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  • HTC Launches Viveport Subscriptions For Oculus Rift
    HTC Launches Viveport Subscriptions For Oculus Rift

    Starting in September HTC is formally supporting Oculus Rift headsets with its Viveport subscription plan.

    The plan includes a free trial, so there’s little risk for Rift owners to try out the service. The entry level $9 per month Viveport subscription plan lets players pick five titles to play that month.

    According to HTC, there are more than 1200 titles on Viveport with 500 of them available in the subscription plan. Many titles already include semi-official Oculus Rift support through Valve’s OpenVR software, but HTC said it tested 200 of the most popular subscription titles and found that around 160 of them carry this kind of support. This new initiative from HTC, however, will add the Oculus logo to Viveport pages and make it easier for developers to specify Rift compatibility on Viveport. That, in turn, will make it easier for Rift-owning subscribers to find content that’s compatible with their headset.

    For developers, the addition of Viveport should be a welcome one for some Oculus Rift owners who can use the service to test out some high quality titles before buying. The service kicks off Sept. 4.

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  • These Are PSVR’s Most-Played Games (In the US)
    These Are PSVR’s Most-Played Games (In the US)

    Off the back of announcing PSVR has sold three million units worldwide, Sony just revealed the top 10 most-played VR titles in North America.

    It’s Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR that comes out on top. The 2017 port of the open-world epic role-playing game (RPG) remains one of our favorite VR experiences to date, so we’re not surprised to see it top the list even if it did come out a year later than many of the other titles. No doubt the PSVR Skyrim bundle released last year helped in that department.

    Up next is Sony London’s launch compilation, PlayStation VR Worlds. The game offers a handful of short experiences that take you deep below the sea and pit you in the middle of a heist in London. The game comes bundled in with a lot of PSVR units so, again, we’re not surprised to see it doing so well.

    The first game not to be bundled in with the headset is Rec Room, which is in the third spot. It’s free to play but its an excellent social VR app that earns its place. Arguably PSVR’s biggest AAA title, Resident Evil 7, comes in at fourth. Yesterday, we reported that the game had passed 500,000 VR users, though that was worldwide.

    The full list is below but there are some other interesting things to note. Farpoint, for example, is at number 9. The first-person shooter (FPS) is best played with Sony’s PSVR Aim Controller, so we wonder if that suggests a lot of PSVR owners also have that kit, though it can be played with a DualShock 4 too. Other launch titles in the list include Job Simulator, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, and Batman: Arkham VR. Superhot VR just makes it into the 10 spot, likely because it’s so darn good.

    Sony hasn’t released a similar list for Europe yet.

    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
    PlayStation VR Worlds
    Rec Room
    Resident Evil 7 biohazard
    The Playroom VR
    Job Simulator
    Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
    Batman: Arkham VR
    Farpoint
    Superhot VR

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  • PSVR Passes Three Million Headsets Sold Worldwide
    PSVR Passes Three Million Headsets Sold Worldwide

    Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset has sold over three million units worldwide.

    The company announced the news on the PlayStation Blog today, also confirming that it had sold 21.9 million games and experiences for the platform. The console launched back in October 2016  and, last December, Sony confirmed that PSVR had passed the two million mark, so it’s taken another 8 months to sell another million units. Since then, the headset has seen a few price drops and a revised model.

    We don’t know how many units PSVR’s main rivals, the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have sold still.

    To celebrate the milestone, there’s a PSVR sale going on on the US PlayStation Store this week. It even includes discounts on two big upcoming games, Bow to Blood and Torn. Sony also confirmed that Creed: Rise to Glory is coming on September 25th and Evasion arrives on October 9th.

    PSVR is largely considered to be one of the most accessible VR headsets on the market, running on the PS4 console rather than the more expensive and complex PCs that the Rift and Vive need.

    The headset has a busy end to the year coming up with other releases like Firewall: Zero Hour in a few weeks’ time and Astro Bot: Robo Rescue also arriving in October.

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  • Creed: Rise To Glory Boxes Onto PSVR Next Month
    Creed: Rise To Glory Boxes Onto PSVR Next Month

    Electronauts has barely been out a week but developer Survios is already nearing the release of its next big title in Creed: Rise to Glory.

    The VR boxing game which is based on the recent spin-offs of the Rocky films, is launching on PlayStation VR (PSVR) on September 25th for $29.99. A press release sent to UploadVR didn’t mention the previously-confirmed Oculus Rift and HTC Vive versions, so we’ve reached out to Survios to ask if they’re releasing on the same date.

