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  • Standalone vs PC VR Power Compared: How Big Is the Difference?
    Standalone vs PC VR Power Compared: How Big Is the Difference?

    In 2018 the first major standalone VR headsets launched; Oculus Go, HTC Vive Focus, and Lenovo Mirage Solo. Due to their limited input devices they are mainly used for media consumption. But this year, standalone headsets focused on gaming, like Oculus Quest, will release.

    These headsets open up VR to a much larger market than before, but have considerably less computing power than a PC or PS4, which have been the home of gaming VR so far.

    But just how big is this computing power difference? How much do developers have to work with?

    CPU

    The CPU (central processing unit) is the general purpose computing component. It is responsible for a wide variety of tasks, but in games it is mainly taxed by physics and AI calculations.

    To compare CPUs across platforms we are using the GeekBench 4 benchmark. GeekBench is specifically designed to derive computing power across different platforms without favoring any due to software or architecture differences.

    Note that the figure for the Snapdragon 835 is taken from devices where it does not have active cooling. Oculus Quest and HTC Vive Focus have active cooling fans, so the chip can be clocked higher and sustain that speed for longer.

    As can be seen, the Snapdragon 835 in the 6DoF standalone headsets actually comes close to PC’s minimum spec, falling behind in singlethreaded performance but actually pushing ahead in multithread.

    Developers will still have to put a lot of work into optimization here, but the difference is small enough that any CPU dependent concept on PC should be able to be brought to standalone.

    GPU

    The GPU (graphics processing unit) is the component responsible for rendering the actual visuals. The GPU is the main component of a video/graphics card, and thus the terms are often used interchangeably.

    GPUs are more difficult to compare across platforms, as there is no GeekBench equivalent which properly takes into account platform differences. For a rough estimate though, we can compare the floating point operations per second (FLOPS) specification.

    Like with the CPU, the figure for the Adreno 540 is taken from passively cooled devices. In Oculus Quest and HTC Vive Focus performance can be higher.

    As you can see, the GPU differences between standalone and PC are far greater than the CPU- less than 25% of even the Rift’s minimum spec GPU. This is where developers will have the most trouble- mobile GPUs simply do not compare to the multi-hundred-watt beasts from NVIDIA and AMD in our PCs.

    Many PC VR games will have to have the 3D assets completely redone to be brought to standalone, with simplified graphics that favor a cartoon style over realism. This is a significant amount of work, so not all developers will do so.

    One factor that makes this slightly easier, however, is the lower refresh rate. Whereas PC VR runs at 90Hz, requiring 90FPS, Oculus Go and Quest operate at 72Hz, and the Vive Focus and Mirage Solo at 75Hz. This is a 20% reduction in required pixels per second. When taking this into account, the differences between PC and standalone

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  • CES 2019: HTC Vive Teases ‘New Gear’ For Reveal Next Week
    CES 2019: HTC Vive Teases ‘New Gear’ For Reveal Next Week

    It was around this time last year that HTC Vive teased the reveal of its Vive Pro headset at CES 2018. It looks like the company is now hinting at yet another reveal for CES 2019.

    HTC Vive just tweeted the below image of its CES 2019 gear all boxed up and ready to move to the big show in Vegas. The accompanying message teases ‘some new gear we can’t wait to unbox for you’. Perhaps more importantly, though, the picture features on box with a logo that’s been blurred out. The other two boxes both have clear logos. Why the secrecy?

    The truck is loaded and we’re excited be on our way to #CES2019. The cases are packed with some new gear we can’t wait to unbox for you. Keep tuned to @htcvive social media during CES for announcements, news and daily coverage. #HTCVIVE #VIVEPORT pic.twitter.com/lkwKE7plPw

    — HTC VIVE (@htcvive) January 3, 2019

    It certainly looks like HTC is set to reveal some new hardware at CES, then. The real question is: what? The developer’s standalone VR headset, Vive Focus, is now available and Vive Pro is less than a year old so we weren’t sure we’d see anything new from HTC this year. But, back in November, the company did file a trademark for something called Vive Cosmos. It seems like that this could be the name for whatever’s in that box.

    There’s been plenty of speculation about Cosmos. Is it a new PC VR headset that utilizes Focus’ inside-out tracking? Or is it an upgraded SteamVR headset ready and waiting for Valve’s Knuckles controllers? Or is it another peripheral similar to 2017’s Vive Tracker?

    We’ll have to wait until next week to find out. CES kicks off on January 8th. We’ll be at the show to bring you all the latest from the world of VR.

    Tagged with: CES, htc vive, HTC Vive Cosmos

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  • Star Wars: Vader Immortal Teases Cheating Death In New Years Message
    Star Wars: Vader Immortal Episode 1

    Star Wars: Vader Immortal is coming to Oculus Quest this year, though we still don’t really know what it is. We got a brief teaser trailer at Oculus Connect 5 in 2018, but it didn’t tell us much. The latest teaser trailer is similarly cryptic.

