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  • Student Developers Bring Real-Time AR Pokémon Battles To Smartphones

    Your move, Pokemon GO… With it’s two year anniversary just around the corner, Pokémon GO has still managed to retain a fairly dedicated following despite its infrequent release of updates and lack-luster improvements. Sure there’s plenty of new generation monsters to hunt as well as an active gym scene, but the love for the groundbreaking

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  • Microsoft Introduces HoloLens Mixed Reality To The Job Site

    Microsoft teases practical MR worker tools for Hololens at 2018 Build Developer Conference. Call me strange, but of all the mixed reality demos I tried at this year’s Microsoft Build Developer Conference in Seattle, Washington, the one I actually found the most fun had me repairing an electric panel. To truly comprehend the deep sense

    The post Microsoft Introduces HoloLens Mixed Reality To The Job Site appeared first on VRScout.

  • How To Get Any Android App Running On A Daydream Standalone VR Headset
    How To Get Any Android App Running On A Daydream Standalone VR Headset

    One of the most intriguing hidden features of the first Daydream standalone headset — the Lenovo Mirage Solo — is its ability to play normal Android apps in a flat 2D window.

    You can even interact with the apps using the simple Daydream pointer controller to ‘touch’ a virtual touchscreen for app interaction. If you have a compatible USB-C dongle, you could even hook up a wired keyboard. Here’s what PUBG looks like:

    We haven’t successfully tested a gamepad yet. Also, though the 2D Netflix app appears to support downloads on the go, at the time of this testing DRM restrictions appear to keep those videos from playing properly.

    It takes a few steps to get this up and running, and the apps don’t appear in your library when you’re done. You have to launch the apps by going to a settings menu and selecting a link for the app’s Play Store store listing. You can launch the app from that page.

    Here’s what you need to do to enjoy Android apps on a Daydream standalone:

    1: Visit Play.google.com in a browser and log into the same Google account that is also logged into the Daydream standalone.

    2. Search for the app you want.

    3. Buy/Install the app and select the listing for “Lenovo” from the menu.

    4. The Daydream headset should start downloading the app (assuming it is connected to Wi-Fi). You can check the status by putting on the headset and pressing the bottom button on the Daydream controller.

    5. You can also check the download status in detail by clicking on it. Once the app is downloaded, you need to go to your settings from this same menu. Click the icon in the top right corner — it looks like a gear.

    Click “all settings”.

    Make sure you remember how you got to “Apps & notifications” because you’ll be visiting this menu a lot to a.) grant app permissions and b.) open your apps.

    If you have a lot of apps click “see all” apps

    If you need to grant the app permissions, do so first. Then click on the app you want to launch.

    Swipe down on the pad to get to “App details” and that’ll open up the Google Play store page.

    Click the “open” button and enjoy your Android library in VR. 

    Tagged with: Daydream, Mirage Solo

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  • Oculus Dev Relations: ‘We Don’t Want Exclusivity’
    Oculus Dev Relations: ‘We Don’t Want Exclusivity’

    At last month’s Reboot Develop conference in Croatia, Oculus encouraged VR developers in attendance to release their content on every platform, and not as exclusives to one headset.

    Matt Conte, Head of Development Engineering at the VR specialist, said as much during his talk, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz. Talking about how to reach the broadest audience, he explained that the VR audience was still small. “There’s not as many headsets out there as we thought there might be a couple of years ago,” Conte noted. “It’s growing, and it’s actually growing at a pretty decent pace, but every decision that you make you should be thinking about: How does this get my title into the most users’ hands as possible?

    In the past, Oculus has signed contracts with developers both big and small to bring games to its platforms exclusively, but do Conte’s comments suggest the company’s stance on that matter has changed?

    “We don’t want exclusivity,” he continued. “We want VR to thrive. But VR is a niche, and you don’t want to be a niche within a niche. Ship everywhere: Oculus, PlayStation VR, Steam, mobile, if you can. Do whatever you can to get as many eyes on it as possible.”

