Alright, everyone! Welcome to week 2 of The VR Newsflash. This week was a relatively slow one, probably because of CES last week, but we'll go ahead and jump right in to what news we do have!
First off, AMD has announced that their new Polaris series of GPUs to be released later this year are going to 'spike' GPU performance for VR. This is in contrast to roughly the last decade of GPU power creep, where we've only seen a ~10-15% performance increase between generations! nVidia has been touting a similar increase, and both nVidia and AMD's new cards will be utilizing the new HBM (High-Bandwidth Memory) standard, instead of the usual GDDR fare. It will be very interesting to see how these new cards perform! Now, if only they'd give us a release date, features list, or price point...
The NDA for CCP Game's EVE: Valkyrie was lifted earlier this week, and it seems like first impressions are generally very good! A few people have reported that the game seems shallow and boring for a bit when you first start, but that the depth quickly becomes apparent, and that the game is actually a very good dogfighter, with interesting and varied mechanics! Cockpit games will be this generation of VR's forte, so it is good to see a great one right off the bat! (My body is ready for Ace Combat 7 on PSVR...) If you own a DK2, you can go ahead and sign up for the closed alpha for Valkyrie right now! The link will be included at the bottom of this post.Finally, rumor mill time! Valve's head of VR... stuff, Alan Yates, went on a little bit of a tweetstorm earlier this week, commenting on the perceived price of the Rift's OLED panels, and quickly shutting down people who claimed that the 599USD price was unreasonable. It seems he's attempting to pull a Palmer Luckey and manage price expectations, or he could just be commenting on the price of early-adoption tech...? In addition to this, IGN listed the prize value of a giveaway for a Vive Pre as 1,000USD... All signs are pointing to an expensive Vive, although this could be manufacturing cost before subsidization. We will simply have to wait and see!
Anyway, for our final piece of the puzzle, a rumor was floating around earlier today (Monday) that HTC was planning to spin-off its VR division into a seperate company, with its share price soaring because of that. Unfortunately for HTC, they then denied those rumors, and their stock is right back to where it was in the first place. This is also after HTC teased that Valve would be revealing a title of their own at their showcase on the 28th, which was quickly shot down by Chet Faliszek. Dang, HTC.
Like I said, pretty slow week, but things should be picking up soon, as Vive preorders and the Rift's ship date are getting closer every second. Be sure to comment, and see you next week!