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  • Budget Cuts Review-In-Progress: Thrilling Spontaneous Stealth Betrayed By Bugs Galore
    Budget Cuts Review-In-Progress: Thrilling Spontaneous Stealth Betrayed By Bugs Galore

    The last thing I expected Budget Cuts to do was to make me question my mental stability, but here I am, standing over the crumpled body of a harmless worker-bot with a pair of scissors in its back. I put those scissors there. I found myself next to this well-mannered machine and smiled at his cheery greeting, then I killed him. I watched him wave his arms in unexpected agony and then drop to the floor, lifeless. And I smiled while I did it.

    See, Budget Cuts, the long-awaited VR stealth game from Stockholm-based Neat Corporation, is probably the nicest, most polite virtual world you could visit inside a VR headset. It’s a tamer Aperture Science; office spaces are lined with visual jokes about every day being Taco Tuesday and its swinging soundtrack bumbles along at a pleasant pace even when you’re on the run from its robotic guards. But it also gives you one thing a lot of other experiences don’t, something that can cancel out all that kind-hearted world-building with a single stab in the back: freedom.

    It’s up to you how you make your way through the world of Budget Cuts. You can be as a ghost, albeit one that teleports, keeping to your knees as you dart between indenti-kit office cubicles, daring yourself to peek around corners to see if the coast is clear and scanning for hidden exits. Or, if you’ve got a decent throwing arm, you can take the decidedly more malicious route, locating sharp things to stab into patrolling guards, either picking them off one-by-one or doing your best Neo impression as you take everyone on at once.

    These choices are what make Budget Cuts thrive; there’s a spontaneity to the last-minute backstabbing and instinctive ducking that you just couldn’t get with a gamepad in your hand. But the chaos can go both ways, and you’ll often find Budget Cuts crumbles under the weight of this ambition, too.

    Take the path of the murderer, for example. If you choose to slay your way through the game you’ll see it at both its best and worst. For the former, it’s the super-slick sensation that comes with popping out from behind a corner, tossing a knife and then vanishing back behind the wall as your enemies slump to the floor. It’s just as brilliant when things go wrong within the rules of the game, though; if you miss you’ll put guards on alert and have to double back and assess your next plan.

    Better yet, if you hit something non-vital you’ll see the guard yelp in pain, but give them enough time to return fire before they succumb to their wounds. Budget Cuts constantly demands you formalize and act upon ‘Plan B’ at a moment’s notice, and it keeps you on edge throughout.

    On the flip side, the sheer amount of possibilities on offer can leave enemy AI confused and sometimes even dead without you doing anything. From what I’ve seen, there’s no real ramification for the body of a guard being

  • Antilatency Brings 6DoF VR To The Oculus Go

    Add positional tracking to your Oculus Go in just 1.5 hours with Antilatency technology. The Oculus Go is an excellent VR headset. Comfortable face padding, a generous field of view, a healthy line-up of software, all without the need of a powerful PC or smartphone. Despite these impressive features however, the device does suffer from

    The post Antilatency Brings 6DoF VR To The Oculus Go appeared first on VRScout.

  • Augmented World Expo To Showcase Next Steps In AR/VR This Week
    Augmented World Expo To Showcase Next Steps In AR/VR This Week

    Augmented World Expo is this week in Santa Clara, California with an assortment of demos planned to preview next steps for VR/AR.

    The conference in the heart of Silicon Valley kicks off Wednesday with a series of talks followed by more than 100,000 feet of expo space to explore on Thursday and Friday. A 20,000 square foot “Playground” will showcase an assortment of experiences from across the spectrum of AR/VR.

