• A VR City Experience Offers Businesses A Glimpse Into A Disruptive Future

    Global consultancy company PwC launches a VR experience to help organizations navigate disruption. PwC have been working on VR projects for some time now. In 2017 the London-based accounting practice launched an interactive map of UK companies working in the VR/AR industry. Today, the company has announced its latest project – a VR experience that

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  • How To Watch Google’s I/O 2018 Keynote Live
    How To Watch Google’s I/O 2018 Keynote Live

    If Microsoft’s Build conference left you underwhelmed on the VR front yesterday then perhaps today’s Google I/O Conference will help make up for it.

    The search engine giant’s annual developer showcase is taking place at its usual destination at the Shoreline Amphitheater and we’re hoping for some Daydream-related updates from the event. Google launched its first standalone VR headset, the Mirage Solo, in partnership with Lenovo last week so it would be a good time to hear what’s new from the ecosystem.

    The keynote talk kicks off at 10am PDT/1pm EDT/6pm BST today and is immediately followed by a developer keynote, so hopefully, there’s plenty to see. We’ve got the livestream embedded below.

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  • The Best Free Oculus Go Games And Apps To Download Right Now
    The Best Free Oculus Go Games And Apps To Download Right Now

    With over 1,000 apps already available to download, Oculus Go owners are pretty spoiled for choice when it comes to experiences. Facebook’s first standalone VR headset leverages much of the content that was already available on Gear VR to deliver a vast, varied library to dive into. But, let’s be honest, you’ve just spent $199 on a new headset, it might be nice to ease off the wallet for a little while.

    Fortunately there are plenty of great free Oculus Go apps available right now too. We’ve gone through the list and picked out some of our favorites, though note that one or two still have in-app purchases. Still, they offer enough content before asking you to get your money out that we thought they deserved to be in the list.

    Face Your Fears

    One of Gear VR’s most popular apps gets a new lease of life on Go. Built by Evolve developer Turtle Rock Studios, Face Your Fears features a collection of scenes designed to scare the life out of you. If that sounds like your thing then the first couple of scenes are free to play and well worth checking out, though you’ll have to pay up for other scenes, including one that ties into Stranger Things.

    Dead and Buried

    If you’re looking to unload some lead in VR then Dead and Buried should be your first port of call. This Western-themed shooter, developed internally at Oculus itself, turns you into the fastest gun in VR, mowing down hordes of zombies in survival modes and facing off in tense one-on-one shoot outs. This is just a taster version of the full thing, but it’s still well worth diving into.

    Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel

    A pretty intriguing glimpse at the VR documentary, Voice of a Rebel recreates scenes from the Easter Rising campaign with the help of an official account. Its stylized visuals and moody atmosphere make for a story you won’t soon forget.


    One of the first VR experiences produced by The Guardian, 6×9 really gets to the core of VR with an experience that grounds you in solitary confinement as you hear various accounts of what it’s like to be locked away. This is the perfect example of how VR can deliver genuinely new experiences you wouldn’t otherwise have.

    Master Works

    Fancy a spot of traveling? Master Works is a great way to jump around the world without ever leaving your living room. Here you can travel to three different historical sites and inspect them in close detail. This goes above and beyond the usual 360 videos with fully VR environments as well as detailed voice-over work filling you in about the areas you explore. You definitely shouldn’t miss this one.

    Sea Hero Quest VR

    Sea Hero Quest isn’t just a fun, free VR game, but also an unexpected tool in the battle against dementia. The game tests your navigational skills out in the big blue ocean, with data being tracked so that scientists can analyze it to help study human spatial navigation. Even outside of that, this

  • Microsoft’s Newest HoloLens Apps Enhance The Workplace
    Microsoft’s Newest HoloLens Apps Enhance The Workplace

    Microsoft’s latest apps for its HoloLens mixed reality headset show you exactly why it’s a perfect tool for the workplace.

