• Sony: PSVR Is Still Selling, But Industry Growth Is Slower Than Expected
    Sony: PSVR Is Still Selling, But Industry Growth Is Slower Than Expected

    With over two million units sold, it’s largelly thought that Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR) is the most successful high-end VR headset on the market right now. But it sounds like the wider market’s growth isn’t living up to the company’s expectations.

    During a recent Corporate Strategy Meeting, attended by Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki, Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO John Tsuyoshi Kodera noted that the company’s own headset was still selling, but the industry’s overall growth is below market expectations. As such, Kodera told those in attendance that the company would aim for a more “realistic outlook” on the headset’s performance in the future.

    SIE head Kodera: PSVR growing, but industry’s growth is below market expectations. PS Vue is facing harder-than-expected competitions. Vue and PSVR would aim for further growth with realistic outlook.

    — Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) May 22, 2018

    It’s a little tricky to pick apart exactly what Kodera means here. Instead of suggesting PSVR itself isn’t measuring up to expectations, he seems to be suggesting that sales of other headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive aren’t as strong as anticipated. Indeed, both Oculus and HTC still haven’t shared sales data for their respective headsets two years on from release, which might suggest they haven’t managed to keep pace with PSVR, though there’s no way of knowing that.

    These comments are in line with remarks from Kodera’s predecessor, Andrew House, who last year said he wasn’t “entirely comfortable” with PSVR leading the market “by such a margin that seems to be happening right now,” likely referencing Rift and Vive sales.

    Elsewhere in the meeting, Kodera noted that PS4, the console that powers PSVR, is entering the end of its life cycle, suggesting a successor may not be too far away now. If that’s the case, can we expect a sequel to PSVR in the next few years too?

    PSVR itself enjoyed a price drop earlier this year, though we haven’t seen a sales update from Sony since it passed the two million mark in December 2017. Perhaps the company will announce another milestone during its E3 2018 press conference in a few weeks’ time?

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  • Oval Giveaway: Fast-Paced Multiplayer VR Shooter
    Oval Giveaway: Fast-Paced Multiplayer VR Shooter

    Developers are finally starting to experiment more with their VR game designs and break some of the boundaries that people previously held to be true. For example, a couple of years ago everyone was making teleportation-focused games because people feared motion sickness.

    Now with some clever engineering, most people aren’t even affected. That’s where intense, fast-paced competitive multiplayer shooter games like Oval come into play.

    In this high-flying VR shooter, you can leap and bound all across maps, unloading a wide variety of weapons on your enemies. Gameplay looks a bit like Sairento, but in a multiplayer setting and with a heavier focus on guns.

    What really sets Oval apart though is the inclusion of a robust in-VR level editor and a community-driven map sharing system. That will definitely help ensure a steady stream of new maps and content is pumped into the game. Hopefully it’s an idea more VR titles take into consideration.

    If you’d like to get in on the ground floor of this upcoming shooter, we’re giving away 500 Closed Beta keys. You can grab yours by visiting and filling out your info on this website. These keys will let people play from the moment they get the key all the way to June 8th, when the game launches on Steam Early Access.

    For more details on Oval you can visit the official Steam page or join the Discord server to organize play sessions with other testers and community members.

    Let us know what you think of Oval so far down in the comments below!

    Tagged with: giveaway, Oval

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  • Star Trek: Bridge Crew The Next Generation DLC Review – To Boldly Go In VR
    Star Trek: Bridge Crew The Next Generation DLC Review – To Boldly Go In VR

    When most people think of Star Trek and virtual reality, they’re imagining the holodeck, a staging environment that lets users seamlessly travel to other realities as if they were real. Many companies are on quests to realize something like that with modern VR technology, but Ubisoft isn’t one of them. Instead, in partnership with Red Storm Entertainment, they’re setting their sights on the bridge experience instead.

    But in terms of Star Trek as a whole, there is nothing more iconic than the shot of a crew sitting on the bridge of a powerful starship. With last year’s release of Star Trek: Bridge Crew, Ubisoft was successful in delivering one of VR’s most memorable and immersive multiplayer experiences to date. There’s nothing quite like barking orders at your friends, sitting side-by-side as things go spectacularly wrong, or valiantly triumphing over dastardly enemies in the final frontier of space.

    When it debuted, you could take command of a crew aboard the new Aegis ship, which is themed as a futuristic vessel with lots of whites and grays and sleek designs similar to the modern era of Star Trek films, or the original Enterprise from the very first Star Trek TV show. But it was missing something extremely important: The Next Generation.