    Here’s a list provided by AWE of projects being shown in the playground:

    Machines of Progress by EyeJack: Illustrated and animated by Australian artist Sutu, Machines of Progress is a colorful, large format illustration of a futuristic laboratory for testing fictional technologies and strange interface designs. Heal-ium: Positivity Tree by StoryUp XR: In a world filled with negativity, harness the power of your brain’s *Positivity* to transform your VR or AR environment. It’s kind of like virtual telekinesis. Use your mind’s gamma asymmetry to grow a VR tree or an AR butterfly from a chrysalis to a beautiful monarch. Kitty Kong — The 8th Wonder of the World by Shape Immersive is a multi-player, interactive, and full 360-degree mixed reality experience. In this mission to save the world from the notorious Kitty Kong, players must work together to create a magical barrier to contain the destruction. Tribe VR DJ School by Tribe XR: Take your first DJ lesson in VR. Relax VR: Take a break. Take a breath. Sit back . . . and escape to the world’s most relaxing, natural settings. Gaze at vast, undulating ocean waves toward the horizon as you de-stress to a gentle meditation or soft melodic tunes. In Situ eXPerience by Realcast will project attendees into an immersive storytelling experience–delivered through AR smart glasses, AR smartphones and movement trackers–so real you think it is actually happening. Where Thoughts Go: Prologue is a groundbreaking interactive social narrative. In this universe, sleeping creatures float toward you awakened by a gentle touch to reveal the thoughts of others who have previously visited. Two Bit Circus: Join the mad scientists, artists, inventors, and storytellers from Two Bit Circus as they showcase some of their most popular games. PUB TALK – An experience like no other by Nuheara: Come try IQbuds intelligent wireless earbuds in a bustling pub setting, and feel the difference that augmented hearing can make. The Multiple Reality Machine by Igloo Vision displays any form of 360°, VR or AR content in a shared, immersive projection space. For AWE, Igloo has developed a series of scenarios to show how groups of people can engage and interact with multiple immersive realities. The Globacore Heist by Globacore: Commit the heist of the century in a VR museum, dodging lasers, fighting off flying drones, and avoiding becoming shark food in order to steal treasured artifacts and return them to their proper place in space and time. Heroes Alliance Online by Beyond One lets attendees connect with other players and battle against a massive fire breathing dragon flying through the venue. Avoid obstacles, dodge fireballs, and aim powerful attacks–all through the lens of a smartphone. Infinadeck is the world’s first commercially-viable omnidirectional treadmill. This patented device
  • Gran Turismo Sport Gets Yet More New Cars This Week
    Gran Turismo Sport Gets Yet More New Cars This Week

    Ready for more cars in Gran Turismo Sport? No? Well you’re getting them anyway.

    The next update for Polyphony Digital’s PSVR-supported racer is due to release this week, series creator Kazunori Yamauchi recently confirmed on Twitter. It’s set to add nine new cars for free. We don’t know exactly what these vehicles will be but you’re welcome to try and guess based on the teaser image below. The replies to the tweet are filled with fans connecting the dots, so check those out too.

    Update is coming next week. 来週、アップデートが来ます。#GranTurismoSport #GTSport #GranTurismo #PS4share pic.twitter.com/dwaahBGTVb

    — 山内 一典 (@Kaz_Yamauchi) May 24, 2018

    As always, you’ll be able to jump into these cars and experience lifelike driving in the game’s PSVR mode, which now consists of both 1-on-1 AI racing and a time trial mode. While GT Sport’s PSVR-support has always been considered fairly barebones, the actual experience of driving these cars in VR is hard to beat, so it’s great to see more support come to the racing sim.

    We’re not yet sure what other features will be added in this update, though hopefully VR fans will have some more content to look forward to. Perhaps we can expect new track layouts for starters.

    Tagged with: gran turismo sport

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  • Beat Saber Passes 100,000 Copies Sold In Less Than A Month
    Beat Saber Passes 100,000 Copies Sold In Less Than A Month

    Beat Saber, the smash hit VR rhythm game from Hyperbolic Magnetism, turns one month old in just a few days’ time. But the Star Wars-inspired game has already passed its second major sales milestone.

