Oculus Rift VR Gaming

Since purchasing the Oculus I had very little games to talk about.

Now I have tried quite a few.
So far Robo Recall is my absolute favorite game this is using the Unreal Engine and it runs smoothly and looks great.
Robots are coming at you full on weather they attack you with their hands or are armed they come from above and from all corners to take you down and stop you from recalling them.
You can upgrade you guns and shotguns by recalling robots and getting experience.
This comes free when you purchase Touch controllers if you did not then it’s going to cost you $39.99 but it’s worth it.

And you can grab the robots and tear them apart and throw the parts at attacking forces. Awesome!!!

Arizona Sunshine Undead
I have played this game for about 2-3 hours it’s okay but in all fairness it’s not worth playing unless you have 3 tracking sensors. Only because you will be facing away from your front sensors more often than not. When this happens and you don’t have a 3rd rear tracking sensor it loses you and makes for much disruption and loss of gameplay.

As of now I only have 2 front sensors which is the setup required for the Headset & the Touch controllers.
I did put in an order for the 3rd rear sensor yesterday tracking sensors sell locally and online for $59.99 I went ahead and got my 3rd one from BestBuy but am having it delivered.

The game seems good you can open car doors and trunks to search for ammo and food so it does allow exploring to a certain extent.
The Aiming is not as refined as it is in Robo Recall. It’s not terrible but you will need to actually aim to get head shots. And Head shots are what you want in this game especially when you have 5 or more zombies charging you from all around. Some are slow walkers others drag and crawl and some are straight up runners.
I won’t say it’s a bad game maybe I will have better thoughts after hooking up a 3rd tracking sensor.
Is it worth the $39.99 I spent on it? I think $15-$20 would of been fair.

Affected: The Manor
This is not a game where you shoot and kill things or even solve puzzles.
The game is a explore and walk through if you dare.
It’s a haunted manor that you alone walk through with only a flashlight equipped.
At first I thought how can this possibly be entertaining?
It uses jump scares that work very well in this game. I still have not walked through the whole manor it is damn creepy wait until your alone or everyone is sleeping late at night turn off your lights put on your gear and get ready to explore the haunted manor.
This game is only $9.99 worth every penny.
If you like being scared and haunted houses you will like this very much. Not for the faint of heart.

Dead & Buried
This is a western shooter with a twist you must shoot and kill the undead Hillbillies that attack you in waves.
It is a multiplayer game  4 people can play together it’s a straight up arcade shooter you don’t stop shooting until the wave ends help keep your partners alive because you will need them as the game progresses.
The game play is smooth with cartoon graphics that are pleasing to watch and interact with “shoot”.
Unloading shells & Reloading your gun with flip of the wrist can be tiring but you must do it to keep your ammo full so you don’t get over run.
Aim is dead on very good as far as that goes no need o close one eye for precise aiming like is needed in Arizona Sunshine Undead.
This can be purchased in the Oculus store for $19.99 this can not be purchased in Steam.
If you purchased the touch controllers this game also comes with for free.

There are a few more games that are good as well but did not mention like Hell Dimension ,Super Hot & The Wizards.
I wanted to touch down on apps that can be used daily.

Facebook VR:
This is a sit in application for Facebook it puts you at a table with a control deck that is fully interactive.
You can create your VR person when setting up.
The FB VR tools include Phone, pencil or pen,tablet and a selfie extender with a screen and a few other gadgets.
You can also have your desktop in VR FB as well so you can still access your desktop to use Edge browser or other things.
You can also do a stream cast in VR world for others to get a glimpse inside your VR Facebook.
It allows you to grab media and other things and expand them around you for example you see a newsfeed in FB about Star Trek you can grab that news and pull it into you that then makes you sitting in the starship deck with all the other characters.

It’s not a perfect application but it is pretty cool so far and betting it will only get better as time and VR adoption rates grow.
I know someone that uses Gear VR and the FB VR is different than the Oculus Rift version which means they are putting real work into each device to make sure your getting the best experience on the device you have.
This is a 100% free app that can be downloaded and installed in the Oculus Store.

