• GDC 2019 Survey: 33% Of VR Devs Working On Vive, 21% On Quest
    GDC 2019 Survey: 33% Of VR Devs Working On Vive, 21% On Quest

    GDC’s annual State of the Game Industry survey of developers is out ahead of the 2019 Game Developers Conference in March and it offers some some new data about developer sentiment relative to the VR/AR market.

    You can check out last year’s report here showing Vive continues to drive the most interest among developers. On this year’s survey, the question “Which platform(s) are you *currently developing* games for?” saw 33 percent of VR/AR developers pick Valve/HTC followed by Rift at 30 percent. In addition, though, 21 percent of VR/AR developers said they were working on the still unreleased Oculus Quest. Developer kits for the $400 Quest aren’t available publicly so it’s a notable showing for the standalone VR system ahead of its launch. I should also add that the “Other” category was also selected by 42 percent of VR/AR developers.

    One other key question in the survey, which allows for multiple answers, asks “Which VR/AR device(s)/platform(s) most interest you as a developer right now?” Valve/HTC also leads in that category, with 36 percent, though Quest still made a strong showing with 22 percent of respondents picking the headset.

    Below are the answers to this same question over the last three years.





     AR vs. VR

    On another question, only 17 % of developers said they are currently working on VR headsets. That’s 10% more than game developers currently working on AR headsets. Likewise, 14 percent of developers said they anticipated their next game would be released on VR headsets while only 6 percent said the same of AR headsets.

    Another question, though, tried to get developer sentiment over the long view, with 34% believing AR would be the dominant “immersive reality” technology in five years.  That’s compared with 19 percent for VR.

    You can check out the survey yourself by filling out the registration form on the GDC site.

    Tagged with: GDC, State of the Game Industry, survey

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  • AR Glasses You’d Be Happy To Be Caught Dead In

    Are we finally getting closer to affordable, good-looking AR wearables? Let’s face it, humans can be, at times, vain and fickle creatures, so the fact that most HMDs tend to make their users look dorky as heck doesn’t really help when it comes to mass market adoption. Magic Leap makes you look like a Minion,

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  • Astro Bot Dev Photos May Hint At Cut Multiplayer Support
    Astro Bot Dev Photos May Hint At Cut Multiplayer Support

    Astro Bot: Rescue Mission was one of 2018's very best VR games and Sony revealed some interesting tidbits about its development today.

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  • Kill X Renamed Immortal Legacy: The Jade Cipher, Launching March for PlayStation VR Has the title improved since its E3 2018 debut?
  • Creed: Rise to Glory Update To Add Iconic Rocky Character
    Creed: Rise to Glory Update To Add Iconic Rocky Character

    Survios’ excellent VR boxing game, Creed: Rise to Glory, is teasing a big update, adding at least one familiar face.

    Yesterday the developer dropped a teaser tweet for the game. It teases a Rocky Legends update, which is ‘coming soon’. A picture of a virtualized Rocky rival Apollo Creed is included. Apollo is, of course, the father of Adonis Creed, who you play as in the main game. Creed vs Creed, anyone?

    Coming soon. 🥊

    — Survios (@Survios) January 23, 2019

    The name and picture suggest that at least one iconic Rocky character is coming to the game. We don’t yet know if Creed will be someone you can play as or straight up fight but we’d bet on the latter. Hopefully there’ll be some other famous faces joining the update. We’d love to fight Dolph Lundgren’s Ivan Drago and Mr. T’s Clubber Lang too. That said, the thought of playing as virtual Carl Weathers is an exciting one.

    The PSVR version of the game already allows you to fight against a young Rocky Balboa. We don’t yet know if this update will bring that content to PC too.

    We’re big fans of Creed, so the prospect of fresh content is welcome. In our review, we called it the “best all-around boxing game” yet released for VR headsets. The game introduces a phantom melee system that replicates effects like fatigue and stops players from spamming. It was one of three reasons that we handed Survios our 2018 award for VR Developer of the Year.

