News

  • AI-Therapist Helps Alleviate Hot Flashes In VR

    VRHealth’s non-pharmaceutical VR experience arrives on the Oculus Go January 2019. Nearly 75% of women age 51 and above suffer from symptoms such as hot flashes, depression, anxiety, night sweats, insomnia, and loss of sexual drive as a direct result of menopause. To assist in combating these uncomfortable manifestations, VRHealth, an XR medical company specializing

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  • Rollercoaster Tycoon Joyride Review: Limited VR Thrills
    Rollercoaster Tycoon Joyride Review: Limited VR Thrills

    I hate roller coasters. Despite my appreciation for their architecture and my love of other less intense parts of theme parks, I’ve never been able to get on a coaster without it devolving into an exercise in how tightly I can shut my eyes and how much I can renew my faith in a deity to make the ride stop. That being said, I’ve had a fondness for the RollerCoaster Tycoon series since I was young, and I loved subjecting others to the terror I felt when I got on one of the twisted mountains of metal.

    With Rollercoaster Tycoon Joyride, I was finally able to leave my fear of roller coasters behind me and experience all the dips and turns in VR, and though it certainly does that job admirably, Atari and developer Nvizzio Creations haven’t perfected everything surrounding it.

    Despite advertising PlayStation VR support, most of RollerCoaster Tycoon Joyride is only playable on a traditional display. Across a few different modes – “missions” and “sandbox” being the two most prominent – you design your own coasters, complete with loops, upside down segments, twists, and anything else you’d expect to see at a real theme park. Limiting this to the television was presumably done to avoid giving you a headache while you’re planning your coaster’s design, but the camera angles you’re given are pretty atrocious. You can either be directly on top of the track as if you were riding it, or zoomed out above or to the side. None of them give you a great view of what you’re doing, which often results in needing to delete sections of track and start over.

    You’re limited to a single coaster on one of the game’s two environments, though both the canyon and the city provide enough variety in their design to make it worthwhile to experiment. An “autocomplete” function is also offered if you want to get to riding more quickly, though I found it to be useless much of the time, unable to finish even small sections of track that I didn’t want to design.

    But it’s after the coaster is completed that RollerCoaster Tycoon Joyride really sells itself. Armed with a blaster (think Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin at Disney World) you ride the entire length of the coaster and fire at floating orbs along the way. Some are worth more points than others, there are power-ups and multiplier orbs to increase your total further, as well as electrified gates and bombs to decrease it. With a slow-motion ability, you can briefly get a better shot at your targets, but doing this takes away much of the fun of being on a coaster in the first place. It’s a bit reminiscent of the coaster shooter focused PC VR game RollerForce.

    That is, unfortunately, an issue that pervades much of RollerCoaster Tycoon Joyride. Your goal is to get as many points as possible playing the courses you have designed, but the best way to do this is to design boring, slow-moving coasters. The

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  • Palmer Luckey’s Modified Oculus Go: Larger Battery, Improved Weight Distribution, Fewer God Rays
    Palmer Luckey’s Modified Oculus Go: Larger Battery, Improved Weight Distribution, Fewer God Rays

    Oculus founder Palmer Luckey modified an Oculus Go VR headset to improve the weight distribution, increase the battery life, and allow for battery swapping. He also changed its “mainstream-friendly gray” to a matte black. He posted a list of instructions for this modification on his personal blog.

    Luckey explained the change from gray to black was mainly for the facial interface, so that less light would reflect off it. He claims that it reduces “god rays” — internal reflections seen as distracting visual artifacts in VR. Oculus Go’s new lenses already have greatly reduced god rays compared to the Oculus Rift, so we’re very curious to see them with a black facial interface.

    Luckey also completely changed the battery and cooling system. The Oculus Go normally weighs just over 400g. Luckey claims that his modifications have gotten it down to 280g by removing the original 2600mAh battery built into the Go and replacing it with a bigger 3500mAh cell attached to the top strap. The new battery connects to the top of the headset by a wire with a magnetic pogo-pin connector. Not only does this remove weight from the frontbox, but it also allows for swapping the battery to eliminate the need to wait for recharging.

    He also removed the existing passive cooling heatpipe of the Go and replaced it with a shorter and lighter one connected to aluminium fins which are cooled by a small fan. Luckey also replaced the aluminium frontplate of the headset with a tinted plastic, saving even more weight.

    In the blog post, Luckey also showed off another creation: a keyboard with a Windows 10 compute stick built into it. This mini PC runs Virtual Desktop mobile’s streamer software. When combined with an Oculus Go, this means it can be used as a laptop replacement.

    We’ll also note that Oculus technical leader John Carmack made his own modifications to his Go which he posted on Twitter, writing that VR headsets “can and should get much smaller and lighter”.

    Tagged with: Oculus Go, palmer luckey

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  • Firefighters Are Using the Latest AR Tech to Save Lives California's Menlo Park Fire Department has been using DJI and Epson kit.
  • Valve Shipping New Knuckles Controller Developer Kits ‘In Quantity’
    Valve Shipping New Knuckles Controller Developer Kits ‘In Quantity’

    Valve is moving beyond evaluation prototypes of its Knuckles tracked handheld controllers and onto developer kits “with improvements to cap sense, trigger feel, and more.”