    As perhaps the most popular era of Star Trek as a whole, The Next Generation’s bridge and crew are immediately recognizable. So in the form of a DLC pack which includes brand new Ongoing Voyages missions, new enemies, a new player race, a new role to play, and yes, TNG’s iconic bridge, Bridge Crew is getting a major overhaul.

    The main draw of this DLC is going to just be the experience of sitting on TNG’s bridge, feeling like your part of the crew, and that general sense of presence that only VR can afford — but that’s only a brief slice of what this expansion offers.

    Functionally, the TNG bridge is pretty much identical to the Aegis bridge with regard to the captain, tactical officer, and helm positions, but Engineering has been totally overhauled. Instead, you’ll take on the role of Operations, which is what Data did in TNG’s show. And along with that inclusion is the ability to create Android avatars as well (shown below).

    In the Ops role, you’ll not only have to do all of Engineering’s job through re-routing power to different subsystems, charging warp coils, and transporting things onto the ship, but now you’ll also have to  manage the NPC crew across the entire ship to send them out to different areas and start repairs. It’s a game of predictive micromanagement that adds a ton of chaos and helps liven up an otherwise boring role.

    The romulans are a fun new enemy to deal with, as they can actually target parts of your ship to disable during fights. Since the player has always been able to do that, this feels like an evening of the scales a little bit. Combat certainly feels more lethal this time around. Romulans can also flee and cloak themselves

  • Gungrave VR Finally Hits Western PSVRs This Fall
    Gungrave VR Finally Hits Western PSVRs This Fall

    Gungrave VR, a VR spin-off of a cult-classic shooter, is finally making its way west this year.

    The shooter, which launched in Japan in late 2017, is set to be published by IGGYMOB in the US and in Europe by Marvelous. It’s slated to arrive in the latter territory this fall, though it’s unclear if the US will get it earlier.

    The game mixes the original’s free-moving third-person gameplay with first-person on-rails segments for a whacky take on the shooter genre. You play as Gave, wielding his dual guns in a battle against evil Orgmen. It picks up after the events of the first game, released on the PS2 all the way back in 2002, and will lead into an upcoming sequel on PS4. You can see the game in action in the trailer above, which is shared with a non-VR game Marvelous is also releasing.

    Tagged with: Gungrave VR

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  • PSVR’s Brilliant Wipeout VR Gets A Free Demo Today
    PSVR’s Brilliant Wipeout VR Gets A Free Demo Today

    Still haven’t sampled Wipeout Omega Collection’s brilliant PlayStation VR (PSVR) support? Well why the heck not? It’s one of the headsets best games and you owe it to yourself to take it for a spin. Fortunately, you can now do just that for free.

    A demo for the game showcasing its PSVR support just went live in the US and arrives today in the EU. You can download it on the PlayStation Store at no extra cost. Omega Collection gathers tracks and vehicles from the sci-fi racing series’ past and brings them to PS4 with updated visuals, online play and, of course, VR support.

    This slice of the game lets you try out two ships, one of which was specifically built for the VR mode, and then race them on two tracks, one from PS3’s Wipeout HD and the other from Vita’s Wipeout 2048. If you don’t have a PSVR then you can still try out the game on a standard screen.

    We called Wipeout PSVR’s ‘Tour De Force’ in our 9/10 review.”Everything you love about Wipeout is here but with a new lease of life, from the violent crunch of combat to the twitch-like reactions needed to navigate the many courses from the seat of your vehicle,” we said. “It’s both Wipeout as you love it and as you’ve never seen it before, and one of the very best games you can get on PSVR yet.”

    Needless to say, then, we think you should try the demo out.

    Tagged with: Wipeout VR

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  • New Gorn Update Adds A Katana, New Armor And Blood
    New Gorn Update Adds A Katana, New Armor And Blood

    It’s been a while since the last update for Free Live’s Gorn, but new content finally arrived for the gladiator battler this week.

    The May update for Gorn — the first since February’s Giant update — adds a handful of new things to check out. For starters, there’s a new weapon, the katana, which is sure to be popular with any wannabe ninjas out there. It might not be the most inventive weapon featured in Gorn but we’re still excited to boot the game up and start chopping off some arms with it.

    Enemies also have new armor types and, because this is Gorn, will now spill ‘new & improved’ blood. Don’t ask me how you can improve blood, especially in a game that’s already spilled gallons of it, but I’m sure there’s a way. As for arenas, you can now enter Champion battles at night time.

    Elsewhere there are some improvements to performance and weapon handling as well as graphics tweaks and even a new title screen. Free Lives noted that the team had been away at several game jams over the past few months, which has slowed down the progress on Gorn updates, but now the team is back working on the game in ‘full force’.

