1. This is the Playstation VR processing box that will turbo charge the PS4 to handle virtual reality
There has been some concern that the Playstation won’t be able to handle the demands of VR. After all, the recommended specs to run the Oculus Rift are a new $1,000 computer. While the PS4 hardware is comparable to a mid-range $400 computer.
But this won’t be as big a problem as some think. Playstation has the advantage of full integration and control which lets developers squeeze out much more performance. And the quality of many Samsung Gear VR games which run on mobile phones shows that there is more to good VR than just muscle power.
Even so, Sony has a trick up its sleeve. Its Playstation VR headset will be including an extra processing unit to improve the overall experience. It’s still not clear exactly everything that it does, but at this point we know that it will help reprocess the frame rate to a very respectable 120hz. High frame rate is very important for VR because low frame rates re very noticeable and can cause uncomfortable experiences.
The box will also help enable a different image on the tv than the one in the VR headset. This allows for more socially oriented experiences so that everybody can enjoy the game by watching the tv, not only the person with the headset on.
2. Check out these leaked images of the HTC Vive VR Headset
HTC continues to make progress on its vr headset. Here we see generation 2. The design is much sleeker. The new design is especially noticeable on the controllers.
HTC announced early that they would be releasing in Q4 2015. This seemed like an ambitious goal at the time and would help push the Vive ahead in the competitive VR race against Oculus. However, as the end of Q4 approached, and no Vive was in site, that release date was changed. Now, expect it to be released in April 2016. This is likely after the Oculus Rift comes out. But hopefully, good things come to those who wait.
3. NASA is working with Sony Playstation VR to control Space Robots
NASA is on the leading edge of using virtual reality for practical applications in space missions.
Their latest effort involves controlling a robot using the Playstation VR and motion controllers. It is called Mighty Morphenaut, which is a play on the prototype code word for Playstation VR: Project Morpheus.
It makes controlling a robot very intuitive and easy. You just move your hands and the robot follows.
Though there is some inevitable time delay caused by the sheer distance the electronic signal has to travel between space and the controller on Earth. But NASA has developed an ingenious interface to help with this problem. As you move your hands, you see two images: one where your hands are, and one where the robot’s hands are as they are catching up to you.
Expect to see many more creative applications of virtual reality by NASA.
4. The first virtual reality casino is open
The internet brought us online gambling. And it has grown in to a multi-billion dollar industry.
And it’s a good bet that VR will bring us virtual reality gambling.
Casino-VR is the world’s first virtual reality casino. It currently works on the DK2 and is coming soon as a beta to Gear VR. It’s free to play and will probably take on a freemium pricing model like popular mobile poker apps like Zynga Poker.
Currently, the only game available is Texas Hold’em poker. This has become the most popular online gambling game. And it takes on a new life with virtual reality. It has a much more realistic feel, like playing with others in real life. You may be able to even pick up tells such as changes in body language that would be impossible with traditional online poker.
Expect to hear much more about virtual reality casinos in the future. Who knows, they could even become bigger than real life casinos. Why drive down to the store when you can order on Amazon? Why go to Las Vegas when you can bring Las Vegas to you?