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Nvidia's New VR Funhouse is Pushing Virtual Reality Effects to The Next-Level

The VR Funhouse is available for free download (this month) through Valve's Steam service online.

Dylan Moran, Blogger

July 22, 2016

4 Min Read

Designed for new GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards, Nvidia’s VR Funhouse is a collection of interactive carnival mini games.

It is released on Steam for free download this month and right now it's exclusive to the HTC Vive VR headsets.

VR Funhouse will not run on most of the old gaming computers.

It requires a powerful computer GPU to let you experience the very realistic haptics and visual effects built upon Unreal Engine 4. 

You need a minimum “GTX 980Ti or GTX 1070” to play the new VR Funhouse at low graphics settings. The mightier GeForce GTX 1080 that runs at 90 fps can get you a medium graphics setting. But for the ultimate graphics and most immersive VR experience you would need two GPUs – like GTX 1080 and 980Ti paired together. 

Even though Nvidia has emphasized on single Pascal card to be powerful enough to run demanding games at a VR, the system configuration they used for VR Funhouse demonstration was powered by three GTX 1080's running parallel.

According to Nvidia, their system demands this GPU configuration to enable advanced physics simulation and detailed rendering.

All 7 mini games are pretty simple – an archery game, virtual whack-a-mole, a paint-gun game to inflate and pop balloons. But each game is packed with a variety of tools that are pushing the capabilities of high-end graphics hardware: Nvidia PhysX, Flow, FleX, Destruction, and Hairworks.

One of the target skeet-shooting games needs you to blast plates and teacups, but all the particles have real physics that can be shot at and shattered as many times as you can aim well enough. The paint-gun game uses fluid simulation wherein streams of fluid paint wobble and interact in real time. Fire effects in archery moves dynamically. Also the Hairworks in the whack-a-mole game, where the furry-headed stuffed-animal have adorable heads of fuzzy hair that sway around are extraordinary realistic.

The main goal for VR Funhouse as expressed by Nvidia, is not really to develop an outstanding gaming experience. But it is to demonstrate how pushing new tools can take advantage of new graphics hardware and deliver an unmatched gaming and VR performance.

The company is not interested in going much further in developing VR games. However, they do plan to release new mini games to boost popularity of current seven-game lineup VR Funhouse which will be available for download later this year. Nvidia again intends to only showcase a sample of a next wave of VR games with higher-end graphics settings.

Meanwhile, the first version of VR Funhouse will also be open sourced to developers so they can make use of what Nvidia has built and create their own VR Funhouse attractions.

Not only ‘VR gaming’ gets a boost with this effort, but all other streams looking for their future in VR can also benefit. Education, Tourism, eCommerce, Healthcare, Business and Sports are amongst the top industries to take advantage of any innovation in technology apart from Gambling and Porn that have always been there and possibly contributing to the majority of the contribution towards popularity and sales of new technology.

Everyone is talking about VR. Check any website – popular healthcare blog, Education forum, or read casino forums. And Nvidia’s effort in improving the quality of VR experience would be appreciated and adopted across all industries around the world.

What all you need to enjoy VR Funhouse

The VR Funhouse is available for free download (this month) through Valve's Steam service online. In addition to this you would need HTC Vive VR headset ($750) and the minimum computer graphic configuration with a GeForce GTX 980Ti graphic card ($180) or GTX 1060 ($250) or GTX 1070 ($400). Get any one of these cards along with HTC Vive and you can enjoy the Nvidia's new virtual reality (VR) carnival at basic graphic quality.

To improve the experience to medium graphic settings go for the latest GeForce GTX 1080 ($750). But if you are keen of an ultimately immersive VR experience you will need two graphic cards configured parallel to your computer. These can either be both GeForce GTX 1080 ($1500) or a GTX 980Ti with GTX 1080 ($930).

No tutorial required to play the minigames

When you start the VR Funhouse there is not much of a sign or a direction to guide you through the games. All you need to know is that the trigger buttons are meant to interact with the objects or to grip them. Just wear your headset, grab the controllers, you will naturally and quickly pick up the technique required to play each minigame.

No expertise or skills required to play these games – just like at the real world carnival. For example, I do not have experience with firing a weapon, when I tried on the VR and my hands transform into revolvers, I could shoot the clay objects fired out of a moving cannon with much precision.

You must also try it!

Everyone gets blown away by the VR Funhouse experience. Believe the hype, get excited and checkout what the gaming world is crazy about.

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