    A New Years tweet from developer ILMxLAB’s account includes the below video. It simply utters the works “New year, new opportunity to cheat death” before flashing the logo once again then saying “Prepare for his arrival”. To us, that suggests that someone cheating their own death may play a part in Vader Immortal’s story. From the first trailer, we know that Darth Vader has captured and brought the player’s character to his super secret evil lava base. Could he have perhaps done this to someone he once thought dead? Could we be a Star Wars character we all thought had perished? Perhaps a Jedi thought to be killed in Order 66?

    Or perhaps that message refers to Vader himself? We know Vader Immortal is set between Episodes III and IV of the movies. Maybe it’s closer to when Anakin Skywalker was left for dead and was reborn as Vader. Okay, we’re getting too far into fan theory territory here but it’s exciting to play the guessing game.

    Happy New Year!#VaderImmortal pic.twitter.com/D8AmVwi0hG

    — ILMxLAB (@ILMxLAB) January 1, 2019

    It’s a lot to pick apart but we’ll need to remain patient for answers. Star Wars: Vader Immortal Episode 1 (which will hopefully be a lot better than that other Episode 1) is coming first to Quest, which is expected to launch a few months from now. ILMxLAB is keen to stress that it isn’t a ‘game’ as such, but it will have interactive elements. Judging by the debut trailer, one of those elements could be VR lightsaber combat. That alone has us sold.

    Tagged with: Darth Vader, Oculus Quest, Star Wars: Vader Immortal, Star Wars: Vader Immortal Episode 1

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  • Derail Valley Is A Realistic VR Train Simulator Arriving Very Soon
    derail valley vr train simulator

    We’ve been following VR train simulator Derail Valley for some time now. We first played it in early 2017, when we were impressed with the game’s peaceful visuals and realistic controls. Two years on, it’s finally pulling into the Early Access station.

    Derail Valley will launch in pre-release on January 18th with support for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Windows VR headsets. Developer Altfuture confirmed as much in a blog post last month. In the game, you travel between stations delivering cargo drops in different types of trains. You’ll need to learn how to operate your chosen locomotive, correctly attach cargo in the right order and then ride through the country without crashing. As you play you’ll earn money to buy new trains and service your existing ones.

    The game packs 256 km² of open world to explore. Trains include traditional steam locomotives, which you’ll need to fuel with coal, and electric shunters. As you progress through the world you’ll move into different job areas that change your locations. Picking up cargo from a forested area, for example, will mean a delivery at the sawmill. Stopping off at the oil well? Then off to the harbor with you. Oh, and as the trailer above shows, it sure is a looker.

    Over the course of Early Access Altfuture will be looking to add more types of trains, passengers and even NPC trains. Further down the line the team hopes to add co-op play, mod support and more. You can follow along with a development roadmap here. The developer hasn’t yet said when it plans to leave Early Access. We haven’t seen too many a train simulator in VR yet, so we’re looking forward to this one.

    Tagged with: derail valley, htc vive, oculus rift, train simulator, windows VR

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  • The Mage’s Tale is ‘Coming Soon’ to PlayStation VR There's no firm released date just yet.
  • Oculus Rift Pulls Ahead Again In December Steam Hardware Survey
    HTC Vive Oculus Rift Windows Mixed Reality Controllers

    I was half expecting to write that the combined power of the Vive and Vive Pro had allowed HTC to regain the top spot it once held for so long in December’s Steam Hardware Survey. Turns out the opposite is true; the Oculus Rift gained ground this month.

    In November 2018’s results, there was less than 1% difference between Rift and the total of both Vive and Vive Pro. HTC looked like it had Oculus on the ropes. But, instead of continuing that trend, December saw the gap grow to 2.28%. Rift ended the month with 46.45% of the total VR user share on Steam (up from 45.88%). Vive, meanwhile, shrank to 40.82% (down from 42.76%). Finally, Pro came in at 2.81% (up from 2.5%).

    No doubt Christmas sales helped Rift and Vive Pro grow in December. HTC focused on Pro for its Black Friday promotion and Oculus cut $50 off of the Rift. A lot of the headsets bought in November were probably unwrapped in December.

    But don’t discredit the growth of other headsets contributing to Vive’s smaller number. Microsoft’s Windows VR headsets saw a significant leap of their own in December. The range of partner-made devices grew from 7.77% to 8.89%. Again, a wide range of sales, some of which offered the headsets for around $199, probably helped. Samsung also launched its Odyssey+ headset towards the end of the year which caused a stir.