    In the past, Oculus received backlash for signing exclusive agreements with games like Giant Cop. The number of exclusive titles the studio is pushing out is diminishing, though; last year there was almost one high-profile Rift-exclusive game released every month, but so far this year we’ve seen only a handful of Oculus Studios-published experiences. Oculus’ Head of Content, Jason Rubin, last year suggested that parent company Facebook might not be in the content creation business forever.

    That’s not to say they’re not still coming; exclusive games like Marvel Powers United VR and an untitled project from Titanfall developer Respawn are some of the biggest VR games on the horizon right now, and the company just announced Twisted Pixel’s Defector for a Rift-only release. Add to that the handful of exclusive titles that just launched on the newly-released Oculus Go and it’s clear Oculus is still doing a lot of work with exclusives. But Conte’s talk likely addressed smaller, independent developers as opposed to the larger teams Oculus is currently working with. Does that mean we’ll see less projects of that scale?

    Still E3 is coming up, so we might yet have more to hear from Oculus on the exclusive front.

    Tagged with: oculus

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  • Neat Corporation’s Budget Cuts Delayed By A Few Weeks
    Neat Corporation’s Budget Cuts Delayed By A Few Weeks

    It turns out we won’t be playing Neat Corporation’s long-anticipated Budget Cuts next week after all, but we still won’t have to wait long.

    The Swedish developer this week announced that its VR stealth game has suffered a small delay, with release moving from May 16th to May 31st for both Rift and Vive. On a Steam blog, the developer explained that this was down to “some unforeseen obstacles”, though the team didn’t provide specifics.

    “The reason is simply that we want to release Budget Cuts in a state that we’re proud of and know will be enjoyable throughout the entire game (without killing our devs in the process),” the studio noted.

    We’ve been waiting for Budget Cuts for over two years now, so two more weeks won’t kill us. The game sets players sneaking through a robot-patrolled facility using one of the most convincing and immersive teleportation mechanics we’ve yet seen in VR. We finally got to go hands-on with the game back at GDC in March and it looks like it will be well worth the wait.

    “Neat Corporation is being tight-lipped about what the later game involves, including what environments we might encounter,” Senior Editor Ian Hamilton wrote. “What I saw though in our tiny slice of the game was what I imagine most people who played the demo want — a deeper world with smarter, more reactive enemies and refinements to all of the game’s innovative user interface ideas.”

    Tagged with: Budget Cuts

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  • Xpression Is An AR App That Lets You Impersonate Anyone
    Xpression Is An AR App That Lets You Impersonate Anyone

    Put away the blowtorch and close that bribe briefcase; there might be a new way to force a confession out of someone (too dark?).

    Xpression is a new AR app from the same team that brought you social VR app, EmbodyMe. It’s similar to the facial scanning avatar messaging you can see on Apple’s iPhone X, only instead of virtual critters the app uses real life videos to let you embody just about anyone you want to be. Simply hold your face up to a phone’s camera and say something; the app will read your lip movements and then mirror them on the given video of a person, making it look like they’re saying what you’re saying.

    Check it out in the trailer below, which features a certain US President that knows a thing or two about fake messages.

    The tech looks slightly wonky, but that’s part of the fun. The developers are also looking to add video chat support, post-processing and more features in the future.

    The app is available now on iOS and works on iPhone 6s or above.

    Tagged with: Xpression

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  • Rick and Morty Conquer April PSVR Store Charts
    Rick and Morty Conquer April PSVR Store Charts

    Owlchemy Labs’ Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-Ality has dominated April 2018’s PlayStation Store charts for PSVR.

    The tie-in game, which released on PSVR on April 10th, nearly a year after the PC version, climbed to the top of both the EU and US charts for last month. This is especially impressive considering the game had both a physical and digital release and the PS Store charts only track the latter’s sales. We don’t know exactly how many copies the game shifted, though we’re not too surprised to see it perform so well given the game’s quality, the success of Owlchemy’s last game, Job Simulator, and the fact that April was an otherwise pretty quiet month for the headset.

    Another new release, Crisis On the Planet of the Apes, came in at the fourth spot in the EU and fifth in the US. Tripwire Interactive’s excellent Killing Floor: Incursion, which launched towards the end of April on PSVR, came ninth in the US, but didn’t chart in the EU. Other than that, the charts feature the usual suspects like Superhot VR, Job Simulator and Moss, the latter of which is also getting a physical release soon.

