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  • Community Download: Does Oculus Quest Need Fortnite Or Minecraft To Succeed?
    Community Download: Does Oculus Quest Need Fortnite Or Minecraft To Succeed?

    At Oculus Connect I spoke with CTO John Carmack some and reminded him of comments he made about Minecraft being the best title for Gear VR.

    He explained the call was made not to bundle a gamepad with Gear VR, as they had for all the developer attendees at Oculus Connect one year. This means the game he’d worked so hard with Microsoft to bring to the fledgling Oculus mobile platform didn’t have an audience with the right controller. So it’s unsurprising the game — even with Touch controls on Rift – hasn’t become an anchor or major draw for their platform or VR in general, despite Carmack’s initial enthusiasm.

    With the massive $1.25 billion investment in Epic Games today, the company is likely to undertake a period of rapid change under CEO Tim Sweeney. Epic builds both the Unreal Engine toolset — used by game designers globally to build virtual worlds — as well as its own games, like the cross-platform battle royale leader Fortnite. Balancing both those endeavors with $1.25 billion to spend is going to be an interesting process to watch. For VR, then, I don’t think we can discount Epic’s support (or lack thereof) in a particular platform as being related to the success of the platform itself. Sure, developers can use Unreal tools to make games for Oculus Quest in 2019 and Facebook helped fund the creation of Epic’s Robo Recall, so we know that game is coming to the headset in some fashion. But that’s not the same as Epic supporting VR with its most important title.

    Does Oculus Quest Need Fortnite Or Minecraft To Succeed?

    The list isn’t very long of cross-platform virtual worlds that let players play together from almost any device  — Minecraft, Rec Room and Altspace are available in VR headsets and on other devices, but Fortnite is on practically everything else. The game even came to Android bypassing the Google Play Store because that’s 30 percent more revenue per player for Epic Games.

    If you buy Oculus Quest in 2019 and don’t know anybody else with the headset, what games are you going to play with friends and family? Quest’s $400 price tag will surely be tempting to buy in pairs for local multiplayer action, but it is unlikely too many people are going to do that in the first year. There are likely lots of multiplayer gems in the 40 or so Oculus Quest launch titles that have yet to be officially confirmed, but without a significant install base of passionate players those multiplayer lobbies could turn into ghost towns, just as they’ve have for so many games on other headsets.

    So does Oculus Quest need a popular — and universally available — social gaming experience like Fortnite or Minecraft to succeed? Let us know in the comments what you think.

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  • No Headset? A VR Space Like Star Trek’s “Holodeck” May Soon Become Reality

    Light Field Lab promises the next generation of AR/VR with their headgear-free holographic system. San Jose holographic display startup Light Field Lab and LA graphics company OTOY, which focuses on cloud-based high-end graphics, have officially announced a partnership that is “making the Star Trek Holodeck a reality” according to a recent press release. This North-South California alliance will make use

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  • Marvel Powers United VR Update Adds New Objective, Enemies and Finesse New additions try to improve the much hyped experience.
  • Hands-On: Ace Combat 7 Is A Blockbuster Experience For PSVR
    Hands-On: Ace Combat 7 Is A Blockbuster Experience For PSVR

    It’s pretty obvious that Ace Combat 7 is shaping up to be another Gran Turismo Sport situation; excellent VR support for an excellent game that’s stretched just a little too thin. But, even if the PSVR-exclusive missions only amount to two or three hours, they still promise to be some of the most spectacular moments you can spend inside the headset.

    My recent demo for the game opened up as a jet made its way to the runway amidst a heated aerial battle. This was Ace in full-blown Call of Duty mode; pilots were screaming over comms as hell rained down from above, including a massive crash that belonged in a summer blockbuster. It’s very much about the experience and quite rightly; I haven’t been this impressed with the visual fidelity and detail of a PSVR game probably since Resident Evil 7.

    Ace Combat 7 is yet more proof that cockpit VR makes for some of the most compelling and immersive content out there at the moment. Your interface is littered with switches and buttons that you’re dying to tinker with (sadly DualShock 4 support doesn’t allow for that) and it’s not hard to believe the chaos that’s occurring around you. Even after three years spent inside VR, I still found myself marveling at the scripted carnage. The audio, meanwhile, is a complete assault on the senses, seeking to overwhelm you with the roar of engines and the rattle of gunfire before you’ve even left the ground.

    Once you do take off, you’ll find the series’ tried and true gameplay makes a natural fit in VR. There’s a surprising degree of freedom afforded to you here; if you thought WipEout VR’s twist and turns were a bit much for your stomach then you’ll definitely want to brace yourself for your first corkscrew or nose dive, but there’s nothing else quite like it in VR.

    The cat and mouse game of locking onto enemies or shaking your own incoming threats is just as engaging as it ever was. I had callbacks to EA’s excellent X-Wing VR Mission as I scanned the skyline for targets and felt the weight of every sharp turn and last-minute maneuver in the pit of my stomach.

    That said, it did give me some understanding of developer Project Ace’s position; how many times could you really reinvent this level in meaningful ways given the limits of PSVR’s processing power? If the developer isn’t able to pull off more enemy numbers or elaborate set pieces then is there really much point in producing a somewhat repetitive campaign? We’ll have to wait and see what kind of variety it can pull off in the remaining missions, but I felt like even five minutes inside the VR mode had shown me pretty much the extent of the experience and I expect seasoned players will tear through it in no time.

