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  • Zero-Gravity Shooter Space Junkies Could Be Coming To PSVR
    Space Junkies vr shooter zero-gravity

    It looks like a Space Junkies PSVR version could indeed happen.

    As spotted by Ostrog the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) website recently listed Ubisoft’s upcoming zero-gravity shooter. That hopefully means that the long-awaited PC VR version is nearly here. But, more importantly, the listing says the game is coming to PC and PS4. Unless it’s some kind of a mistake, that makes it obvious the game is PSVR-bound. We’ve reached out to Ubisoft to confirm the news.

    Space Junkies was first announced back in 2017. It’s a multiplayer shooter similar to Echo Combat. You float through space, bouncing off of walls and ceilings, trying to gun your opponent down. Unlike Echo Combat, though, Space Junkies has an Unreal Tournament vibe that we’re big fans of. Developer Ubisoft Montpellier spent much of last year polishing the gamer with closed-beta testing. Then, in late 2018 the developer confirmed that the game would now be launching later this year.

    “This new release timeframe will ensure we deliver on our promise of being the best VR FPS set in micro gravity, and we hope you can hang in there a bit longer!” the developer wrote at the time.

    If the game is indeed coming to PSVR we’ll be interested to see how the port shapes up. This is a game that makes full use of 360-degree tracking and requires players to have quick reactions. Hopefully Ubisoft can translate all of that to the headset’s more limited tracking and controllers.

    Hopefully we won’t have too much longer to wait until we’re finally playing the full version of Space Junkies. When we last played it we said it was shaping up to be one of VR’s best competitive shooters.

    Tagged with: PSVR, Space Junkies, VR FPS, zero gravity

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  • Indie Studio Critical Charm Unveils Debut Title A Giant Problem The title will be arriving on Steam Early Access in Q1 2019.
  • CES 2019: Hands-On With Pico’s G2 4K Enterprise Standalone VR Headset
    4K VR headset G2 Pico

    At CES 2019 we got the chance to go hands-on with the Pico G2 4K, a standalone VR headset targeted at the Enterprise market.

    The post CES 2019: Hands-On With Pico’s G2 4K Enterprise Standalone VR Headset appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Beat Saber And Job Simulator Were PSVR’s Most Downloaded Games In 2018
    Beat Saber And Job Simulator Were PSVR’s Most Downloaded Games In 2018

    Sony has released its annual list of the most downloaded games on its PSVR headset. The winners won’t surprise you.

    Two lists were published last week. One is for the US and the other is for the EU. For the former, Owlchemy Lab’s Job Simulator came out on top (again) with Beat Games’ mega-popular Beat Saber coming in second. In the EU, it was Beat Saber in first and Job Simulator close behind. Sony never reveals the actual sales data behind these downloads, though.

    For Job Simulator, it’s three years in a row at the top. The game was a launch title for PSVR back in 2016 and is generally considered to be something of a poster child for VR. Beat Saber, meanwhile, first launched on PC in early 2018. It soon became one of the most popular VR games around, making the PSVR port highly anticipated. It finally arrived in mid-November. That the game managed to reach the top of the charts in both territories in such a small amount of time is nothing short of amazing.

    That said, it is true that Beat Saber was only available digitally. Most other games in both lists like Superhot VR, Moss and Rick and Morty, all had physical versions too. That might explain why some of the year’s best PSVR games like Astro Bot and Firewall didn’t make it into either list’s top 5. Astro Bot hit sixth in the Europe and Firewall came in 17th.

    Still, it’s a new year and we’ll be excited to see what new challengers await us. Sony’s Blood and Truth could be a big hit if it nails the VR first-person shooter (FPS). That said, there’s little that feels like it could truly rival the top games in these lists just yet.

    Tagged with: Beat Saber, job simulator, PSVR Games, VR sales

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  • It Looks Like A PSVR Train Simulator Is Finally On The Way (Sort Of)
    It Looks Like A PSVR Train Simulator Is Finally On The Way (Sort Of)

    You know what PSVR doesn’t have enough of? Simulation games. Not the silly type that star goats, I mean actual simulators. It’s a surprisingly untapped market for such a dedicated audience. That said, it looks like the first PSVR train simulator is indeed on the way. Sort of.

    Gematsu recently spotted an Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) listing for A-Train Express. It’s a train simulator that released in Japan in late 2017. And, yes, it has PSVR support. The ESRB listing suggests it’s on its way to the US.

    In the game, you build your own railways and develop cities around them. There’s a driving mode that gives you a first-person view of the action, though the game’s mainly concerned with making everything run on time. Check out the trailer below.

    Sadly, though, it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to actually drive trains in VR. PSVR support includes a ‘VR Railroad Model Mode’. This apparently just lets you view certain cityscapes as VR dioramas. That’s a bit of a disappointment. We wouldn’t hold out hope for any significant additions to the game since the Japanese release, either.

