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  • VR MMO OrbusVR Developer “Definitely Looking Into” Oculus Quest Port
    orbusvr vr mmo feature

    The developer of OrbusVR stated on Twitter that they are “definitely looking into Oculus Quest support“. OrbusVR is the first true VR MMO, currently available on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

    Orbus was launched by a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2017. It received over $30,000 on a goal of just $10,000. Our own MMO veteran David Jagneaux took a deep dive into the game last February and found it really does deliver on its promise. It feels like a classic MMO brought into VR, complete with all the core mechanics you’d expect.

    When asked about a Quest port back in September, the developer simply replied “We don’t have a definite answer right now”. However, they did mention that they “will have more info on this in the coming months.” The change to “definitely looking into” could indicate the developer is analyzing the cost of a port.

    The game is receiving a huge “overhaul” in April. Called OrbusVR: Reborn, the update will add new visuals, new classes, new mechanics, and tons of new features. The strategy seems similar to the original ‘expansion packs’ for World of Warcraft.

    If Orbus does come to Oculus Quest, it has the potential to massively expand the game’s userbase. Given the engaging nature of MMOs, it could even see users limited by the headset’s battery life rather than desire to play.

    However it must be stressed that this is far from confirmation. It’s entirely possible that the developers don’t have the time of resources to deliver a port. The game is demanding on even high end PCs. But if they can pull it off, Orbus could one day be a top title in Quest‘s library.

    Tagged with: MMORPG, Oculus Quest, Orbus, orbus vr, OrbusVR, VR MMO

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  • Contractors VR: Beginner’s Guide To Playing The Fast-Paced VR FPS
    Contractors VR: Beginner’s Guide To Playing The Fast-Paced VR FPS

    Contractors VR is quickly rising in popularity thanks to its superb graphical fidelity and fluid controls and we've got all the best tips right here!

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  • New PSVR Controllers May Include Trigger Resistance, Hand Detection
    new psvr controllers patent move 2

    Sony’s rumored new PSVR controllers have returned in two new patents, sporting some interesting features.

    We first spotted these new controllers in a patent published in January 2018. Judging by the documents, they ditch the glowing orb seen on the original PlayStation Move controllers. Perhaps most excitingly, though, they also feature analog sticks. The current Moves don’t have any such sticks, which has made moving around in VR quite tricky for the last three years. But these new patents, filed in 2017 and published last week, point to two other additions.

    The first is for what Sony calls a ‘sense-of-force presentation’. To us, it sounds a lot like a basic form of haptic feedback. Basically it would allow the controller to provide some resistance to pressing buttons on the controller, namely the trigger on the back. Doing so could provide more immersive sensations for actions like pulling the trigger on a gun or pressing a button. The controller can even provide different levels of pressure at different points in squeezing.

    Next up is a means of detecting whether a controller is being held in the left or right hand. The device uses a sensor to detect the position of the hand and could then remap buttons accordingly. It sounds like a handy little extra; we’re always booting up PSVR games to find out we’re holding controllers the wrong way round.

    We also wonder if this feature could be used for some very basic finger tracking as with the Oculus Touch controllers. Basically they know when your thumbs and fingers are grabbing the sticks and triggers and represent your virtual hands accordingly. It’s not the most accurate feature but it’s a nice little touch.

    It seems likely that these new PSVR controllers would accompany a new version of Sony’s headset. Rumors about the PS5 have been heating up over the past few months, pointing towards a potential reveal next year. If true, we’re hoping Sony is also preparing a new version of its headset to launch alongside the console. Improved controllers are at the top of our wishlist for such a device.

    Tagged with: motion controllers, PSVR, PSVR 2

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  • HoloLens 2.0 Launch Teased by Microsoft It'll happen at Mobile World Congress this month.
  • Steam Awards 2018 Finds Its VR Game Of The Year
    Steam Awards 2018 Finds Its VR Game Of The Year

    After months of user-voting, Valve finally announced its Steam Awards 2018 winners this month. It was Bethesda’s Skyrim VR that took home the award for VR Game of the Year.

    Skyrim VR fought off some stiff competition in this year’s category although, sadly, most other entries were from other years. VR Chat, Superhot VR and Bethesda’s own Fallout 4 VR all made their debuts before 2018. Skyrim VR and Beat Saber were the only two truly ‘new’ games on the list. Even then, Skyrim’s launch on PC last April came off of the back of the PSVR version from late 2017. Beat Saber, meanwhile, is yet to leave Early Access on PC.

