• PSVR’s Eden Tomorrow Feels Like The Robinson Sequel We’ll Never Get
    eden tomorrow psvr adventure

    It’s a little surreal to be stepping back into the world of Eden Tomorrow. I first tried this new VR adventure game back at Gamescom 2015. Its depiction of an alien planet enraptured me. It focused on discovery just as much as it did danger. But it’s been four years since then. You might think the magic had faded by now.

    Today’s new demo suggests it hasn’t.

    Eden Tomorrow is shaping up to be the closest thing we’ll get to a Robinson: The Journey sequel. But, with any luck, it’ll be even more than that. This seems to be a game that isn’t afraid to, well, make you afraid. The 20-minute gameplay slice available now on PSVR is book ended by two close encounters with an alien dragon, and there’s a springy jump scare towards the end that won’t please those with a fear of needles. But its willingness to alarm contributes to its intrepid spirit.

    This feels like Robinson but perhaps without the training wheels, a game that really wants to make you feel on edge. Within minutes of starting, I’m frozen on the spot by the steely glare of a monster that fancies me for its lunch, helplessly (and embarrassingly) shrieking a little when it takes a snap. Later on I’ve got my back against the wall as I traverse a bottomless canyon, and I’m throwing my head from side-to-side as I balance over beams. These were dangers we didn’t see until the last hour of Crytek’s VR adventure all introduced in the game’s opening.

    It’s darker, too. There’s a lot more death in Eden Tomorrow, which suggests the story might tread more interesting ground. Hopefully it transcends the obvious movie influences and finds something genuinely new.

    The Robinson comparisons don’t end with the setting and genre, though. You’ll sometimes control a floating AI companion named Newton, who bears a striking resemblance to HIGs. That’s not to say he’s a carbon copy; he’s got his own level of charm in how his three-pronged claws flutter and float, erratically jumping in and out of storage panels like an awkward Briton that doesn’t know what to do with his hands. No points for guessing which way his accent leans, then.

    Visually the game probably won’t ever match Crytek’s lush jungles and boggy swamps. But that’s not to say Eden Tomorrow doesn’t show promise. Environments are impressively detailed and sharp and character and creature animations are convincing. The color palette is somewhat monochrome in the demo but hopefully that’ll change. I’m looking forward to seeing what developer Soulpix does when it really flexes its muscles.

    The question right now is if the developer can deliver on the promising start. As VR has matured these older, gamepad-driven adventure games have begun to feel dated. And there are traces of that here, including awkward transitions to simple actions. Sliding on a slope, for example, has the screen and music fade out before you slip down, and then does so again. It’s just a little disconnected and jarring.

    Quite of bit of hope

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  • CES 2019: Interview With Pimax On 8K Headset, Controllers, Shipping Issues, More
    ces 2019 pimax interview

    At CES 2019 last week we had the chance to interview Pimax Head of US Operations Kevin Henderson. We asked him about a range of topics from their headset, controllers, shipping issues, and future plans.

    Here’s what Kevin told us:

    What have you learned from the development process?

    There’s always ups and downs in production, especially when it’s a new & unique product. The Pimax is a new & unique product in a lot of ways.

    We’ve had all sorts of firmware and software revisions to get it fully compatible with the existing literally thousands of applications out there.

    You’re expecting to be able to fulfill Kickstarter orders within the next few months, is that right?

    We’re running way ahead of that. We’ve been setting records almost every day on production. We actually have some days where we break 200 units in a day.

    So we’re talking having all of the units shipped by mid next month for everyone.

    How quickly can I get a Pimax? Today if I haven’t ordered one, what’s the soonest you think it could arrive?

    If you ordered one today, you’d probably expect to get it in late February or early March.

    In April and moving forwards you’re going to see where we have fast shipments where you order it and then you get it, and you don’t have to wait.

    When can consumers get the Pimax controllers in their hands?

    The first 100 are going out at the end of April. What we’ve done is we’ve scheduled a lull after those first 100 go out, and if we get the green light at that time we’ll ramp up production. If there are changes that need to be made, we’ll make the changes.

    But if someone was banking on wide production release, this summer would be a good bet.

    If someone has a HTC Vive could they just buy the controllers and have it work with their headset?

    We’re talking about that. Having full driver support is a HTC and Valve thing. But that said, Valve is helping us and they are supporting us. We’ll have to what level of support they implement- I don’t know. But we’re hoping we can get 100% feature level support.

