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  • The Best Oculus Rift Games Coming in 2019 These are some of VRFocus' most anticipated titles coming to Oculus' headset this year.
  • Oculus Go Controller-Free Mode Is In The Works
    Oculus Go Facebook VR

    With no need for a PC or mobile phone to jump into VR, Facebook’s Oculus Go is one of the most accessible headsets on the market right now. But there’s plans to make it even easier to use, specifically for watching VR videos.

    There’s an Oculus Go controller-free mode in the works, according to Oculus technical leader John Carmack. Asked if there were any plans to decouple Go from its controller for certain apps, he confirmed that it’s in the works, sort of. This optional feature will apparently “allow app auto-launch” on Go headsets.

    That means users will be able to jump into gaze-only VR apps without having to use a controller to select them.

    Yes, there are plans to have a setting to disable the controller centering dialog and allow app auto-launch, which could then be purely gaze based.

    — John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) January 2, 2019

    Imagine a first-time VR user trying a VR video at a museum. Eliminating the controller gives users one less thing to be overwhelmed by. You can simply look at buttons to launch content without the need to get to grips with another new piece of hardware. It’s also simply an inconvenience to be holding a controller in an app that doesn’t use them. That said, this probably won’t be a feature you’ll use on your regular Oculus Go kit at home.

    Carmack didn’t say when this feature would arrive.

    Featured image at the top of this post shows Oculus Go with its single 3DoF controller.

    Tagged with: controller-free, john carmack, Oculus Go

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  • Rhythm of the Universe Is A Breathtaking Musical Adventure For Quest, Rift And Vive
    rhythm of the universe rift vive quest music vr

    Well here’s a trailer that’s immediately caught our attention. Rotu Entertainment’s Rhythm of the Universe looks unlike anything else we’ve yet seen in VR.

    This Boston-based developer recently announced that it had secured an undisclosed amount of funding from investors in America and Europe. Now the team is sharing the first trailer for the game. It boasts stunning visuals that capture fantastical beasts and landscapes not yet seen in VR. Most importantly, though, it introduces you to the game’s arresting audio work, which seems to play a central role. Rotu says the game will use real music theory as a key mechanic.

    While the developer is yet to share more details, there is a brief gameplay video on an official website. It shows players interacting with creatures and creating music in the same environments from the trailer. Rotu says that the game will unfold over seven episodes expected to release around once every six months. Each will stand alone in the experience they offer but contribute to the story of the overall series too.

    Rotu expects to start rolling the series out this year on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Facebook’s upcoming standalone headset, Oculus Quest. That makes Rhythm of the Universe one of the first games confirmed for Quest following the headset’s reveal at Oculus Connect 5 in September 2018. In a prepared statement, studio CEO Jason Parks said he expects the device to be a “big step toward” VR mass adoption.

    Anyone interested in the game can sign up to a mailing list here.

    Tagged with: htc vive, music, Oculus Quest, oculus rift, Rhythm of the Universe, Rotu Entertiainment, VR

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  • PSVR Adventure Eden Tomorrow Getting Free Demo This Month
    Eden Tomorrow PSVR adventure puzzle game

    Remember Soulpix’s Eden Tomorrow? No? Well, you’ll be able to play it soon all the same.

    The developer’s official website confirms that a demo for the PSVR game is coming this month. There’s no final date or details of what the demo will entail, but we’re intrigued. Eden Tomorrow is a game that wowed me when I first saw it at Gamescom nearly four years ago now. Back in 2017, it was confirmed that the game would be coming to PSVR but we haven’t heard from it since. A trailer (seen below) did say it was coming in spring 2018 but obviously that didn’t happen. It looks like 2019 is finally the year we’ll get our hands on it, then.

    Soulpix describes Eden Tomorrow as an adventure puzzle game in which players crash land on a strange alien planet. The world is inhabited by giant dinosaurs, some friendly, some less so. You’ll explore the landscape, solving brain teasers and marveling at your new friends. When we played it on an Oculus Rift DK2 we fell in love with the visuals and the experience of meeting some of these beasts up close. You could control three characters, including a human, drone and I think a dog (it may have been an alien dog, it was four years ago).

