores will be available in 10 locations by mid-April. The company, unfortunately, didn’t provide a total number of GameStop stores that will have the demos available.

Disposable Sanitary Guards for VR Headsets

If you have ever been to Japan, you will have noticed they are rather serious about cleanliness, perhaps obsessed even?

They have whole stores dedicated to toilets and not just regular toilets but those that spray water and clean your nether regions in ways unimaginable by western standards.
Therefore, it comes as little surprise the Japanese have figured out a way to keep your VR headset clean. Each VR headset places itself against your face and over time can get greasy, slimy and rather disgusting. During demos such as those at CES many thousands of people with wear the same headset, briefly cleaned by the person providing the demos. These disposable sanitary guards are primarily intended for that purpose, but anyone who wants to keep their headset clean may be interested.

Gizmodo Japan previously spotted “VR Masks” at SXSW. Now they can be purchased in sets of 100 masks for 2980 yen ($35).

The best PlayStation VR games to look forward to

Sony's line-up of PlayStation VR games keeps on getting more and more credible with a fresh batch of titles just announced at PlayStation Experience. There's no single must-play title yet, but if the VR headset launches with these games, PS4 owners should be pretty happy.

With PlayStation VR releasing in October, Sony has done an excellent job at getting indie devs on board alongside big names like Ubisoft.

PS VR's accessible price of $399 should make a killing later - preorders are already going quickly. There's also a launch bundle priced at $499 where you'll get the headset, PlayStation Camera and two Move controllers along with PlayStation VR Worlds and a Playroom VR digital download.

Below you'll find the games Sony's own Studio is working on, as well as our picks of what has been announced so far. Some are PS4 titles which have a VR mode, some were built from the ground up for virtual reality.

If you have a PS4, and you're interested in splashing out on Sony's first gen VR headset accessory, these are the first VR games you'll be playing this year...

Star Wars: Battlefront

Star Wars Battlefront is perhaps the most exciting title Sony snagged. Announced at GDC 2016, the game will be heading exclusively to PS VR. Further details on the gameplay were scarce. However it's to be expected that folks in VR will be able to join in with regular console players.

Rigs Mechanized Combat League

Rigs sounds a little nutty at first. Through a combination of drivable combat robots, basketball and major league sports elements, you get a first-person shooter that will likely be a favorite source of entertainment on Twitch.

Eagle Flight

Ubisoft's experimental VR demo is now an official PlayStation VR title. Assassin's Creed fans got super excited about this as Ubisoft used what looks like the Paris of AC: Unity in this but the games publisher has categorically said this isn't that series for VR.

Instead, it's a third person game/experience of well, flying as an eagle over the city streets of Paris. Plus Ubisoft reckon very few individuals who have tried the demo experience any discomfort.

EVE: Valkyrie

This multiplayer space shooter from CCP Games has a bit of a headstart as it's been in development for a few years now. Also coming to the Oculus Rift, EVE: Valkyrie is a fast-paced dogfight set in the EVE: Online universe.

You can play against headset wearing friends in short, fun sessions, swap ships and try out capture the flag modes. Plus dying in this game is kind of magical.


This is a PlayStation exclusive from Highwire Games and it looks damn impressive. You play as a girl controlling golems, via your eyes and movements, while creeping through ancient ruins filled with treasures.

The devs say that the aim of the game is to make you feel the power of controlling these golems. It's an interesting mechanic and we can't wait to see where they take it.

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin

The PS4 game Psychonauts, about psychic secret agents, is coming to the PlayStation VR as a standalone experience that's another exclusive for the platform. According to Double Fine Productions, the VR game is set at the end of Psychonauts and designed to set up the narrative and plot threads of the sequel, a wedge of new material in between the full games.

Rez Infinite

A PS4 remake of Sega's psychedelic rail-shooter Rez, a cult classic originally on PlayStation 2, now includes VR support as well as upgraded graphics. The game will also feature 'new content' but we don't know what that is, yet and, as with many of these VR games, there's no release date either.

More details should trickle through early next year, but already a force feedback suit that players could wear while they play has been shown off.

Ace Combat 7

Namco Bandai's arcade flight Ace Combat series comes to the PS4 and VR with photorealistic graphics, authentic and futuristic aircraft to choose from and - no doubt - familiar dogfighting action.

100ft Robot Golf

We couldn't miss 100ft Robot Golf from No Goblinout. It does what it says on the tin, really. Four players can urban golf, as robots, at once because it's all just crazy and silly plus if big old buildings or other robots are in your way, the idea is that you smash them down to take your shot.