    Of course if they don’t, we will implement that ourself if we can.

    Do these controllers use SteamVR tracking, and are they compatible with SteamVR?

    They do. And I will say our prototypes do work with most games right now. When we’re doing our various testing they do show compatibility with most things. Getting that to be a very wide variety is key, and we don’t want to release anything where people wonder why it doesn’t work with popular titles.

    We’ve got literally thousands of titles to go through to make sure we have good support, and that’s one of the things we’re doing.

    What is the cause of the lens peripheral distortion issue and how are you trying to solve it?

    There are issues inherent to angled displays. It’s a very difficult problem to totally overcome. The reason is that eye geometry for different people is different, so different

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  • CES 2019: A Recap of the Latest VR & AR Tech There was a lot to take in, so here's a quick recap of what we saw.
  • Intruders Looks Like A Gritty Home Alone For PSVR
    Intruders stealth PSVR

    We’ve already written about one promising new PSVR game coming from PlayStation Talents today. Now it’s time for another, and Intruders: Hide and Seek looks like a treat.

    In this first-person stealth game you play as a young boy. One night three people break into your house and take your parents captive. You need to survive the night by sneaking around the house and avoiding detection. A cinematic trailer for the game debuted today but there’s also an older gameplay trailer we’ve found below.

    There’s no combat, meaning you’ll have to rely entirely on stealth. You’ll weave between the rooms of the house, checking for lumbering kidnappers. At one point in the gameplay you even find your family bruised, beaten and gagged in one room. Cheery!

    It looks like a gritty take on Home Alone, which isn’t something we knew we wanted for VR. We’re also reminded of Krillbite’s Among the Sleep, a horror game that casts you as an infant.

    PlayStation Talents is a Spanish initiative helping out young student developers. Intruders won Best Game for the Press Award, and the Best Game of the Year Award all the way back in 2016 and have continued development since. As we wrote earlier today, PlayStation Talents is also bringing Anyone’s Diary and Echoes VR to PSVR.

    As for release, the game’s set to launch on February 13th. Developer Tessera Studios says it will have around four hours of gameplay on offer and it looks like PSVR support is optional. It’s being published by Daedelic Entertainment.

    Tagged with: Intruders: Hide and Seek, PSVR, stealth

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  • Last Labyrinth Lead Animator to Hold Session During GDC Animation Bootcamp Last Labyrinth is expected to launch worldwide in Spring 2019.
  • CES 2019: I Streamed PC VR Games To An Oculus Go With TPCast Air
    TPCast Air Oculus Quest go VR Streaming

    At CES 2019 I streamed a PC VR experience to an Oculus Go using TPCast Air and it totally worked surprisingly well! Consider me impressed.

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  • PSVR Demo Disc 3 Incoming With Astro Bot, Superhot, More – Report
    PSVR Demo Disc 3 Incoming With Astro Bot, Superhot, More – Report

    It looks like PSVR demo disc 3 is on the way.

    That is according to Ostrog, which claims to have spotted an ESRB listing for ‘PSVR Demo Compilation 3’. We couldn’t find the listing ourselves but the site apparently took a screenshot that you can see below. There were rumors of a new demo disc late last year but, when we asked Sony about it, the company told us it didn’t comment on rumor and speculation.

    Image courtesy of Ostrog.

    If it’s true then it looks like this demo disc has some goodies on it. From what we can see on the description it includes some of the headset’s best games such as Astro Bot Rescue Mission, Superhot VR, Resident Evil 7 and Headmaster. Expect a small playable slice of each. It’ll be interesting to see if there are any new experiences included in the bundle.

    The first PSVR demo disc came with the headset itself and included free looks at launch-era titles like RIGS and Driveclub. Sony refreshed its offering with a second disc in late 2017. That included early playable demos of Moss and Star Child (which still isn’t out). This new disc might not be as forward-looking, but PSVR now has a strong back catalog worth digging into. We wouldn’t be surprised to see other games like Firewall Zero Hour and Tetris Effect included in the pack.

    No word on when PSVR demo disc 3 might be introduced (if it’s real). Hopefully we’ll get a downloadable version on the PS Store if so.