    Still, it’s the closest thing PSVR fans have to a proper simulation right now. We don’t know when A-Train Express will be officially announced for PS4 but keep an eye out for it. Over on the PC VR side, promising train simulator Derail Valley will be arriving later this week. That looks like a more thorough entry into the genre that we’ll hopefully see on PSVR too at some point.

    Tagged with: A-Train Express, PSVR, train simulator

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  • Realmax Qian Is A Light, Fully Wireless AR/VR Headset With A 100-degree FOV
    Realmax Qian Is A Light, Fully Wireless AR/VR Headset With A 100-degree FOV

    Realmax has officially taken its AR/VR ambitions from dream to reality, having evolved its Qian headset from an intriguing prototype at the 2018 CES to actual production hardware at the 2019 CES. And unlike so many of the devices shown each year at CES, Qian actually contains some compelling differentiators: It’s lightweight, tetherless, and offers a very wide-angle video display by augmented reality headset standards.

    Co-developed by a former Microsoft executive and a Chinese company with manufacturing expertise, Qian uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 system on chip and stereoscopic 1080p displays to deliver a dramatically more powerful AR experience than Microsoft’s HoloLens — a proprietary 16:9 visual system that was bright, vividly colored, and detailed in our hands-on testing at CES.

    Though the headset isn’t as fancy-looking as Magic Leap One, it features a much wider 100.8-degree field of view, filling enough of your eye space to feel immersive, and is compatible with prescription glasses rather than requiring special lenses. Realmax also says Qian can be shifted from AR to VR modes, a potentially compelling feature we didn’t get to try out.

    The screens are paired with binocular 6DoF tracking and a 9-axis IMU sensor so that wearers can actually move around in a 3D space and see virtual objects that appear to be real — or as real as the Snapdragon 835 can make them. A demo showed off a fairly convincing 3D model of a car that could be inspected up close from any angle, and multiple headsets on the same wireless network can let users interact with one another using virtual objects within an actual physical space.

    Above: RealMax Qian AR glasses being used in a large, multi-wearer environment.

    Image Credit: Jeremy Horwitz/VentureBeat

    One missing element in the core hardware is hand tracking, but there’s a USB port on the headset’s front that can connect easily to a Leap Motion gesture sensor. Otherwise, a basic controller similar to the one used for Oculus Go or Google Daydream lets users interact with virtual content. All of the apps are stored within the headset, so there’s no need for a Magic Leap-style puck or a nearby computer.

    Another key to Qian’s appeal is its pricing. Realmax says that it will be priced just under $1,000, which combined with its impressive AR performance should make it a popular alternative to HoloLens — a comparatively limited device sold for three to five times the price. Beyond industrial settings, Realmax hopes to see Qian used in education, medicine, and retail applications.

    According to the company, Qian has just finished its first pilot production run, and the company will soon be producing as many units as possible to meet anticipated demand. It won’t have the next-generation AR market to itself, though: Rivals such as Nreal and DigiLens have also shown new AR glasses at CES, and Microsoft is expected to reveal HoloLens 2 in the not-too-distant future.

    This post by Jeremy Horwitz originally appeared on VentureBeat. 

    Tagged with: Qian, Realmax

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  • HTC Makes Firefox Reality The Default Browser On Vive VR Headsets
    HTC Makes Firefox Reality The Default Browser On Vive VR Headsets

    Mozilla announced that its Firefox Reality VR browser will be the default browser on all HTC Vive headsets.

    The internet company first unveiled the Firefox Reality VR browser last April, touting it as an easier way for manufacturers to integrate and adapt a browser into their headsets. At its launch in September, Firefox Reality was available for Oculus Go, Daydream, and HTC headsets via the Viveport store. Moving forward, it will be the default system browser for all Vive VR headsets.

    The announcement coincided with a bunch of HTC VR announcements at CES in Las Vegas, including a new native eye-tracking toolset for the Vive Pro platform; a new subscription-based VR app service called Viveport Infinity; and a new standalone headset called Vive Cosmos.

    Today’s news also comes a few months after Mozilla expanded Firefox Reality support beyond English and into seven new languages, including French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Japanese, and Korean.

    While all the main VR headset makers already offer their own browsers, Mozilla is clearly pushing itself as the cross-platform standard in VR web browsing — becoming the default browser on HTC Vive headsets is a notable step in advancing Mozilla’s ambitions for Firefox in the burgeoning VR arena.

    “Virtual reality is one example of how web browsing is evolving beyond our desktop and mobile screens,” noted Mozilla’s chief R&D officer Sean White. “Here at Mozilla, we are working hard to ensure these new platforms can deliver browsing experiences that provide users with the level of privacy, ease-of-use, and control that they have come to expect from Firefox.”

    This post by Paul Sawers originally appeared on VentureBeat.

