Over the last couple of months I have had a bit of … fun. My new computer started restarting randomly more and more often until it suddenly wouldn’t start up, it turned out to be a failed BIOS chip on the motherboard, so I have been going through the RMA Process. Aside from that I haven’t seen anything too newsworthy. On this last Monday, the Oculus Touch controllers went on sale for $199, They should come in December. I hope that Oculus does better this time with their shipping estimates than they did last time. On the upside, only people who already have the Rift should be ordering the Touch controllers, so there should be a reduced number of people ordering the device.
On the Vive side, Valve is talking about bringing SteamVR (And the Vive) over to Mac & Linux/SteamOS, which is very nice for me, I’d love to be able to use Linux to play VR games. Also new motion controllers for the Vive have been showcased, much smaller than the ones that came with the vive, and with a strap that goes around the hand, along with the wrist strap. From what I have been reading, the new design is to keep themselves compeditive with the new Touch controllers for the Rift. I’m looking forward to seeing what is coming down the road for VR.
Today 3 Minecraft VR related things happened.
The first, and probably the largest one is that the official Minecraft VR version came out today, it uses Minecraft Windows 10 edition, and you need to own a copy of Minecraft Windows 10 edition to play the VR edition. As an interesting sidenote, if you have the old Java/PC version of Minecraft, you can still get the Windows 10 edition for free, which will also get you the VR version for free.
As a sidenote, the official Minecraft VR version is exclusive to Oculus, It doesn’t appear that Vive users will get to play this version, at least for now…
The next news item is that the people behind the older Minecrift VR mod for Minecraft was notified by Mojang that they are to stop using the Minecrift name, as it’s too similar to Minecraft and could confuse people, and they can no longer use their domain, minecraft-vr.com. They were told that they could rename the mod and continue development, as long as the new mod didn’t start with the word ‘Mine’. The developers of Minecrift decided that they are tired of working on that mod anyways and are stopping all development of the mod, and shutting it down. It’s a sad day as Minecrift was one of the first games I played on my Oculus DK1 back in the day. It was very fun back then. The DK2 made it more interesting as I attempted to look through smaller spaces, and would glitch through various blocks on purpose.
The final Minecraft VR news item for today, The ViveCraft mod released a big update for their 1.10.2 version, they say that they’ll be bringing the new changes to their 1.7.10 version as well, but are having trouble with some of the features as of this time.
Personally after playing some of the official ‘Minecraft VR edition’, Minecrift and Vivecraft, I highly prefer the Vivecraft mod. Roomscale movement makes the game so much more interesting, and some utility mods can help a lot as well. The official Minecraft VR edition does have the largest viewing distance, and runs extremly smoothly, but there are too many things that I miss from the Java version to get too invested in it.
Well, that’s all for now, I’m looking forward to doing more mining & crafting tomorrow night. 🙂
From what I’ve been reading, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update has been doing some … odd things to peoples computers. First is the whole thing about switching some group policies to only work on the Enterprise or Education versions, making the ‘Pro’ version less useful for businesses as those settings can’t be centrally managed anymore as of this update. The next issue was a black screen or odd fonts in Steam, Steam has since updated to fix these issues, but it is odd that some features that Steam uses would just suddenly be removed or Locked in Windows 10.
The newest issue so far is an issue with machines with multiple partitions on their main harddrive. It appears that extra partitions may be damaged in some way, making data inaccessible. from what I have been reading, (My main computer hasn’t upgraded to the Anniversary update yet, I have a secondary NTFS partition on my Windows drive) Other NTFS/Windows partitions may be unreadable for a short period of time, but they should start working after a short time. Linux and other partitions? It’s possible that you may need to do a re-install of the Linux system. Hopefully all of your files survived in that situation. If your other operating systems are on different drives they won’t be affected by this issue.
If all of this turns out to really be happening as much as people on Reddit are talking about it, Microsoft is really doing some shady things with their OS. At least it appears that other drives are safe as of now… I have been working on Linux more again as I don’t really feel that I can trust Microsoft to let things work properly. If only SteamVR actually worked on Linux…
Interestingly, Microsoft is sticking to their original plan for the Windows 10 Upgrade and ending it today, July 28th. I find it interesting that they decided to not keep it going as they seem to really want people to upgrade, but it’ll be nice to have some of my older computers stop nagging me to upgrade them to Windows 10. If you do decide that you want to upgrade your computer to Windows 10 for free, you will need to do it today, otherwise you will have to stick with Windows 7 or 8.1.