Xbox One Streaming:
This is for those who own the Xbox one. You can download the VR app from the Oculus Store for free.
It allows you to use your Xbone in VR you are basically sitting in a theater room able to play any Xbone game on a cinema sized screen.
I have only tested this very little and seemed to work just fine. There may be more bells & whistles I have totally missed and not mentioned. So go ahead download and install this and find what I missed.

Oculus First Contact
This is a small presentation to VR created by the Oculus team.
It is based in 1 room with a small floating robot that you interact with.
Your thinking wow big deal yes?
Well it’s actually very cool this little robot really opens your eyes to what things can be done in Virtual Reality it’s a full on interactive visual experience.
Seriously give this a go it’s also free.

Google Earth
Which now has been updated with street view. As if it wasn’t already awesome!
This is a free app that can be found in the Oculus store or Steam.

It’s simple really imagine google earth but your in it! Yes it is that cool you can be looking at earth from in space with stars and shit all around you. Click on earth and zip right on down to your house and be standing in the street virtually or why bother that can be done by walking outside. Why not drop in to Paris and check out how big the leaning tower really is.
Get this PERIOD!>> like now get IT!

Buzz Aldrin: Cycling pathways to Mars
This is a kick back and listen to Buzz explain how we are going to populate and inhabit Mars. And how we are going to accomplish it.
You don’t just listen your there! in space at Mars and seeing how large these objects are really going to be.
Absolutely amazing to watch. It’s not interactive in any way but you feel like your part of it as you fly through space and see planets  in ways you never imagined.
If Virtual Reality moves into education it will change the way we learn and keep the young interested. Even the old for that matter I was floored by this awesome Documentary.
Small download huge impression.

The Body VR
This is a educational application in VR it’s nothing short of amazing.
You are miniaturized in a small round bubble with control panels inside the human body.
You have no control in this you are a spectator in the amazing but wonderful human body.
It educates you how our body works on a molecular level.
This is another free application that can downloaded from the Oculus Store.
Seriously it sounds boring to hear me talk about it but it is not at all.
Give this a go the install and download are not large.

There are many more amazing apps and games I have not mentioned here.
While I do realize that many families won’t be buying VR hardware yet at the price point it is at.
Hang in there find discounts or wait it out hardware will upgrade and older hardware will drop in price which will lead to a better market for VR.
The more people who adopt the cheaper the hardware will get which means more people will be using it and in turn that means more apps and games maybe even some Movies made for VR.

The last few weeks I have spent with the Oculus Rift the more I love it. It really is that cool and I mean it as in there are many uses VR can be used for education, games, movies, 3d Printing design this list will grow it’s not just some gimmick that’s going to pass by and be forgotten.
Well I really hope it won’t be many people will miss out on a amazing experience.
Between the Oculus Store & Steam Virtual Reality already has a damn large sized library to pick from and there are more titles coming AAA titles by the butt load included.

I said Butt load..lmao

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Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Experience

First off I should say that my interest in VR was very limited only due to the 90s’ experience. I’m talking about the VR setups that were in malls and sometimes even clubs back in the day.
That was until I saw an article with John Carmack he was wearing goggles that were the prototype of the now named Oculus Rift. This article is quite old now probably 2012-2013. He had left ID software to continue the development of the Oculus Rift.

John Carmack has a huge resume and if you play video games chances are you have played a game he created or a game engine he created.
Games we all know Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake III, Doom 3, Rage, Doom 4 aka: Doom 2016 not to mention he created the engines that run these awesome titles.
And did I mention he’s a friggin rocket scientist! He founded the Space program for space tourism.
The company is named  Armadillo Aerospace.