    There was also the slightest bit of growth from Huawei’s VR kit, going from 0% to 0.02%. You’ll get there, little guy!

    As always, we’ll mention that these figures aren’t a definitive means of measuring the VR market. This is an optional survey and you need to have your hardware plugged in (and using Steam) for it to register. Neither HTC nor Facebook has revealed sales figures for their headsets.

    Still, a new year is upon us and we’re excited to see how the scales shift in 2019. More than anything, though, we’re eager to see what new headsets might join the chart.

    Tagged with: htc vive, oculus rift, steam, VR headsets, windows mixed reality, windows VR

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  • St. Joseph’s Healthcare Trains Staff Using VR Seclusion Rooms

    Building empathy with patients living in social isolation. A new forensic psychiatric program being conducted at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Charlton Campus in Hamilton, Ontario is exposing healthcare employees to the realities of isolated living in the hopes of building a more supportive relationship with patients confined to seclusion rooms. Lead by Dr. Gary Chaimowitz,

    The post St. Joseph’s Healthcare Trains Staff Using VR Seclusion Rooms appeared first on VRScout.

  • SteamDB: 4,030 Concurrent Players In Beat Saber To Start 2019
    SteamDB: 4,030 Concurrent Players In Beat Saber To Start 2019

    Beat Saber achieved a notable milestone on January 1, 2019, according to Steam analytics site SteamDB, which tracks data as reported by Valve’s Steam PC games store.

    To ring in the new year, more than 4,000 players at the same time booted up Beat Saber on their PCs, according to the data collected by SteamDB. The player count outstrips the concurrent player count in other popular titles like Skyrim, which reported nearly 3,000 players with its VR debut on PC in April 2018. We first spotted the chart tweeted out by VR investor Tipatat Chennavasin.

    The data of course doesn’t include Beat Saber players booting up the game on some 3 million PlayStation VR headsets, nor does it include those who bought the game from Facebook’s Oculus. So it’s not really possible to take this as a snapshot of the overall performance of Beat Saber across all platforms. It is disappointing similar data isn’t available via the Oculus Store for a fuller picture of the overall PC games market.

    Beat Saber launched on PC first in 2018 and modding the game to accept songs with custom beat mapping remains a big draw even as developers work on a multiplayer version alongside other additions.

    We are expecting Oculus Quest first in 2019 and big news next week at CES, but the upgrade paths for PC VR headset owners is still unclear. HTC, Valve, Facebook, Microsoft, Samsung and other companies might all have PC VR hardware upgrades in store and those could have a major impact on PC VR adoption — and concurrent players in VR — in 2019.

    Tagged with: Beat Games, Beat Saber, steam, SteamDB

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  • Electronauts Livestream: Funky Tunes And Daft Punk Vibes
    Electronauts Livestream: Funky Tunes And Daft Punk Vibes

    For today's livestream we're spinning up sick beats in Electronauts, otherwise affectionately known as the Daft Punk simulator.

    The post Electronauts Livestream: Funky Tunes And Daft Punk Vibes appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Unofficial Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Project Brings The Classic Trading Card Game To VR

    All you need is the heart of the cards… and a PC-based VR headset. Everyone’s favorite late-’90s card-dueling anime has finally made its way to VR headsets in, albeit not 100% legally. A fan project developed for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality Headsets, Duel Monsters VR is a lovingly-crafted VR rendition

    The post Unofficial Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Project Brings The Classic Trading Card Game To VR appeared first on VRScout.

  • VR Game Releases For January 2019
    VR Game Releases For January 2019

    After a huge slate of new VR game releases the last few months, January is shaping up to be a bit slower as we get ready for CES.

    The post VR Game Releases For January 2019 appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Thousands Of Elite: Dangerous Players Are Embarking On An Epic Eight-Month Voyage
    Thousands Of Elite: Dangerous Players Are Embarking On An Epic Eight-Month Voyage

    Later this month over 4,600 Elite: Dangerous players are embarking on an epic eight-month long voyage to the edge of the galaxy.

    The post Thousands Of Elite: Dangerous Players Are Embarking On An Epic Eight-Month Voyage appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Share Of VR Headsets On Steam Doubled In 2018
    Share Of VR Headsets On Steam Doubled In 2018

    If you read mainstream news coverage of PC VR, you might get the impression that the ecosystem is “dying”- or even “dead”, but that’s not what the data tells us at all.

    PC VR headset companies do not currently release sales figures but there is still some data to work with. Valve’s Steam store, the most popular store on PC, conducts a monthly ‘Hardware Survey’.

    This survey is offered to a random sample of Steam users each month, who must accept to opt in. It scans the components of the user’s PC, as well as any connected peripherals. Helpfully, this includes connected PC VR headsets.

    To be clear, these are not absolute figures, they’re a percentage of the users surveyed in that month with a headset connected.

