News

  • Oculus’ Mobile App now Supports Rift Remote install videogames on your way home.
  • Preview: Stormland – Redefining VR Adventure Games Insomniac Games are back for more VR-exclusive adventures, and it’s shaping-up to be something special.
  • OC5: 4K Oculus Half Dome Prototype Would Be ‘Straightforward’
    OC5: 4K Oculus Half Dome Prototype Would Be ‘Straightforward’

    According to Oculus’ Michael Abrash, fitting the company’s new Half Dome prototype with 4K displays would be “straightforward”.

    Abrash said as much during his keynote speech at Oculus Connect 5 today. He explained that the current Half Dome prototype, which made its debut at F8 earlier this year, has a resolution “roughly” the same as the Rift. He later added that “4K panels that would provide 30 pixels per degree over a 140 degree field of view have already been shown publicly, and using one in Half Dome would be straightforward.”

    4K resolution panels will be essential to giving us clearer VR experiences in the future, further eliminating the screen door effect (SDE) seen in current headsets.

    As Abrash alludes to in the quote, Half Dome also sports a 140 degree field of view and even varifocal displays that adapt to where the user is looking to accurately produce focal depth in VR. We were hoping we might be able to get a first look at the device at Connect this year though Oculus is focusing on its new standalone headset, Quest. Earlier in the day, Facebook’s Hugo Barra noted that Quest completed Oculus’ first generation of devices, lending more evidence to the idea that Half Dome will eventually materialize as Rift 2.

    When we’ll actually see that happen remains unclear although, according to Abrash, it could be a little sooner than we think.

    Tagged with: Half-Dome, Oculus Connect

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  • YouTube VR Comes to Oculus Go More VR video comes to Oculus Go as users get access to over 800 VR and 360-degree videos with YouTube VR.
  • Oculus’ Nate Mitchell: ‘2019 Represents Our Biggest Investment To Date’
    Oculus’ Nate Mitchell: ‘2019 Represents Our Biggest Investment To Date’

    Over half a billion dollars: that’s how much money Facebook claims to have invested in VR content since before the Rift launched in early 2016. Now with 2018 nearing an end and the next year of consumer VR on the horizon, they want to keep pumping that number up even higher.

    “2019 represents our biggest investment to date,” said Nate Mitchell, Oculus co-founder and Head of Rift at a pre-Oculus Connect 5 preview event last week. “We do think that one of the continued big growth drivers is content, so you’ll continue to see that investment as we build a world-class content library that appeals to a wide audience of gamers. A wide audience of gamers is really important.”

    Following 2018’s Marvel Powers United VR, a massive licensing deal for some of Marvel’s most respected and beloved superheroes all in one single game, that means a lot of big projects on the horizon. The likes of Defector, Stormland, whatever Respawn is working on, and more are all building up to big releases that could be some of the largest the VR market has seen to date.

    “That’s right and that’s generally the direction we’ve been going,” responded Mitchell. “If you look at the 2019 titles that we have coming up and add it all up, that represents our biggest total investment we’ve had to date.”

    In general, this is a stark contrast to this year and last year. Not long ago Jason Rubin proudly proclaimed that we can expect to see a new Oculus Studios game every single month — but that’s not the case anymore. Now it’s fewer releases with more time between them, but the games that do get released are much larger and more expensive.

    “Before we had been trying to experiment with different types of games and genres, whether that be first-person shooters, third-person games, top-down God view,” said Steve Arnold, Head of Oculus Studios, at the same preview event. “And now that we’ve gotten to the point that we’re starting to learn what really connects to a VR audience, what feels like magic in VR, we can pour more of that money into bigger games because we have more confidence that what we’re building is right. We like to give developers as much time as possible to get to the level of quality that we’re all happy with.”

    The game that came to mind immediately upon hearing that was Respawn’s title. The game was rumored to be in development over a year ago and then was officially “confirmed” and teased at OC4 last year. Which means it was likely in development for about a year before OC4, and it’s been a year since, with about a year left before release — at least, at this rate it may get bumped to 2020, who knows. That’s a solid 3+ years of development on a single title from a AAA-caliber studio.

    “There’s still more that we can learn,” said Arnold. “We aren’t at the point where want to fund a five or six year

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  • Defector Hands-On: Becoming Jason Bourne In VR Is A Blast
    Defector Hands-On: Becoming Jason Bourne In VR Is A Blast

    When I was younger, I wanted to be a secret spy. I’d imagine a lot of former young people would say the same thing. The escapades of James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Mission Impossible’s Ethan Hunt just seemed like such amazing and heroic jobs to have. Clearly I went down a very different path professionally, but the fantasy is still there in the back of my mind. After playing the latest demo for Defector, it’s not just a fantasy anymore.

