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Everything You Need to Know About the New Vive Focus 3

Jesse Hoyt

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Virtual reality superstar Vive has returned once again with some brand new headsets to show off to the world, but they weren’t exactly what everyone was expecting. Both of the full headset kits were revealed to be more than $1000 dollars with the exception of the Vive Pro 2 costing $799 by itself. These headsets don’t seem to broaden accessibility for most people and are more tailored to enterprises and businesses like VR arcades, but I’m here to give the Vive Focus 3 a fair shake. Let’s break this headset down.

The All-in-One Big Dog: Vive Focus 3

The Focus 3 seems to be the star of the show for HTC. It’s nothing to scoff at either. It’s an all-in-one VR headset with upgraded graphics capabilities, comfort options, and new spatial audio, but it does come with a rather hefty price tag of $1,300.


Comfort

Vive has a seemingly heavy focus on comfort that includes an “ultra-wide range IPD adjustment.”  These adjustments will be between 57mm and 72mm and will be done manually (thankfully) with a dial located on the bottom side of the headset.

The Focus 3 includes a very welcomed internal cooling system you can fog up your screens while you sweat it out in Beat Saber or Until You Fall. From the pictures on Vive’s website, it looks to be a small fan right in the front panel. There’s also a “thermal-optimized battery” to assist in keeping things cool for particularly long sessions.

Since it’s made for high-volume showrooms and VR arcades they’ve added in a quick-release button that looks like kind of like any other button we’ve seen on different headsets. As we move a little further forward on the headset, we’ll reach magnetically attached cushions on the back and front of the system. They’re extremely easy to remove and are likely to play a big part in keeping VR sanitary among multiple players. Vive says the new face cushioning is extremely accommodating with different face shapes and even designed to be easily wearable for people with glasses! 

They also claim the headset is well balanced by making use of a counterweight in the back of the headset to increase comfort for extended periods of use.

The controllers have also been upgraded from the wand-style many are used to from the original HTC Vive. They look similar to PlayStation’s new VR controllers and the Oculus touch controllers (which are pretty comfortable to me). They will indeed have touch features as well as a 15-hour battery life and USB charging support.


The best part? It’s a self-contained all-in-one VR headset meaning no wires or sensors to tangle you up anymore.

Graphics and Sound

Graphics are going to pretty sharp with 5k resolution screens. They’ve also made the FOV wider to simulate the real world better. It’ll be up to 120 degrees wide, the same as the human eye. 

The Focus 3 will be coming with a 90hz refresh rate similar to other headsets that Vive has done.

The Focus 3 is coming equipped with new 3D spatial sound which can only enhance the user’s immersion. 

Is the Focus 3 Designed for the Average Consumer?

The short answer is: not really. It’s very obviously a commercial product designed with business and practical application in mind. It’s certainly seeming like it’s still going to be excellent although out of reach for most consumers. Hopefully, Vive has something more consumer-friendly on the horizon.

After turning away from professional cooking, I refocused my efforts on something I love: writing. I can’t get enough of it. Copywriting, content writing, novels? Count me in. I have quite an array of writing interests, but right now I’m loving gaming and virtual reality, and I can’t wait to do more.

AR/VR

No First Party Oculus Games Will Appear at E3 2021

Jesse Hoyt

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Not too long ago, Oculus had their own virtual reality showcase where we got to see some of the coolest and most exciting VR projects coming to Facebook’s platform like Lone Echo 2 and After the Fall, but fans were most excited at seeing Resident Evil 4 being announced for the Quest 2. The showcase was full of new information and plenty of hype for future titles and players were hoping to see more at this year’s E3. Unfortunately, Facebook isn’t planning to showcase any first-party games from Oculus at the event. An Oculus Studios executive confirmed this on the Oculus subreddit. 

This new information is certainly disappointing for those that have been looking forward to seeing more from Oculus later this week, but it’s not a total loss for VR fans. Plenty of great virtual reality games are on the horizon and we can expect to see more especially with the Covid-19 pandemic settling down due to worldwide vaccinations. 


What Can We Look Forward to Then?

One of the most exciting things that may show up at E3 is PlayStation’s new VR system that just keeps looking better as we receive more information. It’s not confirmed whether or not the second iteration of PSVR will make an appearance, but it makes sense given the slow but steady stream of new information coming out the last few months. Hopefully, we’ll be able to learn even more about the upcoming system and even try out those slick new controllers with advanced haptics.

