• Dark Eclipse’s Intuitive Controls Prove VR MOBAs Work, For What It’s Worth
    Dark Eclipse’s Intuitive Controls Prove VR MOBAs Work, For What It’s Worth

    If Sunsoft was hoping to return to the western market with a bang, it’s made some odd choices. Dark Eclipse is not a nostalgic resurrection of some of the Japanese developer’s beloved early Nintendo-era titles (which include Batman on NES and The Death And Return of Superman), but instead an obscure and obtuse multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), played exclusively within a VR headset no less. I respect the boldness, if nothing else.

    Still, Dark Eclipse will no doubt have its fanbase, however small, and it deserves one alone for the thought that’s gone into retooling a genre dominated by mouse and keyboard.

    In this free-to-play PSVR exclusive, you fight for control of a map by ordering three leader units (including one main hero and two monsterish support units) to various points and building towers. If you’re a regular to the genre, this is hardly groundbreaking stuff; gather resources to build towers in fixed positions, upgrade units to take down enemy towers and eventually lead an assault on your opponent’s main base whilst they do the same. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at first (and the game’s tutorial doesn’t do a great deal to help), but the somewhat sluggish pace will at least help you find your feet.

    Where Dark Eclipse does innovate, though, is in its distillation of the genre to accommodate PSVR. Playing with a single Move controller (you can also play with a DualShock 4 though it’s a little awkward), you can navigate the game’s relatively small maps with a surprising degree of intuition. Simply hold the Move button and tilt the controller to pan across the map, or hold down a face button and move it up or down to zoom in and out. You get the hang of it in seconds.

    Moving units, meanwhile, is done by grabbing a marker above their head and then dragging it to the desired location. Simply tapping other items of interest has selected characters interact with them, too. All of this makes getting around in Dark Eclipse’s world wonderfully light, though it still can’t quite escape the frantic fluster that will have you begging for a mouse in its more demanding moments. Characters do move at a snail’s pace and you can set the view to cover as wide an area as possible, but I still sometimes felt weighed down with the Move controller.

    Crucially, the game’s microtransactions are done pretty well, too. From what I can tell, they’re simply for buying new Leaders, though there’s a fair number available from the start. You can earn coins to put towards new unlocks or just buy them from the off as well. It’s likely the best shot the game has at building a community considering how little fanfare it’s launched to.

    Interface aside, though, Dark Eclipse is not a game that’s going to win over people unconvinced by MOBAs, and I very much doubt it’ll attract much attention from fans of DOTA 2 and the like. Though it’s mechanically sound and easy enough to follow, I kept

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  • Firewall Patch 1.03 Incoming, Improves Matchmaking
    Firewall Patch 1.03 Incoming, Improves Matchmaking

    Waiting to get into a match of Firewall Zero Hour should soon be a bit shorter.

    First Contact Entertainment today confirmed that Patch 1.03 for the PSVR exclusive shooter is in the “final stages of testing” and should be with us soon. The studio clarified that this update will improve squad matchmaking and “should result in lower wait times overall.”

    That’s great to hear considering that the amount of downtime in Firewall is one of our key concerns with the otherwise-excellent game. Whilst matchmaking has had its bugs since launch last month, we’re also anticipating further improvements to the lobby to also keep wait times down. First Contact noted that “feature improvements” to the lobby were indeed in the works, but would be introduced in future updates.

    Going forward, First Contact is also committed to delivering weekly updates on the game to fill the community in on what’s happening. Hopefully, this marks the start of a more open approach to the game’s development.

    Firewall remains one of our favorite PSVR games of the year, though, and absolutely something you should check out. Going forward, we’d love to see some changes made to the game’s jammer system, which also seems to have some major exploits.