    Tagged with: Apollo Creed, Creed: Rise to Glory, Rocky

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  • Whispers in the Night Will Introduce Fable’s Virtual Being Lucy to the World Whispers in the Night will debut during the Virtual Beings Conference this summer.
  • Whispers In The Night Is A Groundbreaking AI Experience From Fable
    Whispers In The Night Is A Groundbreaking AI Experience From Fable

    Whispers in the Night is looking like an amazing new VR experience from Fable that lets you speak with a "virtual being" named Lucy.

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  • PSVR Exclusive Shooter Kill X Renamed Immortal Legacy, Coming Soon
    PSVR Exclusive Shooter Kill X Renamed Immortal Legacy, Coming Soon

    A few years ago now we played a Chinese demo for a PSVR exclusive shooter named Kill X. The game was born out of a Sony-led initiative and developed by Viva Games. It was a little scrappy, but it had potential. Two years on, we finally have a release date and a new name for the game – Immortal Legacy: The Jade Cipher.

    We kind of preferred Kill X, but no matter.

    Immortal Legacy will release on PSVR in Europe on March 20th. In the game you play as an ex-special forces soldier seeking revenge for his mother’s death. You’ll explore an island infested with horrific beasts. Playing with two Move controllers, you’ll gun these creatures down as well as solve puzzles and explore the world.

    Check out the first English-voiced trailer for the game above. It doesn’t give away much, but what’s there is promising.

    When we played the original demo the game offered full freedom of movement. It was a pretty spooky experience set in dark caves with creatures that crawled on the walls. That said, it was relatively simplistic.

    We’re cautiously optimistic about Immortal Legacy, then. Outside of ports like Borderlands 2, PSVR hasn’t had a full-fledged FPS in a while. Hopefully this will offer a meaty campaign with solid action and an engaging story. Visually, it looks like it’s come a long way from the last time we saw it.

    The game’s already up for pre-order on the European PlayStation Store for £15.99. There’s currently no word on a US release date though hopefully it’ll be around the same time.

    Tagged with: FPS, Immortal Legacy: The Jade Cipher

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  • Microsoft, HP, and Intel Working With Zero Latency on its Next Generation LBE VR Platform The collaborations should help further advance location-based entertainment for VR.
  • Zero Latency Partners With Microsoft And HP On New Platform
    Zero Latency Partners With Microsoft And HP On New Platform

    Australia-based startup Zero Latency is teaming up with Microsoft, HP and Intel “to help create the next generation of the Zero Latency platform,” according to the company.

    Zero Latency arenas offer large-scale free-roam multiplayer virtual environments available in 13 countries. They offer five games with another player-vs-player title on the way.

    The announcement from Zero Latency is light on details about how exactly the company’s next generation system will incorporate hardware from all three companies. We’ve confirmed, however, the company plans to use an HP-based Mixed Reality headset headset for its next generation system. The photo at the top of this page is from Zero Latency’s first generation arcades with lights on top of players and guns for positional tracking. HP, though, makes a Windows Mixed Reality headset and PC backpack which runs Intel chips.

    HP’s Windows Mixed Reality headset features inside-out tracking.

    “Microsoft is excited by the transformational experiences virtual reality enables and by how Zero Latency is expanding VR’s footprint using location-based entertainment,” said Yancey Smith, Senior Director of Mixed Reality Commercial Solutions at Microsoft, in a prepared statement. “We look forward to working with them to reach customers with experiences based on Mixed Reality headsets and our cloud-based services, and working with them to expand to new markets.”

    We’ll provide updates as soon as we learn more about how exactly Zero Latency integrates the hardware into its installations. Headsets with inside-out tracking like the “Mixed Reality” headsets powered by Microsoft’s tracking technology can potentially make it much easier to set up and run a VR arcade.

    Tagged with: hp, Intel, microsoft, Zero Latency

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  • Vicious VR Escape Room Last Labyrinth Launches Kickstarter Campaign
    Vicious VR Escape Room Last Labyrinth Launches Kickstarter Campaign

    Another VR escape room launched a crowd-funding campaign this week. This one looks a little more conventional than The Goodbye Room, though.

    Last Labyrinth is a new game from AMATA K.K.. We first wrote about the game back in September 2018. It has the rather weird claim to fame of being invented by the man that created PlayStation’s Toro Mascot, Hiromichi Takahashi. The team is looking to raise $18,255 by March 25th. At the time of writing, it’s already $2,000 into that goal.

