News

  • The Entire Hardlight VR project is now Open Source If you want to make your own.
  • Hands-on: 6DoF Tracker Free Control With FinchShift A limited demo still managed to impress.
  • VR RTS Final Assault Hits Early Access Next Month, Here’s How It’s Shaping Up
    VR RTS Final Assault Hits Early Access Next Month, Here’s How It’s Shaping Up

    It’s been a while since we caught up with Final Assault. This is a new VR real-time strategy (RTS) game from veteran developers Phaser Lock Interactive. In the past, we’ve been impressed by the team’s vision of the VR RTS. It’s perhaps a more accessible take than something like Brass Tactics, but that might be key to its success.

    Today, Phaser Lock is announcing the game will launch in Early Access on February 12th 2019. It’ll arrive with cross-play between Rift and Vive across 14 different maps. A full single-player campaign is coming in March ahead of the full launch later on.

    We recently got to try out the latest build of the game’s PvP mode ahead of PAX East this weekend. Let’s talk about why we think it’s a winner.

    It Doesn’t Overwhelm You

    It’s true that VR seems like the perfect fit for the RTS genre. But in practice, it’s easy to find these games overwhelming. There’s a lot of ground to cover and, if you suddenly find yourself caught out in battle, it can be a mad scramble to catch up. Final Assault helps you manage that load in a clever way.

    Though the game’s maps allow for free movement, they also have dedicated paths that keep your units busy. Think of them as conveyor belts that move your units along without the need to check on them. If, for example, you ordered a tank onto one of these paths, it would automatically fight its way to the front lines. It’s a thoughtful way of making sure you’re utilizing all your resources at all times. You won’t look back to suddenly see four tanks sitting around doing nothing.

    It Replaces Your Mouse Quite Nicely

    For all the amazing new types of control VR provides, there’s something to be said for the mouse. A few flicks of the wrist, a couple of clicks and you’ve issued orders with pinpoint precision. VR controls take decidedly more effort. But one of Final Assault’s best touches is the ability to carve out a specific path for your units.

    Just touch the vehicle in question and pull the trigger. Then drag your finger around the map and you’ll forge a path that the given unit will follow to the letter. It’s a great way of executing advanced strategies, making sure tanks use the cover of a building to reach a good vantage point or flanking enemies from all sides.

    It’s A Visual Delight

    Diorama VR has always had a special magic to it, but that’s doubly true of Final Assault. Somehow Phaser Lock has achieved a tiny game world that looks incredibly believable. Snowy maps are peppered with white specs, hiding intricate details on sharply textured buildings. Plains hover around you like bothersome flies and tanks invite you to play with them like action figures. It really is a joy to behold. Despite levels sometimes having more than three separate battles going on at once, performance remained incredibly solid.

    Its Simplicity Is Its Sweet Spot…

    You might consider Final Assault to be a stripped back RTS.

    The post VR RTS Final Assault Hits Early Access Next Month, Here’s How It’s Shaping Up appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Pimax Interview: Discussing 8K, 5K Plus and the Year Ahead VRFocus sat down with Pimax's Kevin Henderson to learn more.
  • New Vive, Pimax Power Kits Ditch Power Adapters And Simplify Your Setup
    New Vive, Pimax Power Kits Ditch Power Adapters And Simplify Your Setup

    Earlier this month we took a look at Accell’s USB-C VR adapter for Rift and Windows. The kit allows existing headsets to take advantage of new USB-C DisplayPorts. HTC’s Vive, however, couldn’t use the kit due to its different setup. These new products from Tundra Labs don’t make Vive USB-C compatible, but they can simplify things a little bit.

    The company recently announced two new offerings, a Power Kit for the HTC Vive and Vive Pro headsets and an equivalent for the new Pimax VR devices. Both require a bit of setup but, once assembled, should make getting into VR a bit easier. The main draw here is that both kits do away with the need to plug a headset into an external power supply. They both feature a SATA 2 DC barrel connector. This connects to a power supply port inside your PC. You then fit a custom bracket with a DCI port into the back of your rig.

    With that installed you can switch out the power cables intended for wall sockets with a new one included in the kit. You’ll now be getting power directly from your PC, doing away with one of the more troublesome wires in your VR setup.

    There are a few nice extras too. A nylon cable cover allows you to thread all three wires coming from the Vive’s power box into one space and then group them closer together with cable ties. Note that we haven’t tried these products for ourselves, so we don’t know if there could be any issues with the change in power supply etc.

    Tundra’s Power Kits start shipping in February. The HTC Vive kit currently costs $15.99 and the Pimax alternative goes for $19.99.

    Tagged with: htc vive, Tundra Labs, VR cables

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    The post New Vive, Pimax Power Kits Ditch Power Adapters And Simplify Your Setup appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Facebook Gets A New VP Of AR/VR Hardware And Portal Lead
    Facebook Gets A New VP Of AR/VR Hardware And Portal Lead

    There’s a new face heading up Facebook’s AR/VR hardware division.