    Yesterday Beat Saber’s official Twitter account revealed that the game has now passed 100,000 in sales. In mid-May we reported that it had sold 50,000 copies in its first week, and it hasn’t taken long to double that number. Hyperbolic thanked fans for their support in the message.

    Wow! Beat Saber sold 100,000 copies in less than a month! We’re so excited to watch our community grow this much. Thank you for your support!

    💥 Next steps: finish our Level Editor & bring you fresh new music content! pic.twitter.com/IwIDMFNC3W

    — Beat Saber (@BeatSaber) May 28, 2018

    Beat Saber has players slashing notes that arrive in time with a beat using what are essentially two lightsabers. It’s only available in Early Access right now with 10 official songs to master though, as the Twitter post confirms, Hyperbolic is also working on finishing off the Level Editor so that anyone can make tracks with their own sound files. It’s also working on its own new tracks, putting out a call to artists a few weeks back. Fans, meanwhile, have embraced the game with their own tracks and even mods that have allowed them to play the game like Darth Maul and more.

    Looking further ahead there’s also a PSVR version of the game in the works. There’s plenty more to come from Beat Saber, then.

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  • HordeZ Studio Zenz VR Joins Wands Developer Cortopia
    HordeZ Studio Zenz VR Joins Wands Developer Cortopia

    Stockholm-based Cortopia Studios is best known for its debut VR game, Wands, which set a high bar for VR experiences on mobile platforms with multiplayer spell casting. This month, though, Cortopia is announcing that it’s bringing another VR developer under its wing.

    HordeZ creator Zenz VR has joined the studio after Cortopia acquired a 51% stake in it. As a result, Cortopia will be lending support to Zenz, which currently has two VR games in Early Access and is working on a fourth, unrevealed project. Speaking to UploadVR over email, Cortopia’s John Milburn noted that ZenzVR would continue to operate as before, though Cortopia would assist with “practical things” like marketing, for example.

    Zenz’s first VR game was HordeZ, an on-rails arcade shooter that had you gunning down hordes of zombie-style enemies. Its follow-up, Xion, is a unique twist on the shoot-em’ up genre that has players building and steering a spaceship with their hands. X-Fire, meanwhile, is a new shooter with rogue-like elements that has you making your way through large levels. The studio is headed up by Niklas Persson, the creator of WW2 shooter, Codename: Eagle, which is widely regarded as a spiritual predecessor to the Battlefield series.

    Over on Cortopia’s side, the studio is still working on updates for Wands, which recently landed on Oculus Go.

    Tagged with: Cortopia Studios, Zenz VR

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  • Superhot Dev Working On A ‘Core VR Experience’
    Superhot Dev Working On A ‘Core VR Experience’

    Here’s the best news we’ve heard in a while: it sounds like the makers of Superhot VR are working on a new experience for headsets.

    Development lead Piotr Iwanicki seemed to confirm as much in a recent interview with Destructoid. Speaking about the chances of a sequel to not just the smash hit VR shooter, but the entire series as a whole, the developer spoke about the importance of making something that represented a “proper evolution”.

    “This is something that really didn’t click in Superhot VR because the animations were all made for a 2D game and it was kind of hacked together to be a VR game,” Iwanicki said. “It’s a hack, it’s not like an animation system that was designed from the ground up. There’s some legacy from the flat-screen version. What we’re developing now is making an even more core VR experience.”

    Well, that last bit certainly comes as a surprise. It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a brand new game on the way, but it definitely seems like there’s more to come. Could we see a new Superhot VR experience that starts from the ground up, without any DNA from the older entries? When asked if VR was integral to the team right now, Iwanicki also noted that it was a “huge part” of his work, though the studio as a whole as “branching out” too.

    We’ve reached out to the Superhot team to ask if it is indeed working on a new VR game.

