Kyle Bennett from Hard-OCP introduces INSIDE VR

Long time friend and editor of Hard OCP Kyle Bennett took to the stage at AMD’s Capsaicin & Cream Event at GDC 1017 ti introduce his new Digatal TV series INSIDE VR. Kyle and I have been talking about VR and the HTC Vive from day one of the Vive hitting the market. It was Kyle that gave me the final push to jump on board the HTC Vive train back in may last year. I have lost count of the amount of beers and fun times I have had with Kyle over the years and he is always the first guy to try somthing new whether it be holding a bunch of balloons next to a huge fan at oktoberfest or cutting a hole in a beige PC case in 1999 to keep it cool when overclocking Kyle is your man! Hard OCP and EDGETV‘s INSIDE VR will take you behind the scene of VR with Developer tips Game and tech news and community reactions. Game Developers will also give you VR game tips to give you the edge when playing the latest VR game.   In the trailer for Inside VR we see Darrel a Delivery Driver Playing Space Pirate Trainer while the guys at Inside VR monitor his heart rate with a live graph on the screen.     Watch the full clip below and keep an eye on Hard OCP for the latest news on INSIDE VR  

AMD to get Asynchronous reprojection in next Driver update.

It has taken a while but AMD just announced that Asynchronous Reprojection will be included in the next Radeon Crimson drivers.   Asynchronous reprojection HTC Vive now also has asynchronous reprojection if you have an Nvidia GPU AND Now AMD GPUs With the next driver update. A red line will  appear when the system enters asynchronous reprojection but it will be at the bottom of the frame data window and you will also get a white line in the CPU window.The idea is to maintain smooth motion on head orientation when the framerate drops below 90fps. With asynchronous reprojection, a slight drop in performance will not trigger the halving of frame rate that you get with interleaved reprojection, instead picking up the previous frame and displaying it again, shifted to match the updated orientation data. The overall result is a major improvement to smoothness and comfort, as situations where frame rate is fluctuating just below 90fps are very common. It has also eliminated dropped frames. In our tests even crazy settings only increases the amount of asynchronous reprojection and we have not yet seen any dropped frames when using asynchronous reprojection. But what this means is although we can run everything at max setting, even with the GTX 1060 and now the RX-480 in a budget PC, what happens is we end up seeing the same frame over and over. During a non VR game experience if you put the settings up to max but your PC can’t handle it, you get a really low frame rate. With VR gaming, and asynchronous reprojection, if you put the settings up to max and your PC can’t handle it then you will just get lots of asynchronous reprojection time and that equals lots of repeated frames. That reduces the visual quality in the heads up display. The higher the amount of asynchronous reprojection, the lower the visual quality. So you have to find a balance between quality settings and GPU/CPU delay. You want to spend as little time in asynchronous reprojection as you can. I find that if I use settings that are too high it gives me a headache after about 15 minutes. It’s like I have to focus my eyes harder and things look blurry. You do get a better output to the companion window (on the desktop, not what you see as you game) but that’s not where you want it. It’s as pointless as using the companion window to test your FPS. AMD RX 480’s will now support asynchronous reprojection with the next Radeon Crimson driver update of  so we all can say goodbye to doped frames!

