• OC5: Oculus Go ‘Beating Expectations’, Rift ‘Performing Well’
    OC5: Oculus Go ‘Beating Expectations’, Rift ‘Performing Well’

    Oculus yet again declined to share sales figures for its Oculus Rift and Go headsets this month.

    Speaking to UploadVR ahead of today’s Oculus Connect 5 developer conference, the company’s Nate Mitchell avoided providing specific numbers for both devices, instead insisting that both were “performing really well.”

    “Go is beating our expectations on I think every front,” Mitchell said. “It’s great. Rift continues to perform really well, especially at the $399 price point.”

    It’s difficult to tell what ‘really well’ means in the VR market given that Oculus hasn’t provided any sales information for Rift since its launch back in 2016. The company’s silence on the matter has only fuelled speculation (and numerous estimated analyst projections) that PC VR headsets sales have been slow. Meanwhile, we do know that Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset sold three million units as of August 2018.

    Rift’s main rival, HTC’s Vive, hasn’t shared any sales data either. That said, monthly Steam Hardware Survey reports do at least suggest Rift is the most popular VR headset on the platform, narrowly edging out Vive over the past few months.

    The standalone Go, meanwhile, was only introduced in May 2018 but designed as a low-cost ($199), accessible entry point into the VR market that anyone could pick up. Again, though, without knowing what Oculus’ internal expectations for the device are, it’s difficult to gauge how well it’s really performing.

    “We do think that one of the continued big growth drivers is content, so you’ll continue to see that investment as we build a world-class content library that appeals to a wide audience of gamers,” Mitchell said, adding that Oculus’ focus now was to expand the Go ecosystem in order to attract more people to the device.

    Tagged with: Oculus Connect, Oculus Go, oculus rift

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  • Phaser Lock Interactive Showcase New Final Assault Footage at Oculus Connect 5 The RTS is scheduled to launch by the end of the year.
  • Oculus Venues Reveals Autumn Line-up NBA games, movie events and comedy nights all form part of the upcoming line-up for Oculus Venues.
  • Defector’s Going to India in This new OC5 Gameplay Trailer The title is now due for release next year.
  • OC5: Titanfall Dev’s Rift Exclusive A No-Show But Working ‘Full Steam Ahead’
    OC5: Titanfall Dev’s Rift Exclusive A No-Show But Working ‘Full Steam Ahead’

    Last year’s Oculus Connect keynote speech closed out with the surprising revelation that Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment was working on an Oculus Rift exclusive for launch in 2019. Sadly, the mysterious project is a no-show at this year’s Connect.

    Oculus’ Nate Mitchell confirmed to UploadVR that the game wasn’t being shown this year, but did reassure that it was still making progress. “We’re still working on it full steam ahead,” he said, “but nothing to share at OC5.”

    It’s a shame given that last year’s tease really didn’t tell us much about the project other than that it will likely be a shooter of some kind. That’s an exciting prospect given that Respawn is comprised of developers that popularized the Call of Duty series before forming a new studio and creating the critically-acclaimed Titanfall series. The team was acquired by publisher EA late last year, although Oculus reassured this wouldn’t impact the existing deal.

    We do know that the game won’t be set in the Titanfall universe, nor will it be the Star Wars game Respawn is currently working on with EA. We’ve got our fingers crossed that it will still hit sometime in 2019?

    Instead of showing off the latest with Respawn, Oculus elected to reveal another big exclusive this year in Lone Echo II. Judging by the trailer, we can’t really say we blame them.

    Tagged with: Oculus Connect, Respawn

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  • Oculus Studios Teases New Updates To Its AAA Line-Up At OC5

    The company reveals new trailers, game modes, and maps for some of its most heavily anticipated titles. As Facebook’s fifth annual Oculus Connect continues, so do the reveals. The company previewed an impressive amount of updates and additions to some of its most anticipated Studio titles, adding even further hype to the platforms growing catalogue. With a

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  • Oculus’ Mobile App now Supports Rift Remote install videogames on your way home.
  • Preview: Stormland – Redefining VR Adventure Games Insomniac Games are back for more VR-exclusive adventures, and it’s shaping-up to be something special.
  • OC5: 4K Oculus Half Dome Prototype Would Be ‘Straightforward’
    OC5: 4K Oculus Half Dome Prototype Would Be ‘Straightforward’

    According to Oculus’ Michael Abrash, fitting the company’s new Half Dome prototype with 4K displays would be “straightforward”.