    In Rise to Glory you take on the role of Adonis Creed and work your way up through the boxing world. Survios has created a new combat system for the game using what it calls Phantom Melee Technology, which is designed to make fights feel more realistic. It tries to replicate features like fatigue and out-of-body sensations without the player feeling like they’re limited in any way. We’ve gone hands-on with the game several times now and have always come away impressed.

    The game will be getting both physical and digital launches — a first for Survios itself — with pre-orders now open on the PlayStation Store, complete with a 10% discount for PS Plus members. You’ll need a pair of Move controllers to play.

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  • Augmented reality examples: 9 ways companies are putting AR to work AR meets real worldImage by Getty ImagesWhen your team works in the belly of an aircraft or inside a computer design, they all having the same sci-fi daydream: Augmented reality (AR) that can layer information onto the job to cut out their frustration ...
  • Nickelodeon Debuts Mixed Reality Competition Series ‘Slimezone VR Showdown’

    Nick Entertainment Lab’s social VR experience gets a competitive twist in this four-episode digital series. Available to the public now at IMAX VR centers across Los Angeles, New York and Toronto, Nickelodeon’s multiplayer VR game Slimezone VR has satisfied a countless number of rambunctious children desperate to drench their friends in green slime. Originally released

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  • Co-Op Shooter Gunheart Is 25 Percent Off For A Limited Time
    Co-Op Shooter Gunheart Is 25 Percent Off For A Limited Time

    One of VR’s best shooters is 25 percent off for a limited time.

    We rated Gunheart “Great” when we reviewed it after a year of early access development. Drifter Entertainment, however, continues to keep updating the game and adding new features even after release — moving it closer and closer to becoming VR’s “go-to co-op shooter,” as David Jagneaux wrote in his review. The 25 percent discount brings the cost down to $22.50, so if you’ve been holding out on exploring Gunheart’s wide range of game modes now might be a good time to take the plunge.

    Gunheart includes 10 different weapons (along with weapon mods) as well as both PvP and co-op modes, plus a mode that extends multiplayer onto traditional PC screens so you can play along with a friend even if they don’t have a VR headset. Though Steam is constantly being inundated with new shooters, Gunheart sets itself apart by staying fast-paced with quick movement and jumping.

    At the time of this writing there was a little less than 24 hours left in the sale.

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  • Spatial Brings AR Gaming To The Tabletop With A Magic Window
    Spatial Brings AR Gaming To The Tabletop With A Magic Window

    AR tabletop gaming could get a real boost with this new peripheral from Spatial Gaming.

    The Spatial MRX is a mobile accessory designed to bring augmented reality boardgames to anyone with a smartphone or tablet. It’s a $60 device that plugs into your hardware and places it behind what it calls a ‘Magic Window’. Using a camera fitted to the device, this window removes your phone/tablet from view and instead projects virtual images onto the surface in front of you as if you were simply looking through a pane of glass.

    The camera also tracks pieces to project virtual characters and objects, and will react in real-time if you move the kit during play. A joypad comes integrated into the unit for control, too. Currently the device supports iPhone 6, iPad 2, Samsung Galaxy 6 and Samsung Tab S2 along with later iterations of each. Note that phones don’t need iOS’ ARKit nor Android’s ARCore to work.

    Spatial comes with a set of games, while more will be available to download via the App Store and Google Play. These include a card battler named Mythico, a 3D building app named HoloCraft, a real-time strategy game named WarTable and an obstacle course-arranging title named Bolt.

    Currently the company is running a Kickstarter campaign for the project, with 29 days to go until its September 13th close date. At the time of writing it’s already raised $14,703 of its $25,000 goal. A limited $60 pledge gets you not only the unit but unlimited game activation codes.

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  • Alibaba Is Using AR To Change The Shopping Experience

    Alibaba is launching Taobao Buy, a new shopping experience that uses AR technology to bring 3D versions of products into the real world. E-commerce supergiant, Alibaba Group, recently announced announced Taobao Buy, an AR infused shopping experience that reimagines how you shop online with an interactive experience that looks and feels futuristic, but is also

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  • Hands-On: VRGineers XTAL Is A 5K, 170-Degree FOV Headset With Hand-Tracking
    Hands-On: VRGineers XTAL Is A 5K, 170-Degree FOV Headset With Hand-Tracking

    Last week I got the chance to go hands-on with the new enterprise-focused 5K VR headset (that’s 2560 x 1440 per eye, or 5120 x 1440 total,) XTAL, from VRgineers, the same company behind the VRHero 5K headset. For all intents and purposes, the XTAL is taking the place of the VRHero in the company’s repertoire.

