After the surprise announcement that Valve would be revealing a “SteamVR Dev Kit” at next week’s GDC 2015, yet another huge entrant may be about to join the virtual reality arena. The company is reportedly on the verge of revealing a “Titan VR” headset, and may do so at an event next week during GDC.

‘Heating up’ hardly describes what’s in store for VR at GDC 2015; at this point we’ve reached ‘fever pitch’.

SlashGear speculated yesterday that GPU maker Nvidia might reveal a virtual reality headset at a March 3rd event titled ‘Made to Game’. Invites to the event included a tease from the company’s President, Jensen Huang, that the revealed is “more than 5 years in the making” and will “redefine the future of gaming.”

See Also: The Games Industry is Gearing Up for VR’s Arrival at GDC 2015 – Road to VR will be There

Today our friendly neighbors at VRFocus reported that “multiple sources” had confirmed that Nvidia would be revealing their own VR headset, which may be named ‘Titan VR’. Further, the blog says “The product is being created by the team behind Nvidia’s SHIELD tablet,” and speculates that it could be revealed during Nvidia’s GDC presentation, ‘VR Direct: How NVIDIA Technology Is Improving the VR Experience’ on March 4th at 2pm PST.

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Road to VR will be at Nvidia’s ‘Made to Game’ event and also at the ‘VR Direct’ session to report on what’s revealed.


nvivida geforce gtx 980 virtual reality 2Back in September, Nvidia launched their latest line of ‘Maxwell’ GPUs, which the company said would include a range of VR-specific features to make games look and run better in virtual reality.

Baseline Latency: Our engineers worked to cut all aspects of the connection between the game and the GPU, significantly improving latency.

MFAA: Using a new technology called multi-frame sampled anti-aliasing, or MFAA, Maxwell can combine many AA sample positions, producing what appears to be a higher-quality image. And it does this without the performance hit caused by other anti-aliasing technologies.

Asynchronous Warp: This starts with the last scene rendered, and lets the GPU update it based on head position information. By warping the image later in the rendering pipeline, Maxwell cuts discontinuities between head movement and action on screen. And by doing it asynchronously, it avoids stalling the GPU, robbing it of performance.

SLI: We’re also tuning the way our GPUs work together when they’re paired to drive virtual reality experiences. In the past, our GPUs would alternate rendering frames when joined in SLI mode. For VR, we’re changing the way our GPUs work in SLI, with each GPU rendering one display.

DSR: With the displays in a VR headset resting close to the user’s eyes, higher resolution can improve the VR experience. Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) – which we’re introducing with Maxwell – helps us take the resolution from 1 megapixel per eye to 4 megapixels per eye.

GeForce Experience: Rather than asking users to tweak all these settings when using VR, we’re implementing them to run automatically with our GeForce Experience software.

Optimized Content: Few applications support VR headsets. So we’re bringing VR support to games that already work with NVIDIA 3D Vision.

Although Nvidia has been slow to get these features out the door, we expect to get an update during the company’s ‘VR Direct’ event.

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  • seanlumly

    There are few companies better equipped to leverage VR outside of Nvidia. They have the brand, manufacturing/marketing experience, electronics IP, and developer advocacy to do it better than most.

    I just hope that they announce a hybrid mobile/tethered headset powered by Tegra X1 and a very high 4K resolution, as this would be an insta-buy for me.

    I would also love to see development of ultra-low latency wireless links (even requiring line-of-sight) that enable wireless without the latency issues. That would be a meaningful development, and one that PC enthusiasts would be happy to receive.

    • Curtrock

      You make some very valid points. The evolution of VR hardware is starting to boom. I’m grateful that Oculus is focusing on the UX, and not just the tech. It’s looking like there will be at least a few viable HMD’s in the near future, but without compelling/non-nauseating content, all the hardware won’t mean anything.

      • seanlumly

        Indeed. But the tremendous interest in VR ensures that there will be a ton of experimentation, which in-turn implies that compelling solutions are bound to emerge!

        I don’t know if Nvidia will get the UX, but they may not have to — as is the case with GPUs, they may rely the community to deal with this.

  • Don Gateley

    Revealing, revealing and yet more revealing. You’ve got to wonder if all that will ever eventuate to shipping, shipping and yet more shipping. Among all these companies there is more vapor than I’ve ever seen surround any tech with nothing yet delivered other than early crude prototypes (and that only Oculus.)

    Perhaps GDC can help separate the wheat from the chaff. But, you know, I doubt it.

  • Don Gateley

    Oops. I completely forgot GearVR and of course at the tail end of crude, Cardboard.

    Should I be surprised at how little has been written about GearVR since the splash?

  • joestar

    All of this competition is great given that there’s an open VR standard in the works. However I’m worried about Nvidia entering the arena. It seems likely that their VR headset will perform much better than all of the other competitors given their background. This in isolation is good, but what will be bad is if they tightly couple their headset with their (assumed) VR-optimized GPU hardware and also force developers to use a closed API in order to take advantage of any extra performance gains. Such anticompetitive practices could really hurt VR. I hope Valve and Oculus get theirs to market (along with some high profile games) long before Nvidia to decrease the chances of this happening.

    Duopolies suck.

    • seanlumly

      I doubt that API lock-in will be a problem with this medium at the start. I doubt that Nvidia would forgo support of OpenGL/DirectX in favour of some new, exotic API that will see very little adoption from the start: development often requires years of lead-time, and developers generally do not like full-scale migration, meaning a new API would render the device inert from the start with poor support following. Tracking is likely to be proprietary, but I would imagine that it would be very easily portable between platforms in that it is bound to be a tiny fraction of actual development.

      In the end, unless Nvidia ties their VR headset to a particular market (ala iOS and iTunes), it will likely be an platform that can be used by any software, like most PC peripherals.

  • Portergatekeeper7

    Wow, Valve VR and now Nvida VR.
    Now the big wigs in techknowlogy are getting into the fray.
    Is this like how it was in the mid to late 80s when the PC was brought to the world in mass.
    Someone got to say it, new cool HMD VR displays and Nvidia’s work on optimized hardware for VR ? Let’s call it VR Candy as in eye candy ?
    Rev. Kyle got it right, 2015 will be the mile mark year for VR.
    The difficult part is waiting on any one of the consumer version HMD sometime this year.

  • spark

    Let me guess what Nvidia is up to.

    They will have a direct wireless mounted on the graphics card.

    They will have some proprietary interface that will screw up other VR headsets if not otherwise licenced.

    They will try to stuff the VR scene just like they have with PC stereo scene.

    This may work in two parts.

    It will start with free drivers for PC and then switch to proprietary drivers, possibly when their friends at Microsoft develop the next iteration of Windows. Seen this happen before. Never again.

  • Jacob Pederson

    Are we thinking Android based wireless headset with the Shield ecosystem supporting or tethered to PC like Oculus? I’m thinking tethered to PC is more likely, but why not both :) Also, I think we should be wary of supporting Nvidia in this as other folks have mentioned above, they have done a very poor job with 3dVision and we should expect more of the same with VR.

  • Branden Bates

    ” For VR, we’re changing the way our GPUs work in SLI, with each GPU rendering one display.” Perhaps they are saying / point of view(eye) which would make some since, but if they really mean separate displays then there hardware is a,wee bit different from most other players. Ether way I see g-sync must for coordinating what each eye sees.