Archive for the ‘oculus rift’ Category

HTC Vive gets its first permanent price cut, now down 25 percent

August 21st, 2017

Enlarge / Take heed: the newly discounted HTC Vive bundle, pictured here, includes the old head strap without either embedded headphones or a more comfortable fit. (credit: HTC)

The HTC Vive has finally received its first major, and permanent, price drop since launching in April of last year.

Starting today, the complete HTC Vive virtual reality kit, which includes a headset, two Vive wand controllers, and two tracking boxes, now costs $599 (and £599 in the UK), as opposed to its launch price of $799/£689. This cut is remarkable not only for its 25 percent discount but also its rarity. Throughout the system’s 16-month lifespan, HTC has only offered one single-day discount of $100/£100 for the Vive system.

HTC’s stubborn pricing strategy contrasted with that of the Oculus Rift, whose price has seen a few temporary and permanent price drops since launching last year. Those prices have fluctuated thanks in part to the later launch of add-on Oculus Touch controllers. Currently, an Oculus Rift and Touch bundle can still be purchased for $399, which means that Oculus’s “limited-time” offer has lasted for over six weeks at this point.

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Reddit users re-enable Alien: Isolation’s VR mode with unofficial patch

July 30th, 2017

Enlarge / You’d never be able to tell that a crewmate turned inside out on this very table only a few short hours ago!

Although 2014’s Alien: Isolation was a well-written, beautifully stylish exercise in terror, it failed to sell in large enough quantity for publisher Sega to justify a sequel—something for which we are all lessened, because the game is an exquisitely crafted love letter to the Alien universe. It’s also—as can be attested by numerous Youtube reaction videos—pants-wettingly terrifying.

The game was released just before the consumer versions of the Rift and Vive VR headsets became available, but it had a hidden Rift DK2-compatible gameplay mode that could be enabled by editing a configuration file. The VR mode mostly worked—the camera clips through the player’s body a lot, and folks prone to VR sickness would likely get nauseated within minutes due to the lack of any kind of VR accommodation in the game’s design, but even in its limited unsupported form the VR mode was stunning—and provided an even more terrifying experience than playing on a regular screen.

Unfortunately, the extended screen method by which Isolation’s VR mode functioned made it incompatible with the release versions of the Rift or Vive. The game’s sales figures were too low for Sega to justify bringing the coding team back together to update the feature for consumer headsets, and it would have passed into history as little more than an experimental footnote.

Except, of course, for the fan community—thanks to them, you can once again play Alien: Isolation in VR. Mostly.

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