• Four Great Daydream Exclusives No One Will Ever Play
    Four Great Daydream Exclusives No One Will Ever Play

    Some 30 months ago, I bought a Google Pixel. It was probably the first high-end phone I’d ever bought. But I didn’t pick it up for the flashy camera, sleek design or crisp HD screen. Those were all added bonuses to the main draw of this device for me: Google Daydream.

    Fast forward to today and I’ve just shelled out for my next phone: a Pixel 3a. It’s also Google’s first phone that doesn’t support Daydream. I had no hesitation in picking one up.

    Daydream was intended to be Google’s big VR push, throwing its hat into the ring against Facebook, Valve and Sony. It had a lot of promising features, like a low-cost VR viewer designed to be comfortable and accessible and a motion controller that moved mobile VR input forward. Most importantly, though, Daydream was designed to work across a broad range of Android devices, opening floodgates and getting VR content onto the heads of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people.

    Sadly, that didn’t really happen.

    A Dream Dies

    One way or another, Daydream just never really took off like we’d hoped it might. What was initially intended to be a wide range of VR headsets from varying manufacturers ended up being just one device from Google itself. Games from major developers and publishers launched to paultry sales figures not even a fraction of their usual standards. Today the platform’s storefront is still pushing apps that arrived on launch day and obscuring its list of new arrivals.

    Most damaging of all though is the arrival of Pixel 3a, a phone designed to reverse Google’s slowing smartphone sales. The lack of Daydream support, paired with recent executive comments about switching focus to services over hardware, feels like the inevitable admission of defeat. And my heart bleeds for it.

    I really did have a soft spot for Daydream. In its early days, Google seemed to be making strides in developer relations; it even got EA to release the only full VR game it’s ever launched. But, as I’ve said before, the platform became home to some of VR’s most obscure gems. These were games and experiences from creators that were really thinking outside the box. Many of the best projects, like Virtual-Virtual Reality and Eclipse: Edge of Light, went on to live new lives on other platforms.

    But for every game that made the jump, there are two or three that didn’t. In fact, I’d argue there’s enough worthwhile Daydream-exclusive content out there that you should pick up a cheap headset provided you already have a compatible smartphone. Let’s take a look at some of them.


    One app that always comes to mind is the bizarrely lovable Untethered. It was as quirky as VR gaming gets, a VR series from the makers of That Dragon, Cancer that casts you as various inhabitants in a small town in Oregon. In its first episode, you were a radio DJ that could use your voice to progress the story. I remember feeling pretty lost in the experience as I explored

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  • IrisVR to Bring Collaborative Business Platform Prospect to Oculus Quest Walk around 3D models wire free.
  • RiftCat Finally Brings Its VR Streaming Software To iOS
    RiftCat Finally Brings Its VR Streaming Software To iOS

    Streaming PC VR content to an iPhone is finally possible thanks to RiftCat.

    The company this week launched the long-promised iOS version of its VRidge software. Available on Android since 2016, VRidge streams PC VR content straight to your phone. You can then insert your phone into a VR viewer like a Google Cardboard headset. It’s a low-cost workaround to access PC VR games, though it’s far from perfect. While players will lose positional tracking, they can still tilt their head to look around.

    Now, obviously, you’re not going to be playing tracking-heavy games like Vacation Simulator or Superhot VR. But RiftCat does reason that the platform is good for sampling seated VR experiences like Subnautica, Elite Dangerous and Project Cars. You can see some of those apps in action in the short video below.

    Recently RiftCat also added the ability to use other smartphones as three degrees of freedom (3DOF) motion controllers. So, if you have three smartphones to hand, you could theoretically play the likes of Beat Saber with the software. We did just that in an Oculus Go, actually.

    It’s a fun experiment but in no way a proper replacement for a real PC VR headset. It’s also worth noting that the rise of standalone VR headsets like the soon-to-release Oculus Quest is providing cheaper ways to get into high-quality VR. How RiftCat copes with the increase in affordable VR will be an interesting story to follow. VRidge is available for free in 10 minute sessions, but a one-time payment of $14.99 also gets you unlimited access.