    Abrash said as much during his keynote speech at Oculus Connect 5 today. He explained that the current Half Dome prototype, which made its debut at F8 earlier this year, has a resolution “roughly” the same as the Rift. He later added that “4K panels that would provide 30 pixels per degree over a 140 degree field of view have already been shown publicly, and using one in Half Dome would be straightforward.”

    4K resolution panels will be essential to giving us clearer VR experiences in the future, further eliminating the screen door effect (SDE) seen in current headsets.

    As Abrash alludes to in the quote, Half Dome also sports a 140 degree field of view and even varifocal displays that adapt to where the user is looking to accurately produce focal depth in VR. We were hoping we might be able to get a first look at the device at Connect this year though Oculus is focusing on its new standalone headset, Quest. Earlier in the day, Facebook’s Hugo Barra noted that Quest completed Oculus’ first generation of devices, lending more evidence to the idea that Half Dome will eventually materialize as Rift 2.

    When we’ll actually see that happen remains unclear although, according to Abrash, it could be a little sooner than we think.

    Tagged with: Half-Dome, Oculus Connect

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  • YouTube VR Comes to Oculus Go More VR video comes to Oculus Go as users get access to over 800 VR and 360-degree videos with YouTube VR.
  • Oculus’ Nate Mitchell: ‘2019 Represents Our Biggest Investment To Date’
    Oculus’ Nate Mitchell: ‘2019 Represents Our Biggest Investment To Date’

    Over half a billion dollars: that’s how much money Facebook claims to have invested in VR content since before the Rift launched in early 2016. Now with 2018 nearing an end and the next year of consumer VR on the horizon, they want to keep pumping that number up even higher.

    “2019 represents our biggest investment to date,” said Nate Mitchell, Oculus co-founder and Head of Rift at a pre-Oculus Connect 5 preview event last week. “We do think that one of the continued big growth drivers is content, so you’ll continue to see that investment as we build a world-class content library that appeals to a wide audience of gamers. A wide audience of gamers is really important.”

    Following 2018’s Marvel Powers United VR, a massive licensing deal for some of Marvel’s most respected and beloved superheroes all in one single game, that means a lot of big projects on the horizon. The likes of Defector, Stormland, whatever Respawn is working on, and more are all building up to big releases that could be some of the largest the VR market has seen to date.

    “That’s right and that’s generally the direction we’ve been going,” responded Mitchell. “If you look at the 2019 titles that we have coming up and add it all up, that represents our biggest total investment we’ve had to date.”

    In general, this is a stark contrast to this year and last year. Not long ago Jason Rubin proudly proclaimed that we can expect to see a new Oculus Studios game every single month — but that’s not the case anymore. Now it’s fewer releases with more time between them, but the games that do get released are much larger and more expensive.

    “Before we had been trying to experiment with different types of games and genres, whether that be first-person shooters, third-person games, top-down God view,” said Steve Arnold, Head of Oculus Studios, at the same preview event. “And now that we’ve gotten to the point that we’re starting to learn what really connects to a VR audience, what feels like magic in VR, we can pour more of that money into bigger games because we have more confidence that what we’re building is right. We like to give developers as much time as possible to get to the level of quality that we’re all happy with.”

    The game that came to mind immediately upon hearing that was Respawn’s title. The game was rumored to be in development over a year ago and then was officially “confirmed” and teased at OC4 last year. Which means it was likely in development for about a year before OC4, and it’s been a year since, with about a year left before release — at least, at this rate it may get bumped to 2020, who knows. That’s a solid 3+ years of development on a single title from a AAA-caliber studio.

    “There’s still more that we can learn,” said Arnold. “We aren’t at the point where want to fund a five or six year

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  • Defector Hands-On: Becoming Jason Bourne In VR Is A Blast
    Defector Hands-On: Becoming Jason Bourne In VR Is A Blast

    When I was younger, I wanted to be a secret spy. I’d imagine a lot of former young people would say the same thing. The escapades of James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Mission Impossible’s Ethan Hunt just seemed like such amazing and heroic jobs to have. Clearly I went down a very different path professionally, but the fantasy is still there in the back of my mind. After playing the latest demo for Defector, it’s not just a fantasy anymore.

    I’d imagine Twisted Pixel’s pitch for Defector was pretty straight forward: let’s make an action-packed VR game in which you play as an international super star spy with fancy gadgets and smooth talking skills. You’ll travel the world, scale skyscrapers, and jump out of airplanes doing action hero stuff — all in VR. And there’s branching dialogue trees, multiple ways to solve missions, and it’s full smooth locomotion. Easy, right?