    It’s a deserving win all the same. Skyrim VR packs in all of Bethesda’s beloved open-world RPG will full support for hand controllers. It’s undoubtedly one of VR’s meatiest and deepest games with hundreds of hours worth of content. The PC VR version also goes above and beyond with mod support that turns the game into an unending ocean of VR content. Indeed, the game scored in the top three of our best games lists for both Vive and Rift last year.

    Steam’s awards were entirely user-voted so there’s not much disputing the win. Still, we’d have liked to have seen a few more of 2018’s best VR games on the list including the stunning port of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Transpose and The Exorcist: Legion VR. Hopefully there will be enough big new VR games releasing in the next 11 months to topple some of these mainstays by next year.

    Tagged with: Bethesda, Skyrim VR, steam, Steam Awards, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, valve

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  • VRX Europe Early Bird Tickets Ending Soon, Get a Further 15% off With VRFocus The event takes place during April in Amsterdam.
  • Is VR Set To Revolutionize In Online Casinos?
    Is VR Set To Revolutionize In Online Casinos?

    Gambling happens to be among the most established businesses across the globe. It has started growing even more since the latter half of the 20th century, and has grown more and more in the last few decades. With the advent of the internet, gambling has even gone online. These days, VR (Virtual Reality) has turned into of the newest fads in the tech industry. It is proving to be among the most cutting-edge technological advances in the world of gaming. VR is believed to be capable of revolutionizing the online casino industry.

    How Can VR Affect Online Casinos?

    The impact of VR technology on regular casinos might be more or less limited. However, it is anticipated to make lots of significant changes in the world of online gambling.

    Immersive experience – VR casinos first opened up in the later part of 2015. As the technology grows more mainstream it is expected that more such casinos will come up and the ones existing already will be more sophisticated. These can offer a more immersive and realistic experience than standard online casinos. Gamblers can get a better and all-round experience. For instance, they can bet on a horse race and get the chance to watch the same happening right before their eyes, and even see their chosen horse winning.

    Bring in more gamblers – These casinos can make gambling more relaxed and exciting for people who lack the time to visit an actual casino regularly. Thus, these can satisfy the needs of those who are unable to go to a brick-and-mortar casino.

    Real-time communication – In a few cases, these can also let online gamblers enjoy real-time communication with other players and live dealers. VR technology can offer such an experience, and not simply benefit the players but also the casinos. Many new customers would love to visit web-based casinos to enjoy these unique experiences.

    Can easily be customized – It is possible to customize a VR casino to every individual player, pairing it with other advanced software or artificial intelligence. As it learns more about your behavioral patterns and favorite games, the casino’s player’s version may be modified to match your interest. This can ultimately let casinos help customers keep on playing for more time, which means there will be more revenues for casinos.

    New experience – With these casinos, users can wear a VR headset and find videos that explain to them the rules about the various games that they are interested in playing. They can find out and play several simulated games and get an idea about the same before they actually try the same in some real craps table. Gamblers can, right from their own home, take a virtual tour of the VR casino and find out about the amenities, available games and layout prior to going on a trip.

    What are the Problems?

    There are some roadblocks to the progress of this technology in revolutionizing the gambling industry. To start with, customers have to purchase a VR headset to be able

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  • Banishing Your Nightmares With The Help Of VR

    New research shows how immersive technology can help patients treat recurring nightmare syndrome. In the US, between 1/2 and 2/3 of children and up to 15% of adults have frequent nightmares. This has serious clinical effects for sufferers, including not only distress, but chronic loss of sleep and generalized anxiety. And yet, access to effective

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  • Zingoshi Crowdfunds AR Game For Girls On Kickstarter
    zingoshi

    New Zealand startup Zingoshi has launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise money for an augmented reality adventure game for girls. The Auckland-based company hopes to raise $60,000 in the next 30 days to fund the game, which is about 60 percent done.

    Zingoshi is a pioneering video game for seven- to 12-year-old girls that guides them to “become creative, visionary leaders through fun, engaging content, and exciting technology.” The team is getting help from Megan Gaiser, creative strategist and portfolio development director, who was recently honored for her pioneering work in making the early Nancy Drew games for girls. Gaiser has helped us create GamesBeat Summit events for the past several years with sessions focused on diversity.

    In addition to an adventure story and inspiring themes, the game integrates augmented reality to offer gameplay that takes the player off the screen to create Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) activities in the real world. For instance, kids can create their own art like paper butterfly wings, scan them into the Zingoshi app on an iPad, and then use those wings in the game.

    Above: Zingoshi has bright and colorful landscapes.