    Tagged with: Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, demo disc, Headmaster, PSVR, Resident Evil 7, SUPERHOT VR

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  • Put Your Own Face into AR With the AURA Avatar Creator app Scan your own face in 3D on a Sony Xperia device.
  • Anyone’s Diary Is A New PSVR Platformer Tackling Mental Health
    Anyone’s Diary Is A New PSVR Platformer Tackling Mental Health

    There’s a new PSVR platformer on the way, but Anyone’s Diary looks very different to Astro Bot and Moss.

    Set to release later this month, Anyone’s Diary is developed by Spanish studio World Domination Project. It was born out of PlayStation’s game development camp, much like upcoming PSVR stealth game, Echoes. Check it out in the trailer below.

    In the game, you control an avatar that represents, as the name suggests, anyone. You work your way through the day, dealing with supernatural issues that take the place of fears and anxieties we all experience. Judging by the trailer, that includes encounters with your boss and more. It escalates into a battle with your demons, that take on a very literal form in the world around you.

    You play with the PlayStation Move controllers and solve puzzles like rearranging obstacles in order to progress. We’re particular fans of the game’s sketchy art style. It was nominated for Best Art, Best Game for the Press and Best Use of Platforms at the 2017 PlayStation Talent awards.

    This looks like it could be an interesting psychological game. VR has tried to tackle difficult issues such as these in the past with games like Anamorphine, though it’s yet to really get it right. Anyone’s Diary, with its template art style and unique puzzles, looks like it could have something to say.

    Look for the game to launch on the Spanish PlayStation Store on 31st January. World Domination Project has set the price at €12.99. We don’t know if it’ll be coming to other regions too at this point but we’ll keep an eye out.

    Tagged with: Anyone's Diary, mental health, platformer, PSVR

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  • Puzzle Platformer Anyone’s Diary Will be Exclusive to European PlayStation VR Owners It'll arrive at the end of the month.
  • NextVR Held Significant Layoffs Today
    NextVR Held Significant Layoffs Today

    Live streaming VR company NextVR held significant layoffs on January 14, 2019.

    I spoke by phone with co-founder and CEO David Cole, who said “we were built big” for a VR market projected to be larger than what materialized in 2017 and 2018. Cole said the Newport Beach-based company did not file for a WARN notice on the workforce reduction, suggesting the size of the layoff did not meet the threshold for disclosure according to California law.

    Valuable NextVR Employees Laid Off

    Cole declined to say how many were let go. While “a number of valuable employees” were impacted, the “majority of the company is not affected,” he said.

    NextVR produces some of the highest resolution and visually detailed live captures we’ve seen of real world events. They’ve raised $115 million to date with a multi-year partnership with the NBA to live-stream games on a weekly basis to VR headsets. Cole said their live production schedule remains unaffected through the layoffs, with a broadcast tomorrow planned of the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks.

    “This is a really necessary measure to stay in a position to take advantage of the market at the size where it is now,” Cole said.

    A courtside seat with NextVR

    NextVR was originally founded in 2009 as Next3D, a 3D compression company. The company was early in transitioning to VR, though, as a wave of companies raised huge amounts of money in the wake of Facebook’s $3 billion acquisition of Oculus in 2014.

    The layoffs come after a series of companies like Jaunt, ODG and Meta suffered through 2018 from inflated expectations meeting the reality of the early market for VR and AR headsets. While other struggling companies have planned patent sales, pivoted to other businesses or suspended hardware sales, according to Cole, NextVR is continuing its course at its reduced size.

    “The all in one did what we thought it would do,” Cole said. “Audience size is building very helpfully right now on the back of a number of things.”

    Tagged with: nextVR

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  • Oculus To Demo High Budget Rift Exclusives ‘Stormland’ & ‘Defector’ At PAX South
    Oculus To Demo High Budget Rift Exclusives ‘Stormland’ & ‘Defector’ At PAX South

    Facebook announced that it will host demos of its upcoming high budget Oculus Rift exclusives Stormland and Defector at PAX South 2019.

    PAX is a collection of gaming festivals held each year since 2004. PAX South is held in San Antonio, Texas. This year it will take place on January 18th-20th. Oculus has had a presence at at least one PAX event per year since 2013.

    Both titles are funded by Oculus Studios- Facebook’s VR content division.


    Stormland is an open world co-op adventure from Insomniac Games.

    The game features a vast open world that is part procedural and part hand crafted. It also features mechanics like crafting and climbing. The graphics look incredible- this may be the best looking made for VR open world title yet.

    When we tried it at PAX West last year we were blown away, concluding that it could be something truly special.

