• The VR Waifu Problem In which VRFocus explores what the deal is with all these virtual dating simulators, and why they are so awkward.
  • Tetris Effect VR Review: A Transcendent Take On A Classic
    Tetris Effect VR Review: A Transcendent Take On A Classic

    Go run a bath. Make it warm, get some salts, maybe some candles, put your speakers by the door and dim the lights. Play this, close your eyes, and sink into the water. Oh and, grab your Gameboy (don’t drop it) and boot up Tetris.

    That’s about as close as you’ll get to the transformative wonder of Tetris Effect in the real world.

    Tetris Effect is developed by the same studio that brought you 2016’s Rez Infinite, a transfixing assault on the senses that did a marvelous job of losing you in its sensual world. This is much the same story, just with the timeless game of falling blocks slotted right in the middle of the action. In the game’s central piece, a campaign named ‘Journey Mode’, you hard drop your way through nearly 30 levels, grouped in stages. Beat a level and you’ll progress straight onto the next one in the given stage until you reach its end.

    Each level has its own theme, complete with an entirely different style of visuals, soundtrack and sound effects. One moment you’ll be enjoying peace and tranquility under the ocean before suddenly being thrust into the busy bustle of a US metropolis.

    You know the substance is already there, thus the style is allowed to shine. Effect’s first level tells you all you need to know, employing a rousing title track, ‘I’m Yours Forever’, that has a sort of transcendent beauty. When paired with the atmospheric, pulsating visuals that bleed into view as you play, you’re completely at its mercy. It’s capable of reaching down through your body and placing a strong, firm grip on your heart. If you allow it, Enhance won’t let go.

    At times it will lull you it into a soothing sense of security, encasing you in a bubble of graphical splendor before ripping you out of it and into something much more demanding. The rate at which blocks fall constantly adjusts in sync with these changes as if it were some sort of cruel dictator of your heart rate. The game’s Expert Mode can go from manageable to, frankly, impossible so I’d recommend casual players approach Normal with the mindset of enjoying the game and getting to experience its divine surrealism. It’s easy to miss the eye candy Enhance has prepared, otherwise.

    I did find moments of intense strain in some levels, though. As joyful as it is to lose yourself in some of Effect’s more peaceful themes, there’s an unavoidable stress on the eyes in some of the harsher environments that made it difficult to focus on the core game itself. They’re few in number but, for me, they were a definite distraction to an otherwise cohesive whole.

    As for that more competitive strand that the hardcore craves? This has some interesting new twists, like a special ability to temporarily pause time as you build up a meter. This can be used to rack up combined points that go well beyond a Tetris (clearing four lines at once). Doing so requires an intimate

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  • Singles Day shows China’s global retail power Chinese customers spend billions on Nov. 11. Why, and what does it mean for the global retail marketplace?
  • Beat Saber’s Exclusive PSVR Content To Come To PC ‘At A Later Date’
    Beat Saber’s Exclusive PSVR Content To Come To PC ‘At A Later Date’

    Following backlash surrounding the reveal of exclusive content for the PSVR version of Beat Saber yesterday, developer Beat Games has reassured PC players they’re not being forgotten.

    In tweets yesterday the developer noted that it wanted PSVR players to have ‘something new’ to experience when the game launched on the platform on November 20th. That includes a brand new campaign mode and five new music tracks. However, the official Beat Saber account later confirmed that these features are indeed a timed exclusive on PSVR, and will come to the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows VR versions of the game “at a later date.”

    Dear Rift & Vive players, new sabers, modifiers and practice mode will be added to PC version much sooner in upcoming updates, while campaign and 5 new tracks will come to other platforms at a later date.

    — Beat Saber (@BeatSaber) November 8, 2018

    As the tweet notes, the PC version will also be getting long-anticipated updates like new sabers and modifiers “much sooner”, as well as the practice mode that will also be debuting in the PSVR version.

    Responding to one fan, the account wrote: “Get ready! Now we are back in PC development!”

    That’s all well and good but, demanding folk that we are, we’re now super interested to find out if Beat Saber will be coming to Oculus Quest when it launches in spring of next year. That’s already been hinted at, but we’d sure love some confirmation soon.

    Tagged with: Beat Saber

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  • Life In 360°: Last Lap Kevin E is running out of time, so it's time to make good on a Formula 1 promise.
  • ‘Shadow VR’ is a $399 Oculus Quest Competitor Using HTC’s Viveport Store
    ‘Shadow VR’ is a $399 Oculus Quest Competitor Using HTC’s Viveport Store

    At HTC’s Vive event the company announced the ‘Shadow VR’ standalone headset from Chinese company ‘Shadow Creator’.

    The Shadow VR headset should become the first standalone consumer VR headset with 6DoF controllers, beating Oculus Quest to market by over six months. It runs the mobile version of HTC’s Viveport VR app store, and launches “worldwide” Nov. 11 for $399.

    The headset uses a 1440p (2560×1440) display, the same resolution as the Oculus Go and Lenovo Mirage Solo. The lenses are fresnels with a claimed field of view of 110°. The system on a chip (SoC) used is the same Snapdragon 835 used in the Vive Focus and Oculus Quest.