    Gorn remains in Early Access for now but there’s more than enough content to warrant a look at this point. Free Lives promises that yet more content is in the works for the next few months, so hopefully we’ll be moving towards the full version pretty soon.

    Tagged with: Gorn

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  • Budget Cuts Bloopers Video Shows AI Going Haywire
    Budget Cuts Bloopers Video Shows AI Going Haywire

    It’s not often you see a developer embrace bugs, but like us, Neat Corporation can find the humor in mechanical robots going haywire as they attempt to pick up a cup.

    The Swedish developer this week posted a video of its highly anticipated VR game, Budget Cuts, ahead of launch on May 31st. Rather than an epic launch trailer with cinematic flair, though, the team instead decided to show off some of its favorite bloopers that cropped up over the course of development, specifically to do with AI.

    You can see the game’s pedestrian workbots, which usually traipse around the office-like levels in mundane fashion, lose their marbles over glitches. We’re especially fans of the times in which they all seem to be impersonating Homer Simpson’s chicken dance on the floor.

    Budget Cuts was recently delayed by a few weeks, so it’s good to see that Neat Corp is confident enough in the final product to poke fun at some of the hiccups it’s faced along the way. The game has players sneaking through a facility patrolled by robots like these using an innovative teleportation mechanic.

    Look for Budget Cuts to arrive on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in just over a weeks’ time.

    Tagged with: Budget Cuts

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  • Report: Dreams Will Now Have PSVR Support On Day One
    Report: Dreams Will Now Have PSVR Support On Day One

    According to a new article from PSU, Dreams is planned to have PSVR support from day one when it launches after all. Late last year, a developer told us during a demonstration that PSVR support “won’t be in at launch” but when it did come, it would allow users to manipulate the world and objects using the PS Move wand controllers, bringing that much closer to your creation.

    But now, based on reports from a recent pre-E3 preview event, it seems like the developers plans may have changed. We reached out to PSU to confirm the details of their story and they verified that Mark Healey, co-founder and creative director for Media Molecule, did in fact state it would have PSVR support from day one. We were at this preview event as well, but opted to not demo Dreams since we’d been told they weren’t discussing VR details at the event.

    This is exciting news because in the past it seemed like it could have been relegated to the background as a secondary feature, but perhaps this means the majority (or all) of Dreams will function from inside a PSVR headset. If all goes well, Dreams could very well end up being one of VR’s most powerful content creation platforms to date.

    Earlier this year Media Molecule’s Alex Evans even stated that he was “really hyped” for the app’s PSVR support, so all signs are pointing towards this being one to watch for VR fans.

    Feature: Dreams PS4 Delivers Unlimited Possibilities

    — Shuhei: Become Human (@yosp) May 21, 2018

    If that’s not confirmation enough that VR is coming on day one for Dreams, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s own President of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, tweeted the PSU story today. Granted, the PSVR line isn’t the headline or a prominent part of the preview, but I doubt he’d tweet out a story with such an erroneous error in it.

    We reached out to Sony for comment on the revelation, but they declined to comment at this time, simply stating that more details will be coming later.

    What do you think of this news? Let us know down in the comments below!

    Tagged with: dreams, media molecule, PSVR

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  • CryptoCarz: Multiplayer VR Racing Powered By Blockchain

    Attend online auctions, customize limited-edition rides, and test your skills in this blockchain-enabled VR racing experience. As blockchain-based technology continues to dominate the tech industry, it’s the Ethereum platform that’s managed to garner the most attention among developers due in large part to its  decentralized, open-source, blockchain-based distributed computing system featuring smart-contract functionality. This means

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  • Rec Room Getting Battle Royale-Style Game Mode In June
    Rec Room Getting Battle Royale-Style Game Mode In June

    Battle royale games are the new hotness. Your kids are playing them, I’m playing them, you’re probably playing them: we’re all playing them. Whether you prefer PUBG’s slow-paced realism or Fortnite’s fast-paced action and base building, or even H1Z1’s vehicular-focused Auto Royale mode, there is certainly a battle royale game out there for just about everyone.

    A few developers have tried to capture that thrill for the VR market, but no one has really succeeded. The typical designs don’t carry over easily and there aren’t enough people in headsets yet. Rec Room developer Against Gravity is hoping to have a work around for those issues.

    Simply dubbed Rec Royale, this new game mode will put 16 players (that’s a lot less than 100) against one another in an all-out war to be the last man standing. The setting is a national park’s forest, complete with lots of trees, mountains, and rivers — as well as “tons of loot for scavenging” according to a PlayStation blog post by Against Gravity’s Community Designer, Shawn Whiting.

