Patrick Stone

Patrick Stone

CastAR, formerly Technical Illusions, recently got a big boost in the form of a 15-million dollar venture capital investment. The company plans to use that money to deliver on promises to their original Kickstarter backers and push the product into a complete state. GN was able to spend an hour with castAR CEO David Henkel-Wallace and cofounder Rick Johnson to see where things stand and where the company is going.

CastAR is a head-mounted, augmented reality technology that deploys a set of projectors and lenses to cast a 3-dimensional image to a reflective sheet. When we say that castAR is an HMD, we don’t mean in the “expected” sense – it’s not like the Rift or HTC’s impressive Vive, but is more akin to nVidia’s 3D Vision glasses in form factor. CastAR is billed as a solution for multiplayer and singleplayer AR gaming, to include traditional tabletop emulation (D&D, miniatures, Magic, Jenga) and new games.

At PAX Prime, thanks to the folks at Valve and HTC, we got another first-hand experience with what may be the best option in personal VR to-date: the Vive.

Our first encounter with the Valve/HTC Vive was at GDC 2015, the headset’s first showcase, and we were limited on information and recording permission. HTC and nVidia brought the Vive to PAX Prime this year, the former bringing us into their conference room for another lengthy, hands-on demonstration. We took the opportunity to talk tech with the HTC team, learning all about how Valve and HTC’s VR solution works, the VR pipeline, latencies and resolutions, wireless throughput limitations, and more. The discussion was highly technical – right up our alley – and greatly informed us on the VR process.

At the 2015 edition of PAX Prime, Intel brought their usual cavalry. The booth had some impressive custom systems, lots of mobile devices and laptops, and a couple of interesting projects that Intel’s been developing with other companies.

This weekend's sales round-up a high-precision gaming mouse, pair of PC speakers, a toolkit for system building, and a 144Hz monitor with a $50 discount.

With Oculus Rift's pre-order date approaching nearing the year's end, Oculus VR has finally announced its official, in-house tested recommended system configuration. The Rift's GPU-intensive demands will work best with modern architectures that have specific VR-centric technologies in place, like recent advances made by AMD and nVidia to eliminate timewarp.

The recent announcement of the finalized version of Oculus Rift can be found here. Perhaps interesting to some, we also recently discussed the legitimacy of virtual reality -- under the belief that it is "here to stay," this time -- and talked VR design challenges with Epic Games.

The full system spec recommendations are below.

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