• Hands-on: The VOID Goes all Creepy With Nicodemus: Demon of Evanishment Superbly atmospheric, just needs to be scarier.
  • Ace Combat 7’s VR Missions May Come To PC Headsets In 2020
    Ace Combat 7’s VR Missions May Come To PC Headsets In 2020

    Ace Combat 7's VR content on PSVR is excellent (if extremely short) and it may come to other headsets next year.

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  • 3dRudder Discuss Bringing Foot Control to PlayStation VR at CES 2019 The controller is due to launch in April.
  • Soul Scathe Offers Dark Souls-Esque VR Dungeon Crawling
    Soul Scathe VR Dungeon Crawling

    We’re getting a little spoiled in the fantasy genre right now. Shadow Legend and SoulKeeper 2.0 both look like great VR RPGs. But the newly-announced Soul Scathe is a decidedly darker take on the genre.

    Developed by Blueberry Bandit, Soul Scathe is coming soon to Rift and Vive. It’s a dungeon crawler that uses procedural generation. You play as a resurrected battlemage that fends off enemies with melee weapons and magic attacks.

    We haven’t played the game ourselves but the trailer above gives us a welcome Dark Souls vibe. Environments are dank and dingy and enemy design is suitably morbid. But what’s most impressive is the seeming level of interaction with the game world. At one point a player knocks out a support beam, sending barrels tumbling downstairs to knock out enemies. In another instance, an enemy helmet is knocked clean off before he can be dismembered.

    Spells, meanwhile, seem to include your usual assortment of elemental attacks. Ice spells can freeze enemies or cause them to trip, thunder can rain down from above and you can turn your hands into flamethrowers.

    But Blueberry says you’ll be able to combine types to conjure new abilities. Plus there’s a move that looks a lot like telekinesis that allows you to manipulate traps and objects. With these varied elements combined we’re hoping the game will have a deep and engaging battle system.

    Look for Soul Scathe to launch on Steam in Q1 2019 (that’s now!) It’ll support both Rift and Vive, but an Oculus Store release will come later on.

    Tagged with: Soul Scathe, VR dungeon crawler

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  • Brainseed Factory’s PlayStation VR Puzzler Squishies Gets Physical This Spring Just for European stores to start with.
  • PSVR MOBA Megalith Getting Free Trial, Changes To DLC Soon
    megalith demo MOBA PSVR

    Last week saw the launch of Megalith on PSVR. The first-person shooter (FPS) looks like a polished stab at the VR multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). That said we’ve already seen some concerns expressed about empty lobbies and DLC. Developer Disruptive Games is looking to fix that.

    Taking to Reddit, the studio announced that Megalith will soon get two new features. The first is a free trial for the game. It will allow anyone to jump into the experience and start playing with full game owners. The only difference is that demo players won’t have access to all of the game’s playable characters, named Titans. They’ll need to purchase the game to unlock everyone. Still, this could be a good way to fill up lobbies and get people into matches faster.

    An exact date for the demo hasn’t been announced.

    Next up is DLC. Megalith launched with one piece of DLC already. It offered a new Titan, but you had to pay for it. In the future, though, Disruptive Games will be adding an update that allows players to spend in-game currency on new characters. You’ll still be able to buy them outright to avoid the grind but more determined players can put the work in to get them at no extra cost.

    “We believe these upcoming changes will help reward players for their time investment as well open the gates for new players to experience Megalith,” the developer wrote. “The ability to earn Thorn and Shade via earned currency will be released soon after the trial is deployed.”

    Do these changes get you excited about the future of Megalith?

    Tagged with: free trial, Megalith, moba, PSVR

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  • Watch a Special Hikaru Utada Performance of Kingdom Hearts III’s Theme on PlayStation VR The Japanese vocalist will perform two songs which you can watch for free.
  • Meta Company’s Meron Gribetz Recounts Path From TED Talk To Bank Sale
    Meta Company’s Meron Gribetz Recounts Path From TED Talk To Bank Sale

    I spoke by phone this week with Meron Gribetz, the founder of Meta Company and its AR ambitions, and heard his explanation of what happened to the startup as it ran out of money over the last nine months.

    In case you are unfamiliar, Meta raised around $75 million, according to Crunchbase, with its largest $50 million Series B round announced a few months after Gribetz appeared in a TED talk in 2016 promoting the company’s Meta 2 AR headset and his concepts around human-computer interfaces.