    Just like the rest of Rec Room this new Rec Royale mode will be 100% free and fully cross-platform across PSVR, Rift, and Vive. The new game mode will introduce a few new mechanics for the title as well, such as a backpack for quick swapping weapons.

    The new game mode will host a public alpha test for all registered Rec Room players on May 25th (that’s this Friday) lasting until May 27th on all platforms in preparation for the game’s full launch on June 7th.

    Despite the fact that this sounds more like a classic King of the Hill game mode with clever “Battle Royale” marketing attached to it, I’ll certainly be checking it out.

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

    Tagged with: Battle Royale, rec room

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  • Boggle Launches On Oculus Rooms, More Board Games ‘Coming Soon’
    Boggle Launches On Oculus Rooms, More Board Games ‘Coming Soon’

    Oculus Go and Gear VR owners should find classic board game Boggle playable with friends in Oculus Rooms today.

    Every mobile Oculus user has a room they can decorate and invite friends to visit. From one of these rooms you watch TV together, play a game or find a world both of you can visit. Oculus Rooms already included some basic games, but an agreement with Hasbro promises much more fun with friends. Boggle is the first of several classic board games coming to Oculus Rooms, with Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit “coming soon.”

    It’s Boggle time! We teamed up with @HasbroNews to bring some beloved tabletop games to Oculus Rooms on #OculusGo and Gear VR. Starting today, you can challenge your friends to a battle of wits and words—with Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit coming soon!

    — Oculus (@oculus) May 21, 2018


    Tagged with: Boggle, Oculus Go, Oculus Rooms

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  • Rec Room Update Adds Adorable Battle Royale Mode Next Month

    Against Gravity’s popular social VR platform hops on the battle royale bandwagon with its latest free update. With the immense popularity of recent titles such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite, and H1Z1, there’s no denying the intense stranglehold the battle royale genre has on the modern gaming community. Everyone and their mother are currently looking to

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  • Oculus Faces ‘Existential Crisis’ In Handling Personal Data
    Oculus Faces ‘Existential Crisis’ In Handling Personal Data

    The new Oculus terms of service and privacy policy are now posted. Also, you can now access the information Oculus has stored about you by logging into your Oculus account and visiting My Privacy Center.

    Facebook is overhauling the Oculus privacy policy and terms of service as the company prepares to launch its first standalone VR headset.

    The change comes amid new European privacy regulations and an international movement calling into question Facebook’s platform and business model. Earlier this month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress to answer questions about the company’s handling of personal data.

    Also, in a few weeks at the F8 developer conference, Facebook is expected to provide launch details for the $200 all-in-one Oculus Go VR headset. The consumer-focused launch represents a big moment for Facebook as its first standalone consumer product. Go launches six years after Oculus was founded and more than four years after Mark Zuckerberg decided to acquire it. Oculus first launched with the Gear VR for Samsung phones and its high-end Rift headset sits atop Microsoft’s Windows. With Go’s launch, a VR headset will stand on its own for the first time as a self-contained consumer product at a pretty alluring price.

    For the early VR developer community, there’s hope Go might open up a new active (and paying) user base. I’ve also heard from developers, though, who remain concerned about releasing their virtual worlds on Oculus platforms for reasons ranging from how Facebook collects and handles personal data to how it influences democracy going forward.

    “It’s an existential crisis for us to make sure we get data handling right,” said Max Cohen, head of product for the Oculus Platform, during a phone interview.

    What Information Does Oculus Store?

    When Oculus launched the Rift in 2016 the company started storing snapshots online, once per minute, of the actual and “average” position of the Rift and Touch controllers. Until recently, this data was connected to individual Oculus accounts.

    The data is still there, but Oculus representatives said it “can’t be used to identify individuals.” According to Oculus, this data “is used to generate aggregated playspace information that developers can access to help inform their game design.”

    “We realized over time that we don’t need to associate movement information with your account to make our systems work, so we moved to a system where all movement data is now de-identified,” an Oculus spokesperson wrote in response to questions.

    For those unfamiliar, the Oculus Rift headset and Touch controllers which come packaged together are precisely tracked using sensors that are little more than slightly modified webcams looking for dots of light on the surface of the gadgets.

    “We don’t log frame-by-frame movement information,” an Oculus spokesperson wrote in an email. “Rather, we log movement data at 1-minute intervals, including both samples (specific moment-in-time measurements) and aggregated information (such as minimum, maximum, and average) for the position of the headset and Touch controllers. This information isn’t granular and it can’t be used to identify individuals.”