With all that said this is what piqued my interest in VR I figured this guy has to be making some excellent shit!
The Oculus started off as a $2 million dollar kick starter campaign 2 years later Facebook founder purchased the Oculus for $2 billion.
The initial price point for consumers was aimed at $199 unfortunately after time and more tech the price rocketed to $600.
Which I think hurt this technology at the start. Today you can get the Oculus with the Touch controllers for $399 which is an excellent price for the hardware and experience you will get.
Not sure if this is just a summer deal or if it is a permanent price drop to get more of these awesome kits to the masses.
There is also the HTC Vive which is the VR head set created by HTC and Steam
This headset was geared for Steam and has a 120 degree view point compared to the Oculus Rifts 90 degree.
That is the only difference between the Vive and the Oculus Rift the hardware is identical in every other aspect.
The Oculus is lighter and supports Oculus Dream Deck Store and Steam VR as well.
These apps are where you can purchase the VR games available to either or both VR headsets. Vive does not support the Rift Dream Deck.
I have found that the Rift is more compatible with games than the Vive is.
They both have exclusives but again it seems that the Rift works fine on HTC games where as the Vive doesn’t play well with Rift games.
And the HTC Vive is now selling for $599 instead of the $799 price tag.
Steam VR is a very small update to the Steam app that is already installed on your PC.

If you plan on buying a VR headset for your PC make sure you have the hardware to handle it.
My PC is pretty heafty and it failed the USB 3.0 hardware verification.
Which I then had to purchase a specific PCI-E to USB 3.0 card.
I have 3.0 but the Rift is not compatible with AsMedia USB hardware & Drivers.
The headset requires 1 USB 3.0 for sound & a HDMI out for the video this connects to your video card in your computer.
I did find that the sound USB works okay with the AsMedia USB 3.0. But the tracking sensors will need  supported USB 3.0 inputs.
The PCI-E card I purchased costs anywhere from $22-$30.
it’s the Inateck Superspeed 4 Ports PCIE to USB 3.0 this card is listed by Oculus to be 100% supported.
The headset uses a tracking sensor and the touch controllers use a tracking sensor so you will need 2 supported USB 3.0 inputs the gear will work on USB 2.0 but your going to have slow tracking which is something you do not want.

Once I finally got it running took me all week a few hours each day after work to get it 100% connected and games or apps installed.
If you have a free time it should be a pretty quick process connecting it up and installing drivers and software.

I have played a few games some that are not impressive and some that are mind blowing.
I found that the simplest app can be so much fun and just mind bending.
Oculus First Contact is just down right awesome. Your behind a desk with computers and a Robot that hovers around he is your VR friend and hands you discs to put in your Virtual PC to make things with it.
It’s interactive and he will have so much stuff bouncing around the room it is awesome!
Made a gun some rockets and other things as well.
Then there is VR desktop which is your PC desktop in Virtual Reality you can be sitting in the woods or in Space with planets and stars all around you.

The game I really enjoy is EVE Gunjack your in a gunner in a  turret and have to blast enemy spaceships down in deep space.
Where you look the gun points then you fire with your VR touch controllers.
When entering the Turret it’s mind blowing because your so small compared to the spaceship your in and the Turret housing really makes you feel like your in it.

Then there is a game from Crytek called Robinson: The journey this is game where your off planet and you can interact and move around freely.
Crytek also has a game called The Climb this I don’t own yet but hear it is absolutely amazing as long as you are using the touch controllers.

Can also play Alien Isolation in VR. This game was already full of suspense play it in VR and it’s down right chilling and scary.
originally this game only worked with the DK kits DK stands for Development Kit.
There is a mod that now allows it to work with the consumer Oculus.
can find the mod here.

Then there is Google Earth VR this requires you to use the Touch controllers.
But is again awesome and it’s free.
This is a must check out for anyone wanting to go around the world and see areas like your actually there.

There are entertainment apps as well just kick back and watch  awesomely made video’s from Disney and Discovery made specifically for Virtual Reality.

Did I mention Roller coaster rides? There are apps for those as well and some of them are really excellent.
You feel like your actually on a coaster.

I’ve barely scratched the surface here all I can and will say is it really is an amazing experience.
It messes with your mind in a good way because your seeing an environment like at the top of a sky scraper at it’s edge looking down and it’s dizzying or a Huge Dinosaur runs up to you and the spit from it’s roar is in your face and then Runs over you.
You know your in your house but what your seeing is totally different.
It has shown me how perception really is reality.

There are also multiplayer games like Star Trek Bridge Crew you and others control the Enterprise from the deck. And depend on each other to fly the ship and get out of bad situations.

The Oculus Rift is selling for $399 you get the Rift goggles and the touch controllers which include 2- tracking sensors.
It’s a great price point to get people into this great technology.
There are many free apps and games to give a try. Games start at 99 cents and go up to $50. The majority of high end games are $29.99.

