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  • Richie’s Plank Dev Tells PSVR Fans: ‘Don’t Buy Our Title’
    Richie’s Plank Dev Tells PSVR Fans: ‘Don’t Buy Our Title’

    One of VR’s best group-oriented titles, Richie’s Plank Experience, finally released on PSVR last week. But, incredibly, developer Toast is now warning some people against buying it.

    The studio took to Reddit this week following some backlash surrounding the console version of the game, which has players testing their fear of heights by physically walking along a virtual plank on a skyscraper. On the US PlayStation Store the game has an average user rating of two and a half stars and its down to just two stars in the EU. But on Steam, where the game released last year, it has a user-rating of ‘Very Positive’. Clearly something’s afoot, and I’m not talking about the plank walk.

    “We designed Richie’s Plank Experience specifically to be used to entertain your friends and family. It’s a go-to experience to bring out when you have visitors or parties,” the developer wrote on r/PSVR. “So if you don’t plan on using it for this, it’s probably not for you. Please don’t buy it! It is not a game that can be played for hours by yourself.”

    The note implies that people have been complaining about the $14.99 price tag (the same as it is on Steam). We haven’t seen the comments for ourselves, but we suspect PSVR owners may have been caught off guard by the game’s emphasis on what Toast calls the Real Plank feature. This allows you to lay a plank down in your play space, measure it, enter those dimensions into the game and then walk along a virtually-identical counterpart to maintain immersion.

    Without a plank, the game is considerably less convincing and we somehow doubt that many players have a slab of wood laying around to use (my Rock Band equipment takes up enough space as it is). Toast’s issue, then, is letting people know about that before they buy the game.

    “Before you purchase our title we urge you to consider if Richie’s Plank Experience is right for you!” the developer concluded. “Watching the reactions of your friends and family freaking out is where the value is and if the plank doesn’t scare them, the flying may impress them instead.”

    Quite an extraordinary thing for a developer to be saying, but it’s admirably honest.

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  • Oculus Go and Oculus Rift Have Been Discounted Again for Christmas You have until the end of the month.
  • Soviet Lunapark VR Cancelled As Dev Doubles Down On Atomic Heart
    Soviet Lunapark VR Cancelled As Dev Doubles Down On Atomic Heart

    Bad news for anyone that was looking forward to updates to Mundfish’s Soviet Lunapark VR in the coming year; the developer recently canceled the game.

    Released on Steam Early Access in July, Lunapark was a sort of precursor to Atomic Heart, the studio’s upcoming first-person shooter for traditional displays. It was a co-op game in which players explored the weird and wacky remains of the Soviet Union, gunning down hordes of enemies. We never got the chance to play it for ourselves but production-wise it looked a step up from a lot of other VR shooters.

    Last week, though, Mundfish ceased sales of the game on Steam, stating that it had “decided to end development and support” of the project. In a blog post, the developer reasoned that this was so it could focus on Atomic Heart. Servers will shut down on March 1st 2019, though an arcade version of the game will still be available in cities around the world.

    The original trailer for the game had listed PSVR support, but this news pretty much confirms that that version will have been canceled too.

    It’s not clear if Mundfish intends to refund those that bought the game in Early Access, which planned to deliver more content in the build-up to a full release. The team has encouraged anyone with questions to reach out to support@mundfish.com. That said, the game only managed to amass 47 user reviews since launch in July, which may suggest that it simply didn’t sell enough for the studio to keep going. We’ve reached out to the developer to ask about refunds and find a more detailed explanation for what’s gone wrong.

    “We are really grateful to all who supported Soviet Luna Park VR and we hope to meet you again — in the world of Atomic Heart!” Mundfish concluded in its blog.

    Tagged with: Soviet Lunapark VR

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  • PSVR Hits Re-Enter UK Charts Following Mega Pack Launch
    PSVR Hits Re-Enter UK Charts Following Mega Pack Launch

    Some of PSVR’s best games (and some okay-ish ones) have fought their way back onto the weekly UK videogame software following the introduction of a new bundle.

    As we wrote about back in November, Sony just launched the PSVR ‘Mega Pack’ in the UK. It’s a frankly brilliant collection that includes hits like Astro Bot Rescue Mission, Wipeout Omega Collection and Skyrim VR as well as appreciated extras like Doom VFR and PlayStation VR Worlds. Having gone on sale, GamesIndustry.biz reports this week’s charts include PSVR Worlds at 26, Astro Bot at 28, Skyrim at 34, Wipeout at 35 and Doom at 36.

