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Crytek Moves to Go Full VR, Announces Awesome Virtual Reality Game

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Crytek, a German video-game developer known for its highly realistic video-games and its high performance game engine CryEngine, is preparing to push into Virtual Reality (VR) gaming, UploadVR reports.

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“At Crytek we have always been pushing the limits of what we can do,” said Crytek’s director of production David Bowman, “but VR excites us as a team in a way nothing else has before.” He added:

[VR is] going to change the way we view entertainment. If you want to be relevant in four years in game development, you have to have a VR solution.

VR technology places users in artificial worlds built with computer-generated scenery. First developed for the space program, military simulations, and industrial applications, virtual reality entered the entertainment and video-gaming industries in the 2000s.

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The progress of VR has been limited by the lack of suitable interface hardware for consumers. VR interface gear for precise hand and body motion sensing and high resolution head-tracking viewers have been highly priced specialized hardware so far. But next-generation, affordable consumer headsets like the Oculus Rift surround users with high-resolution 3D scenery and permit full immersion in virtual worlds and video-games.

The Era of Virtual Reality is Here (Microsoft)

CrytekLast year Facebook purchased Oculus VR, the team behind the Oculus Rift, for $2 billion, which shows the commitment of the social networking giant to surfing the coming VR wave. Facebook is not alone: Microsoft has recently announced a partnership with Oculus VR to bring Oculus-powered VR to Xbox gamers.

“Advances in technology have finally allowed the geniuses creating virtual reality platforms to bring their visions to life like never before. The era of virtual reality is here,” states the MIcrosoft announcement. Most leading developers of video-game have announced support for the Oculus Rift in their upcoming titles.

Crytek added Oculus Rift support to CryEngine, which is available to developers for an affordable monthly subscription.

“Since showcasing our own work with VR, we’ve seen an overwhelming response from developers who want to use CryEngine for their virtual reality projects as well,” said CryEngine Creative Director Frank Vitz. “CryEngine offers a degree of visual fidelity that many people feel is foundational to a compelling VR experience. We can’t wait to see what other CryEngine users create now that they have VR capabilities at their fingertips.”

Crytek showed impressive VR demos at the recent E3 gaming conference, and company representatives confirmed that Crytek is working on a VR title called Robinson: The Journey. Crytek states that the game will offer players an unparalleled sense of presence in a game world as they assume the role of a young boy who has crash-landed on a mysterious planet. With freedom to explore their surroundings in 360 degrees of detail, players will become pioneers by interacting with the rich ecosystem around them and unearthing incredible secrets at every turn.

“Today’s VR technologies are enabling us to bring together CryEngine’s capabilities and our legacy in creating immersive gaming experiences like never before,” said Bowman.

The time we’re spending in Robinson: The Journey as we develop it is transforming the way we think about games, and we can’t wait until everyone has the chance to set foot in this universe for themselves.

Images from Crytek.

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Artificial Intelligence

Students Create Doom AI Which Learns Visually and Kills Humans in Deathmatch

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Two students from Carnegie Mellon University recently placed second in an artificial intelligence competition for their submission of a program that was able to learn the game Doom the same way humans do – by playing.

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Communication

Sony Introduces 2FA for PlayStation Users

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In a long-awaited and overdue move, Sony has finally introduced two-factor authentication to PlayStation users who can now enable the security feature on their PlayStation Network (PSN) accounts.

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Five years after suffering a devastating hack that compromised the user details of some 77 million PlayStation Network users, Sony has introduced two-factor authentication (2FA) on PSN accounts. Sony confirmed the news with a tweet last night, explaining how the feature works.

“By requiring two forms of identification for sign-in, your account and personal information will be better protected.” Sony wrote in its blog.

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Users will be asked to provide a verification code that will be texted to their mobile phones at the time of signing into their PSN account. While the feature isn’t hack-proof (nothing is, really), it provides a much-needed extra layer of protection that a large platform like the PlayStation Network, with over 100 million uses, deserves.

Sony PS 2FA

Sony added:

Passwords can be compromised if you use the same password for multiple accounts, click on malicious links, open phishing emails and other methods.

If your password is compromised and becomes known to someone other than yourself, your account will still require a verification code to gain access when you activate 2-Step Verification.

With the feature, Sony caught up with its console rival Microsoft. The Redmond-based software giant had introduced 2FA for Xbox back in 2013, during the days of Xbox 360. Other platforms which sees millions of users such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter and others have been offering 2FA security for years.

It is perhaps baffling that Sony took as long as it did to introduce 2FA security, after the 2011 breach. At the time, the hack had Sony admitting that names, email addresses, billing addresses, account passwords and some credit card numbers were all exposed. The fallout saw Sony fined by the UK government. Furthermore, Sony also agreed to a settlement in a class action lawsuit, worth millions, granting PSN users in the United States the means to claim damages if they suffered identity theft as a result of the data breach.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Fun Hacks

British Whizz Kid Hacks Pokemon Go; Catches Monsters Without Breaking a Sweat

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Pokemon Go

A 25-year-old British former computer science student has discovered a loophole in the popular Pokemon Go allowing him to catch Pokemon without leaving the comfort of his home.

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According to reports, players of the game have resorted to donating thousands of pounds to keep Mark Gore’s ‘bot’ running. Five lawyers are alleged to have urged him to remove the programme.

Mr Gore has stated that his loophole wasn’t designed to take the fun out of the game, which is reported to have seen users harassed by police for walking into restricted areas, according to the British tabloid newspaper, the Sun.

He stated that it was easy exploiting the game, which was created by Niantic. Gore said that over 24,000 people worldwide had been using his site to take advantage of his ‘bot’.

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He said:

I don’t think I’m spoiling people’s fun. If you look at the age bracket of people playing this game, it’s not all teenagers playing. There are a lot of people who work all day and don’t have the time to spend hours each day going out and catching Pokemon.

He added that those who want to can run the program in the comfort of their own home for two hours a day and still maintain the same level of fun to those who walk around collecting Pokemon.

While it certainly adds a level of safety to the game, does it not take away the authentic feel of it too?

Featured image from Matthew Corley via Shutterstock.

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