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There's just 50 hours left in the kickstarter campaign for the Oculus Rift, which is a pretty snazzy name for a new virtual reality headset aimed for video games. Their campaign to get $250,000 of crowd sourced funding to get development kits of the Rift built and sent to interested developers has been a phenomenal success with over $2 million dollars pledged by backers, proving that there's definitely a huge interest in bringing back a new age for VR headsets.

One local developer that's still a fan of VR headsets and would be more than suited to making games in that space (see their augmented reality game, Spirit Hunters) is Sydney based Nnooo! They've made it in the final 5 from an initial list 100 developers in the running for a free development kit from the Oculus Rift developers. The two highest voted developers will get their hands on the development kit to make some truly immersive VR games with the Rift. From Nnooo's Facebook page stream...

How cool is this?
The Oculus Rift is a new virtual reality headset for video games which is about to be backed on Kickstarter. Over $2m has been pledged of a $250K goal, so it's way overfunded already.

They're running a competition for 2 game studios to get early access to development kits and we are one of the 5 finalists! That's from over 100 entries!

This is a public vote so if you'd like to see us make some cool virtual reality games, please vote for us.
Thank you!

Voting is really quick and easy to do, and you can complete it within a few seconds. If you want to support Nnooo! in getting their hands on a Rift development kit, vote for them now!! Voting ends once the Oculus Rift kickstarter campaign ends which is in roughly 50 hours, so vote here now!!!

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A new gesture control technology demonstrated by a company called Leap Motion has shown how much more precise it is when compared to the current range of motion controllers offered today on game consoles such as the Kinect or the Wii-mote. Leap Motion claims that 'the Leap' is the most accurate motion sensing device in the world - some 200 times more accurate than existing tech. It can track hundreds of thousands of points at a time, and as the Endadget video demonstration below shows, it picked up the spokesperson's finger movements within an accuracy of a centremetre. Leap Motion had a goal for the Leap for complex human to computer interaction, where the moulding of a virtual piece of clay is possible. It's so sensitive that you can play Halfbrick's hit arcade fruit slicing game, Fruit Ninja, with just your fingers. Sweeping screenwide slices were possible without needing to make too much movement of your wrists which will be an advantage over something like the Kinect where moving your limbs around to do similar tasks causes fatigue after a certain amount of time. Leap Motion were a bit tight lipped on how the technology is exactly doing all of this and under such low latency and CPU power due to patents they are currently in the process of applying for, but the Engadget article did reveal that it made unique use of infrared LEDs and cameras which also means that the unit small and cheap to make. Consoles aren't what Leap Motion are primarily aiming for, however. It will be initially be available as a stand-alone peripheral, but the company is in talks to have the Leap embedded into systems such as laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets.
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Apple's latest iPad offering has at least two local games developers excited about the prospects for their upcoming games on the new hardware. Smartcompany.com.au has the responses of two of Australia's leading mobile games developers on the new Ipad and both have remarked on its stand-out 2048 x 1536 pixel screen resolution and what it means for their games.

For Firemint CEO, Rob Murray, even testing for their new retina-enabled iPad games brings about an unusual challenge. From Smartcompany.com.au...

(Rob Murray) The resolution on the new iPad is larger than we can represent on our monitors, so to simulate games like Real Racing 2 and Flight Control Rocket for the device we have to put two monitors side by side...

The new iPad is a great example of portable technology outpacing the desktop and lounge room. I can't wait to get our hands on the new chipsets and show what Firemint can do.

Likewise, Halfbrick Chief Marketing Officer, Phil Larsen, is also excited about the new technology. However, he shares the same thoughts that many iOS developers have now that they'll be working with four times the number of pixels that it's predecessor, the iPad 2, had...

From The Verge...

(Phil Larsen) We are extremely excited about the massive resolution – it’s going to mean a lot of hard work to improve our games but we always want to move forward and increase our quality bar ... Apple said themselves that with a little bit of time, developers can do things that are mind-blowing. That’s definitely what we are setting out to achieve, so the team in Australia will be getting down to business – as soon as they wake up!

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Local developers Firemint and Sidhe Interactive are listed as just two of the 80 publishers and games developers listed so far that have been given the go ahead to develop for Sony's recently announced PSP2, the codenamed "NGP" for Next Generation Portable. Sidhe are hoping to announce some titles for the next-generation PlayStation Portable, which Sony has described "is as powerful as the PlayStation 3", within the upcoming months.

Sidhe Managing director, Mario Wynands, explains to Stuff.co.nz what the new platform means for the New Zealand based games developer...

(Mario) Our strategy is to make great games and take them across as many platforms as possible and this is another opportunity where we have the ability to self-publish and deliver content digitally. That's a great opportunity not only for us but for other developers throughout the country and around the world.

The PSP2 will have an initial release in the fourth quarter of 2011 and boasts the following features:

- 4 core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore
- 5" OLED capacitive touchscreen
- 960 × 544 pixels
- Rear touchpad
- Six-axis motion sensing
- Three-axis electronic compass
- D-pad, 12 Buttons, 2 Analog sticks
- Front camera, rear camera
- Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth
- proprietary flash memory "E-Media" card

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/04/08 - 12:24 PM Permalink

Come on fellas The wii is the console to have, why are you guys even reading this?

The 360 has been retailing in Australia for over two years now, and Screenplay thought it a good time to catch up with Xbox Product Marketing Manager Jeremy Hinton on a wide range of topics. The interview covers, the successes, such as Xbox Live, as well as the failures, such as the Red Ring and HD-DVD, of the 360 so far, as well as the retail pricing of games in Australia, television and movie downloads and briefly touching upon our R18+ (or lack of) classification issue.

I always think that parallel importation hurts the local industry because someone loses out somewhere. We want to support our retailers, ideally we really want our customers to be purchasing from local retailers and supporting our business as well. I think right now the numbers are relatively small, but that doesn't mean that they may not increase very rapidly. But at the same time, consumers are certainly well within their rights to do so. If they are able to find a better deal and its going to work on their system, they are absolutely within their rights to do that. The exchange rate issue is one that is sometimes difficult to manage working for a company like this, it goes in swings and roundabouts. There are times when our exchange rate is terrible yet we maintain our pricing. And there are times, like the recent swing, where it's been great and we need to scramble to bring our prices a little bit closer to where they need to be.

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Found this over at AustralianIT. Hmmm.. April the 1st was 4 months ago!

"MICROSOFT has announced plans to place a security chip into every new PC to protect computers from hacking, snooping and unwelcome spam, while also providing the music and motion picture industries with security against piracy and copyright breaches."
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