    At yesterday’s Build conference the company introduced two new apps for the device, which projects virtual images into the real world. The first of these is Remote Assist, which is designed to deliver fast, intuitive collaboration tools. In the video below, for example, you can see someone make a Skype-style call where multiple users share files and annotate on real-world objects to help a HoloLens user fix a machine. Users on smartphones and PCs can see what the HoloLens user is seeing and then point them to areas of interest and more.

    Next up is Microsoft Layout, which looks like it’s coming to Windows VR headsets too. This allows you accurately design spaces by summoning 3D assets into either virtual or real-world locations to check measurements and placements. You can drag objects around scenes, get measurement readings from one space to another, and then share your surroundings via video calls. You can then export your plans to share with others.

    These two apps show that Microsoft is laying the groundwork for HoloLens to become an essential tool in the workplace, though the hardware itself still has some ways to go. It’s interesting to see the company skew further towards industry as one of its biggest rivals, Magic Leap, continues to make a bigger push towards consumer mixed reality in the build-up to launch.

    Both are launching as previews on May 22nd.

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  • Beat Saber Is Getting A Level Editor This Week
    Beat Saber Is Getting A Level Editor This Week

    Pretty soon you’ll be able to make your very own Beat Saber levels.

    Hyperbolic Magnetism’s addictive rhythm action game only released in Early Access last week, but VR fans have already sliced and diced their way through the game’s 10 tracks. Players are hungry for more, and it looks like the developer will give them exactly that; a recent tweet confirmed that more information on the game’s level editor would be released this Friday.

    🔥 Soon we will release alfa version of Level Editor. You will be able to create your own levels for your audio files. Since this is really an alpha version, no simple sharing will be available. We will share more info on Friday. #StayTuned

    — Beat Saber (@BeatSaber) May 6, 2018

    Not only that, but the team’s Jan Ilavsky then confirmed that the editor itself would ‘probably’ launch this Friday, though it could be even sooner than that.

    Probably friday, but maybe sooner. As soon as it is ready:

    — Jan “Split” Ilavsky (@Split82) May 6, 2018

    As the original tweet notes, this will be an alpha version of the game’s level editor, so don’t expect it to work perfectly just yet. Still, you will be able to take your own audio files and build tracks around them, so you’ll finally be able to swing your sabers to the Imperial March. There won’t be an online sharing hub just yet, but you will be able to export levels to manually share between friends.

    Still, it’s a pretty promising sign that the team behind the game is serious about supporting it in the run up to full launch. Beat Saber is already something of a hit with the VR crowd, shooting to the top of Steam’s top sellers after launching last week. Alongside the level editor you can expect to see the developer build a bigger single-player mode as well as new gameplay options and more officially integrated songs.

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  • PSVR’s Moss Is Getting A Physical Release Soon
    PSVR’s Moss Is Getting A Physical Release Soon

    Adorable PSVR action game Moss remains one of the best VR titles of 2018, and now it’s heading to physical store shelves for the first time.

    Developer Polyarc today announced that Moss is getting a physical release via a partnership with Perp Games. Previously the game has only been able to download via the PlayStation Store but, come June 12th, you’ll be able to pick it up for $29.99 at retailers like Amazon, GameStop, BestBuy, Target and Walmart, many of which now have it available to pre-order.

    Moss has continually ranked as one of the best-selling PSVR games on the monthly PlayStation Store charts since its release in February, so the physical release is bound to be popular too. The cutesy adventure has players controlling a young mouse named Quill, navigating miniature worlds from a third-person perspective. We loved it, awarding it 9/10 in our review.

    Recently, Polyarc teased that more Moss could well be on the way, but we’ll have to wait a while to find out more.

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  • Arizona Sunshine Campaign DLC Hits PC This Month, PSVR Soon
    Arizona Sunshine Campaign DLC Hits PC This Month, PSVR Soon

    The anticipated new campaign mission for Arizona Sunshine is very nearly here. At least it is for PC VR users.

    Developers Vertigo Games and Jaywalkers Interactive recently confirmed that the Dead Man DLC, the first update to the zombie-shooting VR hit to focus on its campaign, will hit the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows VR headsets on 24th May. The PSVR version of the mission will be launching a little later on in June.