    Tagged with: RiftCat, streaming, VRidge

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  • VR RPG Swords Of Gargantua Enters Open Beta Next Week
    VR RPG Swords Of Gargantua Enters Open Beta Next Week

    Starting next week Swords of Gargantua will enter a very limited Open Beta period for Steam and Oculus Home users to try out the VR action RPG.

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  • The Power of Smell has Made Kickstarter a Breeze for Feelreal Game support continues to expand thanks to Feelreal's success.
  • ALVR Developer Has ‘A Plan’ To Support Oculus Quest, But ‘Don’t Expect Too Much’
    quest dev kit

    The developer of an app which allows standalone headsets to act as SteamVR headsets via WiFi has "a plan" to support Oculus Quest, but "don't expect much".

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  • VR Concert Platform MelodyVR Posts $14.7 Million Loss, Turning Focus To Mobile
    VR Concert Platform MelodyVR Posts $14.7 Million Loss, Turning Focus To Mobile

    Oculus Go celebrated its first birthday this week, which means a bunch of VR apps did too. One such app is MelodyVR, a music platform that offers immersive concert experiences. The platform initially caught headlines for allegedly attracting significant investors such as British pop star, Adele. But, after its first year on the market, MelodyVR just reported an overall loss.

    EVR Holdings, the company behind MelodyVR posted its financial results for the year ending December 31 2018 on the London Stock Exchange yesterday. Overall it saw an operating loss of £11.3 million (about $14.7 million). The company said this was a result of “increased investment in people and operating capabilities”. Revenues in 2018 totaled £1.2 million (about $1.5 million).

    All that said, EVR also confirmed that it raised £20 million ($26 million) over the course of the year and, as of last year, it “had cash and cash equivalents in excess of £19 million for future expansion and development.”

    MelodyVR offers a wide range of 360 degree videos filmed at concerts. You can choose from a number of different angles to watch from, including joining artists on stage. Current artists on the platform include The Streets, Rudimental and The Kooks.

    In light of the report, EVR noted it would now focus on its mobile strategy as VR continues to grow. Last year MelodyVR hosted its first ever livestream featuring One Direction’s Liam Payne. Tellingly, of the 127,000 views the concert has had to date, the “majority” were via the Facebook 360 platform, and now in VR.

    But don’t expect to see MelodyVR disappear from VR platforms. Back in January we reported that the company was planning to bring the service to another Oculus headset, which could very well be Oculus Quest.

    Tagged with: concerts, MelodyVR, vr music

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  • Oculus Leadership Shakeup as Facebook Appoints new Executives It's all change at the top.
  • Healthcare & Medical Training On The Oculus Quest

    Standalone VR could be a game-changing technology for the medical industry. The Oculus Quest is a near-perfect combination of the Oculus Rift’s powerful 6DoF tracking and the Oculus Go’s comfort and portability. This blend of quality and convenience has the potential to open up a wide range of new possibilities for a variety of critical

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  • Tribeca Immersive 2019: A VR Arcade In Review

    Award-winning mixed-reality pushes boundaries, but needs more viewers. With a steady stream of visitors making up the packed queue hours prior to opening and reports of tickets for every time-slot being sold out each of the nine days of Tribeca Immersive, the festival easily hit a high mark for attention on mixed reality and similar

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  • Boxing-Focused VR Exercise Game BoxVR Now On PSVR
    BoxVR Screenshot

    BoxVR is now available on PSVR bringing the boxing-focused fitness game to a whole new audience. It's coming to Quest later this month!

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  • Vader Immortal Oculus Quest Livestream: Lightsaber Combat In VR!
    vader immortal lightsaber

    Vader Immortal launches on May 21 with the Oculus Quest, but the review embargo lifted today so we're here to show it off live!

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  • Team-based Multiplayer Space Ops VR Arrives 30th May Train with friends to take on an alien menace.
  • VR Needs A Hero: Why Battlefield And Rovio Developers Are Betting On Headsets
    VR Needs A Hero: Why Battlefield And Rovio Developers Are Betting On Headsets

    With such a dedicated, enthusiastic audience, VR doesn’t get many unexpected surprises. Our most anticipated games enjoy regular spotlights at the top of various subreddits and on our front page. With an industry this small, it’s hard for content to fall through the cracks in the run-up to launch.

