Ozzy Osbourne battles Stormbird in Horizon Call of the Mountain in PS VR2 Games. (PlayStation)

PlayStation VR 2 Is Available, Meta Improves Handtracking and Threedium’s Top 50 Voices in 3D/AR/XR

Our eye on the charts, updates from Meta, PlayStation VR 2 is out, an independent invention could improve immersion in VR headsets, and news in brief from Ready Player Me, Vertigo Games, LemmingVR, Snapchat, Threedium, and InnerWorld.

An Eye on the Charts

Major tokens started the week rising, first steeply, and then more gradually. Around the middle of the week, prices started to drop leaving BTC and ETH down around 3% on the week. Bitcoin is back below $24k and ETH is holding on above $1.6k.

Other crypto projects followed a similar trajectory. Uniswap, Solana, Chainlink, and a few others remain in the green, but Cardano, Monero, Litecoin, and Hedera are all down over 5%.

Meta Further Develops Handtracking

Meta has been working on improved handtracking and handtracking interactions. A recent update to Quest allows item selection from menus by a pinch gesture, which is exciting, but limited in terms of practicality. However, teaser videos of a coming update called “Direct Touch” show a much more robust handtracking menu interaction. Meta also released a new handtracking demo and Presence Platform interaction SDK.

A Meta Prediction

Also this week, Meta social media platforms announced a new paid verification tier. The hot take from many is that Zuckerberg was inspired by Elon Musk’s recent addition of the tier on Twitter and saw an opportunity to make money. The verification tier starts at $12 per month, compared to $8 per month on Twitter. However, some within the tech space wonder whether Meta might not use such a verification tier to increase trust in interactions in AR and VR experiences on the platform’s XR social and industry applications as suggested by security researcher Jane Manchun Wong.

PS VR 2!!

Enough about Meta. The XR world has been abuzz this week as the PlayStation VR 2 became publicly available on Wednesday. Last-minute endorsements include the Prince of Darkness himself. While the XR industry has been excited about the product, it’s still uncertain whether it will catch on with a larger market.

Sony is arguably the first mainstream gaming company to produce a headset and this is the second iteration of the hardware. While the word about VR is definitely out, which may not have been the case seven years ago, the device is exclusive to the Sony ecosystem and comes with a significant price tag — at least, when considering that it also requires a PS5 to work.

Independent Invention

VR gamer “Shodah” is gauging interest in “VR Starlight” — an “ambilight” system of LED lights and diffusers, magnets, 3D-printed headset faceplates, magnets, and computing help from Raspberry Pi. The benefit that Shodah calls “fake (field of view)” is reportedly a feeling of enhanced immersion.

Some VR veterans are skeptical. UploadVR writer David Heaney commented that “almost every headset company has experimented with this” and found that it “didn’t add much to immersion and and introduced distracting lens reflections.” It could well be that different types of lenses in different (and more modern) headsets are affected differently, but time will tell.

News in Brief