    Facebook’s Spaces app — a social experience that connects people on Facebook Messenger,

  • Google VR/AR Boss Confirms Commitment: ‘We’re Making Investments For The Long Term’
    Google VR/AR Boss Confirms Commitment: ‘We’re Making Investments For The Long Term’

    The Mirage Solo standalone headset powered by Google’s WorldSense tracking technology launched just days before the Google I/O developer conference, and yet a long keynote event came and went without mention of VR.

    The $400 VR headset from Lenovo is the “first” Daydream standalone, but despite Google using that word to describe Mirage Solo no manufacturers have publicly committed to building a second one. The hardware is a big step up technically compared with Oculus Go, and it can run the entire Google Play catalog, but Lenovo’s Mirage Solo is unlikely to convince the masses that VR is a must buy. With no new information about either internal products like Daydream View or partner products like Mirage Solo — it makes sense that some developers and early adopters might be wondering if Google is still committed to VR.

    “We haven’t confirmed anything else in the making,” said Google’s head of VR and AR, Clay Bavor, in an interview at Google I/O. “I am an emphatic believer in the long term promise of VR, AR and all things as I call them ‘Immersive Computing.’ It is very clearly to me and to us more broadly at Google part of the next phase of computing — computing that makes use of our environment, that vastly increases the richness of input and output — that’s going to be important. That’s going to be a big deal. And we’re making investments for the long term.”

    Over the last decade Google has partnered with other companies to enable a variety of initiatives centered around its Android operating system. In recent years, though, Google started to launch its own products while bringing more work in house. For example, the tech giant recently acquired teams from HTC that worked on its Pixel phone. Was VR overlooked at I/O because Google is shifting focus to developing VR and AR products internally?

    “We think VR and AR are going to be a big space,” Bavor said. “There’s room and there are roles for both Google devices and also for working with partners.”

    Tagged with: Clay Bavor

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  • E3 2018 VR Guide: Every Press Conference And If VR Will Be There
    E3 2018 VR Guide: Every Press Conference And If VR Will Be There

    VR is entering its third E3 after releasing two years ago and it’s fair to say it hasn’t made quite the splash some thought it might have by now. Last year’s show was saved almost single-handedly by Bethesda announcing Skyrim VR and Doom VFR and we haven’t much hope that the likes of EA and Microsoft have come around on VR gaming since.

    Still, there’s bound to be at least some exciting news from the show, so we’ve rounded off all the conferences set to take place over the course of the week and created a handy guide as to if you should expect any VR from them. UploadVR will of course be on the show floor to bring you all the latest from the event, so stay tuned.

    Electronic Arts – Saturday, June 9th, 11 am PT/2 pm ET/7 pm BST VR Chance: Not Likely

    EA is famously conservative on VR’s chances and has said multiple times that it will only fully commit to the technology when the market is there. That hasn’t stopped the publisher greenlighting a handful of VR experiences including Star Wars: Battlefront’s X-Wing VR mission and Need for Speed on Google Daydream over the past few years, but we seriously doubt it’s got any big projects in the pipeline right now. Still, we’ll be watching for Battlefield V alone.

    Xbox – Sunday, June 10th, 1 pm PT/4 pm ET/9 pm BST VR Chances: Not Likely

    Two years ago Microsoft introduced its Xbox One X console, then codenamed Project Scorpio, to the world by promising the machine would be capable of “high fidelity VR”. Six months on from the 4K console’s release and we haven’t heard so much as a peep about X actually getting that support any time soon. At this point we suspect Microsoft might have abandoned its plans for VR on its most powerful console yet but, hey, there’s always a chance.

    Bethesda Softworks – Sunday, June 10th, 6:30 pm PT/9:30 pm ET/2:30 am BST (June 11th) VR Chances: Quite Possible

    Bethesda arguably carried VR all by itself last E3, announcing Doom VFR and Skyrim VR as well as a release date for Fallout 4 VR. All of those games are now out, so we’re not entirely confident that there will be more to share at this year’s show. That said, the company has an enormous back catalog of games just ripe for VR ports and we’d welcome more of those, if not something entirely new. Wolfenstein VR, anyone?

    Devolver Digital – Sunday, June 10th, 8 pm PT/11 pm ET/4 am BST (June 11th) VR Chances: Not Likely

    Devolver Digital currently has the reigns on one of VR’s best games, Gorn, which remains in Early Access. E3 would be the perfect time to talk about the full release, or any number of other VR games the publisher may be working on, but we somehow doubt they’ll share much. That’s down to the fact that last year’s event ended in bloodshed.

    Square Enix – Monday, June 11th, 10 am PT/1 pm ET/6 pm BST VR Chances: Quite Possible

    Square has