    Superhot VR is arguably still the best first-person shooter (FPS) in VR, tasking players with wiping out rooms filled with enemies without being hit. The catch is that time moves only when the player does; if they hold still then bullets will pause in mid-air, giving you time to contemplate your next move. This unique mix of physical movement and strategy made Superhot VR something that really came to life inside headsets.

    Elsewhere, Iwanicki spoke a bit about the complexity of VR, and his interest in the standalone headset category. “More devices are coming,” he said. “I’m especially fond of all the ideas for standalone devices. You just buy one thing and it works. That’s an interesting product. So we need a standalone device with hand controllers and room-scale tracking.”

    Superhot on Santa Cruz, anyone?

    Tagged with: SUPERHOT VR

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  • Highly-Anticipated VR Stealth Game ‘Budget Cuts’ Arrives This Week

    One of VR’s most anticipated titles finally arrives on headsets this Thursday. Since it’s initial tease all the way back in 2015, Budget Cuts has remained an elusive dream for a majority of the VR gamers who have tasted a sample of the promising action stealth game via a short demo. I myself have spent

    The post Highly-Anticipated VR Stealth Game ‘Budget Cuts’ Arrives This Week appeared first on VRScout.

  • What Sony’s PlayStation 4 ‘End-Of-Life’ Means For PSVR And PSVR 2
    What Sony’s PlayStation 4 ‘End-Of-Life’ Means For PSVR And PSVR 2

    When Sony executive John Tsuyoshi Kodera told investors this week that the PlayStation 4 is entering the “final phase of its life cycle,” there were two ways to parse the news. You could disbelieve it — it’s a mistake, an overstatement, or likely to change — or assume that Sony was dead serious and already planning for the PlayStation 5. Sony later clarified that Kodera was referring to a three-year transition from PS4 to PS5, but the damage was done: Developers and consumers alike are going to spend the next three years thinking not about what’s here but what’s coming next.

    Kodera’s statement has huge ramifications for the next version of PSVR. Technically, Sony could release an all-new headset tomorrow for the PS4 and continue to support it for the PS5. By historic standards, that would be unusual. Each new console generation typically makes changes to everything — I/O ports, internals, etc. — so the PS5 might well have different connectors and system architectures from the PS4. Would Sony spend the time and money to make a PS4 version of PSVR 2 right now, knowing that it might need to update the accessory again for PS5?

    There’s one reason to think the answer is “yes.”

    Years ago, Sony hired Mark Cerny to lead PS4 architecture development, and after the platform’s wild success with developers and customers, reports suggest that he’s taking a similar role for the PS5. Unlike his predecessor, Ken Kutaragi, who treated every new PlayStation generation as a fresh start, Cerny appeared to be laying a foundation for Sony to make smooth generational transitions. If Sony keeps the PS5’s architecture basically the same as the PS4 Pro’s, but with new generation-worthy CPU and GPU upgrades, it could preserve software and accessory compatibility.

    Above: Mark Cerny led architecture design for the PS4 and is likely doing the same for PS5.

    In the past, Sony has generally enabled PlayStations to offer some backward compatibility via extra chips or emulation — the PS4 was an exception. But directly building upon the PS4 platform’s I/O and software would enable a PSVR 2 headset to work on both hardware generations — just like PSVR did for the PS4 and PS4 Pro — and start building up a base of users sooner rather than later.

    While an all-new PS5 platform isn’t hard to imagine, it strikes me as the profoundly wrong move for Sony to make right now. Kodera’s comments on the PS4’s supposed demise hit just as God of War was named the strongest initial seller of any PlayStation exclusive in history. That happened precisely because Sony has a gigantic PS4 user base spread across entry- and Pro-level consoles, numbers that would take years for an all-new successor platform to match.

