We had the outstanding Time cover shot of Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey floating sans footwear over a badly faked beach scene, but thanks to the Mobile World Conference, we now have Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg striding confidently into a future full of VR enthusiasts. The moment caught in the image was when Samsung was sneaking Zuckerberg onto the stage for his surprise entrance, walking right past an audience of tech journalists. It’s a nice reminder of how VR can connect and disconnect users at the same time.
Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have a lot of investment in VR technology, being the owners of Oculus. His presence at the show was used to announce his company’s partnership with Samsung and their Gear VR project. Samsung then revealed that they would include a free Gear VR unit for anyone that pre-ordered the Galaxy S7 phone.
HTC finally published the price for their Vive VR system. It’s $799 for the consumer kit that includes the headset, two wireless controllers, a pair of base stations, a Vive Link Box, and a pair of ear buds. That’s $200 more than the previous sticker-shock reveal for the Oculus Rift, but HTC asserted that the expense was due to all the extra hardware. The HTC Vive will come with Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption VR games. Job Simulator sounds like a real escape from the humdrum daily grind of life. Valve in partnership with HTC, has made a VR Performance Test application available for free on Steam to see if your PC is up to VR’s hardware demands.