GDC 2017: Summer of Radeon Sneak Peek RX580 benchmarks

As I work on tests showing how AMD have fallen so far behind in VR due to the lack of Asynchronous reprojection we get a sneak peek at RX580 Benchmarks and  we get this news from AMD: Capsaicin Livestream “Capsaicin is the legendary component in chili peppers that adds that indescribably addictive kick to spicy foods. It elevates your favorite meal and propels your taste buds into overdrive. We love Capsaicin because it reminds us of the magic that game and VR developers craft every day when they turn raw code into exciting, memorable and addicting experiences. On February 28, kick off your GDC with an exclusive glimpse into the Summer of Radeon and beyond! Our feature-packed show will be highlighted by the hottest new graphics and VR technologies propelling the game industry forward – with previews of the summer’s hottest PC games and VR experiences from the biggest names in the business. AMD’s Capsaicin Livestream kicks off at 10:30AM PT and you won’t want to miss it. Be sure to come back here for the livestream.” I was told by AMD a month ago that somthing was coming to fix the lack of  Asynchronous in VR but will it be a fix for current RX480’s or will we have to upgrade to RX580? We will find out in less than a day! I hope I will be putting my RX480 back in my budget PC RX580 Benchmarks Benchmarks have leaked out for the RX580 and RX560 and it looks to be about %15 faster than the RX480 the RX580 Benchmarks were posted online by someone who is believed to  work for AMD in India. Is this a RX580 Benchmarks or is it an overclocked RX480? We might find out next week I will be up at 5:30AM my time to see if the RX580 Benchmarks are real and if I need to upgrade my RX480.

Enthusiast level VR laptop with MSI’s GT73VR 7RE TITAN SLI

First look at MSI’s GT73VR 7RE TITAN SLI When MSI told me they had a new VR Laptop for me to look at, that was boasting the new Kaby Lake i7 7820HK, I was expecting the new GE62VR 7RF. After our look at the GE62VR 6RF I was excited to see what Intel’s latest i7 could do to improve the VR Laptop experience with the HTC Vive. But the box that showed up on my doorstep was bigger, a lot bigger! It was the GT73VR 7RE TITAN SLI, one of MSI’s top of the line desktop replacement VR laptop. Let’s have a look at it:   GT73VR 7RE TITAN SLI Specifications 7th Gen. Intel Core i7 7820HK processor Chipset Intel HM175 Intel CM238 Windows 10 Pro GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 SLI with ultra performance DDR4-2400, 4 Slots, with 32GB installed (Max 64GB) 17.3″ Full HD (1920×1080), 120 Hz Refresh Rate and 5ms response time panel Exclusive Cooler Boost Titan Technology The X Boost function from MSI technology supports faster storage access speed. Dragon Center provides six functions to get a total control of your personal computer 512GB SSD’s in Exclusive Super RAID 4 (Dual NVMe M.2 SSDs by PCIe Gen3 X4 in RAID 0) 1TB 7200RPM 2.5″ SATA HDD Thunderbolt™ 3 supporting 40Gbps ultra speed data transfer rate, 4K@60Hz monitor output, and portable charging power up to 5V/3A with USB Type-C universal plug Easy Overclocking with MSI SHIFT Technology by Dragon Center Exclusive ESS SABRE HiFi DAC for lossless, high-quality audio Nahimic 2 Sound Technology delivering 360⁰ immersive audio experience Sound by Dynaudio system True Color Technology for increased color contrast and greater image detail Keyboard by Steelseries with full color backlighting SteelSeries Engine 3 with GameSense to personalize your play style Exclusive Silver Lining Printed keys Killer DoubleShot Pro (Killer Gb LAN + Killer 802.11 a/c WiFi) with Smart Teaming Upgraded Killer Gigabit LAN Controller with Advanced Stream Detect 2.0 and Killer Shield Matrix Display supporting surround mode and 4K output up to 3 external monitors Brushed-metal lid and aesthetics line design imprinted with MSI iconic Dragon Tattoo, unleashing the true dragon gaming soul Dimension (WxDxH) 428 x 287 x 24~49 mm Weight (w/ Battery) 4.14 kg  2x 230W AC Adapters (Weight 2.1 kg)   So as you can see this is an extreme-end laptop. It’s not just an SSD it’s 2 512GB SSDs in RAID. It’s not just one gaming GTX 1070, it’s SLi GTX 1070s. I had 4 days to play around with the Titan and I installed lots of VR games and spent about 10 hours experiencing the performance in VR. It’s a no brainer that the GT73VR tromped all over our Budget VR PC and even the GE62VR but is the price gap worth it? 1 2 3 4 5