    Tagged with: firefox, webvr

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  • Tellables Unveils Its Lineup Of Virtual Storytellers At 2019 Alexa Conference

    Could virtual personalities be the future of oral storytelling? Since the introduction of the Amazon Alexa and Google Home, Tellables, an app developer specializing in voice-driven storytelling, has been delivering easily-accessible audio tales through these voice assistant devices via simplistic commands, such as “Alexa, open my box of chocolates” or “Alexa, open Tricky Genie.” Teaming

    The post Tellables Unveils Its Lineup Of Virtual Storytellers At 2019 Alexa Conference appeared first on VRScout.

  • CES 2019: Meet Addison, A Full-Time Virtual Caregiver

    This conversational speech interface has a face and its own personality. Developed by Electronic Caregiver, a division of SameDay Security Inc, Addison Care converts the home into a full-time healthcare center through its use of Addison Rose, a brand new voice-based virtual assistant that employs a combination of artificial intelligence and augmented reality to provide

    The post CES 2019: Meet Addison, A Full-Time Virtual Caregiver appeared first on VRScout.

  • ThreeKit Raises $10 Million To Turn Static Images Into ‘3D Experiences’
    ThreeKit Raises $10 Million To Turn Static Images Into ‘3D Experiences’

    A picture’s worth a thousand words, but what about a three-dimensional rendering? Ask ThreeKit — it’s in the business of creating 3D renderings for clients such as Crate and Barrel, Steelcase, and CIROC. The Chicago startup’s product configuration and visualization platform enable brands to create interactive three-dimensional “experiences,” such as product tours and comparison tools. And in just a few short months the company has attracted the attention of investors.

    ThreeKit announced that it has raised $10 million in seed capital from serial entrepreneur Godard Abel, who previously cofounded BigMachines (which was acquired by Oracle in 2013) and SteelBrick (which Salesforce snatched up in 2015). CTO Ben Houston, a 15-year Hollywood veteran who created visual effects software that has been used in the Harry Potter franchise, The Avengers, Titanic, and over 100 other films, said the cash would be used to fund talent acquisition and product and business development.

    “Traditionally, visualization technologies have been clunky and difficult to use, but ThreeKit is a holistic platform that allows sellers to create their own interactive product experiences for their web stores,” Houston said. “ originally built for Hollywood, we saw a major opportunity to bring this technology to ecommerce, and are leading a new standard of product experience in the industry.”

    ThreeKit’s platform basically takes the grunt work out of computer modeling. Customers load their products in and tap a dashboard of options to create, edit, and optimize display content for use in product configurators, sales aids, or augmented reality and virtual reality apps. One use case ThreeKit touts pretty heavily is photorealistic images: With no more than a 3D model of a product, it says, brands can add colors, textures, and lighting; set camera angles; and generate images and thumbnails of “all product permutations.”

    To display that and other generated content, ThreeKit makes use of WebGL, a JavaScript API for rendering interactive 2D and 3D graphics within compatible web browsers, without the use of plugins. It hosts assets on its servers and offers access to them through an API and embed code.

    ThreeKit claims that a few of its ecommerce clients have experienced a 40 percent increase in conversions, an 80 percent reduction in returns, and 20 percent higher order value after trading out static product images for 3D visuals.

    “There has been a critical gap in the ability of brands to provide engaging product experiences in their web stores, but ThreeKit is solving for this by fulfilling the touch and feel needs consumers have when shopping online,” Abel said. “It’s clear the company is leading a new generation of immersive and experiential commerce, and I look forward to accelerating its momentum to be a world market leader in 3D visualization technology.”

    This post by Kyle Wiggers originally appeared on VentureBeat. 

    Tagged with: investment, threekit, venturebeat

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  • It’s a Beat Saber vs. Electronauts Mashup in This MR Video DJ Nicky and Skykiwi both showcase their skills.
  • Horror Masters Wolf & Wood Plan to Unleash Chaos in Hotel R’n’R The destructive title will arrive this June on Steam Early Access.
  • CES 2019: New Qualcomm Reference Headset Could Hint At Vive Cosmos Specs
    qualcomm vr headset reference design

    At CES 2019 Qualcomm was showing off a new VR headset reference design with dual 2160×2160 LCD displays. Interestingly, the headset was being powered by a smartphone reference device via a USB-C cable.

    Does that feature remind you of anything? Earlier this week, HTC announced Vive Cosmos at their pre-CES special press event.

    As well as being a PC VR headset, HTC mentioned that Cosmos might connect to “other devices”. Their announcement video showed a silloute of what looks like a HTC smartphone- seemingly hinting that will be the “other device”.

    To be clear, Qualcomm isn’t a consumer facing company- they sell chips and licence technology to consumer OEMs. HTC has utilized Qualcomm’s technology in the past. The Vive Focus standalone is based off Qualcomm’s VR835 reference design and licences Qualcomm’s positional tracking technology.

