News

  • Marvel Powers United VR Welcomes Villains Venom and Ultron Marvel Powers United VR is expected to be released on 26th July.
  • Location-Based VR Centres Get New Family-Friendly VR Experience First title in the for-all-ages VR series Buddy Adventures is set to launch in Summer 2018.
  • Nerf Guns Go Augmented with Laser Ops Pro Blasters Take part in Nerf battles using the power of augmented reality.
  • Echo Combat vs Space Junkies: Which Zero-G VR FPS Is Better?
    Echo Combat vs Space Junkies: Which Zero-G VR FPS Is Better?

    A few weeks ago when writing about Blood & Truth, an upcoming PSVR-exclusive spy action game, I pointed out the striking similarities to Defector, an upcoming Oculus-exclusive spy action game. Both games are due out this year and have seemingly been in development essentially side-by-side and were announced only a few months apart. That sort of thing doesn’t usually happen too often but it seems to be happening once again with Echo Combat and Space Junkies.

    Ubisoft’s Space Junkies was announced first at last year’s E3 with Echo Combat announced at last year’s Oculus Connect. Since then we’ve gone hands-on with both games on multiple occasions and have spent our fair-share of time floating around in zero-gravity while shooting guns. There are a lot of similarities here, but a few key differences as well.

    To refresh yourself on each game, here is our most recent hands-on preview of Echo Combat and Space Junkies, as well as most recent livestreams of each.

    Pre-Release Disclaimer

    Obviously it needs to be stated explicitly that this comparison is currently based off of pre-release versions of both games. We’ve only played them briefly and sessions were of alpha and/or beta versions of the games. This means that once they do finally release each game could be quite different, so just don’t expect this comparison to hold true accurately forever.

    We’ll make updates when the time comes on release for both games.

    Best Locomotion System: Echo Combat

    There’s really no contest here. Echo Combat’s movement system has been lauded ever since it was first deployed in Lone Echo, the single player space adventure, and Echo Arena, the disc-based multiplayer game that precedes Echo Combat. By pushing off of people and objects, as well as using wrist-mounted boosters, you can easily and nimbly move around the entire environment in 360 degrees.

    Space Junkies does have a similar system, but you have far less nuanced control. It’s really just a jetpack-based movement system so you can accelerate easily upwards and forward, but it’s tough to change directions quickly and you can’t grab onto parts of the environment. Ultimately they’re very similar movement systems, but Echo Combat’s is just more fluid and natural.

    Best Gun Mechanics: Space Junkies

    This was a close call. Each game has a good amount of variety with weapons, but Echo Combat only has three guns (auto pistol, shotgun, and charged sniper rifle) and virtually everyone uses the standard Pulsar auto pistol most of the time anyway. In Echo Combat you also can’t switch weapons — whatever you pick back at the spawn terminal is what you’re stuck with until you respawn.

    But in Space Junkies guns are scattered around the map just like in old school Unreal Tournament. There’s the basic pistol, a shotgun you have to pump with both hands to load it, a machine gun with ricochet bullets, a large mini-gun that has a ton of kickback, and even a grenade slingshot. It’s a ton of variety and feels like they’re only going to add more as time goes on.

    Best Additional Abilities: Tied

    Luckily neither of

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  • Ultrahaptics Announces Plugin For Unity Unity developers will soon be able to apply haptics technology to Unity VR projects.
  • Woojer CTO Talks Haptics and VR Experiences One of the team behind the Woojer haptic feedback vest talks about the product with Nina Salomons.
  • These Amazing Zelda VR Fan Experiences Let You Wield The Master Sword
    Theses Amazing Zelda VR Fan Experiences Let You Wield The Master Sword

    After playing this brilliant fan-made app we’re more anxious than ever for Nintendo to make a VR game based on The Legend of Zelda.

    Indie developer Aklar_45 created this free experience (download here), which was developed using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4. Playable on either the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, it lets you wield the legendary Master Shield — complete with a Hyrulian shield — in battle against the Stallord boss from Twilight Princess. The Oculus Touch or Vive wands provide realistic controls, and you can also switch to a box and arrow.

    The boss itself is a little tricky, and almost impossible to beat without using teleportation locomotion, though you can use smooth too. You’ve got a certain number of hits you can sustain before you’ll have to try things from the start. The controls on Touch are a little wonky but good enough for any Zelda fans that need to try this out. An especially nice touch is the ability to summon ever-annoying fairy, Navi, at the touch of a button. If you like Aklar_45’s work you can donate to his PayPal here.

    It’s not the first Zelda VR boss fight the developer has made. You can also do battle with Darknut and even Ganondorf himself among others. There’s a whole assortment of bosses to fight through at the developer’s YouTube page.

    Many VR gamers have longed for the chance to pick up Link’s iconic weapon and this is about as close as you can get right now. It helps that the demo is visually stunning, besting even Nintendo’s own Zelda games. Sadly, Nintendo itself seems no closer to bringing our dreams to life in any official capacity; a VR version of Mario Kart Arcade is just about the only work the company has done with the technology, at least publically. Yesterday, we also reported that someone had made an N64 VR emulator that allows you to play Ocarina of Time inside a headset.