    Even in this clumsy ballet of death, though, first-rate immersion remains at the game’s heart. Rain droplets splatter onto the screen and begin to rush past you

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  • Unreal Engine Creator Epic Games Secures $1.25 Billion Investment The company is well known for its Fortnite and Robo Recall franchises.
  • It’s Helloween in Seeking Dawn’s Free to Play Edition It might be free but it's no less scary.
  • VR Arcade Employs Vicon’s Origin System for new European Locations The first will be in the Netherlands next month.
  • Fortnite Developer Epic Games Announces $1.25 Billion Investment
    Fortnite Developer Epic Games Announces $1.25 Billion Investment

    Fornite developer and Unreal Engine creator Epic Games today announced that it raised $1.25 billion in investment.

    Companies such as KKR, ICONIQ Capital, Smash Ventures, aXiomatic, Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins, and Lightspeed Venture Partners contributed to the funding. In a press release, Epic noted that the move also created partnerships with “investment firms and individuals at the forefront of technology, entertainment, professional sports, esports, and live events.”

    Alongside Fortnite, Epic Games has been heavily involved with the VR and AR industries over the past few years, making Unreal Engine compatible with both. It’s been especially active in VR, last year releasing Oculus Rift exclusive shooter, Robo Recall.

    “We’re excited to partner with the finest minds in the financial, sports, and entertainment communities. This reinforces Epic’s position of leadership in real-time 3D technology, and accelerates our ability to improve the way people play, work, and interact with the world,” Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said in a prepared statement.

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  • Vive Studios Boss: ‘If VR Is Relegated To A Gaming Console, Everybody Loses’
    Vive Studios Boss: ‘If VR Is Relegated To A Gaming Console, Everybody Loses’

    Joel Breton, GM of HTC’s Vive Studios division, thinks that VR companies need to start looking beyond gaming in order to succeed.

    Speaking to UploadVR, Breton explained that gaming was a core pillar of helping the industry succeed, stating that he was looking forward to selling Studio’s existing games on new headsets like the Oculus Quest. “When I see Oculus Quest I’m like “God bless it, there’s a bunch more headsets that I’m going to be able to sell my content for,”” he said.

    Indeed, Vive Studios has made a habit of bringing some of its published content over to other platforms; Grab Games’ Knockout League is available on both Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR as well as Vive, whilst many of the team’s published games on Steam also support Rift and Windows VR.

    However, as we spoke about Studios’ strategy over the past two years, Breton emphasized his belief that VR content production needs to look beyond gaming. “‘The competition, I don’t want to speak for them strategically, but they are very, very focused on games,” he said.

    I noted that Quest itself had been introduced primarily as a gaming console, with Facebook promising over 50 launch titles including experiences like The Climb and Robo Recall.

    “As a gaming console, yeah, I think that’s interesting,” Breton replied. “I’m a game producer, that’s been the bulk of my career so I love creating games but, again, we think if VR is relegated to a gaming console, everybody loses. Because it’s so much more powerful than that, and we’ve seen it. Not just cinematic but we’ve seen the power in all those other use cases.”

    To that end, Vive Studios has indeed been looking beyond gaming with its output thus far. Apps like TrueScale focus on interior design while Make3D is a design tool aimed at professional use. Vive also just premiered an episodic 360 degree VR movie named 7 Miracles.

    Breton went on to talk about applications in health, such as helping with depression and pain. “There’s so much going on that is not being– I mean it is being talked about a little bit, but it’s just kind of incubating there to where these companies are doing their tests and getting their data back on what works and so that part of the market is about ready to explode.”

    But doesn’t Vive need to push gaming to help it in the consumer arena? “Gaming, I feel, is an important area, but it’s kind of taking care of itself now,” Breton said. “Like I said, the third parties can make money, they can either adapt or make something at reasonable scale on multiple platforms and benefit.”

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  • Labrodex Studios Announces Launch Date for Scraper: first Strike Cyberpunk VR shooter Scraper: First Strike will be heading to HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality in November.
  • Jam Studio VR Releases Education & Healthcare Edition VR music application gets a new version devoted towards educational and therapeutic aims.
  • Virtual Cat Konrad the Kitten Gets Into the Halloween Spirit Konrad gets spooky with special Halloween event.
  • Unknightly’s New Village Level Looks Frightfully Tense
    Unknightly’s New Village Level Looks Frightfully Tense

    One of my major complaints with Unknightly, Portal Studios’ largely thrilling shot at Thief in VR, is the lack of variety in environments. Fortunately, the developer is addressing that with the launch of its next level.

    The next chapter of the stealth game, which is currently in Early Access, is set outside of the castle keep seen in the game’s first few levels. Here you venture into a village in search of a boat to stow away on. The trailer below makes it look like a frightfully tense affair.

    Overall it’s great to see Portal Studios continuing to update Unknightly with brand new content. We think the game’s genuinely exciting, even if there are a few rough edges that need to be straightened out. Hopefully the next major update might bring about some fixes to AI etc too.

    As for a release date, Portal Studios isn’t saying just yet, but it does promise it’ll be soon.

    Unknightly isn’t the only Thief wannabe in the house anymore, though. Yesterday we reported on the reveal of Rogan, a visually striking new stealth game that could give Portal Studios a run for its money.

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  • Novarad AR System for HoloLens Cleared by FDA for Medical Use Novarad's OpenSight system have been 510(k) cleared for use in pre-operative planning in the US.
  • Collect Saints in AR Videogame Launched By Catholic Group Evangelical group hopes to encourage faith with AR Pokemon Go clone.