    What sets the XTAL apart from the VRHero and other high-end headsets is that it comes fully-loaded with other features — not just an increased resolution. The field-of-view (FOV) inside the device is a staggering 170-degrees, Leap Motion hand-tracking is built directly into the front cameras on the device, it has VoiceMacro-powered voice recognition included as well, and can even automatically adjust the IPD based on included eye-tracking hardware. The display type is an OLED with patented, custom-designed aspherical, non-Fresnel, lenses. You can read more about the technical specs here.

    Soon they plan to upgrade the internal software to also enable general eye-tracking, foveated rendering, as well as inside-out tracking using the front cameras, similar to how the Windows VR headsets work. Other than being wireless, it packs pretty much every feature modern VR technology has up its sleeve into a single device.

    That helps explain the $5,800 price tag, doesn’t it?

    If you’re appalled at that price, then chances are this isn’t a product for you. It’s not designed as an “order online and start playing VR games when it arrives” type of headset like the Rift, Vive, or Windows VR devices. In fact, even the Vive Pro is more of a consumer-caliber unit than this one. The XTAL is very specifically engineered for the big-budget production, industrial, and enterprise-level crowd.

    Part of the package when a company buys the XTAL is that they’re also paying for ongoing support from VRgineers, eventual upgrades like inside-out tracking, and more. And even though it includes a ton more features than the VRHero did, XTAL is actually coming in cheaper than VRHero when it first debuted — plus existing clients will get it at a discount.

    During my demo with XTAL I got to see four types of experiences. First I walked around a showroom with a high-quality 3D model of a car. I didn’t need any controllers like Touch or Vive wands to interact with it because of the embedded Leap Motion sensors, so all I did was reach out.

    You know how when someone new to VR always reaches their hands out to touch things even though every other modern VR headset doesn’t hand-tracking included? Well, that actually works in the XTAL. I could open and close car doors, grip the steering wheel, and start the engine. I was missing out on the haptic feedback aspect, but it was still pretty immersive to see my hands inside of a 5K, 170-degree FOV device.

    Seeing a 3D model of a car inside an environment that high quality was extremely impressive. While sitting upright in the seat I could clearly read the speedometer and see intricate stitching details on the interior. The applications for enterprise level customers are

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  • Unearthing Mars Gets A Surprise PSVR Sequel Next Month With Aim Support
    Unearthing Mars Gets A Surprise PSVR Sequel Next Month With Aim Support

    Remember Unearthing Mars? It was a bizarre little sci-fi game that released on PlayStation VR (PSVR) early last year. I wrote a pretty short review about it because there was so little to talk about in its two-hour running time. Well, it’s getting a surprise sequel next month that looks decidedly more shooty.

    Unearthing Mars 2: The Ancient War hits PSVR on September 18th with full support for Sony’s Aim controller. Picking up after the events of the first game (which, as I predicted in my review, I’ve now completely forgotten), you’re tasked with gunning down a hostile alien force that has surfaced on the red planet. Whereas the last game featured different gameplay mechanics like driving and puzzle-solving, developer Winking Entertainment says that this one is going to be completely focused on first-person shooter (FPS) action.

    Check out the first trailer for the game below.

    Here’s hoping that the singular focus for this installment leads to an all-around better game. The brief wave shooting section in the first Unearthing Mars was at least pretty polished, and the slow-motion mechanics at play in the trailer suggest the developer is taking a considered approach to combat this time.

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  • Over 500,000 People Have Now Tried Resident Evil 7 In PSVR
    Over 500,000 People Have Now Tried Resident Evil 7 In PSVR

    Resident Evil 7’s PSVR support recently crossed yet another milestone.

    Residentevil.net, the official website for the game that tracks data from players that opt-into it, now notes that over half a million people have played Capcom’s survival horror revival in VR (501,511 at the time of writing). That’s 13.93% of the 3,601,502 players that have chosen to have their data tracked across all three release platforms. That’s pretty impressive when you consider VR support is only available on one platform.

    Last December, Sony announced PSVR had sold two million units. We haven’t had a sales update yet, but 500,000 is still a significant chunk of the total PSVR units sold. Back in April, we reported that the game had sold over 5 million copies.

    RE7 remains one of PSVR’s biggest games, allowing players to run through the entire story wearing a headset. Late last year Capcom also released a Gold Edition of the game including all of the previously-released content for it, which surely would have given these numbers a boost. Given that the data tracking is optional, it’s likely that the real number of VR users out there is even higher.

