GPU and SoC giant Nvidia has taken its first tentative steps into the world of games, releasing a first-party title dubbed VR Funhouse.
While Nvidia is a name commonly associated with gaming, representing as it does the majority share of discrete graphics card sales, the company has previously left the content generation up to others. Now, though, it's having a crack at developing its own titles, releasing a virtual reality game it claims is the 'world's most advanced
' - and giving it away for free.
Developed by Nvidia's in-house LightSpeed Studios and initially used as an in-house VR tech demo, the Unreal Engine 4-powered VR Funhouse exists for two reasons. 'First, we wanted it to be fun. To be enjoyed by people of all ages, whether or not they’ve tried VR, whether or not they’re an early adopter,
' claimed Nvidia's Victoria Rege in the release announcement
. 'Second, it was created to show how immersive VR can be when physics simulation is fully integrated into an experience.
Naturally, the mini-game-laden VR Funhouse is a showcase for Nvidia-exclusive technologies. GameWorks-powered effects featured in the title include PhysX Destruction for the shooting targets, FleX for cloth and fluid simulation, Flow for particle movement, and HairWorks for the Whack-A-Mole games, while Nvidia's VRWorks technologies are also included to boost rendering performance.
While VR Funhouse is currently being provided as a simple freebie for end-users to enjoy, Nvidia has loftier visions. The company has confirmed plans to open-source the game some time this summer, allowing developers to build upon it and integrate the same technologies into their own VR titles.
VR Funhouse is available on Steam
now, but requires a hefty system: as well as a compatible VR headset, players will need a GeForce GTX 980 Ti or GeForce 10-series GPU, with Nvidia itself recommending dual GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs for 'the best, most immersive experience.