Attendees to one of the longest running VR meetups around, the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality event, had an extra special treat in store for them this thanksgiving as Oculus dropped by with their latest feature prototype, the Crescent Bay. This video captures some of the demo recipient’s reactions.
SVVR was one of the first such community gathering of its kind to spring up in the wake of renewed interest in virtual reality. Its founder, Karl Krantz along with ‘Cymatic’ Bruce Wooden have hosted the event through 15 gatherings thus far with the movement’s popularity culminating in the first SVVR Conference, held at the Computer History Museum earlier in the year.
Oculus have been supporters of the event since the very beginning with Nate Mitchell, VP of Product at the company, turning up to the first event. For the ‘Holiday Party’, Oculus again attended, this time bringing with them their new feature prototype, Crescent Bay, which debuted recently at Oculus’ Inaugural Connect conference. The device wowed those who got their hands on it, with many claiming moments of ‘presence’ (the field research term for deep Psychological Immersion in VR) and others the hardware’s transparency, that is they completely forgot they were wearing a box on their face, losing themselves in the virtual experience.
Although SVVR attendees didn’t get the full suite of demos shown at Connect, they were treated to the spectacular Unreal Engine 4 powered Showdown demo, and as you can see from the video the power of the experience delivered by the new prototype is in clear evidence. Ben Lang wrote of his time with the device straight after his first demo, in particular of the Showdown demo:
The 10 minute session was capped off with Showdown, made by Epic Games in UE4, which put me in the middle of a city street with a slow motion action scene unfolding around me. Futuristic-looking troops were running alongside me firing their weapons. Rockets were flowing by with detailed trails of fire and smoke. The soldiers were firing at a huge robot that looked to be composed of alien technology. Debris flew by my face as bullets struck the ground. The whole time I’m flying slowly forward through the scene toward the robot. As I get nearer, a rocket blasts a car to my left and sends it flying over my head. Eventually the robot leans in and growls at my face (or whatever the robot equivalent of a growl is). This demo didn’t give me a feeling of presence—of truly being there—but it was fucking cool. And I think that’s the first time I’ve written that word on this site. I can’t wait to see experiences like this turned into rich narratives.
This SVVR demo was one of the first times Crescent Bay has been demo’d outside of an Oculus convention or their premises. It’s hoped that we’ll get to see more of the unit at next year’s CES in Las Vegas, the first major industry event since Oculus’ Connect. Road to VR will be there to find out more.