    HTC tells us that Shadow VR is equipped with 6DoF controllers which Shadow Creator developed on its own. The controllers were, however, not shown (not even a render), and no details were given on the controller tracking system other than that it uses “ray tracing”, whatever is meant by that. HTC is working on 6DoF controllers of its own for the Vive Focus, but these are apparently different.

    Because the headset runs HTC’s Viveport (the mobile version) it should have all the same apps and games as are available for the Vive Focus, and all app purchases should transfer between the devices. Most content currently on Viveport mobile, however, is made around the Vive Focus’ 3DoF controller, so it’s not clear how much of the store’s content will take advantage of Shadow VR’s 6DoF controllers.

    HTC is not involved in the hardware of Shadow VR but it does run on the Vive Wave platform, so HTC would take the store cut from all Viveport sales. This is the same strategy that Google is taking with the Lenovo Mirage Solo Daydream standalone VR headset, which only has one 3DoF hand controller (with developers being able to request a special 6DoF add-on kit).

    Chart Based On Information Available As Of November 8th 2018

    We’ve reached out to HTC to see if we can get any more information about this headset and we’ll update this post if we learn more.

    Tagged with: shadow vr, Standalone VR, vive wave

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  • Niantic’s ‘Ingress Prime’ Brings A Sci-fi Twist To Location-Based AR Gaming

    Join pick a side and join the battle for control of previous Exotic Matter in this modern revival of the 2013 location-based AR game. In 2013, San Francisco-based software company Niantic launched Ingress, a cutting-edge location-based AR mobile game that had players choose one of two factions and battle others in a geocaching game of

    The post Niantic’s ‘Ingress Prime’ Brings A Sci-fi Twist To Location-Based AR Gaming appeared first on VRScout.

  • Hands-On Impressions With Vive Focus 6DoF Controllers Dev Kit
    Hands-On Impressions With Vive Focus 6DoF Controllers Dev Kit

    At an Enterprise-focused HTC Vive press event in San Francisco, CA today we learned about the western release of the Vive Focus across North America and Europe, as well as the price point. But those will only release with a single 3DOF motion controller similar to the ones that come with the Oculus Go and Daydream View. HTC has opened dev kit applications for 6DOF motion controllers like the ones that come with the upcoming Oculus Quest headset (or the ones already out with the Vive and Rift) and HTC had a pair of those controllers available today for demos.

    Hands-On With 6DoF Vive Focus Controllers

    My demo was with Vive Sync, a professional collaboration platform. I’ll save details on the particular app for a separate story because I want to focus on the controllers themselves here.

    To be clear, this is a developer kit. They aren’t finished and there is no timeframe on commercial availability at all. Now with that being said, I was very impressed.

    Since Vive Sync is primarily a meeting app there wasn’t a whole lot of movement required. The ideal use case is just standing around, pointing, and talking, so I had to invent some movements to test the controllers and their tracking. First, rapid movement.

    There was definitely some latency. If I were trying to play Beat Saber, for example, on this device with the 6DOF dev kit controllers, I think I would have had a ton of trouble. This might be fixed in time, but right now it felt almost as if my in-VR hands were a half second behind when moving very quickly. I never tried the Oculus Quest dev kit (Santa Cruz) but I’d imagine those controllers improved as well over development, as is usually the case.

    Where they impressed me is with the accuracy of the positional and rotation tracking. No matter where I held the controller (even when I grasped the tracking ring itself) they never lost tracking. The only time it was an issue is if I put them behind my head or behind my back and then quickly put them back in front of my body. After a second or so delay they would be located again.

    As a test of something I have done often in VR apps I tried reaching behind my back to teleport around. Vive Sync didn’t have smooth locomotion, just teleporting, so while I was speaking with a developer he asked me to back up so he could show me a 3D model inside the meeting environment. So, I instinctively reached behind my back, pointed, and clicked the trackpad to teleport like I’ve done in a million VR apps before and it worked just fine. To test this out more, I grabbed the laser pointer tool from the interface, reached behind my back, and could still point the laser through my VR body accurately. I don’t think I could accurately reach behind me and down to a table to grab something, but I also haven’t tried it.

    One area the

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  • Vive Focus Standalone Launches In North America And Europe
    Vive Focus Standalone Launches In North America And Europe

    HTC’s Vive Focus standalone is launching in North America and Europe starting today with a pitch toward enterprise.

    The headset is selling for $599 with a single pointer-like hand controller capable of simple gesture-sensing. Enterprise-centric features like a kiosk mode to turn the headset into a “fixed-purpose device” and batch configuration of multiple Focus headsets from a single microSD card were pitched with the headset’s worldwide launch. The headset is also being sold for $749 with the “Vive Focus Advantage” program offering a device management system and “premium service.”

    We’ve known the Vive Focus specifications for a long while now, but at least we’ve got confirmation now that the U.S. version of the headset has the same features as the device which launched earlier this year.

