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Desktop and Console VR History

Desktop and Console VRLearn basics of Desktop and Console VR

Desktop and Console VR are major parts of VR community. is a great place to start learning, improve your Desktop and Console VR skills and knowledge. We have dedicated video library and premium projects for those who want to improve their career prospects. Here you can watch live VR projects. Become part of this community today!


Desktop and Console VR Introduction

Desktop VR is one of the major parts of VR community. We have already discussed how Mobile VR works and have covered it in one of our learning page. Desktop VR is not too different from mobile VR, but it covers different user segment and hence has different hardware and development methodologies.

Experts do believe that the difference between a desktop VR and mobile VR is diminishing slowly. However, there are enough differences that we just cannot ignore. The first thing you will encounter is that Desktop VR hardware is superior compared to the mobile VR. They are more versatile and hence more capable of providing immersion. Hardware set for Desktop VR is also diverse and promise better immersion.

According to Wikipedia, “VR has been defined as "a realistic and immersive simulation of a three-dimensional 360-degree environment, created using interactive software and hardware, and experienced or controlled by movement of the body" or as an "immersive, interactive experience generated by a computer.”

Desktop VR Hardware is as follows: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive

Console VR stands out in comparison with Desktop and Mobile VR. Consoles always have the choice for gamers who want a more streamlined gaming experience and don’t want customization as their top priority.

Console VR is also the cheapest compared to Desktop VR. Console VR, just like Desktop VR should not be compared to mobile VR. Right now, there are only two players in the console, Sony’s Playstation and Microsoft’s Xbox. Both companies are investing a lot of money to make their platform future proof. Playstation VR is currently the only hardware that meets the requirement of console VR. Surprisingly, Console VR is cheaper and more affordable compared to its counterparts in the desktop VR section. Right now, new titles, updates, and hardware revisions are in progress for the PlayStation VR.

Microsoft, on the other hand, is not sure about VR integration in their upcoming Scorpio. However, there are rumors that they will move towards mixed reality(a combination of VR and AR).

History of Desktop and Console VR

The history of Desktop VR can easily be related to the evolution of its hardware. Two major hardware that accelerated the growth of Desktop VR is the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Let’s learn more about both hardware below.

In 2010, Palmer Luckey designed the first prototype of Oculus Rift. This prototype, built on a shell of another virtual reality headset, was only capable of rotational tracking. However, it boasted a 90-degree field of vision which was previously unseen in the consumer market at the time. This initial design would later serve as a basis for later designs.

In 2013, Valve discovered, and freely shared the breakthrough of low-persistence displays which make a lag-free and smear-free display of VR content possible. This was adopted by Oculus and was used in all their future headsets.

In early 2014, Valve showed off their SteamSight prototype, the precursor to both consumer headsets released in 2016. It shared major features with the consumer headsets including separate 1K displays per eye, low persistence, positional tracking over a large area, and Fresnel lenses.

On March 25, 2014, Facebook purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion. This purchase had occurred before any of the devices ordered through Oculus' 2012 Kickstarter was shipped. In that same month, Sony announced Project Morpheus (its code name for PlayStation VR), a virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4 video game console.

In February–March 2015, HTC and Valve Corporation announced the virtual reality headset HTC Vive and controllers. The set included tracking technology called Lighthouse, which utilized wall-mounted "base stations" for positional tracking using infrared light.

Desktop and Console VR Tools

When it comes to tools, there are many Desktop VR tools. You can pick up available tools and start exploring the world of VR. Let’s go through some of them one by one.

  • Unity Game Engine Unity game engine is one of the best ways to learn VR or start your companies’ VR app development. It can be mobile, Desktop or console. Unity has grown substantially in the last few years. It has excellent documentation and sample projects to follow and cover.
  • Hi Fidelity Hi Fidelity is an open source software enabling developers to create amazing VR experiences. The software can be used by anyone including entrepreneurs, makers, educators and anyone who is interested in building VR apps.
  • JanusVR A Virtual reality internet browser. The browser enables developers to work on their VR product and explore the diverse world of VR.
  • MozVR MozVR is an initiative by Mozilla. By using MozVR, you get all the tools for VR experiences. It also follows WebVR standards.
  • OSVR OSVR is an open standard for creating VR applications. The VR ecosystem is flexible and enables VR customization across different brands. The result is a great VR experience.
  • Unreal Engine Unreal Engine is also a great tool to make VR games. It has a steep learning curve compared to the other engines, but it is worthwhile if you are interested to mastering the craft of VR development.

Desktop and Console VR headsets

Just like Mobile VR headsets, there are plenty of desktop VR headsets. Let’s go through the major desktop VR headsets below.