MSI Press Release VR Laptop with the Latest 7th Gen Intel i7

VR Laptop with the latest 7th Gen i7 I’m Excited to get my hands on the new VR Laptop GE62VR and GE72VR with the latest 7th Gen i7 from MSI after seeing our tests on the VR Laptop  GE62VR  you can understand why! This is the latest Press Release from MSI. But if you’re not looking for VR MSI has you covered with the GTX 1050Ti/1050 GPU’s . I’m in the middle of testing the MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X in out Budget PC and it’s looking good! Back to Testing for me! MSI Press Release MSI is Bringing You the Latest GE72 and GE62 with 7th Gen. Intel® Core i7 Platform and New GeForce® GTX 1050Ti/1050 to Reach New Heights for Smoother and Faster Performance Gaming. New CPU, New Improvements, New Heights [Taipei, Taiwan] MSI GE series always gives plenty of gaming features for gamers to enhance their gaming experience, unlike many others notebooks that only compete in specs. With the new Intel® 7th Generation Core i7 CPU, codename Kaby Lake, gamers are expected to experience up to 15% in CPU performance boost, stronger VR gaming, 4K gaming and 4K video transcoding.  Added with the latest GeForce® GTX 1050Ti/1050, gamers can expect their notebook to actually run triple A titles like never before. In CES 2017, MSI will be launching its GE72MVR, GE62MVR, GE72VR, GE62VR, GE72 and GE62 series into the market; moving forward together with Intel and nVIDIA for all users who desire better gaming experience and smoother 4K video experience in early 2017.   Just what improvements are we expecting from the new CPU? -increased arithmetic processing, -4K Video, Multimedia -4Ktranscoding Three of the four specified fields(arithmetic, 4K, multimedia) are practically used in everyday operation for most PC users. Increased performance translates to faster response, operate heavier workload, as well as operate multiple heavy-loading applications simultaneously. With that being said, this welcoming enhancement greatly benefits all fields; including casual, professional, and gaming applications; giving them a more snappy responses from MSI notebooks. Read on here:

Budget GPU Test: Serious Sam VR the First Encounter – AMD vs NVIDIA

Serious Sam VR the First Encounter is like a perfectly restored classic muscle car that has all the features you love and includes modern performance enhancements and creature comforts. We Benchmark this diehard FPS on two Budget GPUs, the AMD-RX-480 and the NVIDIA GTX 1060 on the HTC Vive. Serious Sam the First Encounter (SSTFE) was originally released in 2001 by Croteam as a demonstrator for their engine. It was priced at less that half of other FPS games of that time to help it achieve market saturation and it worked. It was a staple disk to have in your LAN party CD folder. SSTFE was an instant hit and I have spent hundreds of hours playing solo, deathmatch and co-op, eating pizza and drinking beer to all hours of the morning. It was the game that you started up just as the LAN party was fading out at 1 or 2am and the last standing 4 gamers got a new wind of excitement as they joined forces to fight untold evils together. It always started as one quick last game and for the new unsuspecting gamers who thought bed was thirty minutes away, they found themselves trapped in an epic battle with the last four gamers for the next four hours. Fast forward 15 years and we now have a full offical port of SSTFE into VR.  Serious Sam VR the First Encounter is not like other VR hacks of old games such as Doom and Portal. This is an official remake with well thought out settings for graphics, interface and movement. It’s like someone gave Serious Sam to West Coast Customs and they handed back a restored masterpiece! 1 2 3

