Watching the Olympics in VR

Currently, only those who own Samsung Galaxy smartphones and the Gear VR headset will be able to catch the fully-immersive 360-degree experience of the Olympics in VR. For those that own a Vive, Rift or other VR headset, NBC says you’re basically out of luck.  The author of this article gives some feedback on his experience on using it.  Basically, it sounds like a ‘meh’ experience.  Seems silly to restrict the viewing experience to a single platform if they’re going to invest all the money and effort to test the market feedback on this.

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VR App Development statistics

The following is an approximate graph showing the number of new VR apps that are released on Steam each week since April 28th.  Right now, there’s about 20 new VR applications that are being released each week and it’s following a general linear growth pattern.   A lot of these are still Early-Access and demo type applications as developers are putting stuff out there to get community feedback as they continually update.  I think that this general trend will continue for a while until true AAA developers start getting in the game.

VRapp

HTC launching their own App store

HTC has been struggling on the mobile business side and they’re looking to decouple their foray into VR business wise be spinning off a separate division.

They announced that they’re opening their own app store targeting non-gaming VR apps.  It will be interesting to see if they can actually build up traction for yet another storefront (Steam, Oculus Home, Viveport, etc).   Personally, I’d rather have fewer platforms and stores to manage purchases and like the convenience of the Steam platform myself.  Time will tell to see if they’re successful.

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Third-party peripherals for the Vive

Valve is announcing a program to help support third party developers allowing people to develop their own tracked controllers and peripherals that can work with the Lighthouse system.   I think this is a great move that will kick off even more innovation and technical solutions for improving the overall VR experience and capabilities.   From a hardware perspective, Valve developed the Vive headset to be ‘hackable’ and extensible by design by putting together a modular system where the headstraps, cables can be easily replaced and extra USB ports are available to add on new peripheral capability.

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