    Here’s how that TED talk came together, according to Stuart McFaul, the same marketing representative who worked with Gribetz to arrange a call with me this week:


    Meta was an unknown AR company competing against Microsoft’s Hololens and Google-funded Magic Leap. Meta was preparing to launch their newest product after nearly a year delay and were without a marketing lead.


    Spiralgroup president Stuart McFaul stepped in as acting marketing VP. He led his tailored team on every aspect of launch events including all PR, social media, communications and advertising, along with presentation development and training. Helping to broker an on-stage debut at the 2016 TED Conference, the TED premiere received enthusiastic social media buzz, which Spiralgroup leveraged before launch. We negotiated a two-week “embargo window,” allowing Meta to fully brief dozens of top-tier media.


    Meta’s launch received universally glowing reviews and established the company as a technology leader and darling in a space dominated by the “big guys.” Launch press alone generated over 200 million impressions worldwide, reflecting a 16x ROI for Meta’s original marketing investment at the time. Coverage has gone on to reach over 21 billion impressions.

    Last year, it became apparent Meta was in trouble after a long period of silence.

    Bloomberg reported in September that Gribetz furloughed employees after, he said, “The Chinese government sent an official request to our lead investor to re-evaluate the deal based on the recent actions from the Trump administration.”

    Gribetz was unable to raise more money and a letter submitted last week in a patent infringement suit against the company revealed “Meta Company is insolvent.”

    “The final step was that the bank which held our secured debt called the loan and sold the assets in a UCC sale to a private investor that I told you doesn’t want to be named right now,” Gribetz said on the call.

    At its peak, Meta Company employed somewhere around 130 to 150 people, according to Gribetz. He declined to reveal key information including who bought the company, when the buyer might be revealed or how many Meta 2 headsets have been sold.

    He did, however, answer some other questions.

    Below is a transcript of the first section of my talk with Gribetz by phone. To save you time, though, I’ve also bolded the comments I found most interesting.

    Meron Gribetz: Can you hear me?

    Ian Hamilton: Yeah I can hear you.

    Gribetz. OK. Perfect. Thank you. Alright. So. I’m at your disposal, let me know, you know, what answers I can

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  • Review: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown – VR Missions A thrilling, short-lived VR experience.
  • Ace Combat 7 With A Thrustmaster Flight Stick Is A PSVR Essential
    Thurstmaster HOTAS 4 Ace Combat 7 Edition PSVR flight stick

    So, you may have seen me raving about Ace Combat 7’s PSVR support already. It’s an explosive thrill-ride let down only by its short length. But that’s not the end of the story. You can also play the VR campaign with a Thrustmaster HOTAS 4 flight stick. I did just that and found one of PSVR’s most essential experiences.

    Thrustmaster’s controller provides a transformative change here. It’s got all the bells and whistles including a flight stick with a full range of movement and a throttle for acceleration. There’s also a dual rudder system to help with turning and an army of buttons and triggers to replace your DualShock 4. The main components also detach, so I was able to mimic the setup seen in my virtual cockpit pretty easily.

    As something of a flying game newbie, it took me a little while to adjust to the controls, though this was true playing on DualShock too. There is intuition here but you’ll have to put the work in to find it.

    Once you’re all settled in, though, there’s nothing quite like this on PSVR. The HOTAS 4 allows you to slip into character just a little more, biting your lip and cursing under your breath as you wrestle with the stick to line up a good shot. There’s heft and physicality to every move you make, from the sudden loops you’ll throw yourself into to keep track of an enemy to the flurry of corkscrews you’ll execute when a missile locks on. It’s the last-moment dodges and spills that are the most exciting, like emerging from the clouds and having to suddenly jam the stick back in hopes of narrowly missing a mountain range.

    Combat feels great, too. Machine guns are largely ineffective but pulling the trigger to fire feels so good you’ll use them all the time. Spamming the missile button as you wait for them to reload only adds to the tension. Put simply, I was having so much fun playing the game this way I was going back to replay missions. Superhot is the only other VR game I’ve done that with so far.

    Though the form factor is mostly perfect the somewhat toy-ish feel of the plastic cover can be jarring. It’s strange to find yourself in a multi-billion dollar jet and wrap your hands around a plastic shell.