    The latter three make it pretty obvious that Sony’s new bundle has helped shift yet more PSVR units, whereas extra physical sales for Astro Bot and PSVR Worlds (which was also included in pre-existing bundles) will have helped them gain ground.

    Between this bundle and Black Friday deals, Sony has been pulling out all the stops on getting PSVRs under trees this Christmas. Back in August, we reported that the headset had surpassed three million in sales around the world. Will Sony be passing the four million milestone this holiday season?

    Tagged with: PSVR

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  • Orqa to Officially Debut its FPV.One Headset at CES 2019 The device is for remotely operated vehicles.
  • AltspaceVR Update Brings Custom Avatars, New Worlds & The Return Of Reggie Watts

    The creative team from AltspaceVR announced new updates during their Town Hall that lets users be themselves in VR. AltSpaceVR released their biggest update of the year that delivers new options to bring your own personality and flair into the virtual space with customizable avatars that allow you to add hats, facial hair, glasses, hairstyle,

    The post AltspaceVR Update Brings Custom Avatars, New Worlds & The Return Of Reggie Watts appeared first on VRScout.

  • VRgineers Brings Sharper, Wider Lenses To $5,500 VR Headset XTAL
    VRgineers Brings Sharper, Wider Lenses To $5,500 VR Headset XTAL

    Most of the virtual reality headsets available today have been constrained as much by pricing considerations as the current state of component technologies, but VRgineers’ professional-grade XTAL isn’t quite so limited — for $5,500, enterprise customers get access to some of the highest-end parts around. VRgineers is upgrading XTAL with new lenses that promise to dramatically improve the VR experience for both existing and new customers.

    As was the case before, the company describes the new lenses as aspherical and non-Fresnel, but they’ve been improved to bolster visual quality across four different visual measures.

    180-degree diagonal field of view (FOV). The new lenses increase a user’s FOV by 10 degrees, noticeably widening the perceived width and height of VR imagery for a more immersive experience.
    A larger in-focus area. VRgineers promises a 50 percent larger “super-focused” area compared with the earlier lenses, enabling eyes to see more detail rather than blur.
    Reduced distortion. Because of their need to gather and transmit light within small, tight spaces, VR lenses tend to exhibit obvious distortions such as blurring and god rays. XTAL’s new lenses cut the distortion for cleaner results.
    A bigger eye box. XTAL already has a system called AutoEye that automatically adjusts lens positions to match each individual user’s interpupillary distance. The new lenses increase their eye box size by 20 percent, increasing the likelihood of a clear image without adjustment.

    VRgineers says that the new lenses were custom-made in partnership with Israeli consortium VR Optics, which focuses on making components for VR and AR headsets. The technology is currently exclusive to XTAL headsets.

    “XTAL’s new non-fresnel lenses will deliver a wider field of view and binocular overlap, a bigger sweet spot, and much less distortion compared to the existing model,” said VRgineers CEO Marek Polcak. “This is critically important to our customers. When prototyping a new automobile design, for instance, they’ll be able to see more of the vehicle at once, and come closer than ever to a true-to-life image.”

    The updated version of XTAL will continue to use a pair of 2.5K OLED displays, delivering a total of 5,120 by 1,440 resolution, along with 180-degree Leap Motion 2.0 hand tracking and integrated eye tracking. Current XTAL customers on a professional support package can get the upgraded lenses free of charge from VRgineers, while new customers will receive the lenses in XTAL units ordered starting today. VRgineers says that it will publicly demonstrate the upgraded headset at CES 2019 next month in Las Vegas.

    This post by Jeremy Horwitz originally appeared on VentureBeat.

    Tagged with: XTAL

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  • The VR Job Hub: There are Positions at Admix, VR Education and Gearbox Software More immersive jobs from around the world.
  • Something for the Weekend: All Aboard for Steam Discounts It's cold and gloomy, so stay inside and grab a Steam deal.
  • Viewr Gives Friends A Window Into What You Are Doing In VR
    Viewr Gives Friends A Window Into What You Are Doing In VR

    Virtual reality experiences can be amazing, but they’re often isolated. So Viewr is a new tool that lets your friends see what you are doing in VR.