The only down side I have found is the wires but it’s such a small issue that it doesn’t hinder gameplay or comfortability at all.
Behind my monitor on my desk is a wire mess anyhow what’s another 2 or 3 wires going to hurt?
I had to purchase some hardware to use the Oculus which cost me another $42
this was for the PCI-E to USB 3.0 and the Display Port to HDMI cord I needed to buy since my Video card only had 1 HDMI in which the Oculus used and the rest were Display ports which my monitor does not have.

Not to mention games I have spent around $75 total so far.
And I also purchased the Oculus Wireless remote I got that on Ebay for $24 which is normally $30.
In the end it cost around $600 for everything which isn’t all that bad considering all I got.
Only a week or 2 back $600 would of only gotten you the Headset and the Tracking sensor with Touch controllers.

I say if you have the extra cash and already have a PC that can handle it go for it you won’t regret it.
If you don’t have a PC that is capable I’d look into the PlayStation 4 VR.
The cell phone goggles are not the same thing and you won’t have same experience we get using the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive.

oculus_rift_201709_thumb800

LG Televisions

I have been through a few different televisions in the last few years.
But this will be the last one for awhile this time.
The LG OLED televisions are just awesome!
The 2016 and up models have improved greatly over the previous generations.
For one they are as bright and brighter than most LED Televisions out and instead of only having 30,000 hour lifespan they now are over 100,000 hours that is higher than what most LCD/LED televisions are rated.
As far as Burn/in and I mage retention yes they can retain images but so can LED/LCD panels.
There has been rigorous testing and it seriously takes a whole lot of abuse to cause permanent burn in.

The picture quality of OLED is the best you can get!.”Period” Better than Plasma at it’s latest generation.
OLED does not have a back light like LED panels do the OLED’s individually light up which brings deepest blacks any tv can produce and very bright Whites. Which makes HDR really shine with Dolby HDR being supported in the 2016 models and HDR-10 it’s a no brainer to get a new OLED television if you are a TV/Movie buff like I am.

I love my LG UHD 60″ TV but it’s going to get sold to make up for this new purchase.

I do Not like curved TV’s but the curved model offer 3d and the standard flat does not and both are about the same price.
So curved it most likely will be.

Purchased the iPad 2nd or 3rd Generation

Which generation is not important to me. I actually can not stand Apple products iPhones and iPods were always shit in my opinion why? Well they all are tied into that POS application called iTunes. Every Android , Windows phone or other MP3 player of the time Creative for instance  you could use any app you wanted to or choose to not use one at all and just move files over music or video no applications needed at all.

My daughter brought home a iPad from school her 9th grade year. Was the 1st time I had used or even touched an iPad.
One thing that I liked was it’s size and weight much lighter than the Android Tablets at that time no less had a screen that seemed to be close or at least 10″.
Still completely disliked that again requires iTunes to move music and other files over to it what a joke!
But this was not a phone or a mp3 player. Sitting in the living room and surfing the nets on the iPad was actually quite a smooth experience. And the app store had some items that worked well with my needs in our Living room where the home theater is setup at.

Sure Apple store does suck for most things only because the apps they sell for $1.99 or more are absolutely free on Android devices. Not all apps are free but a lot more than you may think. If you are a die hard Apple only fan and never bothered with an Android device go ahead and ask a friend that has a Android based phone or tablet you will quickly see that it offers a lot of apps for free that Apple charges for on their iProducts.

But I liked using the iPad in living room so much so I purchased one recently right before Christmas 2016. I should say only paid $99 for it! Nope would never give Apple $500 of my money.
Then remembered wow! Everyone I know that has an Apple Phone or tablet have or had cracked screens.
So off to get a case for it this was easy went to Ebay grabbed one I liked for $14.99
Then read a bit and saw a few articles one  titled ” 5 Reasons You Don’t Need an iPad Case”
And it listed some points on why you should not get one.
Here are the points they made and after each of their thoughts are mine.

1-Cases add bulk and weight.
My thoughts : Yes it’s true some can add weight and bulk is it really that terrible? Or is this reason not to get a case because this person just wants everyone to see he has a iPAD?