    Dead Man serves as something of a prequel mission to the original game’s campaign. In it, you play as a soldier guarding a US missile base that becomes entangled in a plot to contain the growing zombie threat. Over the course of the mission you’ll fight to launch a missile that could help humanity turn the tide in the sudden war.

    As with the main campaign, the mission can be played either in single-player or with a friend in co-op. There’s set to be three new guns to discover and three new masks to wear, while new difficulty settings, achievements and character customization options will also be featured.

    Dead Man will cost just $2.49 at launch. We went hands-on with the DLC last month and it’s clear that anyone that enjoyed the original game will find a lot to love here too.

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  • This New Educational VR App Teaches Kids About Recycling
    This New Educational VR App Teaches Kids About Recycling

    A new VR app allows school children to sort through the trash at a recycling facility without getting their hands dirty.

    Creative Agency Protein One and Rotor Studios this month announced a new app that’s set to educate kids in Australia about the process of recycling. The experience uses the Oculus Rift to teleport children to a recycling facility in Hume to learn about the work done by resource recovery specialists, Re.Group. The piece isn’t comprised of some simple 360 videos, though.

    Instead, the app recreates the entire facility at an exact scale in VR for users to explore. Not only that, but kids will be able to interact with the environment, operating machinery as they play special games that will teach them about how the facility works. Voice over and visual aids help keep the focus on learning the entire time but, like other educational apps such as Operation Apex, the hope is it’s through the activities that kids actually remember what they’ve learned.

    The app is now being used at the facilities Recycling Discover Hub. It’s nice to see an app that seems to have put some genuine thought into how to best utilize VR to educate audiences.

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  • VRLA 2018 Highlights

    The largest XR-focused conference in the United States returns for another year of VR & AR madness. Despite only having existed three short years, VRLA has already managed to cement itself as the one of, if not the most impactful annual immersive entertainment events in the United States. The Los Angeles-based conference has become a

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  • Oculus Go vs. Lenovo Mirage Solo: Which Is The Better Buy?
    Oculus Go vs. Lenovo Mirage Solo: Which Is The Better Buy?

    This weekend I placed four VR headsets out on a table: Daydream View, Gear VR, Mirage Solo and Oculus Go.

    The Pixel 2 started dropping frames, so I retired Daydream View without anyone really playing with it. A family member visited Pennywise’ house in Gear VR, but there was a pop up sitting between the player and his world the whole time that I couldn’t figure out how to dismiss quickly. Gear VR was next to be eliminated in this VR battle royale.

    Mirage Solo’s two major upgrades over Oculus Go performed well. Chromecast integration made it easy to see what the person in VR sees. When a family member needed help figuring out what to do it was as simple as looking over at the TV to see what’s going on and offer help. The addition of positional tracking in some apps also made me more confident Mirage Solo wouldn’t make anyone sick. I found it almost magical to turn the headset on and immediately have the freedom to move my head around. For two years now I’ve been setting up external tracking equipment for the consumer Oculus Rift and HTC Vive and, finally in 2018, the Mirage Solo does this on its own. But, alas, the Mirage Solo was retired eventually too as I ran out of things I wanted to show people.

    The VR battle royale ended with a clear winner: Oculus Go.

    Overall, there’s such a dearth of content on the Mirage Solo that there isn’t a search button. You can find a combination of YouTube videos and available apps from a series of panels hanging in mid-air, and that’s it. There’s also no Google Chrome browser available on the Lenovo Mirage Solo. This, in my view, is a show-stopping omission. Sure you can get to YouTube videos but what about the rest of the Web?

    And on that point, watching Netflix or surfing the web hands-free with Oculus Go in bed is very relaxing. It’s as if you’ve installed a big screen TV right on your ceiling and it even comes with a nice Internet browser. The $250 64GB Oculus Go includes the same amount of storage as the $400 Mirage Solo, and the Solo can be expanded with extra storage via micro SD card. It’s a nice inclusion alongside the added head tracking and Chromecast integration, but doesn’t do enough to justify a $150 expense over Oculus Go.