    There’s only one reason a Sony executive would start discussing the death of a thriving platform right now: to let investors know that Sony is going to ramp up PS5 hardware R&D spending in the near future, while cutting down PS4 hardware efforts. Unfortunately, that candor will likely damage PS4 sales somewhat and frighten developers away from spending their time on PS4 games. The consequence

  • Microsoft Patents A Tactile Feedback Device For Mixed Reality
    Microsoft Patents A Tactile Feedback Device For Mixed Reality

    According to a recently-published patent, Microsoft is working on a device that will give you tactile feedback in both mixed and virtual realities.

    The patent, published last week but originally filed back in June 2017, is for an ‘Electrostatic Slide Clutch’ that appears to fit around the user’s hand and arm. A series of electrodes stimulate the user’s hand with varying voltage, stopping them from fully closing a fist when they hold a virtual object, for example. The patent notes that this tech could be used in full virtual reality experiences and ‘mixed reality’, suggesting it could be compatible with HoloLens, too.

    In its own images, Microsoft gives an example of holding a basketball, with the user’s hand stretched to simulate the curves of the ball. “In particular, haptic device may be configured to provide resistive contact sensation in response to detection of contact between the body of the user in a virtual display object projected into a field of view,” the patent reads.

    Haptic feedback is one of the most important areas of VR R&D right now. Currently, input devices like Oculus Touch and the HTC Vive wands allow us to bring out hands into VR, but there’s nothing to stop us from putting our hands through surfaces, and no way to replicate the exact feeling of holding certain objects. With Microsoft’s tech, though, VR worlds can come a step closer to reality by giving players realistic feedback.

    Still, as with most patents we report on, we have no way of knowing if Microsoft’s work will ever see the light of day. For now, we can just hope.

    Tagged with: microsoft

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  • NextVR Finally Launches On Vive, Rift Coming Soon
    NextVR Finally Launches On Vive, Rift Coming Soon

    One of VR’s best-known video streaming platforms is finally arriving on two of the best-known headsets.

    NextVR, a service that offers live sports and entertainment broadcasting in 360 degrees, this month launched on Viveport with support for both the HTC Vive and the Vive Pro. Despite launching on Gear VR years ago and even coming to Microsft’s Windows-based mixed reality devices last year, this is the first time the platform has been available on HTC’s headset. The company also told Road to VR that a version for the Oculus Rift will be coming soon and a Steam release is on the cards too. It’s free to download on Viveport.

    NextVR offers a range of 360 degree experiences as well as live programming. The app’s current lineup includes ringside viewing of WWE and boxing matches, front row access to Live Nation concerts and sideline locations for NFL games among others. In these videos, users can twist and turn their heads to look in any direction, though can actually move their heads through virtual space.

    It’s the future that makes NextVR one to watch, though. Earlier this year we saw previews of what the company is working on, including upgraded video resolution that could be a game changer for the format. The company also recently announced a partnership with Oculus for a live Venues app that will allow friends to share these types of experiences with each other.

    Tagged with: nextVR

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  • Ubisoft’s VR Thriller Transference Is Coming To E3 2018
    Ubisoft’s VR Thriller Transference Is Coming To E3 2018

    Last E3, Ubisoft introduced us to a strange and unsettling new VR game named Transference. It was in development at Spectrevision (which includes Elijah Wood of Frodo fame), and was easily one of the most interesting games at last year’s show. We haven’t seen it since, despite being given an initial spring 2018 release window.

    Well, good news, the game’s set to make a return at Ubisoft’s E3 press conference this year. The company confirmed as much in a teaser video for its 2018 show, also confirming that games like Beyond Good & Evil 2 and Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 would headline the showcase. What we didn’t see was a mention for zero-gravity space shooter, Space Junkies, which is coming to Rift and Vive soon, though hopefully we’ll be able to go hands-on with it again.

    Transference is a creepy-looking experience that explores subjects like PTSD as it attempts to bridge the gap between movies and games. It mixes full VR gameplay with real-life footage in an attempt to put players in stressful situations unlike anything else you’ve seen in VR.