HTC Upgrading the Vive with 2 new Accessories at CES 2017

Some thought that we might see a HTC Vive 2 at CES and if we did I would have been shocked and I’m glad the HTC squash the rumors but with today’s announcement  HTC Vive is starting CES 2017 with a bang introducing two new accessories and new services that is a way is giving us a new Vive Experience. Good news for us Vive owners comes in the way of upgrades to our current Vives,  available in Q2 2017, the Vive Tracker and Vive Deluxe Audio Strap are all new accessories that will improve your Vive experience, not to forget the KwikVR  and TPCAST  wireless accessories available this year. The Vive Tracker, available in Q2 this year, let’s you add motion tracking all sorts of new items like baseball bats guns and gloves and we cannot see that causing destruction in anyone’s home Nooo…  The Tracker weighs just under three ounces (90g) and is 99.65mm (Diameter) x 42.27mm (Height). The Vive Deluxe Audio Strap  with adjustable headphones, elimates one more nuisance I have with the Vive for I am forever catching my headphon cord when I try to get an arrow out of my back quiver or get my backpack .   The headstrap features integrated headphones and a new customizable sizing dial for quickly adjusting the fit  The Deluxe Audio Strap will also be available in Q2. Pricing for both the Tracker and Deluxe Audio Strap will be announced by HTC soon.  

Scalable Graphics KwikVR Cutting the VR cord at CES With HTC Vive wireless

A 2nd company had entered the HTC Vive wireless market to free VR user from the tether the first on the scene was TPCAST and now we have Scalable Graphics KwikVR . The KwikVR will début at CES next week. I don’t know how well any wireless solution will work with current hardware given the ” under 12 ms” times this might be fine for slow-moving experiences but jump into any fast FPS game and it might be like the video/audio is just a bit out of sinc. I do notice a slight sluggish in games that are GPU capped at 14ms but you do just live with it. the Question is, will the 12ms + 4ms to 14ms from your GPU  be too much of a burden? Or will cutting the cables be worth it?

Can you VR on a Laptop? Evaluating the MSI GE62VR

Can you VR on a Laptop ? To find out we are Evaluating the MSI GE62VR, a month ago I got to meet MSI at Pax Australia and on the MSI booth I had a nice long chat with Ivy Hsu from MSI who was excited to show me the latest MSI range of VR laptops – some sleek and some desktop replacements. I was curious as to how well a laptop can handle some of the games available on Steam for the HTC Vive. After spending 2 months using a budget PC for all my VR needs I wanted to know if a laptop could really handle it. Ivy was kind enough to send me the GE62VR 6RF Apache Pro for a month of testing. The  GE62VR is one of many VR ready laptops from MSI and it’s a true mobile laptop with a weight of just 2.4 kg. That’s just over double the weight of my Surface 3 in its protective case. It’s way lighter than any performance laptop I have ever had the pleasure of using. Let’s have a look at the full specs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Budget VR PC Test: Final Approach VR

Next up in our Budget VR PC Test we are looking at Final Approach VR, a game I got on sale a month ago and for some reason did not play for over a month. The videos and screenshots on Steam do not do this game justice. It’s way more fun and in depth than I ever thought from the info on the Steam store page. The story is hours long and mixes things up to keep it interesting. You get to do everything from landing planes and helicopters to sorting luggage and shooting down jets with a 50cal and missile launcher. But with all this going on can our Budget PC handle it? Is the MSI RX-480 up to the task?

75th Anniversary Remembering Pearl Harbor VR tribute

  Time Inc.’s Life VR, HTC VIVE, and AMD present a gripping virtual reality experience commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor In commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, we are partnering with Time Inc., Deluxe VR, and AMD to launch “Remembering Pearl Harbor”. Launching just before the December 7 anniversary, today, this engaging narrative VR experience will transport you inside key moments of the event’s aftermath through historically authentic and fully interactive VR environments. Narrated by one of the oldest living survivors from this tragic event, Lt. Jim Downing, this VR experience has been created with the hope that it will bring a new understanding of this event to the most enthusiastic history buffs. The Viveport premiere of “Remembering Pearl Harbor” will be the first time ever, you can immerse yourself in a virtual recreation of World War II America. Throughout the experience, you will interact with realistic virtual versions of artifacts from the era, along with iconic photography and archival video, providing a unique and personal view of one of American history’s defining events. In addition to the VR app for VIVE, Time Inc.’s LIFE VR and HTC have also collaborated on bringing “Remembering Pearl Harbor” to exhibits commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack. The VR experience will be available to the public at the following locations: December 5-11 at the Newseum in Washington D.C. December 6-7 at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City Get your copy of “Remembering Pearl Harbor” which is available now at www.viveport.com.