    For most buyers, a $400 gadget you don’t use very much is a lot harder to justify than $200. In fact, I don’t think I’d recommend Mirage Solo even if it was offered at the same price as Oculus Go. Overall, Mirage Solo lacking an included Internet browser is going to make the device less useful than Oculus Go for many people. It’s just too convenient to check a few sites between visits to worlds, and that’s not even accounting for easy access to Web-based worlds through the Oculus browser.

    The absence of Chrome is an astonishing omission for a device powered by

  • Oculus Research Is Rebranded Facebook Reality Lab
    Oculus Research Is Rebranded Facebook Reality Lab

    A Facebook note from Oculus’ chief scientist revealed the research arm of Oculus is changing its name to Facebook Reality Lab.

    Here’s the full note from Michael Abrash:

    Oculus Research has a new name—starting today we will be known as Facebook Reality Labs (FRL). While our name is new, our focus on the future hasn’t changed.

    At Oculus Connect in 2016, I made ( predictions about the future, “as far ahead as I can see into the fog of time.” As I said then, that’s about five years. In those predictions, I shared what needs to happen with panel resolution, pixel density, field of view, depth of focus, and more. We are just a year and a half along now, and I would say those predictions are holding up well. In fact, the truth is that I probably undershot, thanks to Facebook’s growing investment in FRL, which allows us to push the boundaries of what it takes to build great experiences further and faster. We are helping Oculus and all of Facebook create trailblazing AR and VR experiences, from what’s most affordable to leading edge.

    I started working with personal computers in 1980, and while they were getting used in some places, they were considered novelties – no one realized just how much impact the personal computer would have in the long run. We can look back now and see that PCs and their descendants have changed productivity, gaming, the way we communicate, and how we connect – the first great wave of human computing, going strong for 45 years now, with no sign of stopping. Augmented and virtual reality will be the second great wave of human-oriented computing, revolutionizing the way billions of people work, play, and interact even more powerfully than the personal computer or the smartphone.

    FRL brings together a world-class R&D team of researchers, developers, and engineers with the shared goal of developing AR and VR across the spectrum. We’re creating new possibilities across the full span of how people interact with these new technologies. There are a lot of hard problems in VR and AR, but they’re all solvable, and they are going to get solved. I can’t think of a better challenge to undertake, and that’s why I personally am doing this. It is pretty clear to me that when we look back in 20 or 30 years, AR and VR will be the technologies that made the future, and we’re creating the foundations for that today.

    It is a notable change, though what it might mean structurally is unknown. In the last year or so Facebook shuttered Story Studio — its exploratory storytelling division — and parted ways with its founder Palmer Luckey while appointing a new head of VR and reorganizing the fast-growing teams building VR and AR technology. Amid all these changes Oculus has maintained a separate privacy policy for its services, and it remains optional to use your Facebook account with a Rift, Gear VR or Oculus Go. With changes like this, though, we wonder if

  • Obduction’s PSVR Support Finally Arrives This Week
    Obduction’s PSVR Support Finally Arrives This Week

    After a long wait, the PlayStation VR (PSVR) support for the PS4 version of Cyan’s Obduction is finally arriving this week.

    A free patch for the game will launch on 8th May (that’s tomorrow!) implementing PSVR. It’s been a long-time coming; the PS4 version of Obduction launched all the way back in mid-2017, but its promised VR support was delayed shortly before that. Fans have waited patiently for an update on its progress ever since.

    “We couldn’t be happier to have this out the door, and we couldn’t have pulled it off without our partners at Legendary,” Cyan CEO Rand Miller said on the PlayStation Blog. “Of course it’s the full version of Obduction with all the beauty and intrigue of its alien worlds, including the bonus content that’s on the PlayStation version. And Obduction is one of the larger PS VR experiences, so get ready to explore some crazy-cool spaces for a while.”