In the end, I have upgraded all of my Windows 8.1 machines to 10, but am keeping Windows 7 as I prefer the customization that I can do on Windows 7, but can’t do on 8.1 or 10
The last week has been a bit … interesting for me. On the 14th my new computer wouldn’t boot, everything that I tried didn’t work, as I had to go to work, and wouldn’t get home again until very late, I left it for Friday night.
On Friday I took the computer down and removed the side panel to see what the diagnostic LEDs were showing. ’00’ – That code is probably one of the worst ones that you can get. Generally it means that the UEFI/BIOS isn’t loading for whatever reason. Without the UEFI/BIOS, your computer is a brick. Thankfully the motherboard that I purchased has a backup bios, accessed via a switch on the motherboard. Only it also wasn’t working, due to a bug, which meant that I would need to upgrade the UEFI/BIOS to a newer version. I downloaded the latest version of the UEFI from the manufacturers website and put it on a USB stick. first I decided to try the upgrade on the bad UEFI, it didn’t work, but upgrading the working ‘backup’ UEFI did work.
Before I put my computer back in place I decided to try the bad UEFI again and suddenly… I got the error that the backup UEFI had been giving before I upgraded it to the latest version. I tried the upgrade again, which worked this time, then I tried booting… ’00’ the UEFI that had died was gone again. I switched to the backup again and started the machine, and saw a message that the CMOS (Storage for UEFI) had been reset. I set my UEFI settings again, ran Windows for a while on my test bench, and decided to flip the switch to the old UEFI one last time before I put the machine back in its place (I really wanted to still have the backup, just in case) finally the machine booted on the UEFI that had been giving the error ’00’
Since then I have had my machine running properly, I have a working backup UEFI/BIOS so hopefully I’ll be able to fix this sooner if it ever happens again. (I really hope that this doesn’t happen again… It’s not fun having a computer that’s essentially a brick.)
I woke up this morning to some interesting news, it appears that Oculus removed the hardware DRM that they had added to their store in Version 1.4. If they meant to do this, it’s very nice news, as this should make it easier to use other headsets with Rift games. It is still recommended to not buy Oculus games unless you have a rift yourself as there is no guarantee that programs such as ReVive will keep on working, at least if Oculus adds native support for other headsets or VR runtimes.
On another note, Oculus started a sale, which’ll be going until June 5, almost perfectly matching the time for the Steam Summer Sale. The Steam sale has a featured VR games section as well, I’m thinking that I may be grabbing some more VR games soon…
It has been a while since I posted, there hasn’t really been much news as of late, at least nothing that has caught my attention, except for another ‘Oculus Exclusive’ issue that just popped up earlier today.
First of all, Fallout 4 is going to be getting VR support, so far they have been talking about the Vive only. Thankfully as SteamVR should work with most VR headsets, the game will be available to a large playerbase. I believe that I will probably get it, I wonder if it’ll be a DLC for Fallout 4 or if it’ll be an entirley new purchase. Time will tell, I guess. I think that it’s interesting that they are only talking about the Vive, while it appears that most other companies are talking about Oculus support at E3 this year. I guess that Oculus has a larger marketing budget than HTC/Valve…
On the other hand, as most anyone who keeps up with VR knows, Oculus wants to have Exclusive games. Today a game that was going to be sold as a Vive game, Giant Cop, suddenly switched to being an Oculus ‘timed’ exclusive, much to the dismay of many players who had pre-purchased it, planning on playing it on their Vives. Those people will not be able to play the game (at least not without breaking DRM) because of the fact that it suddenly became exclusive to the Oculus Rift and Touch controllers.
Personally I *really* don’t like how Oculus is attempting to corner the VR market by making most games exclusive to their headset, making it impossible for people with other headsets unable to legally play the games that they purchased. I do have a Rift, but I have been having trouble wanting to put it to use. I really don’t feel that it’d be a great idea to buy games on their store, as the more people who buy from them, the more incentive they’ll have to do their anti-consumer business practices.
Another interesting tidbit of news that came up due to the ‘Giant Cop’ fiasco, the developers of ‘Serious Sam’ came out to say that Oculus came to them with ‘a shitton of money‘ to make their new game, ‘Serious Sam VR‘ an Oculus exclusive title. They declined to do that, though they said that it was extremly difficult to turn down the amount of money that Oculus was offering. Personally I’m glad that they’re not planning on making their game exclusive, and I’m planning on getting it, as I want to support developers who are good to their userbase.
A few other notes that came up over the last couple of weeks, new Vive orders are shipping within 3 business days, and Oculus appears to be starting to get ahead on their shipping now as well. In the end, I want VR to florish, both headsets are very nice, I’m just having difficulty wanting to support one of the companies. Both headsets have pros and cons… I’ll have to make a post about that soon…
For now, have a nice day.