    Earlier this year, Oculus’ Jason Rubin acknowledged fan’s requests for Resident Evil 7 on Oculus Rift, saying that Oculus will support Capcom if it decides to make the port. Sadly Capcom hasn’t yet commented on the possibility of bringing the game to PC VR, and it won’t be implementing VR into next year’s remake of Resident Evil 2, either.

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  • SIGGRAPH 2018: Learn About Google’s Efforts To Capture Light Fields
    SIGGRAPH 2018: Learn About Google’s Efforts To Capture Light Fields

    Google’s experts in light field capture technology revealed an in-depth look at their work at SIGGRAPH this week.

    A couple years ago Google hired Paul Debevec, one of the pioneering leaders in light field capture, and since then he’s been working with teams there to develop new and scalable ways to capture reality. Welcome to Light Fields is a free app on Steam showcasing their work, letting you sit inside a Space Shuttle, for example, and move your head around in any direction as if you are really there. Over time, Google’s capture systems and methods have improved and this presentation offers the deepest dive yet into the work Google is doing with light fields.

    Check out two of the rotating camera rigs Google developed to capture reality:

    I found all sorts of interesting tidbits sprinkled throughout this talk, like the reason they put a marker in the center of their rotating camera rig. They told subjects not to move an inch but to keep their eyes focused on the marker as the cameras rotated around in a circle. The solution ensures that when you experience the captured scene in VR, no matter where you move your head you’ll be making eye contact with the subjects in the captured scene.

    Check out the full video below, with Debevec starting at the 10:35 mark. Also, 30 minutes into the video the subject changes to Coral, the mind-bending fractal VR software from Framsetore.

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  • The Spy Who Shrunk Me Looks Like No One Lives Forever VR
    The Spy Who Shrunk Me Looks Like No One Lives Forever VR

    The Spy Who Shrunk Me from Catland is an upcoming tongue-in-cheek VR stealth game that appears to take heavy inspiration from titles such as No One Live Forever and spy films such as Austin Powers, James Bond, and Our Man Flint.

    Based on the trailer above it looks a bit like I Expect You To Die and Budget Cuts had a smooth, stealthy love child. In this Cold War-era spy thriller you play as Agent Audrey Smoothspy armed with a shrink ray tasked with infiltrating Moscow and stopping Soveit General, Bolscotchkovich.

    “The Spy Who Shrunk Me is a tongue-in-cheek spy adventure, a love letter to spy movies, immersive simulations and other games in the stealth genre,” Catland Ltd. CEO Tomi Toikka said in a prepared statement. “Armed with a shrink ray, you can shrink and dip Soviet soldiers into paper shredders and make them run in a hamster wheel – or shrink yourself to get past opponents. Just don’t get stomped.”

    The Spy Who Shrunk Me is slated for release on Steam sometime in 2018 and will have support for Rift, Vive, and Windows VR headsets, in addition to non-VR PCs in one package.

    Let us know what you think down in the comments below!

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  • Sumo Digital: ‘Constraining’ EVE: Valkyrie Dev To VR Would Be ‘Wrong’
    Sumo Digital: ‘Constraining’ EVE: Valkyrie Dev To VR Would Be ‘Wrong’

    Don’t hold your breath for a new VR game from the makers of EVE: Valkyrie any time soon.

    At the beginning of the year developer CCP Newcastle was sold off to UK-based Sumo Digital after the wider CCP company withdrew from the VR market due to the low install base of headsets. At the time, Sumo told UploadVR that Newcastle’s experience in VR was a “great addition” for the company. Now, though, Managing Director Paul Porter says that “constraining” the team to VR would be “wrong”.

    “They’ve brought some great in-depth knowledge of VR to Sumo immediately, but that doesn’t mean we’ve acquired them as a team to do VR,” Porter recently told GamesIndustry.biz. “They’ve got so much talent that constraining them to VR would be the wrong thing to do.”

    Porter didn’t outright deny that the team was still working on VR, though did say that it was currently developing “active projects” that weren’t ready to be announced, so it’s possible the studio is working on something in VR alongside more traditional games. Currently, the wider Sumo Digital is working on Crackdown 3 for Xbox One, though it’s unclear if the Newcastle team is contributing in any way.

    It would definitely be a shame to see the Newcastle team exit VR fully. As the developers of EVE: Valkyrie, the studio pioneered early VR development, becoming one of the first teams to launch a game on the Oculus Rift in 2016.

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