Of course, there are a bunch of promising games that are going to be showing up for the occasion as well. Ubisoft almost always makes an appearance and we know they have a couple of VR titles in the works. Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell VR have been highly anticipated and VR fans are interested to see what Ubisoft’s (real) VR debut will look like. 

After the Fall is probably at the top of many people’s wishlist for E3 2021. Its predecessor, Arizona Sunshine, is still one of the most popular VR titles across all virtual reality platforms and this one looks even bigger. 

It’s unfortunate that Oculus won’t be showing off some more of their games, but there shouldn’t be any shortage of VR good content to come out of E3 this year.

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AR/VR

Slay Zombies in the Upcoming Army of the Dead VR Experience

Jesse Hoyt

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Zombie flicks can seem a little played out and the market is already saturated with a bunch of movies from the genre. That doesn’t mean they can’t be a good time though, especially getting to play as a zombie killer in virtual reality. Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead released not too long ago. If you’re unfamiliar. Army of the Dead is a zombie heist movie focused on a group of mercenaries “robbing” a casino in Las Vegas before the government drops a nuke on the city. It didn’t receive high praise, but the movie had decent action and isn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon. Now it’s coming to virtual reality. 

In a recently released video, we have can see Zack Snyder himself hyping up this new zombie shooter experience. Don’t be expecting a full VR game though. Most VR experiences based on movies are usually pretty short and don’t offer huge arrays of gameplay options, but still have their moments of fun. Based on the trailer, the Army of the Dead VR experience will be an on-rails shooter, which can still be pretty fun especially if you feel a little nostalgic for games like Time Crisis (please come to VR). We see a group of people load up in a bloodied bus and strap themselves into the Valve Index. Then a horde of zombies surrounds them as the bus begins to move and the characters start firing mounted machine guns. It looks like this experience is going to be co-op with players being able to team up with 5 other friends. Finally, we cut away to see that this VR experience is going to be called Army of the Dead: Viva Las Vengeance, a call back to the film.


Army of the Dead: Viva Las Vengeance will be arriving in June. It’s not a free game though, you’ll be paying $24 dollars for the 30-minute experience, but hey if you like zombie games and movies, it might just be worth the money. 

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AR/VR

Virtuix has Raised Over 19 Million Dollars for its VR Treadmill

Jesse Hoyt

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Remember Virtuix, the company that advertised one of the first treadmills for VR? They’re still around and based on the money raised, they’re not going anywhere just yet. They were one of the first companies to explore and bring VR treadmills into the public light. The idea was novel and was being talked about just as VR was taking its baby steps. Now the VR landscape is a lot different. Virtual reality has had a massive spike in popularity with new systems like the Valve Index and Oculus Quest 1&2 so now a good chunk of attention has been turned towards VR peripherals. Perhaps the biggest being natural feeling locomotion so people can physically run and walk through the game world. Virtuix looked like it went under the radar a little bit, but they’re back with a new VR treadmill called the Omni One.

Virtual reality is so engrossing because the player’s movement in person is reflected in the gameplay. It’s simple, but it’s also one of the reasons that some of the absolute best VR games have a lot of focus on just interacting with the environment. What’s been missing is locomotion and the bad news is that it’s still pretty far out of the average consumer’s grasp. Then why should I care about the Virtuix Omni?


Well, for one thing, it’s just so dang cool. The other more practical reason is that it’s a progress marker for virtual reality peripherals. We can tell that there’s absolutely support for these kinds of developments in the VR space. Virtual reality is heading in a direction of what we all thought it would be when we were kids hearing about it for the first time, or at least what the Nintendo Virtual Boy led us to believe. The Omni’s release is going to be important for the VR community as a whole since its success or failure inevitably leads us toward progress. If it succeeds, great! We’ll see them more and more in VR arcades and in particularly wealthy homes. More small upgrades will be made over time and we might even see a more affordable option release in this decade. If it fails, not so great, but someone is bound to try and do it better. Development will continue and we might receive a superior and more affordable product out of the whole ordeal.

Virtual reality has a lot going for it and a tone of people clearly have a vested interest in it. Development of treadmills and haptics aren’t stopping any time soon. We might not always be able to afford the newest tech, but we can sure look on in wonder and be excited at what’s in store for us!

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