    Rafa Camargo has jumped from his previous role as VP of Facebook’s Portal team to VP, AR/VR Hardware. Camargo confirmed the news on Twitter. He added that he’ll be helping to launch the new Oculus Quest standalone headset. VP AR/VR at Facebook, Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth and VP VR Hugo Barra still remain in their roles and welcomed Camargo to the team.

    Excited to announce that I’ll be leading Hardware for AR/VR at @facebook…and would like to welcome Ryan Cairns, who will now lead Portal. Launching @portalfacebook with the team was an amazing experience and I look forward to launching @Oculus Quest and more

    — Rafa Camargo (@rafa_camargo) January 16, 2019

    Oculus, which Facebook acquired in 2014, already has a Director of Hardware in Caitlin Kalinowski. We’re not sure if Kalinowski retains her role with this announcement, but we’ve reached out to Oculus to ask.

    In the same tweet, Camargo also confirmed that former Google AR/VR engineering lead Ryan Cairns was taking over his previous role. Portal is working on new Facebook technologies, including AR and VR hardware. As reported by TechCrunch, Facebook’s further-out R&D division, Reality Labs, remains intact and is still headed up by Michael Abrash.

    These updates come after a transitional time for Facebook’s VR division. In November 2018 Oculus CEO and co-founder Brendan Iribe parted ways with the company. There’s also plenty of rumors about what Facebook is planning for the future of VR hardware. Late last year we heard reports that the company is planning an incremental update to the Oculus Rift headset, tentatively dubbed Oculus Rift S. We likely won’t hear any official confirmation about that project until this year’s Oculus Connect developer conference, though.

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    The post Facebook Gets A New VP Of AR/VR Hardware And Portal Lead appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Mobile AR Combat Game Reality Clash Begins Phased Global Rollout Australia, New Zealand and Denmark will be the first territories.
  • Download the Free Demo of Eden-Tomorrow for PlayStation VR Today The sci-fi action-adventure is due for release in Q1 2019.
  • Microsoft Could Reveal HoloLens 2 At Mobile World Congress
    Microsoft Could Reveal HoloLens 2 At Mobile World Congress

    Microsoft sent out invites to journalists today for a press reception at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The event could see the unveiling of HoloLens 2.

    MWC is the last week of February and the Microsoft event will be held ahead of the conference on Sunday, February 24 at 8 am Pacific (5 pm Central European Time). It’ll be hosted by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, CVP Julia White and Technical Fellow Alex Kipman. Kipman is heavily involved with Microsoft AR and VR efforts and the timing of the press conference falls in line with a report that Microsoft targeted early 2019 for its follow up to the original HoloLens.

    An exploded view of HoloLens.

    Late last year Microsoft got a big endorsement for its AR technology in the form of a huge contract to supply hardware to the United States military. When it comes to consumers, though, we’ll be curious to see what features Microsoft plans to roll into its next generation.

    The $3,000 original HoloLens is a self-contained AR headset with a somewhat limited field of view. The price, bulk of the device and restriction in how much of your view can be augmented made the original headset compelling for only a a limited set of use cases. AR games on HoloLens, for instance, can’t match the sense of immersion you could get out of an opaque VR headset with a pair of hand controllers. We’ll be curious to see how much that changes in the second generation.

    As a fully standalone headset, we’ll also be curious if Microsoft reveals any plans to support 5G for more robust connectivity in the second generation HoloLens. Of course, there’s a chance the event might not see the reveal of a new HoloLens. Either way, we’ll bring you the latest news from Mobile World Congress in February.

    Tagged with: HoloLens 2, microsoft

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    The post Microsoft Could Reveal HoloLens 2 At Mobile World Congress appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Oculus Home File Hints At Public User Created Environments Support
    Oculus Home File Hints At Public User Created Environments Support

    Reddit user Wormslayer noticed a file within an Oculus Home directory that hint the software will get support for user created environments.

    There is a new file in a new folder called ‘ExampleCustomPlaces’ inside a folder called ‘_CustomHomes’. The file is a model of a large hall with a stage. Note that the image above is just the raw model, not properly textured or lit.

    An Oculus team representative noticed the post and commented:

    Whoops! Consider it a sneak peak into some cool new stuff we’re working on. We’ll have more to say on this in a more official way soon. Stay tuned

    Support for user generated objects was added back in June. A subsequent update even added animation support. And later in the month the platform added realtime social, allowing up to 7 friends to visit your home and see those custom objects.

    But the actual base environments are, now at least, only available from Oculus, which has only released a few. SteamVR Home already supports custom environments.

    It’s important to note this isn’t confirmation of the feature coming. It could simply be an experiment with no intention of going forwards.