    But we’ve got a lot of questions. How much of the game we played in 2015 is still intact? Why has it taken this long to come out? What controllers will we use – Move or DualShock 4? There’s a lot for us to learn, so we’ve reached out to Soulpix to find out more about the demo. We’ll let you know if we hear back.

    Tagged with: adventure, Eden Tomorrow, PSVR, puzzle, Soulpix

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  • The Mage’s Tale’s New PSVR Trailer Pops Up Online
    The Mage's Tale VR PSVR Rift Vive

    inXile Entertainment is being true to its word. Back in November 2018 we reported that the developer was still working on a PSVR port of its excellent VR RPG, The Mage’s Tale, despite being bought by Xbox maker Microsoft earlier in the month. This week, the studio shared the first trailer for that port, seen below.

    The video is comprised of a 45-second gameplay montage that popped up somewhat randomly. We could be wrong but it seems to be taken from the PSVR version of the game; the quality of textures seems to be just a touch blurrier than they were on PC. If it is the console version, though, it looks like a competent port. Most PC VR ports, including games like Arizona Sunshine and Superhot, take a hit in the visuals department in order to squeeze onto PS4.

    The Mage’s Tale has you raiding dungeons, fighting mythical monsters and brewing your own potions. We loved it on Rift and Vive and can’t wait to see PSVR players get their hands on it.

    Sadly the video doesn’t include a release date. Hopefully its arrival isn’t too far off; the first Rift version came out all the way back in 2017.

    This isn’t the only thing inXile is working on in VR right now. We also know that the studio is developing a second, bigger VR project that’s set in an open world. Just like the PSVR version of The Mage’s Tale, we know that the game wasn’t canceled in the Microsoft deal. It also looks like it could be a Wasteland VR game. Here’s hoping we find out plenty more about it as the year rolls on.

    Tagged with: Dungeon Crawler, inxile entertainment, PSVR, the mage's tale, VR

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  • ROTU Entertainment Reveals a Sneak Peak at Rhythm of the Universe, Coming 2019 The studio has also completed a new financing round.
  • Vengeful Rites Livestream: Adventuring Through A Mystical VR RPG
    Vengeful Rites Livestream: Adventuring Through A Mystical VR RPG

    Vengeful Rites is one of the most promising VR RPGs from an indie team currently in Early Access and we're checking it out live today on stream!

    The post Vengeful Rites Livestream: Adventuring Through A Mystical VR RPG appeared first on UploadVR.

  • UploadVR’s Best Of 2018 VR Award Winners
    UploadVR’s Best Of 2018 VR Award Winners

    Now that 2018 is finally in the books we've rounded up our list of winners for the best VR game on each platform and a slew of sub-categories.

    The post UploadVR’s Best Of 2018 VR Award Winners appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Pimax Shipping Analyzed: When Will Backers Get Their 8K VR Headsets?
    Pimax Headset Rear

    Pimax is a China-based company making VR headsets with significantly higher field of view than those available on the consumer market today.

    In late 2017, the company launched a Kickstarter campaign for the ‘Pimax 8K’ and ‘Pimax 5K’ headsets. Each boasted a diagonal field of view of 200 degrees (roughly 170 horizontal) and horizontal pixel counts of 8000 and 5000, respectively. The Kickstarter campaign exceeded its goal in a matter of hours and Pimax added stretch ones like a wireless add-on and eye tracking.

    Around 5700 people pledged enough to receive a Pimax headset. The campaign ended in November 2017 with backers originally given a shipping expectation of January 2018.

    A year later, when will backers receive their headset? 

    We reached out to Pimax for clarity about its status and a company representative claimed in an email, through Dec. 27, 2018, “we have already produced 3900 units and shipped 1515 units to Kickstarter backers.”