    I’d imagine Twisted Pixel’s pitch for Defector was pretty straight forward: let’s make an action-packed VR game in which you play as an international super star spy with fancy gadgets and smooth talking skills. You’ll travel the world, scale skyscrapers, and jump out of airplanes doing action hero stuff — all in VR. And there’s branching dialogue trees, multiple ways to solve missions, and it’s full smooth locomotion. Easy, right?

    Obviously these are all comparisons I made back when I first played Defector at a pre-E3 event. My feelings on the game haven’t really changed much, but based on the OC5 demo I tried before the event last week, they’ve strengthened.

    The main highlight of the demo was a chase sequence through a town in India. As is standard in this type of setting, obviously I had to chase someone through alleys and across rooftops. Every now and then the man would throw boxes down to try and disrupt me or I’d lose track and have to stop to scan a scaffolding in the distance.

    Defector is at its best when it doesn’t slow down to let you try and think about what to do next. I’d run across a rooftop, fall down through a crumbling ceiling, get up and keep right on going. At one point, also shown down in the trailer at the end of this post, you can see the player running and then jumping across an entire alley several stories through the air, crashing down on top of the target, and then smashing through a door into a hotel room. Moments like that are what Defector is all about.

    In past demos I’ve jumped out of an airplane only to then grab onto the exterior of another airplane and scale it with enemies falling around me. I’ve driven a sports car out of an airplane, shot enemies while falling through the air, and then crashed it into the side of another airplane in slow motion. I’ve even shot down fighter planes using machine guns from an exit door of another air plane.

    I can’t wait to see what kind of other trouble I can get into.

    Since this particular demo was so focused on the chase scene, I didn’t see much of Defector’s other game systems. There are branching dialogue trees (shown above) that can alter the path of a mission, resulting in varying events that up the replay value. Plus you can play as either a male or female agent depending on your preference.

    Defector is a few steps below the polish and

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  • Vox Machinae Hands-On: VR’s Most Immersive Mech Cockpit
    Vox Machinae Hands-On: VR’s Most Immersive Mech Cockpit

    I’ve played a lot of Archangel: Hellfire, Rigs was one of my favorite PSVR launch titles, and I still fantasize about a real Gundam VR game. But to date, Vox Machinae may have my favorite VR mech cockpit. It’s just the most perfect interpretation of how to do a cockpit in VR that takes full advantage of tracked motion controllers like Oculus Touch.

    What you’ll find is that with most VR mech games, the cockpit is a visual ornament. It looks nice to sit behind some controls, it helps alleviate motion sickness, and for the most part people it really does sell the immersion. But then you end up just miming the robot’s arm movements or using the joysticks on your controllers to move and it defeats the purpose. Vox Machinae is different.

    When controlling my mech in Vox Machinae, I had to actually interact with my cockpit. Want to go full speed ahead? I’ll need to reach down to my left and push the throttle forward. Boosting up in the air and spinning around to shoot someone behind me? I’ve got to pull up on the boost control at my left, then reach down to the right to turn the stick around to face behind me.

    It sounds cumbersome, but what you lose in speed and finesse is more than made up for in sheer immersion. These are absolutely enormous robots and they certainly feel as massive and powerful as they look in a game like this. It’s a bit awkward, but that feels by design rather than because of control issues.

    I only got the chance to play a single match, but it lasted about 15 minutes and had my palms sweating by the end. Because of how deliberate everything is in Vox Machinae, the skill ceiling is very high. Not only will you need to learn the weight and physics and jump speed and so much more of your mech, but the maps are enormous and there appear to be lots of weapons to juggle in customization menus — although I didn’t see any of that first-hand.

    In recent years it feels like mech games have evolved to be more about a power fantasy of letting you go bigger without having to sacrifice going faster, but anyone that remembers old-school MechWarrior titles will recall the lumbering controls in those releases. With regard to that, Vox Machinae could almost be seen as a return to form in a way, while still iterating on the genre and pushing it forward with VR.

    Vox Machinae’s bright, vivid color pallete are also a great contrast to the otherwise muted steampunk designs and it gives the experience a personality all its own.

    All in all Vox Machinae has a lot going for it that really makes it feel special in the VR space. You won’t find another game that lets you interact with so many elements of the combat to have actual, immediately results in terms of gameplay like you do here. While playing I quickly forgot about the

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  • Oculus Unveils ‘Oculus Quest’ Standalone Headset At OC5

    Standalone 6DoF VR arrives on the Oculus platform Spring 2019 for $399. Oculus Connect 5 is officially underway in San Jose, California, and the company wasted not time this year as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage to unveil the next generation of Oculus VR technology, the Oculus Quest. Available Spring of next year

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  • Star Wars VR Series Vader Immortal Coming To Oculus Quest Three-part 360-degree TV series about iconic Star Wars villain Darth Vader will be coming to Oculus Quest.
  • OC5: Oculus Renames Santa Cruz To Oculus Quest Coming Spring 2019 For $399
    OC5: Oculus Renames Santa Cruz To Oculus Quest Coming Spring 2019 For $399

    Oculus now has a final name for its standalone inside-out tracked VR headset, originally codenamed Santa Cruz. Meet Oculus Quest

    The company announced the new name at its Oculus Connect 5 developer conference in San Jose today, also confirming that the kit would launch in spring 2019 for $399. UploadVR had previously confirmed the kit would be arriving next year with ports of Oculus Rift games and those include Moss, Robo Recall and The Climb. 50 games will be available at launch.