    Cyan is, of course, the developer of classic 1993 adventure game, Myst, and is very much a spiritual successor to it. The game has been available on PC VR headsets for some time now and is best known for its stunning visuals and amazing worlds. We called the game a ‘cinematic marvel’ in our 8/10 review.

    Elsewhere, Cyan is busy developing its next VR-compatible game, Firmament, though that’s no word yet on if this one will come to PSVR.

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  • PSVR’s Firewall: Zero Hour To Feature Upgradable Weapons, Single Player Mode
    PSVR’s Firewall: Zero Hour To Feature Upgradable Weapons, Single Player Mode

    It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about Firewall: Zero Hour, arguably the most exciting game on the horizon for PlayStation VR (PSVR) right now. A few more drips of info have just been discovered on PlayStation’s official website, though.

    A new listing for the First Contact Entertainment-developed multiplayer shooter has just been discovered, confirming several new features about the game. Firstly, the page notes that players will be able to pick from 12 experienced mercenaries, though we’re not sure if these characters will have varying gameplay styles of if this is merely a cosmetic choice. We do know, however, that weapons will be upgradable.

    There’s also some info about the game’s three main modes. We already knew that the competitive option features two teams of four facing off in attack-and-defend missions, but First Contact is also developing a single-player ‘Training Mode’ for players to test their skills in. This will feature nine different scenarios. Hopefully there’s an element of replayability to these missions and they’re not just simple tutorials, but we’ll have to wait to find out.

    Next up is a co-op mode. This sees four players defend themselves against squads of AI troops to earn cash and experience points, which can presumably be used to upgrade weapons and more.

    We still don’t know when Firewall will be launching, though the game did recently get an MA15+ rating in Australian classifications. The game is set to support the PlayStation Aim controller as well as Move controllers and the DualShock 4.

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  • TSA Frisky Lets You Frisk Down Passengers In An Airport
    TSA Frisky Lets You Frisk Down Passengers In An Airport

    Out There Entertainment’s newest VR game will have you getting frisky with globetrotters.

    Releasing on May 17th, TSA Frisky casts you as an airport security agent tasked with sifting through people’s luggage and locating contraband. That will involve opening suitcases and riffling through their belongings to find rogue pizza slices and sneaky bottles of alcohol as well as frisking people to see what they might be trying to smuggle onto the plane. Any contraband you find must be disposed of correctly.

    It sounds like a mix between the stress-inducing investigation of Papers, Please and the frantic twist on mundanity established in Job Simulator. The trailer below already has us ripping our hair out. As you progress you’ll unlock upgrades and earn promotions. That includes new equipment to sort through people faster with, though the waiting lines will only grow as you play. You’ll have to keep your cool and avoid blacking out from stress.

    Think this one could be for you? Well you can give it a try now with a free demo on Steam. The full release will support the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows VR headsets. No word on a launch beyond PC right now.

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  • Gorgeous VR RPG The SoulKeeper Teases ‘Very Different’ v2.0
    Gorgeous VR RPG The SoulKeeper Teases ‘Very Different’ v2.0

    HELM Systems’ The SoulKeeper VR remains one of the best-looking VR games out there, but it’s been a while since we’ve heard about progress on its Early Access build. That changed this week.

    The SoulKeeper’s Early Access 2.0 release is coming soon, the developer teased this week, and will include some huge updates for the game. Writing in an update on Steam, the studio noted that the update wouldn’t just include new content but also revisions to existing gameplay and entirely new features to boot.

    “We have been hard at work, putting apart all the old mechanics, even features and content, creating new while redesigning and replacing the old, all in an effort to bring a very different version, not only of our game, but also with ground breaking features and mechanics that have not made an appearance to any other VR RPG to date,” the studio noted.

    According to the studio, areas like AI, combat, interaction, environment, NPCs and sound design have all been addressed. HELM also shared some new screenshots for the game, which prove the team hasn’t lost its penchant for amazing visuals.

    What the team didn’t provide was a release date for the update, but they did promise plenty of updates going into more detail in the run-up to launch.

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