• Over 150 Global Game Jam 2019 Games Have VR Support
    Over 150 Global Game Jam 2019 Games Have VR Support

    With over 8,000 entries there were about 160 that had VR support from last weekend's Global Game Jam 2019! Here are some of the best.

    The post Over 150 Global Game Jam 2019 Games Have VR Support appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Vive Developers Flock To New Subreddit Amidst Moderator Fallout
    Vive Developers Flock To New Subreddit Amidst Moderator Fallout

    One of Reddit’s key VR communities is seeing something of an exodus this week amidst a moderator fallout.

    Members of the r/Vive subreddit, which currently holds over 110,000 subscribers, have turned to a new hub named r/Vive_vr following disagreements with moderator and founder u/500500. The new subreddit already amassed more than 10,000 subscribers at the time of writing. Perhaps more importantly, though, plenty of VR developers have come out to show their support for the new page.

    Disagreement over 500500’s leadership came to a head over the weekend. Many of the complaints stem from aggressive policies that lead to banning users and even VR developers. Reddit, in general, doesn’t allow companies to advertise their products. The site has an official premium advertising platform to cater to those needs. Technically, developers talking about their own products is advertising. Banning developers, though, robs the community of a link between creators and fans.

    According to a thread on the new subreddit, banned developers include Onward creator Downpour Interactive, Rec Room studio Against Gravity and The Soulkeeper VR maker HELM Systems. Meanwhile, developers like Triangular Pixels and One Hamsa have come forth to show their support for the new hub.

    Arguably the highest-profile developer to speak out is The Gallery maker Cloudhead Games. The studio’s Anthony Stevens wrote up a Medium post detailing its standing on r/Vive. “Every interaction we have with the community could be accused of self-promotion,” Stevens wrote. “But we just love the VR community and want to support it and be a part of it. Full stop.”

    In the past 48 hours, u/500500 claimed r/Vive is a community “only because I allow it” and that he holds “the fate of the vive community” in his hands. In his first post today following the weekend’s outburst he appears to basically mock the entire situation.

    Dear community,

    I /u/500500, moderator of /r/vive, am please to announce that this subreddit gained 926 subscribers yesterday. The page view count for the day fell just short of 600,000. These figures represent a new high for the last 12 months from the available statistics . This reflects an exciting growth in the subscriber base and user activity. Yesterday, half of visitors were using reddit apps to access the subreddit compared to the 10% that is normally seen. I would like to welcome our new friends to this subreddit and look forward to your contributions to the VR discussion. I also would like to embrace the new demographics reflected by the new ways people are now accessing /r/vive.

    Whether or not the new Vive subreddit flourishes remains to be seen.

    Tagged with: htc vive, reddit, Subreddit

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  • ‘The Under Presents’: Interactive Live Theater For The Oculus Quest

    Tender Claws show off their bizarre new social experience at Sundance 2019. Despite the lack of an actual release date, Oculus’ upcoming 6DoF standalone headset, the Oculus Quest, has found new trouble in garnering large amounts of attention from both industry veterans and consumers alike. Major developers have been sinking their teeth into the hardware,

    The post ‘The Under Presents’: Interactive Live Theater For The Oculus Quest appeared first on VRScout.

  • Open World Adventure Settlement Zero to see Steam Early Access Launch in Feb Early Access is expected to take up to 6 months.
  • Reseachers Built A 40-Plane Multifocal Display With Just One Screen
    1600Hz multifocal display

    Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University built a multifocal display with 40 unique planes. The system involves a 1600Hz screen and a focus-tunable lens.

    All VR headsets on the market today are fixed focus. Each eye is given a separate image, but the screen is focused at a fixed distance from the lenses. This means that your eyes point (verge) towards the virtual distance to what you’re looking at, but focus (accommodate) to the fixed focal length of the display. This is called the vergence-accommodation conflict. It causes eye strain and headaches and also makes near objects look blurry.

    Image from Oculus Research

    One approach to solving this is to build a headset with multiple screens layered, with each at a different focus length. This is called a multifocal display. The problem however is that to truly solve the vergence-accommodation conflict, the reseachers researchers that 41 focal planes would be needed. If this were done with hardware it would massively increase cost and weight to the point of impracticality.

    Their new multifocal display instead uses a lens which adapts its focus based on the voltage it receives. This is known as a focus-tunable or “liquid” lens. A single display panel is run at 1600H. The lens is cycled through its full range of focus at 40Hz. As the focus is changed, the rendered image on the display is changed to what the new focal distance should see. Thus the virtual world is running at 40FPS and for each frame 40 different focal lengths are displayed.

    Diagram from Carnegie Mellon paper

    Prospects And Limitations

    Unlike varifocal displays, this 40-plane multifocal display doesn’t use or require eye tracking. Additionally since each focal plane is rendered independently it doesn’t require the resource intensive approximation of natural blur to look real.