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg broke the news, saying the headset could run “Rift quality experiences.”

    Quest is Oculus’ second standalone headset but, whereas this year’s Go only support three degrees of freedom (3DOF) movement, this utilizes full 6DOF tracking like the Oculus Rift. Facebook calls this system Oculus Insight. This is achieved using sensors mounted to the headset itself that can recognize a user’s location in the real world and then translate their movement into the virtual world. Two hand-controllers, similar in form to Oculus Touch, also bring you more control in the virtual world.

    We’ll be going hands-on with the device over the course of Oculus Connect, so make sure to check back with us.

    Tagged with: Oculus Connect

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  • OC5: Oculus Quest Will Launch With Over 50 Titles In 2019
    OC5: Oculus Quest Will Launch With Over 50 Titles In 2019

    Today at Oculus Connect 5 Facebook announced that the Santa Cruz prototype is now officially known as Oculus Quest and that it will be launching in Spring 2019 with over 50 different titles for $399. While the full list of releases won’t be confirmed until next year, we already have a bit of insight into what to expect.

    Here at OC5 in San Jose Facebook is hosting an “arena-scale” demo of Dead and Buried that will allow users to run around freely in a large space within a shared multiplayer environment. At the show they’re also demoing Tennis Scramble, a VR tennis title that looks a lot like Wii Tennis, as well as Face Your Fears.

    In addition to those that we will have the chance to try here today, Oculus Quest will also launch with several ports of other Rift titles such as Superhot, Robo Recall, The Climb, and Moss. But that still leaves over 40 other titles that we don’t know about yet.

    The sizzle reel that they showed during the OC5 keynote didn’t show much actual gameplay footage, more like concept ideas, but it certainly showed what looked like a sword fighting game of some kind (maybe even Raw Data?) and we’re hoping to see Beat Saber make an appearance. At one point the actor has giant fists on her hands that look a lot like The Hulk, so hopefully that means some version of Marvel Powers United VR on Quest too.

    What other titles do you hope to see on Oculus Quest? We put together a wish list if you want to see our picks, but we’d love to know your thoughts too down in the comments below!

    Tagged with: OC5, Oculus Connect, Oculus Quest, Santa Cruz

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  • Oculus Rift Core 2.0 Platform Leaves Beta Both Dash and Home have seen makeovers.
  • OC5: Star Wars: Vader Immortal VR Series Revealed For Oculus Quest
    OC5: Star Wars: Vader Immortal VR Series Revealed For Oculus Quest

    As yesterday’s teases suggested, ILMxLAB has just revealed new information about its anticipated Star Wars VR experience starring Darth Vader.

    Star Wars: Vader Immortal was just revealed for Oculus Quest as a premier partner for what’s described as a three-part series.  Vicki Bobbs Beck introduced the experience on stage at Oculus Connect 5 alongside David S Goyer, writer and executive producer on Secrets of the Empire. That experience serves as the set up for this new piece, which will travel back to Vader’s headquarters on Mustafar. A trailer for the experience gave us a brief tease, showing the Dark Lord himself coming face-to-face with you before teasing lightsaber combat.

    This will be ILMxLAB’s third Star Wars-set VR experience four home-based headsets and the fifth major app set in the universe overall. The studio found its feet with the franchise in short Trials on Tatooine demo before tying into 2017’s The Last Jedi with the excellent Droid Repair Bay piece. ILMxLAB also collaborated with The Void on the Secrets of the Empire location-based experience, whilst EA and DICE prepared an X-Wing VR experience for PSVR back in 2016.

    As numerous as they are, all of these experiences have been decidedly short, offering just a taste of the Star Wars dream. Let’s hope this latest attempt finally lives up to our lofty expectations. It’s coming in 2019.

    Tagged with: Oculus Connect 5, Star Wars

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  • New Oculus Go Title Covert Announced at Oculus Connect 5 Covert from White Elk will be coming to Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR later this year.
  • Oculus Announces ‘Lone Echo 2’ At Oculus Connect 5

    A sequel to one of 2018’s most polished VR titles heads to the Oculus Rift 2019. This past July, Lone Echo introduced us to Jack and Liv, an unlikely pair of friends who find themselves thrust into an extraordinary situation after their space vessel is destroyed by an unknown force. Stepping into the role of

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