    Tagged with: Firewall: Zero Hour

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  • Check Out The First Gameplay Of PSVR’s Deracine And Everybody’s Golf VR
    Check Out The First Gameplay Of PSVR’s Deracine And Everybody’s Golf VR

    Two big PlayStation VR (PSVR) games were featured at Tokyo Games Show in Japan this year, and we just got our best looks yet at both of them.

    The first game is Deracine a new title from Dark Souls developer From Software. First announced at E3 earlier this year, we’ve been looking forward to the game’s return to From’s adventure roots. In the gameplay below, you can see a player exploring incredibly detailed scenes within the game’s boarding school setting. Time appears to have slowed to a halt and the player is able to pick up items and inspect them as well as observe what characters are doing. We get a bit of an Invisible Hours vibe from it.

    The other title, Everbody’s Golf VR, was actually announced just before TGS, though we’d been dreaming of it for a long time. The first entry in Sony’s popular golf series to support VR, it takes on a much more realistic look than its predecessors and uses a PlayStation Move controller to let you swing your club.

    Deracine is due to arrive on PSVR on November 6th, whilst Everybody’s Golf VR hasn’t yet been confirmed for the west, though we’d be surprised if it didn’t come over too.

    Tagged with: Deracine, Everybody's Golf VR

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  • OC5: Oculus Partners With VRHealth To Bring Rift And Go To Hospitals
    OC5: Oculus Partners With VRHealth To Bring Rift And Go To Hospitals

    Oculus Go headsets will soon be joining Rifts in rolling out to hospitals and homes in an effort to use VR to manage patient pain and anxieties.

    VR wellness company VRHealth today announced a partnership with Oculus that will see the latter’s hardware roll out to sites across the US running the former’s software. At the Oculus Connect 5 developer conference in San Jose, VRHealth will launch three pre-orders as part of the partnership.

    The first is a pain management platform on Go designed for use during chemotherapy and other treatments. It includes several different activities for distraction along with visual imagery to “alter pain perception”. The hope is that the experiences provided in the platform can help patients forget about discomforts caused by their treatment. Several plans for the platform are available, each coming with a Go headset and a tablet that others can use to gather data. VRHealth also provides analytical tools that can be used to help improve treatments in the future. Plans start with a $699 payment for the Go and tablet and then range from $89 a month up to $449 a month and beyond for enterprise cases.

    The second platform also helps manage pain, though is designed for home use on Go with subscriptions starting at $5 a month. Finally, another Go app focuses on wellness, incorporating brain health exercises and meditation. It tracks the user’s performance and even allows them to compare results with their friends. Oculus is assisting the company with the delivery of these platforms via its Oculus for Business program.

    Rift, meanwhile has already been deployed at 30 locations across the US, running a platform for rehabilitation.

    Tagged with: oculus, Oculus Connect, VRHealth

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  • OmniVision Announces New Image Sensors For Machine Vision New image sensors are designed for a range of applications including VR and AR headsets.
  • Life In 360°: Reconnecting Sessions on 360 degree creation from Oculus Connects past make up today's Li360.
  • First Class Tickets Get VR Movies On Some Boston Routes
    First Class Tickets Get VR Movies On Some Boston Routes

    What better way to forget the experience of a coach passenger than to don a VR headset in first class and watch Ready Player One in 3D?

    That’s the pilot project being tested by Alaska Airlines with a basic VR headset built only for 3D and 360-degree movie viewing. The service is called “Allosky Cinematic VR” from a company called SkyLights and it is being tested as a first class amenity on-board Seattle-Boston and Boston-San Diego routes.

    What’s interesting to me is the use of specialized hardware here instead of, say, an Oculus Go or Gear VR. Instead, this is a headset purpose-built for 3D movies and 180-degree or 360-degree VR films. I fully expect some comments on this article to argue whether you can have a “VR experience” in this kind of system at all.

    The headset is said to offer “a selection of 2D and 3D blockbusters” including “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Spielberg’s Ready Player One in 3D, and Ferdinand for the kids.” It also comes preloaded with some 360-degree films.