    The new controllers have been in development for some time from privately-owned Valve, which is based in Bellevue, Washington. The engineers at Valve are the folks responsible for the key tracking technology used in the HTC Vive. They are also developing their own head-mounted display and, with these controllers, could offer new ways of using your hands in a virtual space. The controllers strap to your hands and allow for realistic grasping and release sensations with capacitive sensors meant to track finger movements.

    “While we have Knuckles DV kits available in quantity, we will be unable to fulfill all requests,” a post outlining the new kit explains. “The team will hold on to dev-kit requests and developer information for any future releases.”

    Among the improvements listed by Valve with these latest controllers::

    Cap Sense

    Capacitive sensors have been rearranged to accommodate more hand sizes
    Firmware has been updated to take advantage of the new sensors

    Trigger

    Trigger spring strength increased
    Trigger click feel improved

    Strap

    Increased durability of strap adjustment connector
    Strap adjust feel improved

    Firmware

    Fast charging improved
    Fixed pairing bugs
    Improved stability

    Other

    Thumbstick feel improved
    Force sensor variation reduced
    LED light leakage minimized
    Improved fit and finish
    Improved reliability

    We’ll of course bring you the latest as developers start to share their impressions of these new controllers.

    Tagged with: Knuckles, valve

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  • Sling TV Arrives On The Oculus Go

    The over-the-top internet tv service brings multichannel video programming to VR. For cord-cutters who prefer an à la carte TV model, but still find themselves craving a multichannel video programming experience, Sling TV, Dish Networks over-the-top internet television service, has become an extremely popular option. Available on over 17 major platforms across a massive variety

    The post Sling TV Arrives On The Oculus Go appeared first on VRScout.

  • PlayStation VR’s Popular FPS Firewall Zero Hour to Receive new Content DLC Tomorrow There will be a new map plus additional little extras.
  • Sony’s new “My PS4 Life” Tool Could be Disclosing Player Counts for Games PlayStation VR doesn't really feature just yet.
  • Shattered State Review: A Shaky But Respectable VR Thriller From The Makers Of Until Dawn
    Shattered State Review: A Shaky But Respectable VR Thriller From The Makers Of Until Dawn

    Supermassive Games is back on the right track. Bravo Team might’ve been a misfire but Shattered State sees the Until Dawn developer return to its narrative roots with a satisfying degree of comfort. Interestingly, though, it simultaneously takes a step back from its gaming DNA in search of that wider audience that shares a common interest in VR. It’s a somewhat shaky but ultimately significant step in a new direction.

    This is, in the studio’s words, a political thriller set in a fictional state that finds itself on the brink of civil war. You’re the head of an intelligence agency that must navigate the muddy waters of the day’s events, calling the shots as bombs explode and VIPs face assassination. In many ways it is a stripped back experience for Supermassive, though that’s not a bad thing. There’s no progress-hindering puzzles or exploration, no chance to ‘fail’ tasks or secrets to uncover. It lasts about 40 – 60 minutes and its branching path narrative isn’t as exhaustive or impactful as Until Dawn (though still admirably varied).

    What there is instead is a clear grasp of why this experience needed to be in VR. Steely-eyed cast members stare you down as if aiming to pierce into your soul, awaiting your commands sometimes with a look of desperation, sometimes with a sense of threat. Supermassive conveys the weight of your responsibility by making you watch your decisions unfold in real-time through mission briefings and news bulletins along with, eventually, the judgment and approval of your peers. The short-form nature robs the consequences of the kind of guilt or nerve-shredding tension you might experience if, say, this was the end of one of the seasons of TV shows that so clearly played an influence, but it’s an effective and thoughtful tribute to their atmosphere all the same.

    And Shattered State is all about atmosphere. It’s a theatrical experience, moreso than anything Supermassive has produced before. There’s a touch of well-oiled stagecraft to it; you feel as if you might find a stage crew hiding just behind a door swung open as a colleague marches in to protest at something mid-sentence, producing a kind of scene-setting that’s rarely seen in VR. It’s immediate and exciting, even if the overly-talky plot doesn’t always keep up.

    Still, not all of the changes to the Supermassive formula work as well as you’d hope. Character interaction is limited to one of two choices you select from a menu, but I couldn’t help but wish there was a more personal way of addressing the piece’s cast to really hammer home the connection between ‘player’ and NPC. That’s no easy task and it may be beyond the current limitations of headsets, but restrictions in place here feel like a weight around the game’s ambitions. Even with the stern-faced plot explaining and darkly foreboding soundtrack booming it is a little too easy to lose your way and let your mind wander from time-to-time.

