A News Round-Up from GDC 2016
Sony has partnered with Dice, EA and Lucas Arts for a Star Wars Battlefront experience exclusively for PlayStation VR, the news was announced at GDC 2016 by Sony game chief, Andrew House. There isn’t currently that many details about this release, but VRRelated will keep you-you in the loop as it unfolds.
Other announcements from sony at this years GDC were the specs for the consumer iteration of the Playstation VR. The PSVR will boast a 5.7-inch OLED screen, 1920 x 1080 resolution split across both eyes and nine LEDs that let the PlayStation camera tell where people are even when they’re turned away from the headset. Head to the description section to find a link for the full specs of the PSVR.
The biggest and most anticipated news that came from Sony this year was the price of the price and release date of the device. PSVR will be retailed for $399.00 (US) and £349.00 in the UK. This brings it substantially lower than its counterparts in the market, with the Oculus Rift retailing for $599.00 and the HTC Vive retailing for £799.00. This should open up the market quite significantly and could be a good play from Sony to widen the demographic of this new technology.
In other news from the games developer conference 2016, Unity Technologies, the makers of Unity, the cross-platform game engine responsible fo 90% of current VR content, has unveiled version 5.4 of Unity.
Unity technologies CEO, John Riccitiello, opened the presentations at GDC with the impressive fact that the free version of Unity now has more than 1.1 million monthly users. A number that happens to be larger than the total number of employees currently working for games companies worldwide.
The Latest update for Unity, features real-time global illumination, control over water, effects, smoke and a whole bunch more.
One of the major points for VR was the new VR creation tools. Timoni West took to stage to demonstrate some of the cool looking new features in this release. Timoni demonstrated the tools by building a scene inside an Oculus Rift headset in front the live audience. The VR interface seems to be really intuitive.
While we are on the subject of game Engines, Crytek, the company behind Cry Engine, has announced the release of Cry Engine 5. According to Crytek, the new iteration of the platform will provide developers with the tools needed to “create stand-out VR experiences for PlayStation VR, OSVR, HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift.”
Crytek has also created a benchmarking tool that can be used to test if your system is ‘VR ready’. The tool, or VRscore, as is the name given by Crytek, is pitched as something that can be used by consumers to aid in making informed purchasing decisions. To that end, there are actually a few other similar resources from Steam and Oculus that you can use to check if your computer system is VR ready.
Crytek also went into some detail about the new payment model for the platform. On this iteration, they will be opting for a ‘pay what you want system.’ This is a bit of a risky move, that could go either way. Nevertheless, we asked how they would monetize this platform and they told us that the “monetization would be through a marketplace, trading assets made by curated users.”
For HTC this year, it was all about games, with the April 5th consumer release date just around the corner, the focus was most definitely on content. In fact, according to Chet Faliszek, virtual reality evangelist at Valve, 50 developers already have HTC Vive store pages on SteamVR that could begin selling content today.
Also, with regard to HTC games, it’s important to note that Valve currently has no hardware exclusives. There are games that will be initially exclusive to Vive but, this is only based on the current abilities of the hardware. When the Oculus Touch controllers are released, the games will no doubt be accessible across the platforms. In an interview with fortune, Chet Faliszeck explained that Valve doesn’t think its good for th industry.
Vive will also be giving away a trio of games free to early adopters, including, Job Simulator, Fantastic Contraption and Google Tilt Brush. All of which come free with a purchase of the Vive.
Moving over to Oculus, and again we witnessed a focus on some content. Oculus put out a showreel of 30 titles that we can be expecting to see on the platform as of the 28th of March.
Some of the titles include, Adrift, EVE: Vlakeryie. Radial G, Dead and Buried, Project cars plus a whole bunch more. All of these games will be coming 28th March.
Both Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 and Unity Technologies’ Unity 5 now allow developers to create virtual reality content within VR.