    Of course, the real kicker is the price. The $59.99 price tag for the game alone is steep to justify 30 – 90 minutes of VR gameplay. Adding another $69.99 on top of that for the stick is tough to recommend. It’ll all come down to personal preference; if you think you might play the rest of the game with the stick then it’s absolutely worth it. Plus you can play other PSVR games like Ultrawings, EVE: Valkyrie and Starblood Arena. It’s also PC compatible so Rift and Vive owners can get some mileage out of it too.

    There is reason to splash out, then. With the addition of Ace Combat 7, the Thrustmaster

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  • Ace Combat 7 VR Review: Utterly Superb But Incredibly Bittersweet Aerial Combat
    Ace Combat 7 VR Review: Utterly Superb But Incredibly Bittersweet Aerial Combat

    I still feel like I’m soaring. Not just literally; Ace Combat 7’s VR support has left me grinning from ear-to-ear. This is nothing short of a revelation; a deadly ballet of barrel rolls and missiles. It’s a successful fusion of cinematic excitement and utterly arresting immersion, the likes of which VR has rarely seen. It made my heart pound and my jaw drop with dizzying regularity.

    And then it ended.

    And that’s the elephant in the room. For all its high-flying spectacle, Ace Combat 7 is criminally short on VR content. Just three missions await you, and experienced players will beat each in 10 minutes or less. Series newcomers (such as myself) will probably take longer; multiple deaths on the tough-but-firm normal mode stretched it out to about two hours. To offer this captivating a taste of aerial combat, realized with such polish, and then to take it away just as you’re getting settled is nothing short of cruel.

    But it is what it is and, more importantly, what remains is unforgettably good. From immersion through to control, Ace Combat 7 is top gun (sorry). The cockpit, for starters, is detailed down to every switch and button with an impressive degree of perceived authenticity. Landscapes stretch out for miles around you and, although they’re obviously a little blurry up close, they’re surprisingly convincing when zooming past at 100 mph. Fly into clouds and the weather will start to beat down on your windshield. In one dramatic opening, an airfield becomes a battle zone and debris is rained down upon you with alarming force. Don’t let its length fool you; this is a blockbuster VR experience.

    You have to use the Expert control scheme instead of the more accessible option. For some, it will undoubtedly cause nausea, but it otherwise feels like the most natural way to go. It virtually fuzes your right thumb to the pilot’s flight stick. Combat is initially daunting but, once mastered, an effortless thrill.

    A flight simulator this is not; the controls may have their intricacies but ultimately Ace Combat 7 is all about the grandiose. It’s in the moments you skim past an enemy fighter and wince at the proximity or the last-second kills that have you piercing through a fiery explosion. It comes just as you untangle from a hopscotch of missile dodges only to find yourself pulling up before you crash into the ocean. In these instances I couldn’t help but cheer and woot like a cowboy, occasionally leaping out of my seat (bad idea) and becoming the very person I’ve rolled my eyes at thousands of times in films. It really is that powerful.

    The movie magic is woven into the inevitable games of cat and mouse too. As the skies become peppered with enemies you’ll start throwing your head back and forth in desperate search of new targets and threats. It’s that head movement that really adds a dimension not previously seen in other Ace games. One slight hiccup is the developer’s decision to fade the world out

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  • Fast Travel Games CEO: Apex Construct Selling Better On PSVR Than PC
    Fast Travel Games CEO: Apex Construct Selling Better On PSVR Than PC

    A series of tweets from the CEO of Fast Travel Games, Oskar Burman, offers a breakdown of the sales of Apex Construct across PlayStation, Steam and Oculus.

    Apex Construct released in early 2018 as a great “full” VR game on the three storefronts supporting 6DoF motion controllers. Across three tweets this week, Burman broke down the sales ratio since launch. Here are the tweets condensed into a single block of text:

    So, this is the current split in Apex Construct sales: PSVR: 58% Steam: 23% Oculus Store: 19%. Playstation has taken an even bigger share since last time I shared numbers, which is what to expect considering indications of strong PSVR sales in 2018. But the VR market as a whole is clearly growing too. December was one of the best months ever for Apex, so my guess is a bunch of people found a new VR HMD under the christmas tree in 2018

    We confirmed this data covers sales since launch and Burman said that the share of PlayStation buyers grew over the course of the year. A similar tweet by Burman from May offers a snapshot of the sales to that time:

    Multiplatform matters for VR devs. Out of all Apex Construct sales, 46% is on PSVR, 30% is on the Oculus Store while 24% is on Steam. #gamedev #vrdev

    — Oskar Burman (@OskarBurman) May 23, 2018

    With more than half of buyers on PSVR now it is clear how important Sony’s headset has been to the game’s sales, but the breakdown also makes clear that PC-based headsets are nearly as important when taken altogether.

