• VR Locomotion Company, Visospace, Nears Indiegogo Campaign Goal

    Sydney-based Visospace closes in on the $10,000 goal for their VR “hoverboard.” “The Alto is like a mouse for your body in immersive VR and AR environments right now, but it’s also the user interface for the internet of the future”, says Dr. Puya Abolfathi, CEO and co-founder of Visospace. The latest attempt at bringing

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  • Hands-On: Defector Makes You The Star Of Your Very Own Mission: Impossible VR Adventure
    Hands-On: Defector Makes You The Star Of Your Very Own Mission: Impossible VR Adventure

    Editor’s Note: We’ve recently played an updated demo since this preview originally published on April 13th, 2018, and since the core mechanics (and our thoughts) are the same we’ve republished this hands-on once again. More coverage to come.

    Becoming a secret spy is the ultimate fantasy for a lot of people. You get to drive fast cars, use special gadgets, and take down international crime syndicates with style and flair. Not to mention the awesome J.B. names like James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Jack Bauer. Defector, the latest VR game from Wilson’s Heart developer Twisted Pixel, taps directly into that fantasy to deliver a fast-paced thrill ride of an action game.

    The closest thing to Defector I’ve seen in VR so far would have to be PlayStation VR World’s The London Heist, which is the basis for Blood & Truth, another upcoming PSVR-exclusive from the same London Heist team. What Defector does is take that core concept of being an action hero and layer it with heaps of espionage and branching missions.

    The gameplay video above shows a great example. About a third of the way through the mission I’m presented with a decision: should I strap the parachute on myself and jump out of the plane to try and grapple onto the neighboring plane? Or should I shoot my way through the cargo bay and drive a sports car out of the plane like a complete badass? You get to see both outcomes if you watch the entire video.

    Twisted Pixel was clear when I talked with them about the game that they want their missions to have real, meaningful branches that actually alter the course of the story and gameplay. While the overarching narrative will stay the same regardless, the path you take to each mission’s conclusions could be dramatically different — as mentioned above. This not only incentivizes multiple playthroughs (especially when considering each mission’s laundry list of bonus objectives) but it gives the player an increased sense of agency which is so crucial in VR games.

    On top of that, Defector really did make me feel like a Mission: Impossible-esque spy. During dialogue scenes I can pull up a dossier full of information on my target to analyze their personality and weaknesses. How I handled conversations directly influences things and contributes to how the level might play out.

    Even though my demo ended with me driving a car out of a plane (Fast & Furious style) the developers teased that it was one of the more tame levels by comparison. I’m not sure my heart rate can handle something much more intense than that. I could feel my adrenaline pumping and my stomach lurching as I plummeted towards the other plane after leaping from an expensive muscle car. Honestly there’s nothing quite like it in VR right now.

    Ultimately it’s going to come down to how well the levels are balanced overall and what type of gameplay variety there will be. If every mission boils down to walk around under cover or hiding,

  • Communist Party Of China Begins Using VR In Member Loyalty Tests

    A city in East China’s Shandong Province is now using VR technology to test the qualifications of its communist party members. If you you’ve been paying even a little bit of attention to the news lately, odds are you may have heard about China’s insane idea to rate its citizens via a Social Credit System.

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  • Adult Gaming Portal Nutaku Launches Two VR Games
    Adult Gaming Portal Nutaku Launches Two VR Games

    The world of adult gaming is heading in an inevitable direction: interactive virtual reality sex.

    Mature gaming portal Nutaku this month launched two new interactive VR experiences on its platform in Elven Love: Naughty Rituals by Red Vibe Studios and Candy Valley Network’s SexBot: Quality Assurance Simulator. These are to be the first of a series of VR experiences Nutaku plans to incorporate into its platform.

    Elven Love is inspired by games like Dungeons & Dragons and features races of elves falling in love and ‘honoring’ their bond in ways I best not describe here. SexBot, meanwhile, casts players as a Quality Assurance tester for a new line of pleasure robots, putting them through their paces in, again, ways that are best left to the imagination. I can’t help but wonder if the game was at all inspired by Owlchemy Labs’ popular VR launch game, Job Simulator.

    Both are playable with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets.