    Insomniac’s previous VR titles were 3rd person Lovecraftian adventure Edge of Nowhere . Outside VR they developed hit titles like Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank, and the Resistance series. More recently they developed Marvel’s Spider-Man.


    Defector is an action packed spy game from Twisted Pixel Games that turns you into Jason Bourne (or James Bond, if you prefer). Originally slated for 2018, the game was delayed to some time this year.

    We’ve tried this game a few times now- most recently at Oculus Connect 5. Each time we tried it we had a blast. This game probably won’t make you think, but its endless over the top action sequences are downright fun.

    Twisted Pixel previously developed Wilson’s Heart , an incredible VR black & white mystery thriller reminiscent of The Twilight Zone.

    What Of Oculus Quest?

    Neither game is slated to release on the upcoming Oculus Quest standalone headset. At Oculus Connect 5, Twisted Pixel were listed as working on a Quest title or port however, so it’s possible Defector will see a port. Insomniac was not listed.

    It seems unlikely that either game will come to the Quest however as we got the impression that each pushes the boundaries of even PC VR. Standalone systems are significantly less powerful than a PC.

    Tagged with: Defector, oculus rift, PAX, pax south, Stormland

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  • Strengthening Your Muscle Memory With VR Hockey Training

    Sense Arena’s portable VR Hockey Training kit was a big hit at CES 2019. A couple of months ago I was fortunate enough to the VR Sports and Entertainment Summit in San Francisco, where I had the opportunity to try out the virtual Hockey training kit from Sense Arena. Having experienced the inuitive VR training

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  • Check Out More Footage of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown’s PlayStation VR Mode There are only a few more days to go until launch.
  • CES 2019: Antilatency Turns Oculus Go Into 6DOF Multiuser VR
    CES 2019: Antilatency Turns Oculus Go Into 6DOF Multiuser VR

    I’ve tried Antilatency a number of times and the startup’s CES 2019 demo was the best yet.

    The demo was like a smaller scale version of the impressive multi-user Oculus Quest “arena” setup we enjoyed so much at Oculus Connect 5. At CES, Antilatency employed Oculus Go and a small add-on to track the headset as well as gloves, a tablet and a controller. Antilatency’s tracking system uses infrared lights in the floor with the headset add-on featuring a super wide angle module to see the lights.

    For comparison, a much larger tracked space is below in the video of the Quest arena from OC5. Lines on most surfaces in the arena made the environment more visible to Quest’s sensors.

    Antilatency Alt Tracker

    Antilatency is selling a kit for around $250 to track a headset up to around 5×5 meters. The integration of foam flooring with the lights is custom. Antilatency might be a lower-cost alternative to Optitrack, Vicon or SteamVR Tracking for location-based VR installations. Antilatency representatives said they are working with around 10 pilot projects. One project tracks five people with two hands each over hundreds of square meters, according to the company.

    Antilatency “tag” to bring objects into a virtual world.

    This solution could be particularly well-suited to an installation like Alien: Descent by Pure Imagination and Fox. In that experince, Gear VRs and quality floor haptics provide the sense Aliens are attacking you and a friend. The creators used OptiTrack sensors with Gear VR. The visual fidelity and easy setup of an Oculus Go combined with Antilatency tracking might make for a compelling alternative.

    Antilatency claims its hardware adds only 2 milliseconds of latency while taking 2,000 position measurements per second. I tried it at CES with two players and a single hand controller per player, along with a tablet tracked as well. Everything seemed extremely accurate and, yes, low latency. I can’t say how it would perform in a real world scenario though. Added latency might only be perceptible in a complex virtual world with voice chat, more players or other additions not in the CES demo.


    The interlocking foam design of the flooring shown at CES felt solid underfoot for steady walking throughout the tracked space.

    “Alt” tracker can come with different cords to connect to different kinds of headsets.

    The ultra wide field of view “Alt” sensor sees the lights built into the flooring and plugs into the USB port on Oculus Go. The interlocking foam design of the flooring shown at CES felt solid underfoot for steady walking throughout the tracked space.

    The company says the system can come with different connectors for different VR headsets. Even with the lights momentarily blocked from view, the hardware appeared to track accurately. This is important in crowded multi-user setups where players can block the view of the lights in more ways. Again, though, this was a highly controlled demo with an empty virtual world. We’ll be curious to see if any of the pilot projects using Antilatency are confident enough in the quality

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