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VR wars! Samsung, Facebook and Google go toe-to-toe with Intel and Microsoft

Serious men using virtual reality glasses

It’s fight night and war is in the air as the consumer tech industry has divided into factions to battle for the future of VR.

In one corner, the Global VR Association (GVRA) has been born – the tech industry bloody loves a good association. Samsung, Google, Facebook’s Oculus, HTC Vive and Acer Starbreeze have joined forces to make sure VR doesn’t fall the way of 3DTV **shudder**. They’re aiming to develop standards, collaborate on technology development, as well as aim to broaden the appeal and return of VR products for public and private stakeholders.

In the words of Samsung, they want to see VR done responsibly. “The goal of the Global Virtual Reality Association is to promote the responsible development and adoption of VR globally.”

Anyone got any ideas of what irresponsible VR could be?

Perhaps the reference to responsible VRing could be a passive aggressive dig at Intel and Microsoft – notable absentees from the GVRA.

In the other corner are the aforementioned computing giants, who have partnered on a whole bunch of next gen tech which they refer to as “merged reality”. Project EVO is targeting virtual and merged reality experiences, more powerful gaming, and always-connected computing.

The Project EVO isn’t the only collaboration between Microsoft and Intel. With Project Alloy the two are also working on a reference architecture for an all-in-one head-mounted display reference design – so a pimpin’ VR headset? It looks as though this a sweeping technology strategy, and the two are carving their own path into the future of VR.

The GVRA looks like a collaboration covering all sorts of VR – from standalone all-in-one headsets, to mobile VR and VR as an accompaniment to gaming consoles. Actually, thinking about it, with that Intel partnership notwithstanding, it seems odd that Microsoft doesn’t fancy getting involved with the association. When you think that it’s fiercely fighting the console battle with Sony – which recently launched Playstation VR – you’d reckon Microsoft would be doing literally everything it can to keep up with Sony.

It looks like it’s putting all its eggs in one basket with its Intel partnership, and it’ll end up kicking itself if this GVRA thing ends up properly taking off.

  • Samsung Electronics


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