Tomorrow marks the start of a long week for virtual reality (VR) as both the 2015 Game Developers Conference (GDC) and Mobile World Congress (MWC) kick off. Even before either of these shows can start there’s been huge news for the technology, namely that smartphone maker HTC has partnered with Valve to reveal the HTC Vive, a new head-mounted display (HMD). A long list of companies has been announced to be working on the device, though a notable omission is Unreal Engine 4 creator Epic Games. However the studio has hinted that a collaboration may be in the works.
Following the announcement of Vive the developer of upcoming VR music experience Synesthesia took to Twitter to ask Epic Games, via its Unreal Engine account, if support for the device could be included in Unreal Engine 4.8. The company’s reply was a simple ‘Stay tuned!’, suggesting that an announcement could be around the corner. If that is the case then there’s a chance such news could be revealed at GDC. Unreal Engine 4 is set to have a big presence at the show and Valve will reveal more on the Steam VR system that Vive runs with.
Epic Games only recently released Unreal Engine 4.7. Among other upgrades, the new version includes a ‘VR Preview’ that allows developers to quickly view their work inside the Oculus Rift HMD as well as a plug-in for Leap Motion’s wireless hand-tracking controller. The engine has proved extremely popular for VR development throughout the past year, adding support for other HMDs such as Project Morpheus on PlayStation 4 and Samsung’s smartphone-based device, Gear VR.
GDC runs from 2nd – 6th March 2015 in San Francisco, California, USA. VRFocus will be there to deliver all of the latest updates on the technology as well as provide hands-on impressions, interviews and much more.