2-Cases aren’t accessory friendly.
My thoughts: Who really uses any accessories on a damn tablet? Maybe use a Bluetooth ear piece or headset but a case can’t and does NOT interfere with Bluetooth frequency. Even if you use the plug in headset the cases have all the ports open to use. This point is mOoT!

3-Cases hide the beauty of iPad design.
My thoughts: Are you fucking kidding me? This is not a damn reason not to protect your iPad with a case.

4-Cases don’t offer 100% protection.
My thoughts: Neither do condoms but we still use them because some protection is better than none! Is this joker for real??!!

5-Cases can be expensive.
My thoughts: People spend $500+ on their new iPads a lousy $14.00 + on a case is hardly a set back to protect your investment.
How can this ass seriously write this crap he’ll spend $500 on an iPad but a case for $15 is waYYY to EXPENSIVE!
So now you know spending a few bucks for a case is a good idea.

Nvidia sharing a case with AMD cards

You would think Nvidia would want consumers to buy their video cards and use them no matter what.
If someone wants to buy and use a Nvidia graphics card as a dedicated PhysX card they should be able to? Right? WRONG!
Nvidia refuses to share space with AMD video cards in your desktop PC.

Early on this was perfectly acceptable you could install an AMD Radeon and use it as your graphics card and Nvidia card as a dedicated PhysX card.
But as of the last year or maybe 2 Nvidia put a stop to this. They don’t want you using dedicated hardware PhysX unless you have a Nvidia graphics card to.
It’s plain silly people are still using Nvidia hardware in their computers either way.

AMD created TRessFX which simulates hair and they gladly allowed it to be used with Nvidia hardware.
Do not see any reason to not allow end users to get the best of both worlds.
They want a edge to gain consumer sales and figure if you want hardware PhysX then use Nvidia. That is good thinking but also not so good they are pushing away another consumer those who want Nvidia hardware just for PhysX.
No they won’t be buying the top end  video cards even gamers that are Nvidia only camp don’t spend $800+ on their top end cards. So they are not loosing any sales on the top end hardware in that sense.

Nvidia needs to open up hardware PhysX to AMD graphics card users again.
It’s not hurting your sales Nvidia.

PC gaming Sept-October

These few months I have played more games on PC than I have in the last 2 years between PC and consoles.
Not hard to do I can seriously count how many games I’ve played in the last year previous to September on 1 hand and it wouldn’t be all 5 fingers.

But the line up has been amazing thought PC gaming may have died at some point in the last 2 years. Maybe it did?
It has inspired me to upgrade both my sons PC and my own. And even upgrades have not been anywhere on my to do list until this past few months.

I’ll start with the new DOOM this game brought me back from the land of no PC gaming.
Fast paced, great graphics plain great to play.
And allows users to use the new api known as Vulkan which gives great speed improvements over the old OpenGL option that still is usable in game.
On a gaming rig this game is on the INSANE list a must play it’s really that good.

Telltale games aren’t exactly change the gaming world with graphics or an new genre.
But they do render comic book stories great. And Telltale has some great stories to tell indeed.
The great games that hooked me are The Walking Dead :Michonne, Tales from The Borderlands, The Wolf Among Us, Game Of Thrones & Batman The Telltale series.
All of these games are a blast to play and have great stories to boot and the voice acting is top notch.

Gears Of War 4 while it departs from the badasses of the original series it is still great fun to take cover and kill baddies. Not to mention it uses the Unreal 4 engine!
Plus if you pre-ordered this game you got it for both PC and XboxOne not to mention came with map packs and digital versions of the XB360 games Gears Of War, Gears 2,Gears 3 & Gears Judgement.
Not to bad for $60 way to go Microsoft!
It looks insane running max detail 4k.


And also Battlefield 1 which releases October 21st which I did pre-order because every Battlefield has been amazing since  Bad Company 2.
If you purchase digitally in EA’s Origin the  Early Enlister Deluxe for $79.99 or the ultimate edition for $129.98 you get extra map packs and are able to play early on the 18th. Get to play 3 days earlier than when purchasing the standard edition for $59.99 is it worth the extra $20 for 3 days early with 3 extra map packs? Maybe not for everyone but for me HELL’S YEAH!
Check out these insane screenshots WWI=prepare for shell shock!