The London Heist

Set in London's gritty criminal underworld, this upcoming VR shooter was one of the biggest draws at E3. TheLondon Heist allows you to use the PlayStation Move controller in both hands for added realism, with gamers having full control of the character's body and arms as he ducks for cover.

One of the thrills of early demos is manually reloading your gun with clips. Putting on your own cockney accent while you "top" bad-geezers is entirely optional.

Final Fantasy XIV

"For us, there can be no going back." This may actually be the case after entering this new, reborn realm. FF XIV is only the second MMORPG within the Final Fantasy series, so bringing it to virtual reality is an enormous deal. With all new scenery and mounts on VR, we can certainly expect some unique side quests.

Robinson: The Journey

In Crytek's new title, announced at E3 2015, you'll take on the role of a boy who has crash-landed on a breath-taking planet. All we know from the demos so far is that you'll be able to explore your extremely pretty surroundings, and interact with the wildlife and environment around you. Take it all in. It's not everyday you run into a 50 foot dinosaur.

Dead Secret

As a journalist eager to make the headlines, you will embark on a journey with mysterious occurrences - all to find out who murdered Harris Bullard. This is the first horror title released by Robot Invader and you'll be looking to unravel the clues to the mystery, using virtual reality to your advantage.

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood

Simon Harris, executive producer at Supermassive Games, claims they've created a "very different style of game" and, from the looks of it, he isn't fibbing. Not only does Until Dawn look like an amazing first person shooter, it also looks scary as hell, with some survival features thrown in the mix.

Gran Turismo Sport

Gran Turismo has been a Sony exclusive, as well as a huge hit, for years and that doesn't seem to be changing any time soon. With the use of virtual reality, the legendary racing game can be taken a step further. It will feature FIA Gran Turismo Championships, giving you a chance to get your head in the race for your favourite car manufacturer or home country.


Taking a step back from the big name games, this 80's Atari classic deserves a mention. Its makers state: "If we can capture the same revolutionary thrill of the original Battlezone for a whole new generation of gamers, then we'll have done gaming history proud." Taking the 'original' VR first person tank battle game and 21st-centurying it is certainly a bold ambition.


Pollen has been built with VR in mind and the visuals look stunning. It's a game in which you will explore Titan – Saturn's largest moon. Apparently, being in deep space alone, a few things are bound to go wrong.


Some Nvidia Cards May Have Problems with HDMI and Oculus Rift

I recently picked up a brand spanking new Nvidia GTX 980 Ti in preparation for taking delivery of the latest tech gadget. This gadget is not just another iPad or the latest OLED 4K TV, no, this is the very first true high-end consumer Virtual Reality Device the Oculus Rift.

The GTX 980 Ti replacing my aging GTX 780 feels right at home in my new rig with an Intel i7 5930k CU (The six core one with 40 PCI express lanes)

Would you think I’d be in geek heaven as I booted up the machine with the latest and greatest from Nvidia? Alas, the experience was not as I had hoped.

Day 1

Booted into Windows safe mode and removed the old Nvidia driver using a DDU (display driver uninstaller) tool and rebooted.

Installed EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB SC+ into my rig, powered up with my video card hooked up to my LG UM95 34-Inch monitor via DisplayPort and Oculus hooked up via the HMDI port.
In Windows installed the latest driver from the Nvidia site. All good so far.
Went to the Oculus configuration utility tool (0.8 SDK) or Oculus App (1.3 SDK) to try the demo scene but upon clicking the demo button, I was presented with nothing displayed on the rift. The Oculus motion tracker light is on, and Oculus headset light is on (not blue)
After about 20-30 seconds the mirrored image appears on the monitor, but it is frozen. Oh oh, this is not okay.
After another hour of uninstalling the Nvidia driver and trying five prior versions all with the same result, I start to get worried.
I then tried hooking my monitor up to HMDI instead, rebooted and upon the display of the login screen in Windows the screen goes black with no cursor, just nothing. From another machine, I can remote into it, so it is up and running.
Connected monitor back to DisplayPort and uninstalled the driver and rebooted with the monitor connected via HDMI. This time, no problem, right into Windows. So it works great with the basic Windows driver.

I called eVGA 24 hr. Technical support and amazingly was speaking to someone in a few minutes. They suggested uninstalling again but, this time, installing the driver from the HDMI input.

As soon as the Nvidia driver completed its installation while hooked up via HDMI, the screen goes black.

Ok, I think. It's either a driver problem or some issue with the HDMI port. The technical support rep suggests returning the card to the store to exchange for another in case the HDMI port is no good.

Day 2

I arrive home from the store with another EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB SC+ card.

Uninstall Nvidia driver and boot into Windows with the HDMI connected. Install the driver, and the screen goes black after installation. Oh crap, not again I think.