    But Slightly Heroes did just that. It appeared as if from thin air on a broad range of headsets in late 2018 and gradually started raising eyebrows. Not just because it’s pretty good, but because it’s pretty good practically everywhere you can play it. It’s a fine multiplayer shooter on Rift and Vive, for example, but it really holds its ground on Go and Daydream, too.

    One question, then: where did it come from?

    You might not be surprised to know the answer is Stockholm, Sweden. Yup, the city that hosts Neat Corporation, Resolution Games, Fast Travel Games and Cortopia Studios is also home to Hatrabbit Entertainment. Housed in the same building as Cortopia and a stone’s throw away from its contemporaries, a small team is still chipping away on this plucky shooter. As with many Swedish studios, they have experience working on the country’s two main gaming exports: Battlefield and Angry Birds.

    “We like to say that Hatrabbit was founded twenty years ago,” co-founder Joakim Svärling tells me. “That’s when me and the co-founder Andreas met. We have been working side-by-side through all the years, mostly on the creative side at DICE. We were technical directors and art directors at DICE working on the Battlefield series.”

    There may be a little of the Battlefield DNA in Slightly Heroes’ cartoonish antics, then, but Svärling and Chryssovitsanos would make a four-year pit stop at Rovio before Hatrabbit was truly born.

    “With all this experience, we know how to create games,” Svärling says. “We know what’s the recipe for a game. But then you’ve gotta know how to build a studio also, and all the culture around that. We were very curious if we could do this on our own. It wasn’t that we said, let’s make a VR studio but we were curious about VR.”

    Naturally, VR curiosity turned into VR experiments. That’s where the team’s first game, Merry Snowballs, came from. It was a pretty simple affair, similar to a lot of VR content coming out in 2016; a wave shooter cheerily disguised in a Christmas theme. It launched with a ‘freemium’ model, a move Svärling calls financially “stupid” but an experiment from the beginning. The lessons it learned may have been harsh (“Don’t make seasonal games,” Svärling warns), but worth it.

    Hatrabbit founders Andreas Chryssovitsanos (Left) and Joakim Svärling (Right)

    “Taking risks is such an important part of developing,” COO Alexander Bergendahl adds. “When you have a platform that’s established, maybe you want to take less risks because you’ve got so much to look back to, but with VR there’s so many unknowns and you do what you know is safe from other parts of the industry, you’re not going to help the platform take steps forward.”

    “You have the monetization part and you have

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  • Oculus Rift S And Valve Index Won’t Work On Laptops With HDMI-Only Video Output
    rift s index hdmi

    The original Oculus Rift used HDMI but its replacement, Oculus Rift S, uses DisplayPort instead. It also includes a Mini DisplayPort adapter in the box.

    Valve’s Index VR headset also uses DisplayPort, and while it doesn’t include a Mini DisplayPort adapter, you can find them on Amazon for around $10 if needed.

    If you have a desktop PC this shouldn’t be a problem as most graphics cards have multiple DisplayPort outputs. If you have a laptop with DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort you should also be fine.

    If your laptop has only HDMI video output, however, you’re currently out of luck. We tested HDMI to DisplayPort adapters with Rift S and found they didn’t work. We reached out to Facebook and were told that no known adapter currently has sufficient bandwidth to carry the headset’s 1440p 80Hz signal, but that could change in the future.

    This information should also apply to the even higher resolution Valve Index, but we don’t yet have a review unit to test or an official statement from Valve on the matter.

    USB Type-C / Thunderbolt 3

    If your laptop doesn’t have DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort however but does have a USB Type-C port you may be in luck.

    It’s important to note that USB Type-C is a connector, not a data standard. If the Type-C port on your laptop only supports USB it won’t work with a VR headset.

    However if your USB Type-C port supports ‘DisplayPort Alt Mode’ or is a Thunderbolt 3 port, you should be able use Rift S or Index with a USB-C To DisplayPort adapter. Such adapters are available from retailers like Amazon, from brands like Cable Matters and BENFEI.

    To find out whether your laptop’s Type-C port supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, look for the letters DP or a monitor symbol next to the port. Some ports won’t have any symbol though, so you should consult your laptop’s full specification sheet to be sure. Thunderbolt 3 ports will be marked with a lightning bolt symbol beside them.

    Tagged with: hdmi, laptop vr, oculus rift s, valve index

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