Enter November! Yet another amazing game will be up and ready to play on the 11th.
If you haven’t played Dishonored then shame on you it is one cool game.
But for those who have played the first get ready for Dishonored 2.
Abandoning the Unreal engine and now using  Arkane’s new “Void” engine.
Don’t fret the engine appears to handle Dishonored 2 with great detail.
Dishonored 2 is being developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks.
Here are some screens.


Not to forget Call Of Duty Infinite Warfare which will be release on the 4th of November.
I liked the last Call Of Duty but not anticipating the new one for whatever reason I’ll wait and see and hope for the best.

call_of_duty_infinite_warfare
Blasting it’s way to PC on 11-4-16

 

DirectX,OpenGL,Mantle, Vulkan

Recently the API Vulkan was fully used in the new DOOM game on PC.
Many think Vulkan is just an upgraded Mantle API from AMD it’s partially true.
AMD donated their Mantle API to the Khronos group which stated that this new API would be the new OpenGL which that name was discontinued and is now called Vulkan. Much cooler name anyhow especially for Trek fans.

Vulkan is intended to provide a variety of advantages over other APIs as well as its spiritual predecessor, OpenGL. Vulkan offers lower overhead, more direct control over the GPU, and lower CPU usage.Intended advantages include:Vulkan API is well suited for high-end graphics cards as well as for graphics solution present on mobile devices (OpenGL had a specific sub-set for mobile devices called OpenGL ES).

  • In contrast to DirectX 12, Vulkan is available on multiple modern operating systems; like OpenGL, the Vulkan API is not locked to a single OS or device form factor. As of release, Vulkan runs on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Tizen, Linux, and Android.
  • Reduced driver overhead, reducing CPU workloads.
  • Reduced load on CPUs through the use of batching, leaving the CPU free to do additional computation or rendering than otherwise.
  • Better scaling on multi-core CPUs. Direct3D 11 and OpenGL 4 were initially designed for use with single-core CPUs and only received augmentation to be executed on multi-cores. Even when application developers use the augmentations, the API regularly do not scale well on multi-cores.
  • OpenGL uses the high-level language GLSL for writing shaders which forces each OpenGL driver to implement its own compiler for GLSL that executes at application runtime to translate the program’s shaders into the GPU’s machine code. Vulkan drivers are supposed to ingest instead shaders already translated into an intermediate binary format called SPIR-V (Standard Portable Intermediate Representation), analogous to the binary format that HLSL shaders are compiled into in Direct3D. By allowing shader pre-compilation, application initialization speed is improved and a larger variety of shaders can be used per scene. A Vulkan driver only needs to do GPU specific optimization and code generation, resulting in easier driver maintenance, and smaller driver packages in theory (as GPU vendors still have to include OpenGL/CL).
  • Unified management of compute kernels and graphical shaders, eliminating the need to use a separate compute API in conjunction with a graphics API.The part listed above was taken directly from Wikipedia.
    Vulkan has the same things DirectX 12 is offering but is not locked into a specific OS and from what I have seen performs fantastic.
    And the API works with all flavors of graphics cards Nvidia ,AMD, Intel.
    From what I have seen at least with DOOM is Vulkan works great with AMD cards expect excellent frame rates.

    My experience with Vulkan on DOOM has been amazing I can crank it up with Nightmare settings well above 1080p with 8xAA and it never even gets a hiccup.
    Hoping the new Battlefield 1 will be implementing the Vulkan api I look forward to many, many games supporting it.
    Mantle was good but from what I see with Vulkan it’s many jumps ahead of what Mantle was doing.

    Nvidia was always the better card for OpenGL. AMD finally has a API that favors them.
    AMD’s Crimson drivers  are excellent and in the next year things will get even better.
    The new drivers have already shown great improvements in AMD cards they are performing above similar Nvidia cards that at one point were faster than AMD cards.

    Hopefully AMD will keep pace and do something huge in the CPU department for desktops very soon. Like a 5.0ghz 16 core or more CPU;-) We can hope. Or I can anyhow.