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Oculus is breaking every rule, in a bid to make virtual reality better

The Oculus Touch controllers are coming out quite a while after the original headset was released. It means there are a lot of Rifts out there that have been sold without accompanying controllers, limiting the potential of the device.

For a developer, this fragmentation could be dangerous, but rather than choosing to see the downsides, Head of Content, Jason Rubin focuses on the choice this allows consumers.

“Oculus lives in a world where we support all input styles.”

It’s not just with its hardware that Oculus is straying from the conventional market wisdom. Its Oculus Store, which it uses to sell software rather than having users go through an existing marketplace like Steam has raised eyebrows.

Rubin is confident, however, that Oculus has made the right choice with its own store: “There are quality standards that we believed were very important to launch new hardware,” he explains. “We want people to buy this hardware to come home and believe anything they buy in a store is going to be at least ‘okay’ to ‘good’. It has a certain seal of approval that Oculus has looked at it.”

The overwhelming impression given by Oculus is of a company that’s unwilling to be tied down by the VR industry’s early ideas about how the medium should work, or even by conventional wisdom that’s been inherited from the pre-VR era.


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The accelerating inspiration cycle
Dean Takahashi moderated a panel on the connection and inspiration happening between games, sci-fi, and real world tech at the Montreal International Game Summit. Panelists included Jonathan Morin, creative director at Ubisoft Montreal; Sebastian Alvarado, cofounder of Thwacke Consulting, science advisor for video games; and Andre Vu, executive brand director for the Deus Ex franchise at Eidos Montreal.

Exporting Saudi Arabian culture through film
A new initiative has Saudi Arabia introducing a generation of young filmmakers to Hollywood, while offering Americans a glimpse into their enigmatic culture. Despite a lack of commercial cinemas, film schools, or studio systems, a grassroots filmmaking scene is rapidly emerging in Saudi Arabia.

Nabil Elderkin: the man who captures the stars for album covers and music videos
Kanye West, the Weeknd and Bon Iver all owe a large part of their visual identity to the man who shoots their album covers and videos. Now, with a forthcoming movie, Nabil Elderkin has set his sights on Hollywood.

How TV shows are made
2016 has provided a bumper crop of compelling TV content. And all of it has to actually get written, shot, edited and distributed. BGR caught up some of the folks at CBS Digital, a creative studio and production entity within the CBS Television City studio complex in LA to get a look behind the scene.

Hollywood needs a new timetable to avoid the year-end glut
Academy Awards attention is supposed to help the movie business. But the math isn’t adding up. This year, there will be 15 films opening Dec. 21-28. That’s more than double the number from 2015. In November and December, 44 films will open, up from 34 last year.

Google’s Pixel campaign is bringing its brand reputation to hardware
It's so simple. That search bar. It's just a blank rectangle, and yet as soon as we see it, we know exactly what it is, what it's for, and how it's become an integral part of our everyday life. That search bar is also the star of Google's newest global campaign to pitch its newest foray into hardware, the Pixel smartphone.

Lessons that video games could learn from television drama
Game designer and programmer Brie Code wrote an interesting opinion piece for GamesIndustry.Biz, entitled “video games are boring.” The article questioned pretty much all our assumptions about what games are, how they work and what they can do.

China passes law to ensure films 'serve the people and socialism'
In development since 2011, China has passed new laws that ban film content deemed harmful to the “dignity, honour and interests” of the country. It also encourages the promotion of “socialist core values.”

How does the UK TV Industry equal its US counterpart?
Most things are bigger in America: portion sizes, buildings, roads, the TV industry. Bigger, however, does not always mean better. The problem is, in the case of the television industry, it does, according to Gemma Scarascia.

User-generated VR is poised to be a dominant market force
VR is all the rage these days, with much attention focused on innovative professional VR content and the high-end tools needed to create it. However, The User-Generated VR Revolution, a new study by Suite 48 Analytics, hosts of the annual Mobile Photo Connect conference, looks to the many innovative VR cameras and smartphone apps coming to market that enable users to capture 360° photos and videos.

The hopes and headaches of Snapchat’s glasses
Can Snapchat show off the masterful marketing and smooth execution required to produce a product that won’t die on stores shelves or in a desk drawer? The real question is whether people will want or need Spectacles when they already have a camera phone, how Snap Inc can avoid them becoming geeky or creepy, and how they might change the future of the startup and how we capture social media.

From Rihanna to Instagram: How Luc Besson's new obsessions brought
Filmmaker Luc Besson isn’t precious about where he works. Since he eschews computers and prefers to write out his scripts longhand with pen and paper, he is comfortable holing up wherever and whenever he happens to be and getting to work. In fact, he has but one simple creative demand.

Despite making around 2,000 movies a year, India’s film industry just doesn’t rake in enough money
Indian cinema may be churning out blockbusters that set the box office on fire but it will need many more movies such as Salman Khan-starrer Sultan or Akshay Kumar’s Airlift for the industry to make a global mark.

Freeing images from the page paradigm will change everything
Images are escaping the constraints of the page – whether physical or virtual – and this ability to view “more of a photo or video” (the scene on the left, the right, above, below, behind) as well as its depth information will become the baseline of how photos and videos are shared.

XOXO: How to make a movie for the under-20s
XOXO is the EDM film that seems perfectly pitched to win over young audiences - but only Netflix know if it’s actually working.

What’s wrong with video advertising and how to fix it
Video advertising holds so much promise, but it’s being severely hampered by everything from a dearth of choice ad spots to a surplus of fraud.

Toronto’s film industry is booming
Stoked by a drop in the Canadian dollar against the U.S. greenback, favorable tax credits and a surge in demand for original content by companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, film and television production is at a record in Canada. Toronto alone will play host to almost 700 productions in 2016, according to the city.

Tim Cook just nailed the problem with virtual reality
In the past, Apple C.E.O. Tim Cook has been reticent when it comes to his company’s plans to develop virtual and augmented reality technology. It is “really cool and has some interesting applications,” he said in January during a company earnings report, but didn’t reveal much more.

Jon Favreau on ‘Gnomes & Goblins’ and Virtual Reality
“Gnomes & Goblins” is Mr. Favreau’s experiment with virtual reality. Hovering somewhere between a movie and a game, the preview version of the project makes you the protagonist and sets you in the middle of an enchanted forest, where you can build a relationship with a timid, tiny goblin living there. How you choose to interact with him determines where the story goes.

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