• Iron Man VR Will Tell A ‘Deeply Personal’ And ‘Appropriately Funny’ Story
    Iron Man VR 3

    Yesterday saw jaws hit the floor as Marvel’s Iron Man VR was announced exclusively for PSVR. A high-flying trailer introduced us to the game’s action, but developer Camouflaj is promising much more than that.

    Taking to the PlayStation Blog following the game’s reveal, Director Ryan Payton also promised a “deeply personal” story for the game. He said the team has set its “sights on not only giving the player thrilling moment-to-moment action, but also a deeply personal, and appropriately funny, narrative that puts players in Tony Stark’s armored shoes.”

    Anyone that’s seen Robert Downey Jr’s turn as Tony Stark will likely know what to expect, then. Payton did make reference to a classic Iron Man story, Demon in a Bottle, in which Stark battles with alcoholism. It’s clear he knows his stuff when it comes to Tony Stark.

    Payton didn’t reveal too much more but did say the game will be “more than just an origin story.” He promised we’ll meet iconic allies (War Machine?) and villains (uh… Mandarin?) on a global journey. In the trailer we see what looks very much like Ant-Man and the Wasp baddie, Ghost, popping up. Ghost is indeed closer to an Iron Man villain in the comics, though. Could we perhaps meet up with other Avengers? Dare we suggest we might even play as other armored superheroes?

    Hopefully all of this means that we’ll be getting a full game here and not an ‘experience’. Other superheroes like Spider-Man and Batman have their own VR apps but the content never lasts much longer than an hour.

    Iron Man VR is due out later this year.

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  • Beyond Medusa’s Gate Is Ubisoft’s Next Assassin’s Creed VR Arcade Game
    Beyond Medusa’s Gate Is Ubisoft’s Next Assassin’s Creed VR Arcade Game

    Ubisoft is pressing on with its location-based VR business. The company today announced its second game for the initiative, which again ties into the world of Assassin’s Creed.

    Beyond Medusa’s Gate will be arriving at locations across the US and Europe on May 7th. It’s again developed by Blue Byte, the studio that made last year’s excellent Escape the Lost Pyramid. Whereas that piece tied into Assassin’s Creed Origins, though, Beyond Medusa’s Gate is set in the world of last year’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. As the name suggests, that’s ancient Greece.

    The game can be played with either two or four players. Teams will have up to 60 minutes to work their way out of a coastal cave. It houses the ship of the Argonauts. As with Escape the Lost Pyramid, you’ll need to work together to solve puzzles in order to get out alive. Don’t expect any combat, but you’ll at least get a taste of the world of Assassin’s Creed inside VR. We don’t have any other images to go on right now other than the one above.

    We really liked Escape the Lost Pyramid when we tried it out last year. While it might not be the full Assassin’s Creed VR experience fans want, it shows VR at its collaborative best.

    Elsewhere, Ubisoft’s Space Junkies is now in VR arcades across the globe too, though it launches today on home VR headsets. We’re hoping to see some of the company’s other famous brands like Far Cry and Rainbow Six make their way into the location-based realm too.

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  • Myst studio Cyan Begins Kickstarter Campaign for Steampunk Adventure Firmament The campaign aims to raise $1.3 million.
  • SXSW 2019: The Time Machine Takes Attendees To 1964 Tokyo
    Shibuya VR The Time Machine

    Have you ever wondered what Tokyo’s popular Shibuya district looked like in 1964? Thanks to NHK Enterprises, many SXSW (South by Southwest) attendees were able to experience a short demo showing them what Shibuya was like the last time the Olympics were in town. Although the demo itself was less than ten minutes long, seeing what is possible from stitching old photos together to create an immersive experience is quite remarkable.

    To travel to the past, we used an HTC Vive Pro headset, two Vive controllers, and a backpack similar to ones worn at The VOID, or Dreamscape. We only used the controller to point; the touchpads were off limits. Completely set up with our equipment, the narrated demo began. The narrator gave us some backstory on Shibuya, explaining that we were going on a journey to see what it looked like in 1964. Our tour began with the Hachiko bronze statue near Shibuya Station. The narrator instructed us to walk up and touch the statue after hearing its backstory. I don’t recall seeing a statue while we were getting geared up, so that was a pleasant surprise.

    The 3D environment was created by stitching together old photos. Photo provided by NHK Enterprises Inc.