    The requirement to render 1600 frames per second is the main limitation of this approach. Each group of 40 are just different planes of the same frame of course, so it’s not quite as bad as 1600 true frames. Facebook are hard at work at reducing the GPU requirements of their varifocal blur, so it will be interesting to see which becomes practical for the consumer market first.

    Tagged with: multifocal, research, vergence-accomodation conflict

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  • Hands-on With Pico G2 4K: Looking Prettier Than Ever The headset certainly benefits from the increased resolution.
  • HTC Vive Pro Eye Will Not Replace Original Vive Pro
    HTC Vive Pro Eye Will Not Replace Original Vive Pro

    HTC’s shiny new enterprise VR headset, the Vive Pro Eye, adds a crucial new feature to the Pro series. But it won’t be replacing the original Pro.

    HTC confirmed as much to UploadVR this week. In a statement provided over email, the company said that the Vive Pro Eye will ‘sit alongside’ its predecessor. It also reaffirmed it will announce the kit’s price at a later time. Vive Pro Eye adds integrated eye-tracking to the headset. This allows for foveated rendering in VR as well as a new means of input. Other specs like resolution and field of view (FOV) remain the same.

    This suggests one of two things for Vive Pro pricing. It could be that Vive Pro Eye simply costs more than the original headset. That said, the first Pro costs $799 by itself and $1,399 with controllers and base stations. Raising that base price above that will make the Pro incredibly expensive no matter the target audience.

    The other possibility is to cut the price of the Pro and introduce Vive Pro Eye at the original price. We could see HTC start to market Vive Pro to its existing fanbase at a cheaper price and solidify Pro Eye as the definitive enterprise product.

    This is just all speculation on our part, though. HTC says its launching Pro Eye in Q2 of this year so we won’t have to wait long for answers. We’re hoping for an announcement at either MWC or GDC. Need to know more about Vive Pro Eye? We’ve gathered up everything about it in one spot.

    Tagged with: HTC Vive Pro Eye

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  • Matterport Enters Virtual Tour Production Partnership With Insta360 Insta360's integration with Matterport is currently going through a beta phase.
  • Hamlet 360 Is A Feature-Length Shakespeare VR Production
    Shakespeare Hamlet play VR

    It was only a matter of time until we got some Shakespeare in VR. But Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Hamlet 360 isn’t quite the debut we were expecting.

    This is a feature-length adaptation of one of the writer’s definitive plays. It’s produced with the help of Sensorium, Chronotope and Google Daydream. But instead of simply putting you on the stage, Hamlet 360 actually casts you as a character – Hamlet’s father.

    Yes, that father, the one that’s (spoiler) dead.

    You watch the events of the play unfold as a ghost. In the play, the ghost sets in motion a revenge plot between his two sons. That means some scenes will be played out with characters actually speaking to you. It’s an innovative way to offer a new take on a classic. The jury’s out on if this version stands up to the others, though.

    It’s also interesting just to see a full feature-length VR production. Most experiences of this kind last mere minutes but this adaptation is over an hour long.

    If you want to watch in VR you can grab a mobile headset. The iOS and Android app allows you to watch 360 content in VR, but standalone headsets like Oculus Go and the Lenovo Mirage Solo also have dedicated apps. You can also get a Steam app, or some PC VR headsets work with the platform on certain browsers, too.

    This isn’t the first Shakespeare VR or AR production we’ve seen. In fact, at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival this week you can see an AR rendition of The Seven Ages of Man inside Magic Leap.

    Tagged with: Hamlet 360, Shakespeare VR

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  • Step Inside the International Space Station Like Never Before With Cinematic VR Series ‘ISS Experience’ It'll be filmed over the next year.
  • Google I/O 2019 Developer Conference Set For May
    Google I/O 2019 Developer Conference Set For May

    We’re coming up to developer conference season once again, and Google’s now dated I/O’s 2019 return.

    The event will take place at the Shoreline Amphitheatre on May 7th – 9th. CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed the news via a tweet late last week. That just leaves us to speculate what will be announced at the show.

    Glad the transmission was received:) See you at Shoreline Amphitheatre May 7-9 for this year’s I/O! #io19

    — Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) January 25, 2019

    I/O will no doubt be a curious event for VR and AR. Google didn’t even mention the former at last year’s show despite launching its Lenovo Mirage Solo Daydream headset around it. AR continues to be an area of interest for the company as it grows its ARCore platform, though. Expect to see plenty of AR workshops and panels at the very least.

    As for VR, it is possible we get some Daydream updates. We’re mostly interested to see if the six degrees of freedom (6DOF) controllers being sent out to developers get turned into an official product. We’re also wondering if there might be any new Daydream hardware or apps to talk about. Otherwise, you can expect the usual Android updates and more from the show.

    I/O won’t be the only major developer conference in May. Facebook’s F8 event gets underway on April 30th and wraps up on May 1st. We’re expecting a fair bit more on the VR side from that one, including launch information for Oculus Quest.

    UploadVR will, of course, be covering the show in full. Check back for the latest updates.