    At UploadVR we keep a log of the VR headset data on the survey for each month. Here is how the data changed throughout 2018:

    (‘Other’ includes Oculus Rift DK2 and HTC Vive Pro)

    The data here is clear — PC VR has almost doubled on Steam in 2018 with 0.8% of Steam users now having a VR headset — roughly as many as run Linux.

    All three major PC VR platforms have contributed to this growth. The Oculus Rift grew by 85%, the HTC Vive grew by 65%, and Windows MR headsets started the year with too few headsets to even register, but is now at 0.07.

    The HTC Vive’s growth is likely due to the $100 price cut to $499 back in March. Windows MR’s growth is also probably due to price. Microsoft and other retailers across the US discounted these headsets aggressively this year, with prices reaching as low as $149 at times.

    The Oculus Rift’s growth is more difficult to explain. The headset had seasonal sales to $349, but the regular price stayed at $399 since 2017. Instead, the growth may be down to high budget exclusives such as Marvel Powers VR and Echo Combat. Another possibility is that Facebook ramped up marketing as they did with Go.

    PC VR In 2019

    If the TechCrunch report of a cheaper ‘Rift S’ with higher resolution & inside-out tracking and leaks of a 135° Valve headset with ‘Knuckles’ controllers are true, we expect PC VR to grow even faster in 2019.

    Improvements in quality and reductions in price could convince many PC gamers on the fence to pull the trigger, and the constant increase in quality and quantity of apps & games should make their purchase more than worth it. Keep reading this year as we’ll bring you all the major news in the PC VR sphere.

    Tagged with: 2018, htc vive, oculus rift, pc vr, steam, Windows MR

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  • Project CARS Creator Joins Twitter and Proclaims ‘The Mad Box is Coming’ With VR Support We have no idea what this means either.
  • 52 VR Games We Can’t Wait To Play In 2019
    vr games 2019 oculus rift htc vive PSVR

    2018 is over and it’s clear to see that it’s been a great year for VR gaming. We’ve had highlights like Creed, Firewall, Astro Bot, Skyrim (on PC) and many more. But, as much fun as we’ve had inside headsets this year, 2019 is looking even better.

    Every year at Upload we compile a list of all the games we’re looking forward to in the year ahead. While this year’s list isn’t bigger than the 2018 iteration, there’s definitely more genuinely promising games on the way as opposed to a swathe of wave shooters and the like. VR developers seem to be getting a real grasp on the language of the platform now, and that’s a very exciting thing indeed.

    So, without further ado, here’s what VR games 2019 is going to throw at us.

    A Fisherman’s Tale (Jan 22nd) – Rift, Vive, Windows, PSVR (Read Our Hands-On)

    Firebird developer Innerspace tries its hand at VR gaming with its latest project and the early signs are hugely promising. This is a narrative-driven puzzle game with some amazing ideas behind it, including a strange sort of Russian Doll mechanic that will have you teaming up with yourself in order to fix the world around you. It’s early days but we’re betting this could be one of 2019’s most memorable VR games.

    Ace Combat 7 (Jan 18th) – PSVR (Read Our Hands-On)

    Ace Combat 7 may have barrel rolled out of 2018 but its January 18th 2019 release date is right around the corner and we remain very excited about it. The PSVR exclusive mode on offer here will no doubt be short and leave us wanting more but, from what we’ve seen, it’s still set to be a blockbuster PSVR experience with production values that’ll be tough to top.

    Alice’s Lullaby: Albino Lullaby Episode 2 (TBD) – Rift, Vive, PSVR

    2018 was a quiet one for this Albino Lullaby follow-up, but we’re hoping to have news on the second installment at some point in 2019. This is a horror series that doesn’t rely on jump scares but instead psychological tricks that will keep you on your feet. We have high hopes for the second episode.

    Bebylon Battle Royale (TBD) – Rift, Vive, PSVR

    Yes, it’s still coming. Senza Peso developer Kite & Lightning has been working on its first full VR game for some time now, but we’re hoping 2019 is the year we get to play it for ourselves. Set in a strange world in which humans have stopped aging, never-aging ‘Bebys’ battle it out for supremacy. The team’s recent work with facial capture on the iPhone X has been especially interesting to watch.

    Blood And Truth (TBD) – PSVR (Read Our Hands-On)

    Blood and Truth didn’t quite make 2018 but, given the year the headset had, it’s no big loss. Sony London builds on what it learned with its popular London Heist demo here. Blood and Truth promises a full, highly-polished first-person shooter campaign on PSVR, with realistic shootouts thanks to PlayStation Move. Step into the shoes of a former SAS soldier and

    The post 52 VR Games We Can’t Wait To Play In 2019 appeared first on UploadVR.