    But these aren’t free experiences like much of the VR porn that has started to populate the internet in recent years. Elven Love costs $15, while Sexbot goes for $20. Are VR owners prepared to pay a premium for interactive virtual sex? And will such experiences help push the industry forward, as so many have predicted they will?

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  • Valve Launches SteamVR Input For User-Made Configurations
    Valve Launches SteamVR Input For User-Made Configurations

    Valve is putting accessibility right at the heart of controlling VR with the launch of a new feature today named SteamVR Input.

    In supporting a wide range of headsets from its own SteamVR devices like the HTC Vive to the Oculus Rift and Windows VR kits, SteamVR accommodates a number of different controllers. For developers, it’s tough to optimize your app for each of these inputs, and it’s often the case that a control scheme doesn’t always feel quite right on at least one type of controller. Furthermore, players that favor their left-hand or who have disabilities often aren’t catered for, either. SteamVR Input, then, introduces user-made configurations to help everyone and anyone get the most out of VR.

    Simply put, SteamVR Input allows you to create alternate control schemes for any game outside of the developer’s default bindings.”When using SteamVR Input, developers expose high level “actions” in their applications that control how the binding UI presents their game to users,” Valve’s Joe Radak explained in an update blog. Developers themselves can also use the system to create alternate control schemes quicky.

    SteamVR Input works with every SteamVR application; it doesn’t require developers to update their app to support it. Changing controls is done via a new UI found in the settings menu when you have the headset on. Better yet, once you’ve perfected a control scheme you can then share it with others on Steam Workshop.

    For now, SteamVR Input is in beta, and you’ll need to opt-in to the latest beta build of SteamVR to try it out.

    Tagged with: SteamVR

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  • PSVR’s Jupiter & Mars Looks Trippy In New Trailer
    PSVR’s Jupiter & Mars Looks Trippy In New Trailer

    Tiger Tron’s idyllic underwater adventure, Jupiter & Mars, was revealed for Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR) late last year, but we haven’t heard from it since. That changed this month.

    A new trailer for the game arrived last week, spinning out of the BitSummit event in Japan. Once it gets going, the trailer gives us a much better look at the neon-soaked, post-apocalyptic ocean bed that players will explore as one of two dolphins. This is still looking like an utter delight of a VR experience, though it can be played without VR, too.

    Look for Jupiter & Mars to hit later this year.

    Tagged with: Jupiter & Mars

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  • God of War’s Kratos Comes To VR Using Virtual Photogrammetry
    God of War’s Kratos Comes To VR Using Virtual Photogrammetry

    Sony’s God of War might not be playable in VR, but one fan has brought its iconic protagonist, Kratos, into headsets in a project worthy of the gods.

    Reddit user d_cay recently shared the below video, which makes incredibly clever use of God of War’s newly-released Photo Mode, paired with photogrammetry. For those that don’t know, photogrammetry refers to taking hundreds or perhaps even thousands of pictures of an object and then using that information to rebuild the subject as a near-photorealistic 3D asset. You can already see it in use in apps like MasterWorks VR.

    In the case of God of War, d_cay used the game’s Photo Mode, which allows you to freely manipulate the camera in a freeze frame to capture epic moments. As the video shows, they took hundreds of pictures of Kratos at every possible angle and then moved these files into Agisoft PhotoScan. Once pictures had been imported and additional calculations had been made, a convincing version of Kratos could be turned into a mesh and then imported into Unity. The result is a fully viewable 3D model of the angry god inside VR, as if he were standing right in front of you.

    This isn’t Kratos’ first encounter with VR; back in 2014 at the reveal of PlayStation VR Sony itself showcased a demo of God of War III running inside VR, developed during its R&D testing. The new game also got a tie-in augmented reality app in recent weeks, too.

    This is still a pretty innovative use of a technique we’d previously only thought could be used in the real world. Plenty of console games boast their own photo modes, so we’d love to see more scenes imported into VR.