    The first proper trailer for the game also arrived alongside the Kickstarter. Last Labyrinth looks like a particularly vicious VR escape room; deadly traps seem to threaten your every move. You’re joined by a mysterious girl who looks like she’s about to meet an untimely end more often than not. You can guide her by nodding and shaking your head.

    AMATA K.K. says funds for the game will mainly be used for marketing the game. In fact, it sounds like the actual game is nearly finished. The Kickstarter is estimating a May 2019 release date across Rift, Vive, Windows VR and PSVR.

    You can pledge $32 to secure a digital copy of the game. Backer rewards stretch all the way up to around $5,000. For that hefty sum you’ll get to design a puzzle in the game. You’ll also receive a figure of the Katia character and a bunch of other goodies. Stretch goals haven’t been announced as of yet.

    We’re hoping for brain-bending puzzles out of this one. Check back in a few months to see if it’s up to snuff.

    Tagged with: escape room, Last Labyrinth

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  • Last Labyrinth Kickstarter Launched Alongside 2nd Teaser Trailer The multi-platform experience is due for release Spring 2019.
  • Taipei Hospital Creates Multiuser VR Patient Education Room Using Vive Focus Patients and families will be able to better understand the procedures taking place.
  • Jesse Schell’s ‘Wild’ Guess: 1 Million Oculus Quests Sold In 2019
    Jesse Schell’s ‘Wild’ Guess: 1 Million Oculus Quests Sold In 2019

    I talked recently with Jesse Schell, the game design professor, author and VR developer. He’s worked with VR for decades, dating back to his time as a Disney Imagineer, and his studio Schell Games is responsible for more than a dozen VR and AR projects including I Expect You To Die — a hand-controlled VR game which cleared $3 million in revenue late last year despite the relatively slow uptake of headsets.

    “I expected VR games to take off faster than they have,” Schell said. “They haven’t gone crazy less, but I would say adoption is about half of what I expected. Looking back, I understand why looking at all these points of friction.”

    Schell’s guess regarding the adoption of Facebook’s Oculus Quest in 2019 is notable not for the number itself — 1 million-plus — but because he’s aware of just how much of a “wild” guess it is. We hear estimates all the time guessing at the market size for VR headsets based on the adoption rate for various systems, but Facebook and HTC have never released actual sales numbers for Rift or Vive. Sony’s PlayStation VR headset sold 3 million since its release in 2016 while Gear VR and Cardboard-based phone headsets together number far in excess of 5 million. That last number sounds impressive, but those millions of headsets sit in disuse while the Rift, Vive and PSVR offer players a pair of hand controllers to dramatically increase immersion and interactivity. It is on the storefronts which serve hand-controlled games where “I Expect You To Die” gathered $3 million in revenue over the last few years.

    “Most of the people with VR systems are 25+ because they are expensive systems, and because they are that age VR doesn’t fit very well into their lives,” Schell said. “The Quest crosses a number of thresholds that VR has not yet crossed.”

    Though Schell’s studio has been playing with Valve’s Knuckles controllers for years, his thesis for optimism regarding the VR market in 2019 surrounds the $400 all-in price for Oculus Quest. Quest’s launch is just a few months away but its library is still shrouded in mystery and Schell wasn’t ready to reveal his plans for the headset yet. Schell said he didn’t expect an all-in-one system at Quest’s price and capabilities to arrive by 2019, though, and he believes it will be a huge draw through the holidays this year among teenagers and young adults whose lives could be a better fit for the regular escape to a virtual world.

    “We do love the Quest, we are doing a lot of experiments and things with it,” said Schell. “Platforms in the size and shape of Quest are the ones that we are most excited about.”

    Quest offering 6DoF movement freedom to both hands and head with no wires is what Schell feels could hit a sweet spot in 2019. He refers to other VR headsets as “parasite” systems reliant on the processing power of an existing gadget (phone, console or PC) to

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  • Esports Continues Its Push Towards VR

    Can professional gaming help to propel the consumer adoption of virtual reality? Professional gaming, or esports, has quickly developed from a niche competitive scene into a full-blown industry that has attracted the attention of both spectators and corporations alike. Now, with immersive technologies growing at a rapid pace, the esports community is begun embracing VR

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