HardOCP: Follow Up Serious Sam VR

First off if you have not had a read of HardOCP’s Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope first review check it out now!  also check out our Budget PC test of  Serious Sam VR Here (Video below) In HardOCP’s follow up Kyle looks at mGPU tests for NVIDIA GTX keeping in mind Serious Sam VR is still in Early Access. When it comes to GPU testing Kyle uses a unique way of testing to give you an apples for apples comparison. If you’re thinking about SLI or crossfire for your VR pc this is a must read.

Budget PC Test Island 359

When I first watched the trailer for Island 359 I was excited, the idea of hunting dinosaurs from my own home in VR gave me a big smale then I thought about it and started to worry if my AMD RX-480 was up to it.  So I lashed out and got it worst case would be that I would have to run it on low setting right?

Rogue One: Recon – A Star Wars 360 Experience

If you have a VR headset get it on and watch this video! It’s a must see experience for all Star Wars fans! I got goosebumps watching this in my HTC Vive.. I have my tickets for the 12:05am screening and this video just the icing on the cake! Rogue One: Recon is a short immersive 360 experience created by ILMxLAB that is connected to “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Conflict, above all else, rules the galaxy. As an everyday X-wing pilot flying for the Rebellion, be immediately immersed in the vastness of space

Don’t ignore your chaperone bounds

Ethan Midas over at MidasTouch Game just gave us all $174 reasons not to ignore your chaperone bounds when in VR. I know I have just reached over the edge of my chaperone bounds thinking its ok its my desk here and lots of room behind it… Only to smash my controller into the window as I was completely turned around! Lucky for me I didn’t smash the window, my wife would have broken the controller over my head!  

Budget Cuts: Free VR Demo that is a must have!

This Demo is not new but it’s easy to miss as the name will not sing out try me NOW! If you just got your HTC Vive on Black Friday it might still be in the mail but you will want this demo installed and ready to go! If you have a Vive and not this demo, what are you waiting for Go Go Go Now!

Can you VR on a Budget PC?

When I set up my VR system I was on a budget and when you add in the price of the Vive it’s not a cheap setup for something to play games on! But for me, VR is more than just games it’s an experience. It’s something I just had to have. I have worked in tech all my life. I have built some of the fastest gaming PCs in the world over the years, so tech like the HTC Vive is just something I could not miss out on. Then I had the dilemma. My budget didn’t allow me to get the fastest GPU on the market. So for me it was a no brainer. I went with an AMD FX-8370 CPU and an AMD Radeon RX-480 GPU. Why not a GeForce GTX-1070? Well for me at the time it was an extra $200 I just couldn’t justify. So I was stuck with my budget VR PC but has that turned out to be a bad thing? Let’s find out! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

HardOCP: AMD & NVIDIA GPU VR Perf. – Please State Your Name

My old buddy Kyle Bennett has another AMD & NVIDIA GPU VR Performance guide this time for Please State Your Name. Please State Your Name uses the Unreal Engine 4 and will be the 13th GPU-intensive title added to our VR Leaderboard and requires use of an HTC Vive system. PSYN is not a game or an “experience” but rather a short film done in Virtual Reality that tells you a story that is about 8 minutes long. PSYN is available for free on Steam. The developer is StudioDisrupt, and here is what they have to say about their film.

HTC Vive gets first wireless add-on

The HTC Vive currently has a cord that hangs down from the back of the headset. I have mine hooked up to a modified pull-out clothes line hanging from the ceiling to keep it moving around me during gameplay. Most of the time it’s not really in the way but if I had the option to not have that cord hanging there I’d jump on it. Turns out that option is not too far away. This product is going on pre-order today on HTC Vive’s Chinese site. The TPCAST wireless add-on will set you back about $220 US + shipping.

