Tag Archive

Editorial: Is It Time For Another Console War?

Posted on January 19, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

The 1990’s saw a period of unprecedented growth for the console market. After that crash of the late 70s, Nintendo revitalized the industry in the 1980s and found themselves alone on the mountain top with everyone else aspiring to take their spot. Sega, Sony, and even Microsoft would eventually try to dethrone Nintendo. The competition would lead to an unprecedented amount of innovation and competition that was good for the consumer. Now as the age of VR dawns, I ask, is it time for another (VR) console war?Read More


Palmer Luckey insists “we are not making money on Rift”

Posted on January 7, 2016 by Fionna Schweit


So the Occulus Rift sold out at 600$. A price point that I belived would make it unobtainable for most average consumers. Way too much for me (I had budgeted for 450$), and 100$ more even than most industry estimates. Much more than what we heard in 2014 which was 200$-400$ and while this was in a European publication, its still fairly safe to say even in Euros that price does not match. Luckey tweeted “To reiterate, we are not making money on Rift hardware. High end VR is expensive, but Rift is obscenely cheap for what it is.”

rift price

The hole only goes farther down from there. Luckey defended the higher European prices as the result of being required to include various taxes that aren’t part of US pricing. “In fact, some countries are getting a slightly better deal than the US, all things considered—remember, we have per state sales tax,” he tweeted.tweeting at totalbiscut, he added, “European cost is because we are required to include taxes. We are not unfairly inflating the price like many consoles.”

Look I get it, this is the first VR headset, you need recoup hundreds if not thousands of hours of research and development, millions in sunk product costs and staff costs, and of course that Facebook investment. In and interview with Polygon Luckey also said that the Facebook buy out did not help with price at all in fact it may have made it worse. “What came out of that were the prototypes that became Crescent Bay [a prototype for the retail version of the hardware], and when we compared what we had to what we were making internally it was such a huge difference,” he said. “It was hard to look at what we had made before and say yeah, this is consumer ready, this is what everyone is going to want… We decided, in the end, to optimize quality over cost.”

The headset will cost 600USD$ and ship im March, the first batch of pre-orders is already sold out, and a second will ship later on. For my money, this is an expensive hack like a wraparound 4K monitor, and untill its price becomes viable I wont be buying one.


2016 and Gaming: A Year in Preview

Posted on December 28, 2015 by Kenny Keelan


As we’re closing in on the end of one year and getting ready to start the next, a lot of people are reflecting on the year that’s past and others are looking at the year to come. I’m one of those looking to the future and I’ll tell you why: 2016 and the coming years after are going to be an extremely exciting time for games. While gaming has always been a longtime passion of mine, I do have to admit that it has felt like, in the last couple generations, innovation and creativity had been been steadily decreasing while market saturation has been steadily increasing. It wasn’t looking good as the market was looking stale and things weren’t change. Sure, there were gimmicks that came and went but nothing really stuck. There were few real surprises and the things that jumped aboard the hype train were mostly games we’d been anticipating and asking for, for years. There was a lot of vaporware, a lot of E3s that came and went that left us wanting more and spending more time laughing at the flaws than celebrating the wonders. In my honest opinion, the fifth generation was the last generation that truly brought us wonders we never thought we’d see possible and all the last couple generations did was expand on that. We never saw anything truly groundbreaking and that’s part of why 2016 is going to be an exciting year: we are going to see a lot of broken ground and whether or not it will be truly successful, we finally see companies going out and taking risks and those are the kinds of moves that change gaming for the better. Follow the jump for our preview of the year to come and what to watch for!

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Rail Gun aims to bring “most immersive ever” controller to market

Posted on December 27, 2015 by Fionna Schweit

It seems like most of the time, gun shaped controllers for FPS games are pretty much flops right out of the gate. Peripherals have to work with multiple games, multiple types of hardware, and across regions. Yet for the new wave of VR to truly feel immersive, you need to have a variety of controllers that can adapt to almost any situation, and first person shooters are first in line. Rail gun is aiming to do just that.

Consisting of five different components, Rail gun attaches to the rails that come standard on all airsoft guns. Since it attaches to an Airsoft gun the user can feel the real recoil and gunfire noises while playing their favorite FPS game. Rail gun is compatible with almost FPS games for PC, Xbox, Playstation and even Virtual reality devices. This is truly the new frontier of VR peripherals. To really feel like you are in a war, you have to not only have the sounds, the lights, and the images, but also the feel of a gun in your hand.

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Final Rift hardware and SDK 1.0 shipping to devs

Posted on December 22, 2015 by Fionna Schweit


Occulus has officially annoucned that the first copies of the final rift hardware are “Imminently shipping”.  This basically means this week,

From the Occulus Rift website

“If you’re shipping a Rift title in Q1, you’ll need early access to Rift hardware and new platform features to finalize your game or application. The Rift SDK 1.0 and runtime include features tied to the consumer product, so we’ve currently limited the release to developers putting final touches on launch titles. We’re shipping more Rift hardware out to developers every week in the run up to launch. In the meantime, DK2 and SDK 0.8 continue to be the right platform for early Rift development — you only need SDK 1.0 if you’re imminently shipping.”

So expect to see a lot more Rift kits on your developer friends Facebooks, and exepect to see plenty more coverage from our own Renee on all things Rift in the coming weeks.


Pre-Orders Open for Samsung’s $100 VR Headset

Posted on November 10, 2015 by Broken Joysticks

Samsung has just made their $100 VR Headset available for pre-order at Best Buy.  The device only works in combination with a variety of Samsung devices, the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+, S6 and S6 Edge, and comes pre-loaded with a bunch of  3D movie trailers and “360° videos”.

A lot of sites have been hailing this as the device that’d make VR go mainstream but I’m….skeptical. The largest problem with the device is the lack of content for it, and it will probably be years before there will be consistent content created for it. The main advantage of the Oculus is that it has dedicated developers that are making shit for the thing, which this one doesn’t. And let’s be honest, you’re not going to be watching Netflix with this thing on. When you want to sit down and relax, you’re not first going to strap half a refrigerator to your head. Also I’m fairly certain binge-watching with this thing might just snap your neck in two like a twig. All in all, this might be the introduction of VR to the mainstream, but I think the introduction is a bit early and as a result may leave a foul taste in the mouth for early adopters.


Virtual Life: VR Games to Make You a Believer

Posted on November 3, 2015 by Renee Gittins


With both the SteamVR’s HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift releasing in the first quarter of 2016, virtual reality hardware has been getting a lot of attention. Yet it is the games for the platforms that really showcase the breathtaking experiences that can happen virtual reality. As a VR enthusiast who has had the pleasure of trying many VR games, both released and unreleased, on the Vive and the Rift, I wanted to share my favorite experiences.

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