    The team at #include in Brisbane, Australia, created Viewr (which the company spells ViewR) for VR developers to integrate this capability into their games, making the VR experiences more social and shareable.

    Usually, there’s no way for a bystander to see what you see while wearing a VR headset. Now Viewr is creating a window into that VR world so a friend can observe what is happening.

    Above: Here’s how spectators normally see you as you play a VR game.

    Image Credit: Viewr

    Viewr creates a position-tracked streaming spectator experience, and it is available as a Unity software development kit (SDK) with a simple applications programming interface (API) that developers can include for free in their VR games.

    In addition, gamers can run an installer to add Viewr to an existing game. #Include has modded Viewr into Superhot VR, Beatsaber and Budget Cuts — three of the most popular VR games.

    “Virtual reality is a really exciting and fun experience, but it is extremely difficult to share what is happening inside the VR headset in a meaningful way,” said Chang-Yi Yao, CEO of #include, in a statement. “Seeing what the player is seeing through a computer screen or TV does not give you the spatial information required for the full picture that an observer needs to fully appreciate VR. With Viewr, VR games can now be something that more than what one person can experience easily — all without the additional expensive, complicated set-up. You just connect to your computer through the app and use your phone as a camera to see what your friend is doing in VR.”

    Above: What spectators see via Viewr when you are playing a VR game.

    Image Credit: #include

    Viewr allows you to see the VR world from a spectator’s perspective using a phone or other mobile device. It is not a headset view, but rather a separate one completely, like a camera or a portal that a spectator can hold up to watch what is going on in the VR space.

    This allows your non-game playing companion to get a sense of size, scale, and position of things in the virtual world and comprehend where it is, making for a powerful shared experience.

    “We want Viewr to be everyone’s pocket portal into virtual reality; the instant interface between you and the virtual world,” said Yao. “As we grow, we see Viewr being an excellent way to incorporate VR into business use cases since your phone does not host the virtual world, the computer does, and it works beautifully even if the device is fairly limited. The potential for this new technology is incredibly exciting.”

    How Viewr works

    Above: You can see what a VR user sees with ViewR.

    Image Credit: ViewR

    Viewr has two parts which talk to each other: a mobile Viewer; and a PC host that runs in the VR game. The host PC streams a view of the virtual world based on the position of the mobile device, and the mobile app displays

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  • Check Out Your Travel Destination In VR Before You Book

    Rizort Inc. adds several new locations to its collaborative vacation planning VR app. According to a recent Forbes survey, 77% of people who use VR want more social engagement, and I’ve long believed social is they key to getting the tech to a mass-market stage, but that needs to be done in the context of things that

    The post Check Out Your Travel Destination In VR Before You Book appeared first on VRScout.

  • How To Fix “Can’t Reach Oculus Runtime Service” Rift Error
    How To Fix “Can’t Reach Oculus Runtime Service” Rift Error

    Are you getting a ‘Can’t Reach Oculus Runtime Service’ error when trying to use your Oculus Rift?

    This error can happen either when Facebook pushes out a broken update, or when your Rift software becomes corrupt.

    Luckily, it’s usually fairly easy to fix:

    Go to oculus.com/setup

    Click ‘Download Oculus Rift Software’ then run the downloaded file

    Click Repair

    If all goes well, the Oculus software and your Rift should start fully working again. Don’t worry, your Rift games and save data should be unaffected.

    If this still doesn’t work, it means that antivirus software on your PC is blocking the Rift drivers. Try adding the entire Oculus software folder as an exclusion in your antivirus, or uninstall your antivirus and use the built in Windows Defender if you have Windows 10.

    We also recommend you take this opportunity to update your video card drivers, as this is often the cause of other PC VR issues that you could encounter in future:

    Update NVIDIA GeForce GPU Drivers

    Update AMD GPU Drivers

    Tagged with: oculus rift, runtime error

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  • Electronic Duo Knower Release new Track ‘One Hope’ Exclusively on Beat Saber Could there be more Christmas gifts on the way from Beat Games.
  • VR Furballs Adds a Christmas Party Mode The update has now gone live.
  • IMAX Officially Closes its Pilot VR Programme Its last three locations will close next year.