MSI at PAX Aus: Are you ready for VR?

I got the full tour at MSI’s PAX Australia booth this year and as a VR user I must say I was happy to see the time and effort MSI is putting into VR, not only in the desktop market but also laptops! I got to have a quick look at 3 new VR laptops from MSI and I am dying to get my hands on them in our lab and put them through the paces using our collection of VR Games on the HTC Vive.  The GT83VR 6RF TITAN SLI adds and extra bonus that will make gaming on the go easy with a mouse pad/numberpad combo letting you switch them over with the press of a button. But the best thing is that MSI have moved the laptop mouse pad to the left so you can use it in gaming!

Star Trek Bridge Crew Pre-Order Or not..

This is a love hate post I love Star Trek but well you know UBISOFT… I so hope they don’t stuff this up! you can pre order but I don’t see the point let the game come out and let people test it first!

Unreal 4 Mos Eisley Fan Art – the Cantina VR Version is Coming!

This real-time UE4 Mos Eisley fan art project is finished. Here they have part 1, the Mos Eisley Cantina. The audio is a bit wonky as they got hit by You Tube’s copyright bots so the cantina music had to be taken out John Lewis is an Environmental Artist for Obsidian Entertainment, developers who created Neverwinter Nights 2 and Fallout: New Vegas.like me John is a Star Wars fan, he thought it would be cool if he could a virtual build the docking bay 94 and  Star Wars ‘Mos Eisley’ the experiance look amazing on the UE4 engine and he tells us that its coming to VR too! I can see my self just hanging out at the bar! if you want more info on this project read more over at 80.lv Building ‘Star Wars’ in Unreal Engine 4   Video 1 part 2 Part 3

Old people react to the HTC Vive

How do you think you will react, or how did you react, the first time you had a virtual reality experience like the one possible with HTC Vive? Is it impressive to all ages? Fine Brothers Entertainment have put together a video showing the reaction of half a dozen elder people to the HTC Vive. Their reaction is in fact very similar to most people I think, they just feel more comfortable to express their amazement! It’s wonderful to see such honest reactions.

What VR headset do I want??

Playstation VR? Oculus Rift? HTC Vive? HoloLens? If you are a Playstation gamer get the Playstation VR but if you are a PC gamer you are in the right place and you have choices so read on! Let’s start with Microsoft HoloLens. If you don’t know, Microsoft HoloLens is the first fully self-contained, holographic computer, enabling you to interact with high‑definition holograms in your world. It’s not VR it’s MR (mixed reality). Will you be able to play games? Yes. Can you play Elite Dangerous? No! Will you want hololens? YES but for different reasons than the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Let’s look at a video to see some of the things you can do!

Lets look at New Retro Arcade VR

Dis game on Steam New Retro Arcade gotss’ta help ya’ get yo’ VR JIVE on Retro style! Neon brings the golden age of gaming back to life as you are transported to the 80’s and early 90’s; where the fun and laughter began. Download your own ROM’s and use our Arcade Builder to create your perfect emulator frontend. And on top of that, you and your friends have the choice to play more than 10 diverse mini games.

Kyle Bennett at Hard-OCP Gets VR on with RAW DATA

My old friend Kyle Bennett over at Hard-OCP is getting his VR jive on with the new VR game Raw Data “Built from the ground up for VR, Raw Data’s action combat gameplay, intuitive controls, challenging enemies, and sci-fi atmosphere will completely immerse you within the game world. Go solo—or team up with a friend—and become the adrenaline-charged heroes of your own futuristic technothriller.”

Fantastic Contraption On the HTC Vive

Fantastic Contraption was originally a building game made way back in 2008. Millions of people played it obsessively and saved over 12 million contraptions. You can still play it for free. For years we loved the idea of a 3d Fantastic Contraption but couldn’t figure out how it would work. Then we tried the Vive. The new Fantastic Contraption has been designed from the ground up for room-scale VR. Imagine walking around a grassy island in the sky while you build a machine the size of a horse with your own hands.