Repeated pretty much all the steps from Day 1 with various drivers with the same results.

Over the last few days, Google and I have become very close. It seems many Nvidia card owners have experienced the black screen problem not just with HDMI but with DisplayPort too. At least, my DisplayPort is working just fine. But without HDMI how can I use my Rift?
Looking at my video card there is also a DVI port, so I proceed to attach an HDMI -> DVI connector onto the Rift. Bring up the Oculus demo scene and hey presto it works! Just the way it should.

Both Day 1 and Day 2 while troubleshooting with my monitor and HDMI. The Rift was disconnected to avoid any multiple screen issues.

Does Oculus Rift Work with DVI and or DisplayPort?

In a word, Yes. I've tested this on the DK2 and the consumer version of the Rift.

  • HDMI -> DisplayPort WORKS
  • HDMI -> (DVI or DisplayPort) with Audio WORKS
    The Consumer Version of the Oculus Rift transfers audio via USB and DK2 has no audio.
There you have it. Even if your HDMI port does have issues similar to those above all is not lost. Assuming, of course, you have alternative ports such as DVI or DisplayPort and the necessary adapter.

The VRCircle test machine ran all the above tests with standard BIOS and overclocking disabled using SDK 0.8 for DK2 and 1.3 for Consumer Rift.

Additional sources of Nvidia black screen problems:

Manual Install of Drivers. Some have found success with this technique.
nVidia Site. First reported two years ago and STILL a problem.

Driver Versions Tested: 364.51 (Came with Video card), 361.43, 361.91, 364.51, 364.72.

Update 03/28/2016
Today Nvidia released a new driver, 364.72, which claims to provide full Oculus Rift support. Same problem with HDMI exists, DVI and DisplayPort Adapters are OK.

Update 04/03/2016
Today, I tried a different video card in the quest to finally solve this HDMI problem. In this quest I installed  the same card but from a different manufacturer, this time, MSI with the MSI Computer Video Graphics Card GTX 980TI GAMING 6G
This card booted up into Windows just fine with both HDMI and DisplayPort. When the Rift is turned on, and the Oculus software is displayed the Oculus Rift remains black. 
However unlike with the eVGA card, if I manually bring up the Oculus software then plug the Rift into HDMI, it works!
To make this a little easier, I added an HDMI extension cable into the mix, so it is simpler to unplug the Rift and Plug it back in.

Manually unplugging and plugging in the HDMI is not the ideal situation but, at least, workable. Please note however that the HDMI to DVI/DisplayPort still works just fine.

Oculus 1.3 does work with the DK2

If you're still waiting for your consumer version of the Rift to arrive, and you still have your DK2. You'll be pleased to hear the consumer release of the Oculus software does work with the DK2. So far, I tried the movie player, Lucky's Tale, ADR1FT, Henry, Lost, Oculus Dreamdeck and Elite Dangerous on the DK2.

All worked without a problem. However, it will display a message stating the DK2 is not supported as you can see above, but it does work and work very well.

Download Oculus Software

If you're using the DK2 and it asks you to test remote (which you won't have) then just skip that section of the setup.

Elite Dangerous ONLY Supported on Oculus Rift 1.3

The Oculus Rift 1.3 runtime is the only version that provides support for Elite Dangerous on the Rift consumer version and DK2.

You will need this runtime as well as the latest version of Elite: Dangerous or Elite Dangerous: Horizons to play using your Oculus Rift. Oculus no longer supports previous Oculus runtimes (0.5 and 0.8) and as such they have retired support for development kits which only work with these versions.

I have purchased Elite Dangerous - How do I enable in Oculus Home?

You'll need to grab a key and redeem in the Oculus store.

  1. Log into your Frontier Account
  2. Click on Partner Keys
    Copy the code
  4. Then back into Oculus Home on your desktop
  5. Go to Settings - Account - Redeem Code and paste your code
Note. If you already have Elite installed. Oculus home does not see that copy and will try to reinstall again. The easiest thing to do is to remove any current installation and reinstall again.

Oculus Will Support DK2 Thru 2016

Oculus Will Support DK2 Thru 2016

In a recent blog post coinciding with the release of the consumer Oculus Rift and the Oculus 1.3 SDK. Oculus wrote lots of detail around their latest 1.3 release. 
Developers programming for the platform should be aware of a tasty snippet towards the end of the post that reads:

Every Rift can be used as a development kit. While DK2s aren’t supported as consumer devices, they’ll remain functional as development kits this year for developers working with the latest SDK.

Therefore, you can safely work on the DK2 for the remainder of 2016. However for 2017, you'd better have your consumer rift ready as support may no longer continue for the DK2.

Read the entire Oculus Blog Post