    Ultimately, Shattered State might not have made an especially compelling TV show, but novel use of

    The post Shattered State Review: A Shaky But Respectable VR Thriller From The Makers Of Until Dawn appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Love Your Oculus Go? How About a Home Upgrade to Palmer Luckey’s GoBlack The founder of Oculus has been experimenting with improvements.
  • Richie’s Plank Dev Tells PSVR Fans: ‘Don’t Buy Our Title’
    Richie’s Plank Dev Tells PSVR Fans: ‘Don’t Buy Our Title’

    One of VR’s best group-oriented titles, Richie’s Plank Experience, finally released on PSVR last week. But, incredibly, developer Toast is now warning some people against buying it.

    The studio took to Reddit this week following some backlash surrounding the console version of the game, which has players testing their fear of heights by physically walking along a virtual plank on a skyscraper. On the US PlayStation Store the game has an average user rating of two and a half stars and its down to just two stars in the EU. But on Steam, where the game released last year, it has a user-rating of ‘Very Positive’. Clearly something’s afoot, and I’m not talking about the plank walk.

    “We designed Richie’s Plank Experience specifically to be used to entertain your friends and family. It’s a go-to experience to bring out when you have visitors or parties,” the developer wrote on r/PSVR. “So if you don’t plan on using it for this, it’s probably not for you. Please don’t buy it! It is not a game that can be played for hours by yourself.”

    The note implies that people have been complaining about the $14.99 price tag (the same as it is on Steam). We haven’t seen the comments for ourselves, but we suspect PSVR owners may have been caught off guard by the game’s emphasis on what Toast calls the Real Plank feature. This allows you to lay a plank down in your play space, measure it, enter those dimensions into the game and then walk along a virtually-identical counterpart to maintain immersion.

    Without a plank, the game is considerably less convincing and we somehow doubt that many players have a slab of wood laying around to use (my Rock Band equipment takes up enough space as it is). Toast’s issue, then, is letting people know about that before they buy the game.

    “Before you purchase our title we urge you to consider if Richie’s Plank Experience is right for you!” the developer concluded. “Watching the reactions of your friends and family freaking out is where the value is and if the plank doesn’t scare them, the flying may impress them instead.”

    Quite an extraordinary thing for a developer to be saying, but it’s admirably honest.

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  • Oculus Go and Oculus Rift Have Been Discounted Again for Christmas You have until the end of the month.
  • Soviet Lunapark VR Cancelled As Dev Doubles Down On Atomic Heart
    Soviet Lunapark VR Cancelled As Dev Doubles Down On Atomic Heart

    Bad news for anyone that was looking forward to updates to Mundfish’s Soviet Lunapark VR in the coming year; the developer recently canceled the game.

    Released on Steam Early Access in July, Lunapark was a sort of precursor to Atomic Heart, the studio’s upcoming first-person shooter for traditional displays. It was a co-op game in which players explored the weird and wacky remains of the Soviet Union, gunning down hordes of enemies. We never got the chance to play it for ourselves but production-wise it looked a step up from a lot of other VR shooters.

    Last week, though, Mundfish ceased sales of the game on Steam, stating that it had “decided to end development and support” of the project. In a blog post, the developer reasoned that this was so it could focus on Atomic Heart. Servers will shut down on March 1st 2019, though an arcade version of the game will still be available in cities around the world.

    The original trailer for the game had listed PSVR support, but this news pretty much confirms that that version will have been canceled too.

    It’s not clear if Mundfish intends to refund those that bought the game in Early Access, which planned to deliver more content in the build-up to a full release. The team has encouraged anyone with questions to reach out to support@mundfish.com. That said, the game only managed to amass 47 user reviews since launch in July, which may suggest that it simply didn’t sell enough for the studio to keep going. We’ve reached out to the developer to ask about refunds and find a more detailed explanation for what’s gone wrong.

    “We are really grateful to all who supported Soviet Luna Park VR and we hope to meet you again — in the world of Atomic Heart!” Mundfish concluded in its blog.

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  • PSVR Hits Re-Enter UK Charts Following Mega Pack Launch
    PSVR Hits Re-Enter UK Charts Following Mega Pack Launch

    Some of PSVR’s best games (and some okay-ish ones) have fought their way back onto the weekly UK videogame software following the introduction of a new bundle.

    As we wrote about back in November, Sony just launched the PSVR ‘Mega Pack’ in the UK. It’s a frankly brilliant collection that includes hits like Astro Bot Rescue Mission, Wipeout Omega Collection and Skyrim VR as well as appreciated extras like Doom VFR and PlayStation VR Worlds. Having gone on sale, GamesIndustry.biz reports this week’s charts include PSVR Worlds at 26, Astro Bot at 28, Skyrim at 34, Wipeout at 35 and Doom at 36.

    The latter three make it pretty obvious that Sony’s new bundle has helped shift yet more PSVR units, whereas extra physical sales for Astro Bot and PSVR Worlds (which was also included in pre-existing bundles) will have helped them gain ground.

    Between this bundle and Black Friday deals, Sony has been pulling out all the stops on getting PSVRs under trees this Christmas. Back in August, we reported that the headset had surpassed three million in sales around the world. Will Sony be passing the four million milestone this holiday season?

    Tagged with: PSVR

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  • Orqa to Officially Debut its FPV.One Headset at CES 2019 The device is for remotely operated vehicles.