    “Throughout it all nothing is ever quite as it seems,” David Jagneaux wrote in our E3 2017 preview. “Since this is intended to be a digital recreation of someone’s traumatized memories things are inconsistent and glitchy. Doors morph and move around as I walk past them, pictures on the wall vanish and reappear seemingly at random. Some items even bounce in and out of view as if to imply the memories are fragmented and incomplete.”

    Transference is due to launch on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR. Ubisoft’s conference is running on Monday, June 11th, at 1pm PT. We’ve got a full list of conferences and the chances of seeing VR at them right here.

    Tagged with: Transference

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  • Road Runner vs Wile E. Coyote Might Be AR’s Coolest Video Yet
    Road Runner vs Wile E. Coyote Might Be AR’s Coolest Video Yet

    Poor old Wile E. has been trying to catch that pesky Road Runner since 1949, but even a leap into AR hasn’t given him the edge.

    This amazing new AR video is the latest work from Abhishek Singh, and enthusiast that’s also brought R2-D2 into the real world and recreated an entire level from Super Marios Bros. inside HoloLens. It brings one of the dynamic duos’ most iconic sketches into the real world, with Wile E. making yet another doomed attempt to catch a bird that, let’s face it, doesn’t even look that tasty.

    As you’d expect it doesn’t really go the coyote’s way. What makes this video so impressive is how it takes a classic sketch that’s always played with the viewer’s perception and perfectly translated it to AR.

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  • Sea Of Memories Is A VR Game All About Optical Illusions
    Sea Of Memories Is A VR Game All About Optical Illusions

    VR itself is an illusion, depending on our brain to trick us into thinking we’re really somewhere else. Does that make a VR game all about optical illusions some sort of VRception?

    Maybe not, but we’re still very interested in Sea of Memories, a new game from developer Ivanovich Games already available on the Rift, Go, Gear and Daydream. A SteamVR release with Vive and Windows VR support is coming on June 1st.

    In the experience, you journey into the mind of an unnamed protagonist and explore his memories in unique ways. Interestingly, the game has you traveling between several islands by boat, locating 100 optical illusions that ask you to make full use of VR to solve.

    Graphically the game may look a little simple but there seem to be some intriguing ideas to this one. Sea of Memories costs $9.99 on PC VR platforms, $3.99 on Gear and Go, and $2.99 on Daydream.

    Tagged with: Sea of Memories

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  • Why We Haven’t Reviewed Budget Cuts Yet
    Why We Haven’t Reviewed Budget Cuts Yet

    Budget Cuts, the long-awaited VR stealth game from Neat Corporation, releases in just a few days’ time on May 31st. The review embargo for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive adventure just lifted, though. Despite having spent a lot of time inside the game, we decided against publishing a review straight away. Why?

    Well, simply put, there’s a lot of bugs, and some of them are too big to ignore. There’s a fun core game in Budget Cuts but, playing on Rift through SteamVR, we encountered bugs where objects would fly out of our hands, knives would stick to our heads when thrown, and even levels with regular hard crashes that, frankly, made progression a massive slog. Neat Corporation did warn us that there were bound to be bugs, but it’s hard to properly judge the game in its current condition. But the team still has a few days to fix some of these issues before you can pick it up, and it may well be that the Vive/Oculus Home experience differs from what we’ve tried, so it’s only fair.

    Rest assured, when the game does work, we’re having a lot of fun with it. This take on VR sneaking isn’t perfect, but there’s a real rush to zapping through office spaces, keeping your head on a swivel in search of threatening enemies. We’re not quite ready to call Budget Cuts VR’s very own Portal, but there are some ideas here that remind us why we love this platform so much in the first place.

    We’ll bring you our full review as soon as we can but we want to give Neat Corporation a chance to address the issues we’ve encountered before dishing out the final verdict. Stay tuned.

    Tagged with: Budget Cuts

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