    Asked for an explanation of the large gap between shipped headsets and units produced, the Pimax representative wrote “to ensure every headset in a good quality, every product needs to pass additional QA testing eg. sanity testing to double check before shipping.”

    The claims from Pimax came after we dug deep into the previous explanations and production targets produced by the organization. Here’s a brief rundown of the last 16 months:

    September-November 2017
    Pimax conducts the Kickstarter campaign. 5946 backers pledge, of which 5663 backers pledge enough for a headset. The company states headsets will ship in January 2018 and controllers & base stations in February 2018. The company also states: “We will not move on to launch 8K outside of Kickstarter until ALL of our Kickstarter backers have received their rewards on June, 2018.“

    December 27 2017
    Pimax announces the headset is delayed to ‘Q2 2018‘. When a backer asks if this means they’ll have to wait until after an issue with the refresh rate is solved (which Pimax stated would be “in March“), Pimax responds “We can still provide the option to ship the headset earlier“. Additionally, they claim “We will update the shipping plan on Jan“.

    January 2018
    Pimax repeats “we are now looking at a delivery window of Q2” estimate from December.

    April 2018
    Pimax announce they will ship around 8 pre-production units to “testers“. When asked when the consumer version will ship, the company responds “The purpose of the M1 closed beta is to learn from testers whether the M1 is good enough to ship.”

    May 2018
    Pimax claims controllers will ship ‘Q4’.

    June 2018
    The last month of Q2, Pimax delivers pre-production headsets (10 in total) to “testers”. Four of these testers are VR YouTubers, which use the headset to produce Pimax related videos throughout 2018.

    July 2018
    Pimax fails to meet the Q2 shipping window. In a Kickstarter update, the company claims they are “assembling” ~230 revised pre-production headsets. They further claim that 700 headsets will be produced the next month, providing the following cumulative monthly production plan image:

    August 2018
    Pimax hosts “backer meetups” to let backers try the headset. The company promotes “testers” YouTube channels to backers who can’t attend.

    September

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  • AR Fashion Show In Iran Features Invisible Models

    Do virtual catwalks remove the limitations of conventional models or the humanity? December was an important month for the Iranian fashion scene as the city of Tehran played hosted to an augmented reality fashion show; complete with digital models and a virtual catwalk. Created with the support of Lotus, Iran’s first fashion & art magazine,

    The post AR Fashion Show In Iran Features Invisible Models appeared first on VRScout.

  • The Best PlayStation VR Games Coming in 2019 There are some awesome titles coming to Sony's headset this year.
  • 2018 In Review: The Year Standalones Took VR And AR Everywhere
    2018 In Review: The Year Standalones Took VR And AR Everywhere

    A number of VR developers are quietly working on projects for this year and beyond, while 2018 saw 17,000 standalone $200 Oculus Go VR headsets purchased by Walmart and deployed at stores everywhere to train employees.

    Also in 2018, the United States Army awarded Microsoft a contract worth nearly half a billion dollars to augment U.S. service members with enhancements in “lethality, mobility, and situational awareness” derived from the $3,000 HoloLens AR standalone headset.

    Microsoft’s HoloLens as seen on the International Space Station.

    Magic Leap One

    Magic Leap reportedly lost out on the contract won by Microsoft.

    The company launched its $2,300 Magic Leap One AR headset development kit in August after revealing earlier in the year it passed $2 billion in total investment, with a huge amount from Saudi Arabia. Magic Leap’s CEO Rony Abovitz suggested in our first face-to-face interview (you can read the entire transcript) that “big” players like Microsoft and Apple are going to spend ten times that amount investing in this technology. We don’t follow the logic, but he claimed those larger efforts will be “much more inefficient” compared to Magic Leap.

    Magic Leap One first shipped to developers in August 2018.

    China

    U.S.-based companies like Facebook and Valve are partnering with China-based counterparts to either tap the vast market in that country or manufacture hardware. For example, Facebook shipped Oculus Go in the United States and elsewhere around the world as the identical Mi VR standalone from manufacturing partner Xiaomi shipped in China without the Oculus Store. Valve, meanwhile, partnered with a Chinese company to launch a version of its Steam PC games store tailored specifically for the Chinese market.

