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Google, HTC, Oculus, Samsung, Sony Join Forces To Create Global VR Association (techcrunch.com) 59

Google, HTC, Oculus, Samsung, Sony and Acer have teamed up to form the Global Virtual Reality Association (GVRA) in an effort to reduce fragmentation and failure in the industry. GVRA aims to "unlock and maximize VR's potential," but there are little details as to what this may mean for consumers. TechCrunch reports: What many in the VR community have been thirsting for is some unification of standards in terms of software and hardware. Games bought in the Oculus store don't play on the Vive or PS VR. Sensors for the Vive don't work on Oculus. Sony doesn't play nice with anyone else's standards etc. etc. Valve, which makes the Steam store and SteamVR platform for the HTC Vive and others, is notably not a member of this collective so any hopes of a unified standard (like its OpenVR platform) emerging from this collective is likely not in the cards. From the GVRA press release: "The goal of the Global Virtual Reality Association is to promote responsible development and adoption of VR globally. The association's members will develop and share best practices, conduct research, and bring the international VR community together as the technology progresses. The group will also serve a resource for consumers, policymakers, and industry interested in VR."
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Google, HTC, Oculus, Samsung, Sony Join Forces To Create Global VR Association

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  • any bets? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Want to bet whether said standard will include a patent from each?

    Am I just paranoid when i hear these guys get together for this project or that?

    • Am I just paranoid when i hear these guys get together for this project or that?

      No. Nothing good for consumers has ever come from anything these guys can all agree on without stabbing each other in the back.

  • What a joke (Score:2, Interesting)

    VR is a joke. You cannot solve the problem of motion sickness caused by the disconnect between what the eyes see and the inner ear senses. VR is a dead end, but AR has promise.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well, you can get rid of the disconnect by mapping everything 1:1, that works fine. If you only have vection in small bursts, they're imperceptible and don't cause sickness.

      AR is just VR except you can see through the lenses. Basically, it's VR with an alpha channel, the fundamentals are identical.

    • VR is fine, so long as the content keeps up more or less up and doesn't deliberately make the user sick...Making Descent work will be a huge challenge. Descent 2 was the most puky VR game ever.

      VR also has it's killer app. Porn. Though, how anybody making any type of porn expects to get paid these days is beyond me. VR porn recording glasses will put the pros out of business, no professional porn starlet can compete with an equally hot exhibitionist. I digress.

      Let's hope nobody makes AR porn.

      • VR is fine, so long as the content keeps up more or less up and doesn't deliberately make the user sick...Making Descent work will be a huge challenge. Descent 2 was the most puky VR game ever.

        Descent is currently being developed: http://playoverload.com./ [playoverload.com.] Early alpha builds I've played in VR have so far been a lot of fun no sickness at all except some areas with piss poor frame rates. Not what I expected going in.

        After this experience it is very hard to take VR makes you sick crowd seriously.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you have to put something on your head, it's going nowhere.
      I'm making some space on my shelf for this VR, right between my furby and tickle me elmo.

    • I don't know yet, I have seen a few very intelligent attempts at it and I would say we're still way too early in the game to tell whether there is a solution.

      Yes, there are VR games that make even me sick (and I'm a roller coaster junkie, with dark rides being very much on top of my "wannahave" list), but these are invariably games that don't take the specific needs of that new medium into account. Other games had better ideas, and yes, there are ways to move about without making the player feel like he is

    • by Wargames ( 91725 )

      I think you could cure motion sickness with VR. For example, one of the remedies for sea sickness is to go out on deck and see the horizon. Oftentimes during foul weather when seas are most rough passengers are restricted from going outside for safety. If they could jack into a VR view of a horizon corresponding to what their inner ears are sensing, they could be cured.

    • VR is a joke. You cannot solve the problem of motion sickness caused by the disconnect between what the eyes see and the inner ear senses. VR is a dead end, but AR has promise.

      The joke is on everyone who hasn't tried it. I'll pray for your misguided souls while I'm piloting my own space ship across the galaxy and drifting like a feign in my SRV on distant worlds thousands of light years away.

    • I bought the Vive a couple weeks ago and don't get motion sickness at all. There isn't a lot of walking or unnatural moving. I even played a virtual body tour where I was moving on a rail and didn't get sick. Not everyone is as delicate as you.

  • by Narcocide ( 102829 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @05:53PM (#53443363) Homepage

    "reduce fragmentation and failure in the industry" means "make sure Linux never gets any of our shit"

    • by janoc ( 699997 )

      HTC Vive actually has (some) Linux support already, thanks to Valve.

      Content is another story, but that won't be changed by an alliance like this

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Valve are heavily pushing Vulkan and have working prototype SteamVR software for Linux using that API.

      OpenGL is kinda broken on Linux at this point as NVIDIA drivers are binary blobs and virtually impossible to debug and AMD's performance is cripplingly poor. Vulkan isn't quite mature yet and is effectively necessary due to the high performance required, which is why it's taking so long.

  • Has a beginning
    • Well are we talking the Wachowski kind of Matrix, or are we talking a ShadowRun kind of Matrix? I'm pretty down for the later.
  • by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @08:04PM (#53443821)

    Got to hand it to Carmack and friends, separating Zuck from a huge bag of windfall riches was a really slick move, but face it, VR remains a boutique niche and that isn't changing in the foreseeable future. This is the business: selling expensive hardware to early adopters willing to spend hours a day standing up waving their arms around while wearing a heavy, sweaty headset. With the hype died down, that is exactly what percent of the market? Worse thing is, everybody wants a piece of that nonexistent market. Reality: your hundreds of dollars of VR gear is going to end up gathering dust in the closet right next to your Guitar Hero controller and you will be back to couch potato status with your PS4 controller or keyboard and mouse if you are in that segment that can afford a sufficiently powerful laptop or gaming PC. It's about that standing up thing. After the initial thrill, it just isn't going to happen for more than a few minutes a day.

    So Zuck got the idea that everybody would be reading their fake Facebook news on a VR headset next year? I wonder why.

    • by ddtmm ( 549094 )
      That is exactly the situation. Well spoken
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's about that standing up thing. After the initial thrill, it just isn't going to happen for more than a few minutes a day.

      Also the weight of the headset, which is why I see the HTC Vive as a joke. At least the Oculus Rift is light enough to not notice wearing it for long periods of time, and the base-model only comes with a single sensor, which is all you need while sitting at a desk. Using an Oculus while sitting at a desk seems like a viable computer monitor replacement.

      As an anecdote, try playing this game for longer than 5 minutes [steampowered.com] with an HTC Vive. You have to hold your head down at an angle, causing almost all Vive pla

      • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

        Also the weight of the headset, which is why I see the HTC Vive as a joke.

        Speak for yourself puny human. I've never had a problem with wearing things other people complain are 'heavy' (headsets, helmets, visors) etc. This will be no different for me.

        As an anecdote, try playing this game for longer than 5 minutes

        I can't, it looks boring as crap.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    https://xkcd.com/927/

    So - we now have SteamVR, Oculus, HTC, OSVR, and whatever the hell this is.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Until these guys agree on specific standards and protocols, this all means shit.

    When will they learn that the battle for control is always everyone's loss, including theirs.

  • As Techcrunch mentions, "Sony doesn't play nice with anyone else's standards". They never met a standard they couldn't ignore in favour of their own proprietary approaches unless said standard was already too well entrenched to ignore. Sony was doing the 'all your interface are belong to us' thing long before Apple adopted it, and I find it hard to believe that they can ever be a viable member of a standards organization.

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.

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