    From there, we flew to the top of a building, looking down on the Shibuya from the past. The facilitators of the demo warned before gearing up that the experience had quick forward and upward movement, but it was surprisingly smooth. Typically quick motions like that disorient me, but I had no issues with The Time Machine. Looking around Shibuya from above, the narrator encouraged us to walk to the edge, and look down. In addition to feeling like I was really looking over the edge, facilitators used fans to give us the sensation of real wind, making the experience that more immersive.

    The end of the demo took us to modern day Shibuya Crossing. This portion of the experience was filmed using a 360 degree camera; if you looked down, you could see the person handling the camera. The comparison between Shibuya in the present day compared to what it once was really put things into perspective. As technology advances, we build taller buildings and continue to incorporate technology into our everyday lives.

    A look at modern-day Shibuya Crossing. Photo: Alessandro Crugnola, Five Hundred Pixels, via Lonely Planet.

    Keiko Tsuneki, of NHK Enterprises Inc., told me their goal was to have several location-based attractions around the globe. A huge target audience for the company is actually older people. Tsuneki talked about how eventually the company would like to be able to serve several people at a time, to take them back to the years they want to revisit.

    “It’d be nice for older people to have their avatars and be able to go visit a cafe

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  • Sony Confirms That PlayStation VR has now Passed the 4 Million Sales Mark More sales success for PlayStation VR.
  • Buy the HTC Vive Focus Plus for £754 Next Month It's an enterprise-focused standalone headset.
  • Vive Focus Plus Ships April 15 For $799 With Business License
    vive focus plus

    HTC revealed its Vive Focus Plus standalone VR headset is priced $799. It starts shipping April 15 with two hand controllers included.

    That is essentially double the cost of the consumer-oriented Oculus Quest, which starts shipping this spring starting at $399 for similar overall functionality. You can read our most recent hands-on impressions of Quest and everything else we know about the device here.

    Vive Focus Plus

    The Vive Focus Plus will ship in most markets with an enterprise license. The headset is said to launch with 250 Vive Wave applications while its Viveport Infinity subscription program claims to include “over 70 premium titles.” Here are the Vive Focus Plus specifications, according to HTC:

    Display: 3K AMOLED (2880×1600)
    Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
    Audio: Built-in Speaker
    Tracking: Inside-Out
    Frame Rate: 75Hz
    Field of View: 110-degrees
    Battery: 4000 mAh
    Controller: 6DoF
    Data Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
    Memory (RAM/ROM): 4/32 GB
    Connector: USB Type-C
    Charging: QC3.0

    HTC is a company that appears to be in technological transition — with the Vive Focus Plus the latest example. HTC’s first generation Vive headset debuted in 2016 for $$799, a full $200 more than the Rift with a wider feature set. That system relied on Valve’s SteamVR Tracking technology to operate. All headsets HTC released since 2016, except for the Vive Pro, don’t rely on this technology. It should still be possible for some HTC systems to interact with SteamVR content but we’ve yet to test that sort of of functionality in a home setting. While Vive Focus Plus is HTC’s current standalone headset the company is also planning the convertible Vive Cosmos as well.

    Currently, Oculus sells business editions of the original Rift for $799 with room-scale tracking and extra accessories while the Oculus standalone headset is $299 with 64 GB of storage. Oculus is also planning a 128 GB Oculus Quest for $499 but we don’t have any word on a business edition of the headset.

    It is hard to get a full picture right now of how different Vive Focus Plus and Oculus Quest are from another in actual real-world use. HTC is trying to gear the headset to the business market but it is not clear how the headset or its business license will outperform Oculus Quest for business use cases.

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  • All the PlayStation VR Videogame Release Date’s from Sony’s State of Play Broadcast There was quite a lot going on.
  • Sony Sold 4.2 Million PSVR Headsets
    Sony Sold 4.2 Million PSVR Headsets

    Sony officially cleared a new sales milestone of 4.2 million headsets sold through March 3, 2019.

    Sony is the only wired VR headset manufacturer to release actual sales figures. Samsung released some sales figures for its Gear VR headsets, but those systems offer a different caliber of experience compared with PlayStation VR.

    We last heard Sony cleared 3 million headsets sold in August 2018. The headset first went on sale in late 2016. The PlayStation Aim controller (above) was released in 2017 with support in some VR shooters. Astro Bot, Beat Saber and other games have clearly driven sales for the system into 2019.

    A Sony livestream today announced a series of new VR games coming to the system in the next few months, including No Man’s Sky and Five Nights At Freddy’s.