    Tagged with: The Legend of Zelda

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  • VR vs. The Buzzards Recent mumblings and grumblings aren't exactly positive but things aren't as bad as people are saying.
  • HTC Is Calling For Developers To Make Ready Player One Minigames
    HTC Is Calling For Developers To Make Ready Player One Minigames

    Earlier this year, to tie-in with the release of the Steven Spielberg movie, HTC Vive launched a VR portal called The Oasis. Sharing the same name as the fictional metaverse seen in both the film and the novel it’s based on, the app acts as a hub world to various minigames built by a number of developers. Now HTC wants to expand The Oasis, and it’s looking for more studios to work with.

    HTC recently put out a call to VR developers to build more content for the app. Studios can apply here with basic information and a design proposal for the their idea, which HTC will then evaluate. Who knows, you could see your own game showing up on the free service pretty soon.

    Given that the app is entirely free to play, we’re not sure exactly how HTC would compensate developers for the time and resources used to expand The Oasis, though that will surely be hashed out with any successful applicants.

    Currently, The Oasis consists of five games, including three original experiences themed after the movie and two smaller minigames that are actually just taken from Vive Studios’ own game, Arcade Saga. It’s a pretty fun experience, though we’re not exactly sure why HTC is so stubbornly sticking to expanding it months after the movie released. Perhaps it’s hoping for a second wind once the DVD release is here?

    Tagged with: ready player one, The Oasis

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  • University of Bristol Uses VR For New Drug Discoveries New techniques for folding molecules discovered using VR could lead to new medical applications.
  • Mazda Introduces VR To Upcoming Retail Tour Customers get a look at a new driving experience.
  • Full Consumer Vive Pro Kit Coming To UK, Costs £1,299
    Full Consumer Vive Pro Kit Coming To UK, Costs £1,299

    The full HTC Vive Pro consumer kit is finally coming to the UK, and it still costs lots and lots of money.

    A handful of UK retailers like Overclockers and HTC itself now have the kit up for pre-order at £1,299. For that price you get the Pro, which costs £799 by itself, along with two position-tracked hand controllers and two SteamVR 2.0 Base Stations. The Pro itself improves upon the original Vive with 3K resolution and integrated audio, with the next-generation base stations are smaller, more efficient and can support more than two stations across a wider tracking area (though you’ll need to buy more).

    The full kit has actually been available for the same price as an Enterprise offering for some time, though this is obviously aimed at business use. We had hoped the consumer version would cost just a little less, but no such luck.

    Vive Pro is clearly geared towards the professional user, though it still has some challenges ahead of it. For starters, it looks like Valve is finally ramping up production of its next-generation SteamVR controllers, nicknamed Knuckles. These new controllers improve upon the existing Vive wands with finger-tracking and a joystick. It would definitely sting to spend $1,400 on a VR system and then find yourself having to shell out yet more money for Knuckles in the coming months.

    Tagged with: HTC Vive Pro

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  • VR Made This Tetris Expert Even Better At Tetris Effect
    VR Made This Tetris Expert Even Better At Tetris Effect

    VR is great at making games feel even more immersive than they would otherwise. For example, I’ve played hundreds of hours of Skyrim over the years, but the first time I started down a dragon in VR or gazed out at the seemingly endless landscapes of Tamriel inside a VR headset, it took my breath away. But that’s not all VR is good for.

    It can also be used as a meditative tool, or to increase a user’s focus. I know that for me personally, while it was much more terrifying, my accuracy was much better in Resident Evil 7 when I played inside VR. In the case of Tetris Effect, there may be a similar situation going on.

    In the above video by Nick Robinson, a Tetris expert named Trey Harrison, who’s been addicted to the game for decades, gets the chance to play Tetris Effect, an all-new upcoming version of the classic puzzle game, for the very first time. Initially he plays it on a PS4 normally, but then he tries it inside of the PSVR headset and performs much better as a result.

    There are a few theories at play here. For starters, the latency is lower in the headset than it is on the TV screen, so his reaction times are quicker and more efficient. But more profoundly I think the main reason is that when you play something like Tetris in VR, it consumes you. All of your vision, your ear drums, and your brain power is channeled to the game directly without any other distractions. It’s an all-encompassing sort of meditative state that amplifies a game that’s already engineered to get you in the zone.

    It’s fascinating to watch Harrison, a man with so much skill at this singular game, excel even further at it with the power of VR to aid him.

    Let us know what you think of his remarkable skills down in the comments below and don’t forget to check out our hands-on preview of Tetris Effect from E3!

    Tagged with: Tetris, Tetris Effect

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  • The Wearable ETF Gets Name Change To Incorporate VR and AR Index for wearable technology changes name and branding to reflect new focus.
  • Dwayne Johnson’s Latest Film ‘Skyscraper’ Receives VR Tie-In

    Hold your breath and take the virtual leap in a VR recreation of the films white-knuckle crane sequence. Continuing his domination of the box office, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is back with yet another big budget action film that’s sure to have investors drowning in profit. Universal Picture’s Skyscraper tells the story of Will Sawyer,

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