    Obviously these are all comparisons I made back when I first played Defector at a pre-E3 event. My feelings on the game haven’t really changed much, but based on the OC5 demo I tried before the event last week, they’ve strengthened.

    The main highlight of the demo was a chase sequence through a town in India. As is standard in this type of setting, obviously I had to chase someone through alleys and across rooftops. Every now and then the man would throw boxes down to try and disrupt me or I’d lose track and have to stop to scan a scaffolding in the distance.

    Defector is at its best when it doesn’t slow down to let you try and think about what to do next. I’d run across a rooftop, fall down through a crumbling ceiling, get up and keep right on going. At one point, also shown down in the trailer at the end of this post, you can see the player running and then jumping across an entire alley several stories through the air, crashing down on top of the target, and then smashing through a door into a hotel room. Moments like that are what Defector is all about.

    In past demos I’ve jumped out of an airplane only to then grab onto the exterior of another airplane and scale it with enemies falling around me. I’ve driven a sports car out of an airplane, shot enemies while falling through the air, and then crashed it into the side of another airplane in slow motion. I’ve even shot down fighter planes using machine guns from an exit door of another air plane.

    I can’t wait to see what kind of other trouble I can get into.

    Since this particular demo was so focused on the chase scene, I didn’t see much of Defector’s other game systems. There are branching dialogue trees (shown above) that can alter the path of a mission, resulting in varying events that up the replay value. Plus you can play as either a male or female agent depending on your preference.

    Defector is a few steps below the polish and

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  • Vox Machinae Hands-On: VR’s Most Immersive Mech Cockpit
    Vox Machinae Hands-On: VR’s Most Immersive Mech Cockpit

    I’ve played a lot of Archangel: Hellfire, Rigs was one of my favorite PSVR launch titles, and I still fantasize about a real Gundam VR game. But to date, Vox Machinae may have my favorite VR mech cockpit. It’s just the most perfect interpretation of how to do a cockpit in VR that takes full advantage of tracked motion controllers like Oculus Touch.

    What you’ll find is that with most VR mech games, the cockpit is a visual ornament. It looks nice to sit behind some controls, it helps alleviate motion sickness, and for the most part people it really does sell the immersion. But then you end up just miming the robot’s arm movements or using the joysticks on your controllers to move and it defeats the purpose. Vox Machinae is different.

    When controlling my mech in Vox Machinae, I had to actually interact with my cockpit. Want to go full speed ahead? I’ll need to reach down to my left and push the throttle forward. Boosting up in the air and spinning around to shoot someone behind me? I’ve got to pull up on the boost control at my left, then reach down to the right to turn the stick around to face behind me.

    It sounds cumbersome, but what you lose in speed and finesse is more than made up for in sheer immersion. These are absolutely enormous robots and they certainly feel as massive and powerful as they look in a game like this. It’s a bit awkward, but that feels by design rather than because of control issues.

    I only got the chance to play a single match, but it lasted about 15 minutes and had my palms sweating by the end. Because of how deliberate everything is in Vox Machinae, the skill ceiling is very high. Not only will you need to learn the weight and physics and jump speed and so much more of your mech, but the maps are enormous and there appear to be lots of weapons to juggle in customization menus — although I didn’t see any of that first-hand.

    In recent years it feels like mech games have evolved to be more about a power fantasy of letting you go bigger without having to sacrifice going faster, but anyone that remembers old-school MechWarrior titles will recall the lumbering controls in those releases. With regard to that, Vox Machinae could almost be seen as a return to form in a way, while still iterating on the genre and pushing it forward with VR.

    Vox Machinae’s bright, vivid color pallete are also a great contrast to the otherwise muted steampunk designs and it gives the experience a personality all its own.

    All in all Vox Machinae has a lot going for it that really makes it feel special in the VR space. You won’t find another game that lets you interact with so many elements of the combat to have actual, immediately results in terms of gameplay like you do here. While playing I quickly forgot about the

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  • Oculus Unveils ‘Oculus Quest’ Standalone Headset At OC5

    Standalone 6DoF VR arrives on the Oculus platform Spring 2019 for $399. Oculus Connect 5 is officially underway in San Jose, California, and the company wasted not time this year as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage to unveil the next generation of Oculus VR technology, the Oculus Quest. Available Spring of next year

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  • Star Wars VR Series Vader Immortal Coming To Oculus Quest Three-part 360-degree TV series about iconic Star Wars villain Darth Vader will be coming to Oculus Quest.