    The Potential

    But if it does get added, user generated environments could take Oculus Home to the next level- especially combined with the recent update adding Public Homes. With bars, museums and all sorts of interesting environments, the platform could turn into a true attempt at a metaverse- a “VRChat lite”.

    The Problem

    Of course, the social platform would be severely limited by being exclusive to the Rift. Facebook still hasn’t added official support for different PC headsets on Oculus, despite its own Spaces social app supporting the HTC Vive. The company has occasionally hinted and support coming in future, but we’re almost 3 years out from the Rift launch now and there’s no sign. Until then, Oculus Home can’t be a true VRChat competitor, or anything close.

    Tagged with: Oculus Home, oculus rift

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    The post Oculus Home File Hints At Public User Created Environments Support appeared first on UploadVR.

  • OmniPad Circular Treadmill Launches Crowdfunding Equity Campaign The company is seeking investor support.
  • Nintendo Joins VRM Consortium As ‘Observer’

    Nintendo continues to tease the VR industry. As early as 2016, former Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima had already hinted that the company was “looking into” VR. In a later interview in 2017, that interest had been somewhat upgraded to say they were “studying” the possibility of perhaps adding a HMD accessory to the Nintendo Switch

    The post Nintendo Joins VRM Consortium As ‘Observer’ appeared first on VRScout.

  • Firewall Zero Hour is Free This Weekend for PlayStation VR PS Plus Members It'll run from 18th - 20th Jan.
  • Neurosurgery Patients Take A VR Tour Of Their Own Brains

    Brain surgery can be a terrifying process; this VR tour of your brain could help ease anxiety. Catherine Kumpitsch was talking with her doctors about recent unexplained headaches, dizzy spells and other sensations she had never felt before. It was during that appointment that she began displaying symptoms associated with absence seizures, prompting her doctor

    The post Neurosurgery Patients Take A VR Tour Of Their Own Brains appeared first on VRScout.

  • Hands-On: Ralph Breaks VR Reveals Family-Friendly Formula For The VOID
    Hands-On: Ralph Breaks VR Reveals Family-Friendly Formula For The VOID

    While in Las Vegas for CES, UploadVR visited The VOID’s location in The Venetian for Ralph Breaks VR.

    There’s a range of dimensions to visit from Utah-based The VOID, including Ghostbusters and Star Wars. Four people at a time can don VR headsets and backpacks to become ghostbusters or stormtroopers at locations in some big cities like New York, London or Los Angeles. Last year The VOID partnered with Ninja Theory, which was bought by Microsoft, to create Nicodemus: Demon of Evanishment. I met that startling monster in a previous VOID trip and, if you get the chance, it’s a terrifying journey that incites fear to an incredible degree.

    In contrast, Ralph Breaks VR is easily The VOID’s friendliest dimension families can visit.

    Ralph Breaks VR For Families

    Highlights of Ralph Breaks VR include, of course, up close encounters with Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz from Ralph Breaks The Internet. There’s also a  food fight and a virtual game reminiscent of Space Invaders. The VOID employs Leap Motion hand tracking during part of the experience to help with the embodiment of colorful “Netizens.” This allows players to swat virtual bugs with bare hands and press buttons on the wall. A gun accessory used to catch ghosts and shoot stormtroopers in other VOID dimensions only fires sweets in this one.

    The VOID’s site lists tickets for Ralph at California locations in Anaheim, Santa Monica and Glendale, Las Vegas in Nevada, Orlando in Florida, West Plano in Texas, and Edmonton and Toronto in Canada. The company also lists guidelines for kids at age 10+ and 48 inches tall. Parents should know the backpack and helmet are still relatively big and heavy, but if your child meets the height guideline it is probably manageable. My child meets the height requirement and, of all four VOID dimensions I’ve tried, Ralph Breaks VR would be the first one I’d let her visit.

    For me, though, this was also the least memorable of the VOID trips I’ve taken. Maybe that’s because I haven’t seen Ralph Breaks The Internet yet? The more kid-friendly design of this dimension also left out some of the fear which made for some of the most indelible memories in other visits. At one point I inched my way over to the edge of a platform and leaned carefully over the ledge to shoot at incoming enemies coming up from far below — the “riskiest” and most memorable moment in the overall experience for me.

    Throughout 2019 we expect The VOID to roll out more experiences from partner Disney starting with an unnamed Marvel property from ILMxLab. 2019 could be a record-breaker at the box office for Disney with Captain Marvel, Avengers and Spider-Man films lined up one after another. The films will draw a global audience alongside other highly anticipated animated sequels, including Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2. We don’t know what The VOID’s next dimensions will be, but there’s a list of enormously popular properties for Disney and its subsidiaries to explore with location-based VR attractions in the coming years.

    The VOID

    The post Hands-On: Ralph Breaks VR Reveals Family-Friendly Formula For The VOID appeared first on UploadVR.