Job Simulator Trailer Ready for HTC Vive

Owlchemy Labs announce that Job Simulator will be included *IN THE BOX* for a limited time with the HTC Vive! That means that early Vive buyers will be able to experience the wonders of human jobbing right when they receive their Vive. The Year Is 2050. In a world where robots have replaced all human jobs, step into the “Job Simulator” to learn what it was like ‘to job’. Players can re-live the glory days of work by simulating the ins and outs of being a gourmet chef, an office worker, a convenience store clerk, and more.

Unveiling the Vive Consumer Edition and Pre-order Information

HTC has just announce The Price and Pre-orders! , in partnership with Valve®, the unveiling of the consumer edition of the ViveTM virtual reality system powered by Steam®VR. The countdown has begun and is ticking away toward 10 a.m. Eastern time on Monday 2/29 at which time pre-orders will open worldwide with pre-order fulfillment and full commercial availability starting early April 2016.

SteamVR Performance Test Is your System Ready?

OK so if you are here you want more info about HTC’s Vive and this first thing you will need to know is “Is Your System Ready?” Well Valve has come to the rescue with the SteamVR Performance Test . This free benchmark will test your System and let you know if you need an upgrade and the best thing is you don’t need a VR headset to run the benchmark! Go Go Go Let us know in the comment’s what you get! are you ready? My system running an AMD R9 380 16GB RAM and an AMD FX 8150

Wareable.com: And finally: HTC Vive details emerge and more

From Michael Sawh at WAREABLE.com: And finally is the place for the stories you might have missed from the last seven days. It’s those wearable tech NIBs, murmurs and blips that lost the fight to make it onto our homepage thanks to headline-grabbing stories like the new Fitbit Alta, a major Android Wear update and yet more designer smartwatches. This week, there’s news on a Tesla and Apple Watch tie-up, more details on the HTC Vive and a smart mirror you’ll totally want to own…

GameSpot: HTC Vive Might Edge Out Oculus Thanks to Its Motion Controllers

From Gamspot.com : Oculus Rift has been grabbing headlines left and right lately thanks to its long-awaited price announcement, but Rift is just one of several high-profile, mass market virtual reality headsets primed to reach consumers at some point this year. Chief among its competitors: HTC Vive, a motion-tracking collaboration between cell phone manufacturer HTC and gaming juggernaut Valve.

The HTC Vive isn’t limited to perfectly square rooms

Engadget says Not even a slightly trapezoidal space will spoil your VR fun. I’m not gonna lie: I was jealous when I heard that my colleague Sean Buckley got to play 12 virtual reality games in Seattle last week. (He even moaned about it later.) I got to try “only” four on the Vive Pre at HTC’s Taipei headquarters. But that’s OK, because in the end I also had a blast — to the point that I ended up running around the room, high on adrenaline.

HTC Vive pre-orders to start on February 29

Pre-orders for HTC’s virtual reality headset Vive will open on February 29, boss Cher Wang confirms HTC will start taking pre-orders for Vive, its virtual reality headset, from February 29, its chief executive has confirmed. Cher Wang told the Telegraph the company had chosen to refocus on virtual reality (VR) and away from smartphones, saying the company was now “more realistic”.

I Finally Tried Virtual Reality and It Brought Me to Tears

Trying VR at CES made me feel more connected to my 18-month-old son The light poured directly into my eyes. It flashed, strobed, pulsated, faded, and changed color, desperately begging for my attention. Meanwhile, my ears flooded with a radio dial full of sound: an ad for a steakhouse, music by Rihanna, comedy shows, everything all at once. It was, in a word, overwhelming. Then again, you don’t visit Las Vegas for peace and quiet. But when I put virtual reality goggles on, that’s exactly what I found. Instantly, the city built on spectacle became nothing more than a shell, a blank container serving only to hold myself and whatever rich, new world I had just wrapped around my head. Read on at Time.com

VR Jive Videos