    Tagged with: god of war

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  • Golden State Warriors shoot to augment fan experience with digital tech Boasting a line-up that includes All-Stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, it's hard for the Golden State Warriors to improve the product it puts on the basketball court each night. Even so, the organization's technology team is raising...
  • Golden State Warriors shoot to augment fan experience with digital tech Boasting a line-up that includes All-Stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, it's hard for the Golden State Warriors to improve the product it puts on the basketball court each night. Even so, the organization's technology team is rais...
  • Steve Jobs To John Carmack: ‘Why Don’t You Write A New OS?’
    Steve Jobs To John Carmack: ‘Why Don’t You Write A New OS?’

    Oculus Chief Technology Officer John Carmack shared recollections of his interactions with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The Facebook note is a fun read, with one particular quotation Carmack attributes to the former Apple leader that might become particularly meaningful in the years to come.

    Steve Jobs died in 2011 as the company he started decades earlier was just cementing its dominance of the smartphone market. Stories of Jobs’ “reality distortion field” are famous, and I recommend checking out the full Carmack note for another perspective on the executive. In 2012, Carmack’s endorsement of Oculus helped kickstart the company and, since joining the startup, his work has been critical to the development of high-quality VR experiences running on top of Android. Here’s the notable exchange recalling Carmack’s reaction to the original Web-based app development model Jobs originally pitched for the iPhone:

    Steve first talked about application development for iPhone at the same keynote I was demonstrating the new ID Tech 5 rendering engine on Mac, so I was in the front row. When he started going on about “Web Apps”, I was (reasonably quietly) going “Booo!!!”.

    After the public cleared out and the rest of us were gathered in front of the stage, I started urgently going on about how web apps are terrible, and wouldn’t show the true potential of the device. We could do so much more with real native access!

    Steve responded with a line he had used before: “Bad apps could bring down cell phone towers.” I hated that line. He could have just said “We aren’t ready”, and that would have been fine.

    I was making some guesses, but I argued that the iPhone hardware and OS provided sufficient protection for native apps. I pointed at a nearby engineer and said “Don’t you have an MMU and process isolation on the iPhone now?” He had a wide eyed look of don’t-bring-me-into-this, but I eventually got a “yes” out of him.

    I said that OS-X was surely being used for things that were more security critical than a phone, and if Apple couldn’t provide enough security there, they had bigger problems. He came back with a snide “You’re a smart guy John, why don’t you write a new OS?” At the time, my thought was, “Fuck you, Steve.”.

    Tagged with: john carmack, Oculus Go

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  • PETA’s ‘Eye To Eye’ Delivers A Haunting VR Portrayal Of Animal Cruelty

    The world’s largest animal rights organization hopes VR’s immersive capabilities can finally put animals and humans on equal terms. With over 6.5 million active members and supporters spread across the globe, PETA, or the “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” animal rights organization is the largest in existence. According to PETA’s Mobile Clinics Division,

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  • INT To Showcase 2,228PPI AMOLED VR Display At SID Display Week
    INT To Showcase 2,228PPI AMOLED VR Display At SID Display Week

    Next week’s SID Display Week event in Los Angeles is shaping up to be a big one for VR, with another screen designed specifically for headsets set to show at the event.

    Taiwanese group INT Tech is set to showcase its Ultra High Pixel Density (UHPD) display tech during the show. The company, led by display industry veteran David Chu, claims its new AMOLED display packs 2,228 pixels-per-inch (PPI) and could be used to drastically improve the visual clarity of VR headsets in the future.

    Current VR consumer VR headsets suffer from the limits of display technology, with visible gaps between pixels creating a ‘screen-door effect’ that can make images blurrier. High pixel density reduces the space in these gaps, making them harder to spot and thus producing a clearer image.

    The tech will be shown off during the Poster Session at SID on May 24th. INT’s display apparently has more than double the pixel density of the 1,001PPI display the Sony-backed Japan Display group is set to showcase at SID next week. Google is also going to be at the show, exhibiting ‘reactive displays’ for both VR and AR headsets. The company plans to introduce a 4.30-inch screen with an 18 megapixel resolution. Oculus, meanwhile, is already working on displays with a much wider field of view (FOV).

    All-in-all it’s looking like SID Display will be a very important week for VR. The real question is when can we get these displays into our headsets?