    Tagged with: ARCore, Daydream, google, Google I/O

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  • PSVR Exclusive Shooter Starblood Arena Goes Offline In July
    PSVR Exclusive Shooter Starblood Arena Goes Offline In July

    Sad news for WhiteMoon Dreams’ PSVR exclusive shooter, Starblood Arena; it’s shutting down soon.

    A note on the game’s official PlayStation page confirms the news. Sony is taking multiplayer offline on 25th July 2019. Starblood launched in early 2017 so its reign has been short-lived. The game is pretty much an online-only title, so it’ll effectively cease to exist. We’ve reached out to WhiteMoon for comment on the news.

    This is sad, if perhaps unsurprising news. Starblood was a six degree of freedom (6DOF) shooter. You jumped into the cockpit of a customized death machine and battled it out with others in arena-style matches. We quite enjoyed it for its box-ticking fun but, even in our review, we found difficulty getting into matches.

    “Starblood Arena isn’t a profound expression of the power of VR, but it’s hard not to appreciate a rock solid shooter that will provide hours of multiplayer battles for those willing to put the time in,” we said in our review. “Ultimately it’s a little too niche to become the definitive multiplayer PSVR game, and the struggles to get into matches aren’t going to please people that threw down $39.99 to play it.”

    The game was one of the first PSVR titles to be made free for PS Plus members last January, but it doesn’t seem to have helped much.

    Starblood Arena isn’t the first PSVR online casualty. Shortly after the headset’s launch in 2016 Sony shut down its Cambridge Studio, which made RIGS: Mechanized Combat League. The game is still playable but future DLC was scrapped and it’s been left to much the same fate. Such are the risks of multiplayer development in the fledgling VR market, no?

    Tagged with: 6dof, PSVR exclusive, shooter, Starblood Arena

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  • Eating Real Food In VR With Marshmallow Laser Feast’s ‘Sweet Dreams’

    The experimental location-based VR studio serves up a delicious tale of desire at Sundance. With location-based VR more prevalent than ever, developers have quickly begun searching for fresh new ideas to help set their own experiences apart from a growing pool of competitors. Major releases, such as Ghostbusters: Dimensions and Arizona Sunshine: LBE Edition, have

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  • SuperData: VR Grew 30% In 2018 Thanks To PSVR, Oculus Quest Will Be 2019’s Hit
    SuperData: VR Grew 30% In 2018 Thanks To PSVR, Oculus Quest Will Be 2019’s Hit

    After floundering in 2017, virtual reality hardware actually outperformed optimistic sales expectations last year, SuperData Research said today, with annual VR revenues reaching $3.6 billion — higher than the Nielsen-owned firm’s late 2018 forecast of $3.3 billion. That’s a 30 percent year-over-year increase in revenues, particularly noteworthy given holiday price drops for some of the leading VR devices.

    According to SuperData’s Q4 2018 XR market report, Sony’s PlayStation VRbecame the market leader during the holiday quarter, selling 700,000 units — the largest number of headsets sold across any category. By contrast, the standalone Oculus Go sold 555,000 units, with the PC-tethered Oculus Rift and HTC Vive selling 160,000 and 130,000 headsets, respectively.

    SuperData attributes the strong sales in part to appealing prices. Between Black Friday discounts and the release of games such as Beat Saber, the PSVR ended 2018 on its strongest note yet. For $199, the easy-to-use Oculus Go appealed to first-time VR headset buyers, though the firm says consumers “craved higher-end experiences in console, PC, and standalone headsets.”

    For 2019, SuperData predicts that Oculus’ next-generation standalone headset, Quest, will be a hit and forecasts sales of 1.3 million units, thanks to “high consumer interest.” While Quest will have to hurdle a somewhat challenging $399 price point and waves of recent bad publicity for Oculus parent company Facebook, SuperData believes that hardware tethering has impeded consumer VR adoption, and Quest’s better-than-Go performance will make it more compelling to consumers.

    Unsurprisingly, games are the biggest revenue generator for the extended reality category, earning 68 percent of XR software revenue. Niantic’s Pokémon Go alone generated 66 percent of the $2 billion in XR games revenue, demonstrating the cash-generating power of both mobile and AR technologies under the right circumstances. Location-based VR experiences helped grow XR revenues, as well.

    The future is bright for the entire XR category, SuperData suggests. When all of 2018’s hardware, software, and experience revenues are considered together, XR generated $6.6 billion in 2018, and the numbers are projected to grow steadily each year for the next four years. By 2022, the firm expects $34.1 billion in XR revenues — a 442 percent increase over 2018 — thanks in large part to growing sales of VR and AR hardware, with smaller but still substantial sales of software.

    This post by Jeremy Horwitz originally appeared on Venturebeat. 

    Tagged with: superdata

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  • Oculus Debuts Two VR Experiences at Sundance, One is an Oculus Quest Title The Under Presents and Traveling While Black were both presented at the festival.