  • Oculus Rift: Oculus Rift is one of the best VR headset in the market. With readily available developer kits and SDK, you can easily build games for the Oculus Rift. One of the drawbacks of Oculus Rift is the cost associated with it. You also need to spend 200$ more on getting the Oculus controllers.
  • HTC Vive/Stream VR: Just like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive is very popular. It comes with all the accessories that you will need to make it work out of the box. No need to spend more than the initial price tag. Developers can also make use of the headset to make games for it. Readily available information and vast HTC Vive community enable anyone to start developing VR apps.
  • PlayStation VR: PlayStation VR is the console VR system by Sony. It is code named under Project Morpheus. It is out in the market with tons of games for the platform. Right now, there are plenty of Playstation VR games in the market that you can try out.

Education Ecosystem VR Project Creators

If you are wondering where to get started to learn VR, the best way is to watch VR streams on Education Ecosystem. Let’s list the top 5 VR Project Creators on Education Ecosystem.

Project Creators!

Desktop and Console VR Best Books

Learning VR is always a fun activity. The books consist of tons of VR tutorials. All the books offers practical knowledge and offers amazing VR examples. The books are categorized into three sections, beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

  • Book cover

    Learning Virtual Reality: Developing Immersive Experiences and Applications for Desktop, Web, and Mobile

    by Tony Paris

    This hands-on guide takes you through VR development essentials for desktop, mobile, and browser-based applications. You’ll explore the three go-to platforms—OculusVR, Gear VR, and Cardboard VR—as well as several VR development environments, programming tools, and techniques.

  • Book cover

    Virtual Reality Technology

    by Grigore C. Burdea, Philippe Coiffet

    This book is the first comprehensive technical book on the subject of virtual reality provides updated and expanded coverage of the technology—where it originated, how it has evolved, and where it is going.

  • Book cover

    The Virtual Reality Programmer's Kit

    by Johannes Stein

    A toolkit for designing and building virtual reality software. This book/disk set includes scores of tips and codes for adding advanced features to virtual worlds for advanced C programmers, such as the ability to link up more than one person over a network or modem, 3D sound and animation. The disk includes a VR programming language, REND386, which shows beginners how to design simple virtual worlds.

Desktop VR Projects

The best way to learn is to evolve yourself with Projects. Let’s look at some of the best Desktop VR projects that you can follow. Most of the projects are available on GitHub, so you can check them and download their source file.

RiftSketch is a HTML5 live-coding environment based on WebVR. You can experiment with the code and learn something new. A great way to learning new stuff and doing experimentation.

Explore this project!

NewtonVR is a physics based VR interaction system that you can use for your VR games. You can download it from the GitHub page or download it from Unity Asset Store.

Explore this project!

The GearVRf is a light-weight VR framework that can be used to create powerful VR applications. The VR applications that are created using GearVRf runs on the Gear VR and Google Daydream.

Explore this project!

Revive Compatibility Layer is a layer between the OpenVR and Oculus SDK. This allows anyone to play exclusive Oculus games on HTC vive.

Explore this project!

OpenVR is a runtime and API that enables developers to access VR hardware from multiple vendors. The platform enables development for multiple hardware without rewriting code for the other platforms.

Explore this project!

Desktop VR Community

Virtual Reality is the future of technology. That’s why there are plenty of communities online that you can use for the purpose of the enriching your learning or networking. Google VR community is the best community to hang out. You can follow Google VR blog to learn a lot about VR in general.

Education Ecosystem also offers the opportunity for VR developers and learners to network and find useful VR content. You can follow them and learn a lot.

VR Gurus

  • Daniel Corey

    Daniel Corey

    Daniel Corey is the author of the RedCity and Moriarty for ImageComics. His company focuses on creating graphic novels that can fully utilize the power of Virtual reality.

  • Eva Hoerth

    Eva Hoerth is a virtual reality design researcher and community builder at Ratlab. She strongly believes that VR has a lot of potentials and there is a long way to go.

    Eva Hoerth
  • Jaron Zepel

    Jaron Zepel

    Jaron Zepel Lanier is an American computer philosophy writer, computer scientist, visual artist, and composer of classical music. A pioneer in the field of virtual reality (a term he is credited with popularizing, Lanier and Thomas G. Zimmerman left Atari in 1985 to found VPL Research, Inc., the first company to sell VR goggles and gloves.

  • John D. Carmack

    John D. Carmack (born August 20, 1970) is an American game programmer, aerospace, and virtual reality engineer. He co-founded id Software. Carmack was the lead programmer of the id video games Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, Rage and their sequels.

    John D. Carmack
  • Char Davies

    Char Davies

    Char Davies (born 1954) is a Canadian contemporary artist known for creating immersive virtual reality (VR) artworks. A founding director of Softimage, Co, she is considered a world leader in the field of virtual reality and a pioneer of bio-feedback VR

Desktop and Console VR Conferences

As there are a lot of mobile VR content developed every year, Conferences are held every year. One of the most popular mobile conferences are the Mobile VR: Enhancing the Entertainment Experience. Vision Summit also offers a good glimpse of VR world. It also covers AR as both fields are mutual in many ways. Another big conference where VR is a part is the GDC conference.