• This Batman Experience Showed Me A True Mixed Reality
    Batman Mixed Reality Intel USC Scarecrow

    I really don’t like saying ‘mixed reality’. In my opinion, it’s a term that needlessly confuses two similar but separate technologies – VR and AR. HoloLens isn’t an MR headset, it’s an AR headset. Windows’ MR-based VR headsets are really just that, VR headsets. But at MWC this week I saw a glimpse of true mixed reality; something that combined both VR and AR.

    That would be Intel and the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Batman experience. This was a small slice of a wider experience built with help from AT&T, Ericsson and Warner Bros.. It was running off a wireless HTC Vive Pro as one of the many 5G showcases at the show. You can see pretty much the entire piece in action in the video below.

    It’s a piece of, quite literally, two halves. Look to one side and you’ll see the real world, as captured through Vive Pro’s cameras. Bat-baddy Scarecrow appears in front of you and litters the environment with spiders. Then he steps over to the other side, a fully-rendered VR environment where he does battle with Batman. Nothing about the AR or VR portions was separately special. But, combined together, they made for something intriguing.

    Again, this was just a slice of the main experience and the demo conditions weren’t perfect. I couldn’t hear what was being said over the noise of the show floor and the right earphone wasn’t working. Not to mention that it was weird to see Batman and Scarecrow fighting from one angle only to turn around and see MWC carrying on with little care.

    Still, it set my mind ablaze with possibilities for true mixed reality experiences. Imagine theatrical performances where you’d see real actors interact with virtual characters or games where the consequences of the virtual world spilled out into ours. You’d need conditions far more controlled than this, but the potential is definitely there.

    This felt more like a proof of concept; a technological achievement more than a creative one. But the truth of the matter is that VR headsets aren’t that great at doing AR (yet) and AR headsets aren’t very good at VR (yet). Until the pair inevitably merge, experiences such as this will remain decisively experimental.

    Tagged with: Batman, Intel, mixed reality, USC School of Cinematic Arts

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  • HTC Teases Cloud-Based VR With New 5G Hub

    Could 5G streaming be the future of VR entertainment? With the 2019 Mobile World Congress currently underway in Barcelona, Spain, HTC has been busying themselves with a slew of exciting announcements and demonstrations ranging from a smartphone aimed at cryptocurrency fanatics, to their HTC Vive Focus Plus VR headset. Yesterday, the company used MWC’s stage

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  • Review: PlanTechtor A wave shooter whose wave is more of a ripple.
  • Microsoft Hosting Mixed Reality Dev Days For HoloLens 2 Developers
    HoloLens 2 MWC hands-on

    We’ve tried HoloLens 2 and we kind of love it. In a few months’ time, Microsoft will let even more people test it out.

    The company this week announced Mixed Reality Dev Days. Mixed reality is Microsoft’s semi-confusing term the covers everything from HoloLens to its VR headsets made with partners. Running on May 2nd and 3rd 2019, this event will welcome developers to Microsoft’s Redmond Campus. There they’ll get hands-on time with HoloLens 2 along with other MWC announcements like Azure mixed reality services, Azure Kinect Developer Kit and, in the company’s words, “more”.

    The event will be feedback-focused, Microsoft is looking for impressions on its latest offerings and ideas on how to improve them.

    Interestingly, the show takes place just a few days before Microsoft’s annual Build developer conference kicks off. We’d expect to see more MR updates at the show. We’ll also be interested to see if Microsoft has anything else to share on the MR front at GDC next month.

    Tickets to the Dev Days won’t be free but pricing hasn’t been announced just yet. You can sign up to the company’s developer program to get an alert for when the invites go out.

    HoloLens 2 is set to come out later this year. The AR headset improves upon the original device with a bigger field of view, improved interaction and better design. When I tried it at MWC this week I found one of the first AR headsets I could actually see myself using on a day-to-day basis. It’s an enterprise-level device (starting at $3,500) so not something that game developers will be looking to embrace.

    Tagged with: HoloLens 2, microsoft, mixed reality

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  • Cyan’s Upcoming Surreal Adventure ZED Receives new Trailer Ahead of Spring Release It'll support both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
  • Undead Citadel Promises Stunning VR Visuals In Latest Trailer
    Undead Citadel Promises Stunning VR Visuals In Latest Trailer

    Undead Citadel first caught our attention late last year. It’s a VR zombie-slaying game from Dark Curry (still a great name) that looks visually astonishing. That remains the case in this new minute-long clip.