    The focus on business uses for the headset outside China is an interesting one as the company is facing stiff competition for consumers in the United States from the Google-powered Lenovo Mirage Solo, as well as the $200 Oculus Go headset from Facebook which features a similar pointer-like hand controller.

    Tagged with: Vive Focus

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  • Social VR Platform ‘High Fidelity’ Announces Its First VR Festival

    The FUTVRE LANDS VR festival will feature contests with cash prizes, giveaways, and a live musical performance by a Grammy-nominated artist. Founded by Second Life founder and former CEO Philip Rosedale, social VR platform High Fidelity is hosting its first festival event held entirely within their virtual metaverse. Launching November 17th as part of Virtual

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  • HTC Vive’s Ready Player One: Oasis Receives Elite Gunter Pack DLC The DLC pack adds hours of gameplay with new levels, environments, bosses and more.
  • Oculus Rift Is Now $349 At Amazon & Best Buy For Black Friday
    Oculus Rift Is Now $349 At Amazon & Best Buy For Black Friday

    Amazon US and Best Buy USA are currently offering $50 off the Oculus Rift+Touch bundle, bringing the price from $399 to $349. The offer was part of Best Buy’s Black Friday lineup, but is available today. A few hours after the Best Buy deal went up, Amazon price matched it.

    This is not the first time Amazon & Best Buy have offered this kind of sale. Last year, the retailers each offered the exact same deal at Black Friday, then again during the week before Christmas.

    The package contains the headset, Touch controllers, 2 sensors, and relevant cables. It should be noted however that this does not contain Marvel Powers United VR, which is currently bundled with the Rift from many retailers (at $399). Since the game is worth $40, this deal still works out as better value, but only by $10. If you aren’t interested in that game though, you still save $50.

    Tagged with: Amazon, best buy, Black Friday, oculus rift, VR sales

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  • Angry Birds Might Be Coming To Location-Based VR
    Angry Birds Might Be Coming To Location-Based VR

    It looks like location-based VR company Hologate is teasing a new Angry Birds installation.

    The company this week took to Facebook to post a teaser image (above) for an announcement due at IAAPA 2018 next week. It shows a bird egg cracking with a VR headset fitted on top and a red feather protruding from the side. Most tellingly, though, you can see mention of original Angry Birds creator, Rovio, in the bottom right of the picture.

    “The tension is building and soon we’ll be able to share more,” the company wrote on the post. “We know it’ll be a hit!”

    All signs suggest that this will be a new location-based Angry Birds VR game, then. The series just made its move into AR with a Magic Leap One title developed by Resolution Games and, a few years back, there was evidence of a Gear VR-based game too, though it never materialized.

    Hologate, meanwhile, has an elaborate four-player VR set up that gives each player their own space to walk around in. We went hands-on with the system and a four-player Beat Saber clone named Holobeat at Gamescom this year.

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  • Beat Saber Devs Respond To PSVR Exclusive Content Backlash
    Beat Saber Devs Respond To PSVR Exclusive Content Backlash

    The long-awaited release date for the PSVR version of Beat Saber was announced today, alongside some exclusive content for the new version of the VR hit. Unsurprisingly, the news was not met with much enthusiasm from those that aren’t getting the game on Sony’s headset.

    The comments replying to Beat Saber’s tweet announcing the November 20th release date are filled with people upset about the PSVR-only features, which include a new campaign and five new songs. “Exclusive content really?” one fan wrote. “When the game is still in Early Access on Steam and we haven’t seen an update in months? Not cool”

    “exclusive content? disappointing,” another wrote. “pc beatsaber has been carried by modders and mappers for months. literally carrying this game…. we have had 1 song added since release and it was mediocre. very disappointing.”

    As such the team at Beat Games quickly set about explaining why the PSVR version is getting new content. The team’s Jan Ilavsky said that the developer wanted to give PSVR players “something new” as they had to wait longer.

    Sure. But we wanted to give them something new, because they had to wait much longer then PC guys. Also adding new things to all platforms at the same time is not so easy.

    — Jan “Split” Ilavsky (@Split82) November 8, 2018

    Meanwhile, CEO Jaroslav Beck teased that there will be another announcement specifically on the PC side soon.

    Hi man, there will be an announcement for PC community soon too.. 😉 Don’t worry. We’re doing what we can and as fast as we can.

    — Jaroslav Beck (@Sqeepo) November 8, 2018

    Finally, the official Beat Saber account promised that a deeper explanation was on the way. We’ll be sure to update you when that arrives.

    Jewels, you are great and we luv you! We are gonna explain the situation as clear as possible as it might be a bit confusing for the community at the moment.

    — Beat Saber (@BeatSaber) November 8, 2018

    Whilst PSVR’s Beat Saber will have exclusive content, we’re also not expecting it to get some features currently in development for PC, like a track editor. It remains to be seen if either platform’s exclusive content could cross over later down the line.

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  • Spatulas at the Ready as Clash of Chefs VR Prepares for a Cook-off Flip burgers and get those orders out quick time.