    “We’ve had quite linear user growth over time, which again I think is due to overall market growth, and hopefully also because we keep supporting the game with new patches,” Burman wrote in a message to UploadVR.

    Burman confirmed that December was the second best month for sales of the game after its initial launch — a strong indicator that lots of people got VR headsets for the holidays.

    Tagged with: Apex Construct, Fast Travel Games

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  • PSVR 2019 ‘Demo Disc’ Includes Nine Kick-Ass Titles

    If you’ve somehow never played Superhot VR, now’s your chance. Playstation VR has, against the odds, proven itself to be a formidable console alternative to PC VR headsets. Where many high-end VR platforms pride themselves in touting the latest advances in hardware and the highest resolutions, Sony has instead chosen to focus their efforts on

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  • VR Puts Users Head-To-Head With Ford’s Co-Pilot360 Technology

    Can humans identify road hazards as well as Ford’s advanced safety technology? Arguably one of the most alluring selling points of a current Ford Motor Company brand vehicle is the inclusion of the companies advanced driver assist system, a.k.a. their Co-Pilot360 technology. Featuring a suite of features, from a Blind Spot Information System, to Pre-Collision

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  • VR Timewarp, Spacewarp, Reprojection, And Motion Smoothing Explained
    VR Timewarp, Spacewarp, Reprojection, And Motion Smoothing Explained

    TimeWarp, Spacewarp, Reprojection, Motion Smoothing. Asynchronous, Interleaved.

    You may have heard these terms or seen them in the settings of your VR headset, but what do they do, and what’s the difference?


    The idea of Timewarp has been around in VR research for decades, but the specific feature was added to the Oculus software in April 2014 by John Carmack. Carmack first wrote about the idea in early 2013, before even the Oculus DK1 had shipped.

    Standard Timewarp in itself did not actually help with framerate, nor was it intended to. It was made to lower the perceived latency of VR. VR before the Oculus DK1 had much higher latency than today- mostly due to software rather than hardware. Timewarp is one of the multiple software techniques Oculus used to get latency low enough to not be noticeable.

    Timewarp reprojects an already rendered frame just before sending it to the headset to account for the change in head rotation.

    That is, it warps the image geometrically in the direction you rotated your head between the time the frame started and finished rendering. Since this takes a fraction of the time that re-rendering would and the frame is sent to the headset immediately after, the perceived latency is lower since the result is closer to what you should be seeing.

    The concept of Timewarp is used today by all major VR platforms. So contrary to common belief, even when you’re hitting full framerate you’re still seeing reprojected frames.

    Asynchronous Timewarp (ATW)

    Asynchronous Timewarp takes the same concept of geometric warping and uses it to compensate for dropped frames. If the current frame doesn’t finish rendering in time, ATW reprojects the previous frame with the latest tracking data instead.

    It is called “asynchronous” because it occurs in parallel to rendering rather than after it. The synthetic frame is ready before it’s known whether or not the real frame will finish rendering on time.

    Diagram from

    ATW was first shipped on Gear VR Innovator Edition back in late 2014. It was not available on PC however until the Rift consumer launch in March 2016. The feature’s reliance on hardware features addded in recent GPUs was one of the reasons the Rift doesn’t support GeForce 7-series cards or AMD cards predating the R9 series.

    In October 2016, Valve added a similar feature to SteamVR, which they call Asynchronous Reprojection. The feature originally only supported NVIDIA GPUs, but in April 2017 support for AMD GPUs was added.

    Interleaved Reprojection

    Before the addition of Asynchronous Reprojection to SteamVR, Valve’s platform had Interleaved Reprojection (IR). Rather than being an always-on system like ATW, IR was automatically toggled on and off by the compositor.

    When an app was consistently dropping multiple frames over a few seconds, IR forced the application to run at half framerate (45FPS) and then synthetically generated every second frame- hence “interleaved”. Interleaved Reprojection actually had some perceptual advantages over asynchronous reprojection as it makes any double image artifacts appear spatially consistently.

    With the release of SteamVR Motion Smoothing in 2018, Interleaved Reprojection became obsolete.

    ASW / Motion Smoothing

    Timewarp (at current)

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