    HTC’s website claims the Cosmos contains the company’s ‘sharpest screens yet’. It also states they have an RGB subpixel layout. Given that most OLEDs are PenTile rather than RGB, this makes LCD the most likely candidate for the Cosmos’s screens. And if they’re the ‘sharpest yet’, they’d have to be higher resolution than the Vive Pro, right?

    So these 2160×2160 LCD panels in the Qualcomm headset, using the same unique feature as the Cosmos, may not be a coincidence. It’s very possible this headset isn’t just the basis of the Cosmos’ connectivity, but also contains the panels the Cosmos will use.

    HTC has been tight lipped on any details about the Cosmos, but we’ll keep you updated on any further hints or announcements about this interesting headset.

    Tagged with: CES, ces 2019, HTC Vive Cosmos, qualcomm

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  • CES 2019 Vive Pro Eye: Impressions Of Tobii Eye Tracking
    vive pro eye tracking

    At CES 2019, HTC revealed the “Vive Pro Eye” featuring eye tracking from Tobii. Several demos from Vive partner developers showcased potential use cases for the Vive Pro Eye.

    A company called Zero Light, for example, showed how Vive Pro Eye could be used with foveated rendering for increased clarity in the tiny details of a virtual car’s interior. By its nature foveated rendering should be invisible to the eyes, so Zero Light toggled various modes to show the eye tracking and rendering areas in various ways. Areas directly in front of the eyeball were supersampled at a resolution many times that of the panel. It was shown on a Quadro RTX 6000 and the supersampling improvements weren’t readily apparent to my eyes on the Vive Pro panel. One of the modes, though, showed green, yellow and red areas to indicate where the eye is pointed. In VR, this mode appeared to reflect where each eye was pointed very accurately. Members of the team also used it with glasses on and it worked fine.

    A separate demo from Tobii itself in a Vive Pro showed a simple interactive game with creatures coming toward me. The eye tracking hardware could be used to essentially upgrade aim assist just by shooting a box in the game. Once I realized how much targeting these creatures was helped by eye tracking I only lasted 10-15 seconds before turning the feature on and leaving it on for the duration of the demo. This demo also used adjustable lines to show lower and higher resolution regions to my eyes.

    Another demo from HTC’s partners showing at CES 2019 revealed how eye tracking could be used to assist in teaching an aircraft takeoff procedure, with each switch highlighted by the software and then “selecting” it by gazing continuously at the tiny switch for a brief time. This is how some simple interactions in VR are already handled on a headset with no other interactions — with a few smallish buttons and a few seconds of head gaze used to indicate intent. Most often, this is used to play videos.

    Eye tracking, though, like the kind being shipped in Vive Pro Eye Tobii, uses sensors inside the headset to make the area of interest more specific than ever before. When incorporated into game design, this intent of the player could be used to hone the reactivity of characters or the environment. By tracking that gaze over the length of the play period, though, deeper insights can be learned for bigger changes in software design, or player behavior.

    For instance, below is a screenshot I took after the aircraft training demo showing a record of where my eyes were focused throughout my flight. If I was training to become a pilot and spending too much time looking out the windows instead of focused on the controls, this data could let help inform and improve my next trip in the simulator.

    Tobii’s eye tracking requires a very brief training session when putting the headset on. There’s also

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  • CES 2019: DisplayLink Showing Wireless Adapter Reference Design For Oculus Rift
    CES 2019: DisplayLink Showing Wireless Adapter Reference Design For Oculus Rift

    At CES 2019 DisplayLink is showing off a reference design for a wireless adapter for the Oculus Rift.

    The company first showed off wireless VR all the way back at E3 2017. The prototype, in cooperation with Intel, became the official HTC Vive wireless adapter in 2018.

    There already is a wireless adapter on the market for the Rift- the TPCast. But the HTC Vive adapter powered by DisplayLink seems to have less issues and an easier setup, so this could be a welcome addition to the Rift.

    Of course, the main issue with all existing wireless VR adapters is price. Both the TPCast and HTC adapter sell for around $300. This is almost as much as the entire Rift package price- now $349.

    The fact DisplayLink powers the HTC adapter raises the tantalizing possibility that the company could be working with Facebook to make this an official adapter. There’s no indication of this however, and Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell told multiple journalists at Oculus Connect 5 that they had “no plans” for a wireless adapter.

    Facebook has however patented some interesting techniques for wireless VR, such as a positional tracking guided directional beam. Perhaps the company is waiting for these ideas to become feasible to want to put their name on a wireless solution.

    Hopefully at least one manufacturer takes on DisplayLink’s reference design. Any competition in the wireless VR space is welcome.

    Tagged with: CES, ces 2019, DisplayLink, oculus rift, wireless vr

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