    Looking ahead for the month there are some promising launches to come on PSVR, including To The Top. Mostly, though, we’re waiting for Sony’s E3 2018 press conference in June to see what’s next for the headset. Fingers crossed it’s something big.

    Tagged with: Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-Ality

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  • Oprah Winfrey Joins John Legend In Crow: The Legend, Premiering This Weekend
    Oprah Winfrey Joins John Legend In Crow: The Legend, Premiering This Weekend

    Baobab Studios’ latest VR movie, the John Legend-produced Crow: The Legend, just revealed an all-star cast ahead of its premiere at Cannes Next this weekend.

    We already knew that Legend himself would play the titular role in the VR animation, but Baobab recently confirmed that Oprah Winfrey would be joining him as The One Who Creates Everything By Thinking. The piece is also set to star Ready Player One’s Tye Sheridan as Turtle, Freakish’s Liza Koshy as Owl, Sarah Eagle Heart as Luna, Constance Wu as Skunk, and Star Wars: Rogue One’s Diego Luna as Moth. That’s an impressive cast for a VR experience.

    Baobab co-founder Eric Darnell is directing the experience. Darnell previously directed the Madagascar series for Dreamworks as well as Baobab’s first two VR films, Invasion and Asteroids.

    The feature’s first chapter will be taking over all five of the VR screening booths at Next on May 12th. Attendees will get a first glimpse of the story inspired by a Native American legend that itself tells the origins of the crow and the sacrifices the creature must make in order to help the world around him. Baobab is promising an interactive experience that viewers will be directly engaged in.

    The second chapter in the experience will debut later in the year.

    Tagged with: Baobab Studios, Crow: The Legend

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  • Sci-Fi Cold War Adventure Red Matter Gets Rift Release Date
    Sci-Fi Cold War Adventure Red Matter Gets Rift Release Date

    Vertical Robot’s super-promising Cold War-era sci-fi adventure, Red Matter, is very nearly here.

    The studio today confirmed that the game would be launching on the Oculus Rift in two weeks’ time on May 24th. A pre-order page is already up on Oculus Home, offering a limited-time discount to get the game for $29.99 instead of the usual price of $34.99. A new trailer to celebrate the release date has been revealed too.

    Red Matter is definitely one you should be looking out for. The game takes place is a dystopian version of the Cold War. As an astronaut of the Atlantic Union, you’re sent to an abandoned base on one of Saturn’s moons in search of a secret research project. In order to make your way through the facility, you’ll need to solve puzzles and study the environment using a number of different tools.

    Based on the trailer, though, Red Matter looks like it will be a fascinating, atmospheric discovery. We’re hoping for something that really roots us in the experience.

    Tagged with: Red Matter

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  • Mercedes-Benz Looks To Replace Owner’s Manual With AR App

    Mercedes vehicles are even more luxurious with the new ‘Ask Mercedes’ intelligent virtual assistant. Let’s be honest, does anyone actually read the owner’s manual of their car? You might quickly thumb through it after the initial purchase, but other than that it’s destiny is to be shoved into the back of a glove compartment and

    The post Mercedes-Benz Looks To Replace Owner’s Manual With AR App appeared first on VRScout.

  • Design Your Own VR Tour With Google’s ‘Tour Creator’

    Google harnesses the power of photos and street view to deliver simplified, web-based VR development to students and teachers. It’s officially day two of Google’s annual I/O Developer Conference here in beautiful Mountain View, California and the companies AR & VR division has once again started off the day with some big news. Taking a

    The post Design Your Own VR Tour With Google’s ‘Tour Creator’ appeared first on VRScout.

  • Lenovo Mirage Solo Runs Normal Android Apps In 2D (Even PUBG)
    Lenovo Mirage Solo Runs Normal Android Apps In 2D (Even PUBG)

    Google appears to have hidden some of the most compelling features of Lenovo’s Mirage Solo — the $400 standalone VR headset which debuted last week.

    Among them: the headset appears perfectly capable of running anything from the Google Play Store in a 2D mode. I just installed PUBG Mobile on the Mirage Solo and was able to get into a match and control movement, albeit painfully, using the included Daydream controller.