    Image Credit: Zingoshi

    Cofounders Bridget Ellis-Pegler and Ronel Schodt grew up with great adventure stories like Pippi Longstocking, Bridge to Terabithia, and more. But when they became mothers, they noticed something.

    “There was a real lack of good, wholesome and fun quality entertainment content for young girls”, said Schodt, in a statement. Added Ellis-Pegler, “We wanted to create an experience that would embolden girls to defy the conditioning that often leads to a lack of self-esteem; to lead with curiosity, creativity and courage, to become the best versions of themselves.”

    They came up with Zingoshi. And they tapped Gaiser’s experience and found a shared desire to tell inspiring stories within a game experience, to give girls a taste of all of their talents and leadership potential.

    “We know the time is right for Zingoshi to help redefine leadership culture for the 21st century. Who better to start with than our children? They will lead the way forward for us all, for generations to come,” Gaiser said.

    The company has 10 employees and it received partial funding for the project from New Zealand investors, Gaiser said. Zingoshi is an example of a New Zealand company that gets its start in the region’s vibrant startup community and needs more capital to get to the global market. That’s the goal of a new venture fund dubbed Quidnet Ventures.

    This post by Dean Takahashi originally appeared on VentureBeat. 

    Tagged with: Zingoshi

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  • Snapchat Scores A Slam Dunk With LeBron James AR Lens

    Snapchat‘s latest AR lens is an instant viral hit with over 2 million views in two days. With accomplishments including several Olympic gold medals, multiple NBA MVP awards, a handful of NBA Finals MVP awards, and many appearances in NBA All-Star Games, LeBron James is often considered the greatest basketball player in the world. He’s

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  • Madefire Debuts 3D Motion Comics On The Magic Leap One AR Headset
    madefire

    Madefire has been committed to making “motion comics,” or digital versions of comic books that leap off the page with animated visuals. Now, the company is announcing that it is showing off its first Motion Book experiences on Magic Leap‘s augmented reality glasses.

    The Madefire platform isn’t a mere app that runs on the Magic Leap One Creator Edition, the development version of Florida-based Magic Leap’s AR glasses that sells for $2,300. Rather, Madefire and Magic Leap are collaborating to try to establish a new medium.

    This kind of mixture of technology and entertainment doesn’t come around every day. I’ve tried out Magic Leap’s headset. It may not be very practical yet, but it has executed well on a vision of enabling magical experiences in the new medium of augmented reality. Games like Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders look great on Magic Leap, but now Madefire is bringing something entirely different.

    Founded in 2011, Madefire has made a lot of progress with its Motion Book platform, with partnerships with both DC Comics and Marvel in digital comics. Madefire’s platform is available on iOS, Android, and in virtual reality on the Oculus Rift. Among the 40,000 comics available, the Madefire platform has Blizzard’s Overwatch video game comics.

    But on the Magic Leap platform, the new Madefire app lets you see the digital comics come to life before you in the real world. With AR, animated imagery can be overlaid on top of reality. Magic Leap is a “spatial computing platform,” where digital objects can be placed in a physical space in the real world. The Madefire comics are available in the Magic Leap World! Explore stories.

    Above: This is what motion books look like on Magic Leap.

    Image Credit: Madefire

    For Magic Leap, it’s just one more application. But Dan Lehrich, senior production director at Magic Leap, said it is the kind of experience that you can’t get anywhere else. The idea started six years ago when Rony Abovitz, CEO of Magic Leap, who spoke with Madefire cofounder Liam Sharp at the San Diego Comic-Con event. At the time, Madefire was launching on mobile devices, pushing comics into the 21st century.

    “Rony came over and said, ‘What could you do if you could publish into space,’” said Ben Wolstenholme, CEO of Madefire, in an interview with VentureBeat. “We said, ‘Are you crazy?’”

    Lehrich joined Magic Leap two years ago at a time when the technological experiments were becoming real, and it was now time to make the projects into something tangible. Lehrich helped push the collaboration forward because he felt it was a new way of telling stories.

    “This is the kind of thing that Rony really cares about,” Lehrich said. “What made this stand out was this ability to bring another form of content creation to the device.”

    Above: Madefire comic layered on reality.

    Image Credit: Madefire

    Before Magic Leap, Lehrich worked on projects like the iPad version of Disney Infinity, the toy-game hybrid that saw success for a couple of years before Disney pulled the plug on it. He felt there was a natural connection between Madefire and Magic Leap because they could

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  • Rec Room Devs Strongly Hint Oculus Quest Port
    Rec Room Devs Strongly Hint Oculus Quest Port

    In the latest Rec Room AMA the developer strongly hinted at porting the app to the upcoming Oculus Quest.