    Players make their way through a gorgeous medieval setting, dismembering zombies and locking blades with skeletons. Swords and axes are at the ready as is that most trusted of VR weapons, the bow and arrow. This trailer also sees the debut of a shield and throwable explosives.

    Of course, the jury’s still out on if these visuals are truly the real deal. It all looks a little too good, doesn’t it? Plus, inside headsets, visual quality is somewhat distorted by the screen door effect.

    Combat still looks promising, though. Dark Curry says the game runs on a “hybrid physics-driven combat system.” You can see it in the hefty axe swings that cause skulls to explode and the way enemies react to arrows. We’re still looking for what will really separate this from the other 100 VR zombie games out there, though. We’ll need to get our hands on it to find out.

    There’s still a lot to learn about Undead Citadel. The previous teaser trailer suggested the game would have some sort of story-based progression. The end of this footage also confirms there are bigger, tougher enemies ahead.

    Undead Citadel is due for release on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR and Windows Mixed Reality later this year. No specific release window has been announced but the developer says it’ll be out “when it’s perfect”. Ambitious.

    Tagged with: Undead Citadel

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  • Tokyo Chronos’ Latest Trailer Features Protagonist Kyosuke Sakurai The mystery novel experience is still scheduled to arrive next month.
  • Kingdom Hearts VR Release Date Revealed For Europe
    Kingdom Hearts VR Release Date Revealed For Europe

    Your Kingdom Hearts adventures aren’t done yet. Well, that is if you have a PSVR headset.

    Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts VR Experience finally launches in Europe on February 28th (tomorrow!). That is according to a PlayStation Blog listing. It’s exclusive to PSVR, so don’t expect a PC release. It previously hit Japan last month. We don’t yet know if it’s also coming to the US this week, but it’s a good bet that it does. It’ll be free to download. Take a look at some gameplay we recorded below.

    Kingdom Hearts VR offers a highlight reel of the series’ history in VR. You visit some of the more memorable scenes from past games as if you were Sora himself. We tried it out in Japanese last month and it was kind of terrifying. Meeting Goofy and Donald Duck in VR isn’t as magical as you might expect when they’re speaking a language you don’t quite understand.

    Scenes are also accompanied by musical performances which are neat, if not entirely memorable. All-in-all it’s not the most astonishing use of VR but I’m sure series fans will get a kick out of it.

    The Japanese version of the app actually launched with a few levels still missing. We don’t know if this version will feature those levels or if they’re coming later down the line. In a trailer released last year we did see users wielding the Keyblade for themselves, but neither of the existing scenes let you do that. Hopefully these upcoming scenes will include that feature.

    Tagged with: Kingdom Hearts VR

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  • MWM Immersive Brings Live VR Theatre Experience Chained: A Victorian Nightmare to New York But it's only there for one month.
  • Zed Is An Atmospheric VR Adventure Published By Cyan, Creators of Myst
    zed main title image cyan

    The creators of Myst, Riven, and VR adventure Obduction are back with a new publishing arm at their company to debut Zed.

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  • Mattel Experiments With Mixed Reality Toy Design

    Mattel uses top tech from Spatial and HoloLens to accelerate play innovation. This week thousands of people descended on Barcelona, Spain for Mobile World Congress where Microsoft has already unveiled the HoloLens 2, the next generation of Microsoft mixed reality. It features a larger field-of-view, more comfort, and industry leading value right out of the

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  • Get Building With VR Puzzler Gadgeteer’s Free Beta Demo There's a contest to enter for the best chain reaction machine.
  • VR Battle Royale Shooter Virtual Battlegrounds Launches This March
    virtual battlegrounds shot

    Large-scale VR battle royale game Virtual Battlegrounds is gearing up for launch next month on March 15th and gets a snazzy new launch trailer.

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  • Virtual Battlegrounds is a Tactical Battle Royale Shooter Ready to Drop in March It'll be in Early Access for the first 6-12 months.
  • Microsoft Employees Aren’t Happy About $479M HoloLens Military Contract

    The companies CEO & President stand by their decision to license HoloLens technology to the US military. Last week a collection of Microsoft employees penned a letter to the companies CEO, Satya Nadella, and its president, Brad Smith, expressing their open discontent regarding a $479M contract with the United States military that would introduce roughly

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