    We still need to try connecting a controller over USB to see if the game can be properly controlled while in VR. I’ll post instructions separately to get any Android app you want installed on the Daydream headset.

    I’ll detail this in a separate post as well, but in addition we’ve discovered that once a developer menu is activated on the headset a number of interesting options are revealed. This menu lets you turn on screen recording and screenshots, and one option forces apps to work with six degrees of freedom. Yet another option removes the safety restrictions and allows free walk-around movement for large spaces. I walked maybe 40 feet outside in Daydream’s home area then turned around and walked back with no tracking glitches.

    More to come.

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  • Unity’s Carte Blanche VR Creator Releases In October
    Unity’s Carte Blanche VR Creator Releases In October

    Unity had some big VR news to share at its Unite Tokyo conference earlier this week.

    According to tweets from the event, which wasn’t livestreamed, the engine maker showcased the latest progress with its Carte Blanche VR creation suite during the show. Not only that, but Unity’s Timoni West confirmed the platform will release to the public this October.

    The new Carte Blanche updates look amazing! Awesome work from @Unity3dLabs! #UniteTokyo2018 pic.twitter.com/JRN2oP0QxV

    — Vinny DaSilva 🛫🌎🌍🌏🎮☕ (@vad710) May 7, 2018

    For those that don’t know, Carte Blanche is different to Unity’s Editor VR, which lets developers jump into their games through headsets to edit scenes and use specialized third-party tools. The hope is that, one day, Editor VR will let experienced Unity developers create even better experiences while a new wave of developers are attracted to the platform. Carte Blanche, meanwhile, wants to get everyone creating in VR regardless of skillset.

    xRエディタアプリのデモだ!

    VR上でオブジェクトを配置、 「再生」をすると、その自分で作ったフィールド上を歩ける!

    全部VRアプリ上で出来るのがすごいね#UniteTokyo2018

    (xRとは: AR, VR, MR などの総称) ・AR:Augumented Reality ・MR:Mixed Reality ・VR:Virtual Reality pic.twitter.com/pQgB2KYcQJ

    — ちょまど@UniteのMSブース担当中 (@chomado) May 7, 2018

    To do this, the platform presents a simplified UI with a wide range of pre-made assets. As can be seen in images of West’s demo, in which the developer appeared to make a cake-themed world, the user jumps into VR and then picks up cards the represent objects like platforms to stand on. These objects can then easily be placed in the game world, represented on a board in front of the user. As they build, the user can jump into these worlds at human scale to play through their levels and test them out.

    The result is an accessible world-building system that might not give creators a huge amount of personalization in terms of look and feel but still gets them making VR content faster than they ever have before.

    It’s great to hear that Carte Blanche is finally nearing release, though there’s still much to learn about the platform, like how we’ll share our experiences and implement different kinds of mechanics. Ultimately, Unity CEO John Riccitiello sees the platform as something similar to Sony’s LittleBigPlanet franchise in terms of accessibility, though also thinks that truly unique accessible VR creation may need both Editor VR and Carte Blanche to hand.

    Unite comes to Berlin in June, so it’s possible we’ll hear more about the platform around then. As for release, we wouldn’t be surprised if the platform launched during Unite’s LA coference in late October.

    Tagged with: Carte Blanche

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  • Hands-On: The Next Generation Is Coming To Star Trek: Bridge Crew
    Hands-On: The Next Generation Is Coming To Star Trek: Bridge Crew

    It’s been a long time since I’ve played Star Trek: Bridge Crew. That isn’t to say that I don’t like the game — I stand by my mostly glowing review I wrote last year — but in this line of work it’s tough to play a game much after you’re done reviewing it. There are just so many new things always coming out right around the corner. So even though we at UploadVR have had a ton of fun in Bridge Crew, we had to set it aside for games like Skyrim VR, most recently Beat Saber, and others.

    But now with brand new official DLC in the form of The Next Generation’s Starship Enterprise D on the way soon including that ship’s iconic bridge, a brand new player race, and a brand new role to play, it’s time to squad up and set our coordinates for the stars once again.