    Rec Room is one of the most popular and highly regarded social VR apps to date. It stands apart as more structured than something like VRChat thanks to predefined room types and activities, and more gaming focused than AltSpaceVR, with games ranging from disc golf to a battle royale mode similar to Fortnite.

    The developer states that they are “working really hard to bring Rec Room to a bunch of new platforms“. He then notes that many people noticed their company logo listed at Oculus Connect 5 in October as working on a Quest game or port. Immediately after, he begins “let’s just cut right to it, we are wor-“, but is cut off by an intentionally inserted Simpsons technical difficulties image.

    In the past it could have been argued that Against Gravity may be working on a brand new game for Quest. But this AMA makes it clear that they are referring to Rec Room.

    The logo of the developer was listed as working on a Quest title/port at OC5.

    Porting Is Hard

    The reluctance to make a direct announcement may be due to the sheer difficulty of such a port. The developer goes on to note that porting is a large and difficult task for a small team. Oculus Quest’s GPU is significantly less powerful than a PC graphics card. In fact, the developer notes that the time required to conduct this port has even slowed down their regular development.

    The art team is specifically mentioned as being heavily focused on the port. This likely refers to the time needed to make lower polygon versions of existing art in the game. At OC5, Oculus showed that shooter Dead and Buried‘s polygon counts had to be reduced by an order of magnitude to run on Quest.

    A Significant Title

    Last month Against Gravity revealed that Rec Room had been installed on over 1 million headsets– likely thanks to PSVR support.

    If the company is able to port to Quest, it would be a significant title for the $399 standalone headset. Facebook has repeatedly stated the importance of social VR. But the company lacks an app for large scale public interactive social of the sort VRChat and Rec Room offers.

    Social VR has the kind of longevity and retention that VR games so far simply can’t provide. Rec Room, if the port is successful, could be a game changer for Quest.

    Tagged with: Oculus Quest, rec room, social vr

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  • Beat Saber Made People Move So Fast Steam Needed Updating
    Beat Saber Made People Move So Fast Steam Needed Updating

    An update to the SteamVR Beta included an interesting note hidden among the standard fixes.

    Lighthouse

    Increase limits of what we thought was humanly possible for controller motion based on tracking data from Beat Saber experts.

    Whoa whoa whoa. That’s quite the well-written update there Aaron Leiby, but we’re gonna need more detail than that. You’re telling us some folks are moving so fast playing Beat Saber that it required a Steam update to account for their incredible speeds?

    A more detailed comment from Valve’s Ben Jackson offers some more information about the update:

    The tracking system has internal sanity checks to identify when things go wrong. For example, if our math says you are *behind* your only basestation, clearly we made a mistake, because we wouldn’t be getting any signal from behind the basestation. One of these checks relates to how fast we thought it was physically possible for someone to turn their wrist. It turns out that a properly motivated human using a light enough controller could go faster (3600 degrees/sec!) than we thought.

    Playing a VR game so fast that it required a Steam update? That’s something way beyond an everyday achievement or even the standard bug fix for an early access title like Beat Saber. There is somebody out there — nay, perhaps it is a small group of super humans — who are capable of moving so fucking fast that Valve had to change their expectations about what humans are capable of doing.

    I wanted to know more, so I reached out to Jackson over email. It turns out, Valve is home to some expert Beat Saber players and it was the new Expert+ mode in the game that drove them to “push the limits,” as Jackson explains:

    We have some high skill Beat Saber players working at Valve. One of them was playing it while testing, which led to us capturing data where he was approaching and occasionally exceeding (by a tiny amount) the old limit. I would credit Knuckles (which places the center of gravity closer to the center of your hand) with making it easier, and Beat Saber “expert plus” mode with the motivation to push the limits.

    I would bet that everyone working on VR controller tracking has taken notice of Beat Saber, due to its combination of popularity and extreme controller motion.

    Tagged with: Beat Games, Beat Saber, steam, SteamVR Beta

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  • 10 Best VR RPGs For Rift, Vive, PSVR, and Windows VR
    10 Best VR RPGs For Rift, Vive, PSVR, and Windows VR

    We've put together our detailed list of the top 10 very best VR RPGs that you can play right now across Rift, Vive, PSVR, and Windows VR headsets.

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  • Childish Gambino Makes His AR Debut

    Google’s Playground for Pixel introduces a Playmoji character of the hit rap & RnB sensation. No matter how you slice it, Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, is arguable one of the fastest-rising creative minds of our generation. Whether it’s a hit television show that perfectly dances the line between drama and comedy, or his rapidly

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