    We’re of course curious what the future holds for Sony’s VR system. The PlayStation Move controllers and single sensor used with the PSVR system could be improved dramatically in a second generation of hardware. Oculus just announced its second generation Rift S and we’re curious if Valve will follow through with a new generation of headset powered by its technology.

    Sony is due to provide updates on a potential PS5 system at some point. We’re anxious to hear what is in store for the company’s VR hardware efforts. In particular, 4.2 million PSVR headsets means Sony is incredibly well positioned to build a strong second generation that could improve upon the experience of games from the first. We’ll update you as soon as we hear what Sony has in store next.

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  • No Man’s Sky: Beyond Finally Brings the Title to PlayStation VR and Steam VR Hello Games' massive sci-fi explorer will arrive this Summer.
  • FuturLab’s Mini-Mech Mayhem Arrives On PSVR In June
    FuturLab’s Mini-Mech Mayhem Arrives On PSVR In June

    Good news FuturLab’s deceptively tactical VR boardgame, Mini-Mech Mayhem, just got a PSVR release date.

    The game’s due out on June 18th. That’s just after this year’s E3 so you’ll have something to play in the post-news blues. The date was confirmed during Sony’s State of Play broadcast earlier today.

    Mini-Mech Mayhem is a four-player PSVR exclusive. In the game, you befriend a little robot companion that you bring into tabletop battles. Battles are turn-based and have players looking to secure positions on a grid-based map. Every movement you assign your robot has a cost. Big strides across the board, for example, might have you moving slower than your opponent. The same goes for aiming at more damaging body parts with your robot’s weapon.

    The idea is to predict what your enemy is going to do and then counter it. We went hands-on with the game late last year and fell for its strategic gameplay. It also helps that it’s utterly adorable; you can kit out your robot buddy with a range of clothing and then interact with mini fist bumps and more.

    The date was announced alongside a slate of other PSVR release windows. We also got launch details for Falcon Age, Trover Saves the Universe and Jupiter & Mars among others. It’s been a busy day for PSVR fans.

    This isn’t FuturLab’s first dance with VR. A few years back the studio also made Tiny Trax, a tricky little toy racer that we were quite fond of. We have high hopes for Mini-Mech Mayhem, too.

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  • Jupiter & Mars Brings Trippy Ecco The Dolphin Vibes To PSVR This April
    Jupiter & Mars Brings Trippy Ecco The Dolphin Vibes To PSVR This April

    Jupiter & Mars is making its trippy and visually splendid debut on PSVR in less than a month this April!

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  • Everybody’s Golf VR Swings Onto PSVR This May
    Everybody’s Golf VR Swings Onto PSVR This May

    Everybody's Golf VR is making its debut on PSVR later this year on May 21st to really give you something to swing at.

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  • Iron Man VR is Coming to PlayStation VR This Year There's no release date just yet.
  • PS4 Exclusive Concrete Genie Getting PSVR Mode
    PS4 Exclusive Concrete Genie Getting PSVR Mode

    One of Sony’s more unique upcoming PS4 exclusives, Concrete Genie, will feature a PSVR mode.

    Developer PixelOpus confirmed as much in Sony’s State of Play broadcast today. A new trailer for the game showcased what appeared to be traditional footage and not PSVR support. Over on the PlayStation Blog the developer revealed there will be two PSVR modes for the game. Neither will be the full experience in VR but PixelOpus still sounds like it has high hopes for these modes.

    “When we showed the game to some old friends, Jeff Brown and Dave Smith – they came up with an incredible idea for how to take it to a whole new level in PS VR,” the team wrote. “It was such a compelling pitch that we decided to build a team around them, right next to us in PlayStation HQ so they could create it alongside us.”

    First announced at Paris Games Week in 2017, Concrete Genie is a game about bullying. You play as a young artist that finds sanctuary in the street art you make. But the art you create actually comes alive, forming monsters that can help you on your way. They’ll solve puzzles and help you progress. In today’s trailer, we also saw segments where players have to avoid the bullies.

    It’s definitely a change of pace from the usual videogame fare. The game’s got a visually charming style and is far less concerned with action than it is telling a personal story. If it hits the right notes it could be something truly memorable.

    Sony had plenty of other PSVR announcements at State of Play today. It also revealed an Iron Man VR game for the first time coming exclusively to its headset. We also got a date for the long-awaited Blood and Truth and got our first look at Five Nights At Freddy’s VR. Overall it’s been a busy day.

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