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  • Valve Shipping New Knuckles Controller Developer Kits ‘In Quantity’
    Valve Shipping New Knuckles Controller Developer Kits ‘In Quantity’

    Valve is moving beyond evaluation prototypes of its Knuckles tracked handheld controllers and onto developer kits “with improvements to cap sense, trigger feel, and more.”

    The new controllers have been in development for some time from privately-owned Valve, which is based in Bellevue, Washington. The engineers at Valve are the folks responsible for the key tracking technology used in the HTC Vive. They are also developing their own head-mounted display and, with these controllers, could offer new ways of using your hands in a virtual space. The controllers strap to your hands and allow for realistic grasping and release sensations with capacitive sensors meant to track finger movements.

    “While we have Knuckles DV kits available in quantity, we will be unable to fulfill all requests,” a post outlining the new kit explains. “The team will hold on to dev-kit requests and developer information for any future releases.”

    Among the improvements listed by Valve with these latest controllers::

    Cap Sense

    Capacitive sensors have been rearranged to accommodate more hand sizes
    Firmware has been updated to take advantage of the new sensors

    Trigger

    Trigger spring strength increased
    Trigger click feel improved

    Strap

    Increased durability of strap adjustment connector
    Strap adjust feel improved

    Firmware

    Fast charging improved
    Fixed pairing bugs
    Improved stability

    Other

    Thumbstick feel improved
    Force sensor variation reduced
    LED light leakage minimized
    Improved fit and finish
    Improved reliability

    We’ll of course bring you the latest as developers start to share their impressions of these new controllers.

    Tagged with: Knuckles, valve

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  • Sling TV Arrives On The Oculus Go

    The over-the-top internet tv service brings multichannel video programming to VR. For cord-cutters who prefer an à la carte TV model, but still find themselves craving a multichannel video programming experience, Sling TV, Dish Networks over-the-top internet television service, has become an extremely popular option. Available on over 17 major platforms across a massive variety

    The post Sling TV Arrives On The Oculus Go appeared first on VRScout.

  • PlayStation VR’s Popular FPS Firewall Zero Hour to Receive new Content DLC Tomorrow There will be a new map plus additional little extras.
  • Sony’s new “My PS4 Life” Tool Could be Disclosing Player Counts for Games PlayStation VR doesn't really feature just yet.
  • Shattered State Review: A Shaky But Respectable VR Thriller From The Makers Of Until Dawn
    Shattered State Review: A Shaky But Respectable VR Thriller From The Makers Of Until Dawn

    Supermassive Games is back on the right track. Bravo Team might’ve been a misfire but Shattered State sees the Until Dawn developer return to its narrative roots with a satisfying degree of comfort. Interestingly, though, it simultaneously takes a step back from its gaming DNA in search of that wider audience that shares a common interest in VR. It’s a somewhat shaky but ultimately significant step in a new direction.

    This is, in the studio’s words, a political thriller set in a fictional state that finds itself on the brink of civil war. You’re the head of an intelligence agency that must navigate the muddy waters of the day’s events, calling the shots as bombs explode and VIPs face assassination. In many ways it is a stripped back experience for Supermassive, though that’s not a bad thing. There’s no progress-hindering puzzles or exploration, no chance to ‘fail’ tasks or secrets to uncover. It lasts about 40 – 60 minutes and its branching path narrative isn’t as exhaustive or impactful as Until Dawn (though still admirably varied).

    What there is instead is a clear grasp of why this experience needed to be in VR. Steely-eyed cast members stare you down as if aiming to pierce into your soul, awaiting your commands sometimes with a look of desperation, sometimes with a sense of threat. Supermassive conveys the weight of your responsibility by making you watch your decisions unfold in real-time through mission briefings and news bulletins along with, eventually, the judgment and approval of your peers. The short-form nature robs the consequences of the kind of guilt or nerve-shredding tension you might experience if, say, this was the end of one of the seasons of TV shows that so clearly played an influence, but it’s an effective and thoughtful tribute to their atmosphere all the same.

    And Shattered State is all about atmosphere. It’s a theatrical experience, moreso than anything Supermassive has produced before. There’s a touch of well-oiled stagecraft to it; you feel as if you might find a stage crew hiding just behind a door swung open as a colleague marches in to protest at something mid-sentence, producing a kind of scene-setting that’s rarely seen in VR. It’s immediate and exciting, even if the overly-talky plot doesn’t always keep up.

    Still, not all of the changes to the Supermassive formula work as well as you’d hope. Character interaction is limited to one of two choices you select from a menu, but I couldn’t help but wish there was a more personal way of addressing the piece’s cast to really hammer home the connection between ‘player’ and NPC. That’s no easy task and it may be beyond the current limitations of headsets, but restrictions in place here feel like a weight around the game’s ambitions. Even with the stern-faced plot explaining and darkly foreboding soundtrack booming it is a little too easy to lose your way and let your mind wander from time-to-time.

    Ultimately, Shattered State might not have made an especially compelling TV show, but novel use of

    The post Shattered State Review: A Shaky But Respectable VR Thriller From The Makers Of Until Dawn appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Love Your Oculus Go? How About a Home Upgrade to Palmer Luckey’s GoBlack The founder of Oculus has been experimenting with improvements.
  • 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.