    HTC’s Alvin Wang Graylin on the runway with a VR headset.

    HTC Vive Focus

    HTC launched its Vive Focus VR standalone first in China in 2018. The company also launched the Vive Pro and the Vive Wireless Adapter and these two very expensive pieces of PC VR hardware provided some of best VR experiences available in 2018, but only when they work right.

    Valve

    Valve shipped multiple iterations of its next-generation “Knuckles” hand controllers in 2018.

    Valve’s Knuckles controllers developer kit.

    Late in year, photos of a VR headset leaked featuring “Valve” on its exposed circuit board. If this finished head-mounted display is paired with the “Knuckles” controllers, and one or more Valve games, it could be exactly what the PC VR market needs for renewed growth.

    Valve’s leaked head-mounted display.

    The leak came as both HTC and Google started showing the Vive Focus and Mirage Solo standalone VR headsets featuring a pair of “6DoF” point-and-reach hand controllers. While we haven’t gone hands-on with these kits yet, we did try the upcoming $400 Oculus Quest extensively and came away pretty impressed by its tracking performance in highly controlled demos at Facebook’s Oculus Connect VR developers conference.

    Transitional Year For Mixed Reality Technology

    Overall in 2018, VR developed on private and public tracks.

    While some companies shipped standalone headsets publicly, they did so with limited 3DoF pointer-only hand controllers which handcuffed many developers and buyers. Privately, some of these same companies secured new partnerships and worked on more compelling

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  • ‘TButt’ Is A Proven Interface For Multiplatform VR Development In Unity
    tbutt multiplatform games virtual virtual reality floor plan along together

    VR developer Turbo Button released an interface for multiplatform VR development in Unity. Turbo Button is the developer behind Floor Plan, Along Together, and the official Adventure Time VR game.

    The studio used the interface for their two most recent titles, Floor Plan & Along Together. But TButt has also been used by other studios, most notably by Tender Claws for their hit Virtual Virtual Reality.

    Turbo Button additionally stated that the interface already supports Oculus Quest, and that several in development Quest titles are already using it.

    The issue TButt aims to solve is the fragmentation that exists between VR platforms SDKs of today. Without an interface like this developers have to rewrite code to achieve the same result on different VR platforms. TButt abstracts input, performance settings, tracking data, and more.

    Input (handling controllers) is a core focus of the interface. Input is the most significant difference between VR platforms today. TButt handles everything from basic 3DoF laser pointers to dual 6DoF controllers. A useful feature is that it allows for emulating a 3DoF controller in the Unity editor for more rapid development than pushing a full build to a standalone headset.

    TButt supports the Oculus, SteamVR, Windows MR and DayDream platforms. Crucially, it also complies with the publishing requirements of the default stores for each platform, meaning it can be used to ship real games.

    TButt is free and open source, leveraging the popular MIT Licence. This lets any developer use and modify it even for commercial projects. It’s encouraging to see the spirit of co-operation in the VR development community- hopefully it lives on as VR enters the mainstream market in coming years.

    Tagged with: Along Together, floor plan, multiplatform, turbo button, unity, Virtual Virtual Reality, VR Development

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  • VR Experience Lets You Step Inside A Dead Star

    Exploring the massive supernova remnant of a 400-year-old star has never been easier. A team of researchers lead by Kimberly Kowal Arcand of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and the Center for Computation and Visualization at Brown University have begun development of a one-of-a-kind VR experience that utilizes data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory

    The post VR Experience Lets You Step Inside A Dead Star appeared first on VRScout.

  • Community Download: What Are Your 2019 VR/AR Predictions?
    Community Download: What Are Your 2019 VR/AR Predictions?

    Now that 2018 is finally winding down it's time to look forward to the future. What are your predictions for VR/AR in 2019?

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