    When I met with Brian Tate, Creative Director on Star Trek: Bridge Crew at an Ubisoft preview event, he told me that The Next Generation’s bridge was by far the most-requested bridge in the entirety of Star Trek’s long legacy. The teams at Ubisoft and Red Storm worked closely with CBS to reconstruct the setting in VR, going to painstaking lengths to reconcile differences with the ship’s exterior over the course of various seasons and even accessing ship blueprints, digital models, sound archives, and more from the CBS vault.

    According to Tate, “it’s a “fanboy’s dream come true.”

    This new bridge will be fully playable in the randomly generated “Ongoing Voyages” game mode, along with the Original Enterprise and the newly crafted Aegis, but not in the main campaign — that remains as an Aegis only experience.

    In addition to this new ship, the Engineering role is being evolved into the Operations (or Ops) role for TNG’s bridge and there will even be a brand new race for players’ to pick at avatar creation: the Androids.

    In the new Ops role you’ll do a lot of what the Engineer did already by adjusting power levels, but then you’ll also have to assign crew members to different areas of the ship to perform repairs and provide boosted features. It’s all about foresight and planning and can actually be one of the harder roles in the whole game to play.

    On top of all of that, if that wasn’t enough, the Ongoing Voyages mode is getting improvements as well. Some improvements, such as improved mission shuffling and generation, will release as a free update for everyone, but then the more advanced improvements are included only as part of TNG’s DLC.

    Specifically, Ongoing Voyages will receive two new mission types: Patrol and Borg Resistance. I got to try a bit of both during my TNG demo and Patrol feels like an extremely welcomed mission structure. Instead of the game telling you where to go and what to do at all times, you can just freely explore different systems and plot your own course. Once you reach a point of interest

  • République VR Review: Simple Sneaking For Your Oculus Go
    République VR Review: Simple Sneaking For Your Oculus Go

    République arrives on mobile VR platforms with the same mission it made for itself on smartphones five years ago now. Camouflaj’s stealth adventure wants to answer the call for ‘full’ games on a platform where there are relatively few. The episodic series has always been eager to impress with near console-quality visuals (for the time) and a rare focus on story for a mobile game but, for all its flair, the relatively pedestrian gameplay kept it from earning the same praise as the games that inspired it. A fresh coat of VR paint doesn’t do too much to change that.

    There are definitely stronger elements to this version of the adventure, which arrives in VR as the complete five-episode package. There’s a better sense of connection between you and protagonist Hope, for example, when you transition the security camera-style perspective from the flat screen to a virtual world. The way the world pops out in front of you gives the action more immediacy, like what you’re watching is really unfolding in front of you rather than occurring miles away as you watch from the safety of a CCTV camera. It’s just a shame that more isn’t done to strengthen that connection; Hope rarely looks up to cameras to acknowledge your presence, for example.

    That’s especially true of the game’s cutscenes, which are largely told through a virtual smartphone screen. Despite admirable efforts on Camouflaj’s part, there’s definitely a sense that République was unavoidably shoehorned into VR. It’s a shame considering the theme of hacking using bleeding-edge technology suits the platform quite well and could be better explored in a native experience.

    Still, the core concept behind République remains just as engaging as it did on any other screen. The Metal Gear-inspired sneaking is straight-forward but involving, often asking the player to make snap decisions about where to hide Hope and how best to avoid detection. One nice touch is to encourage players to take risks by grabbing items off of patrolling guards as they look the other way, though it’s usually just for bonus easter eggs rather than genuinely helpful items. With so much on both Go and Gear appealing to a more casual audience, it’s nice to sit back and lose yourself in a console-level gaming experience for a change.  You won’t find many other experiences on Go or Gear offering eight hours of story-driven content.

    With these transitions, though, comes some inconvenience. Playing the game with a motion controller, for example, has some intuitive charm, but quickly becomes finicky in tight spots. Pointing to exact spots for Hope to walk to can often be a struggle and most of the times I was detected by an enemy it was the controller that was to blame.

    Fortunately, you can also pair a bluetooth gamepad with your Go headset for a much smoother experience. This gives you direct control of Hope and adds a much-needed sense of agency to the sneaking. It doesn’t solve every issue, like losing your bearings when the camera suddenly switches from one scene to another,