    Tagged with: INT

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  • Beat Saber Sells 50,000 Copies In First Week
    Beat Saber Sells 50,000 Copies In First Week

    If you didn’t already know, the launch of Hyperbolic Magnetism’s Star Wars-themed rhythm game, Beat Saber, went down very, very well.

    Beat Saber sold 50,000 copies during launch week, the studio confirmed on Twitter over the weekend. The game launched in Early Access on both Steam and the Oculus Store, so this total likely pulls from both of those sources. Notably, it made it into the top five sellers on all of Steam in less than 24 hours after launch, so it definitely did well on that platform. According to the tweet, the game hasn’t sold past 100,000 copies just yet.

    Beat Saber sold 50.000 copies in the first week! That’s INSANE, guys! ❤

    100.000 copies…LOADING 🤘

    — Beat Saber (@BeatSaber) May 13, 2018

    We’re not too surprised to hear of Beat Saber’s success; we loved it when it tried it out for an Early Access review. “Now with Beat Saber, we’ve finally got that in an ultra-stylish package complete with glowing laser swords, banging music, and super addictive levels that are nearly impossible to put down,” Games Editor David Jagneaux wrote.

    Currently Beat Saber consists of 10 songs that the developer implemented, but there’s a lot more to come. For starters, players can now create levels based on their own audio files, though there’s not a way to properly share them online just yet. Hyperbolic Magnetism is also looking for new music from artists to integrate into the game as DLC. You can also expect a PlayStation VR (PSVR) launch for the game at some point.

    Tagged with: Beat Saber

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  • Arizona Sunshine Dev Working On New VR Game, Ex-Valve VR Figurehead Joins Advisory Board
    Arizona Sunshine Dev Working On New VR Game, Ex-Valve VR Figurehead Joins Advisory Board

    Vertigo Games, the developer of popular VR zombie shooter, Arizona Sunshine, is now working on a brand new game with the help of none other than Chet Faliszek (pictured above on the right).

    Few details are known about Vertigo’s next project right now, though it will be their fourth VR title following the release of Arizona Sunshine (which is getting fresh DLC this month), Skyworld and VR integration for World of Diving. Arizona, in particular, is regarded as one of VR’s most successful titles, generating $1.4 million in revenue in its first month of sales.

    Faliszek, meanwhile, has joined the company’s advisory board, though still remains working with Surgeon Simulator dev, Bossa Studios. The former Valve writer is well-known in the VR industry for having helped evangelize Valve’s work in VR over the past few years, notably first partnering with a handful of developers including Vertigo on initial titles for the HTC Vive. He parted ways with Valve just over a year ago now to join Bossa.

    “Vertigo was one of the first companies I reached out to when we started assembling our initial roster of developers for the Vive reveal,” Faliszek said in a prepared statement. “Their ability adapt and work on emerging technologies is amazing. I can’t wait until they can start sharing what they are working on and their future plans.”

    When we’ll actually see Vertigo’s latest game is anyone’s guess, but we’ll be eagerly anticipating its arrival.

    Tagged with: Vertigo Games

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  • Daydream Summer Sale Offers Cheap Games For Your New Mirage Solo
    Daydream Summer Sale Offers Cheap Games For Your New Mirage Solo

    Summer sales are about to get into full swing, but it’s Google’s Daydream platform leading the charge, which will come as good news to anyone that just picked up Lenovo’s new Mirage Solo headset.

    It’s not the most extensive sale, but you can get 50% off of some of the platform’s best titles from now until this Thurdsay, May 17th. Headlining the deals is 50% off of Resolution Games’ latest title, the swashbuckling Narrows. Explore the seven seas, take on rival ships and spar with deadly enemies in this enjoyable pirate simulator.

    Also of note is The Other Room from Time Machine VR developer, Minority Media. The team’s most recent VR project is an escape room style experience that you can now pick up at half the price. Other games included in the sale are Samurai Chef, Flutter VR, Walk Man, Star Chart and Orbital Loop.

    Again, it’s not the best sale (we’d have loved to have seen deals on the likes of Eclipse: Edge of Light and Virtual-Virtual Reality), but it should give Solo owners a chance to check out something new. Don’t forget that, if you have picked the headset up, we’ve got an extensive look at how to get the best out of it.

    Tagged with: google daydream

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