    Tagged with: Alaska Airlines, In-Flight Entertainment

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  • HumanEyes Technologies Launches New 5.7K Vuze XR Camera New 360-degree camera is being demonstrated at Photokina trade show.
  • Darth Vader VR Experience Set For Reveal Tomorrow
    Darth Vader VR Experience Set For Reveal Tomorrow

    The Darth Vader VR experience that we first heard about two years ago from ILMxLAB looks like it might get a formal reveal at Oculus Connect 5.

    A tweet from ILMxLAB’s official account says to look for updates on September 26, which just happens to coincide with the start of Oculus Connect 5 in San Jose, California.

    Alert all commands.

    — ILMxLAB (@ILMxLAB) September 25, 2018

    We’ll note also the official Viveport account replied to the message in a playful way, suggesting this is unlikely to be a release exclusive to the Oculus Store. Here’s the teaser we saw for the experience that was shown in 2016 during a panel.

    The writer, David S. Goyer, teased it would be done within “a year or two.”

    We cannot wait to learn more.

    Tagged with: ilmxlab, Star Wars

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  • AR Neurosurgical Fluorescent Receives FDA Clearance

    AR fluorescent can help provide surgeons with clearer view during vascular neurosurgery. *WARNING: The following photos are NOT for the faint of heart * Using a combination of AR technology and ICG, otherwise known as Indocyanine Green, Leica Microsystems, one of the leading manufacturers of optical microscopes and microscope equipment, has developed GLOW800, an exciting

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  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Dated for October Launch The new GPU will retail from $499.
  • HTC Invites Developers To Viveport Subscriptions With Q4 Rev Share
    HTC Invites Developers To Viveport Subscriptions With Q4 Rev Share

    HTC is pushing its Viveport subscription service this holiday season, hoping to attract developers with an offer of “100% net revenue” as the company goes after both Vive and Rift owners.

    It can be costly to take a chance on new VR apps that you’re not sure if you’re going to play. That’s the main selling point of the latest Viveport subscription plan, which offers access to five titles you can swap out each month for others. There’s a free trial and it is around $9 per month. Recently, HTC added formal Rift support to its Viveport subscription so that developers could reach players who have those headsets and might be more willing to impulse download an unusual title through a subscription than to pay a large up front cost for the game on its own.

    Last year, HTC said it offered developers 100 percent of revenue for all titles on Viveport in Q4, during the busiest shopping season of the year. This year, though, HTC said it was only offering a “100% net revenue share for all titles in Viveport Subscription.”

    The company says it has 500 titles in its subscription library now, though only a fraction of those will have Rift support. The are certainly some gems among the titles available in Viveport Subscription with more being added on an ongoing basis.

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  • VR Titles Get Shortlisted In IndieCade Awards Pixel Ripped 1989, TendAR and Laser Mazer all get nominations for this year's INdieCade festival.
  • 5 Reasons Why Animal Crossing Should Be Nintendo’s First Real VR Game
    5 Reasons Why Animal Crossing Should Be Nintendo’s First Real VR Game

    After what felt like forever, Animal Crossing is finally coming to the Nintendo Switch. The franchises resident business tycoon, Tom Nook, announced that a new entry would come to the console sometime in 2019 in a recent Nintendo Direct.

    I know we’ve only just received news that the series is finally coming to Nintendo’s newest system after years of nothing on the Wii U (and two mediocre offshoots in Happy Home Designer and Pocket Camp) but consider this– VR would be a fantastic addition to Animal Crossing if Nintendo finally wanted to jump outside consoles, handhelds, and mobile.

    Getting it right would be tricky since you can’t just copy what makes Animal Crossing great from one platform to the next. We’ve already seen the series stutter between Nintendo DS and Wii with Wild World and City Folk. But we’ve thought of a few ideas that could smooth the transition.

    Keep it Simple

    Animal Crossing is all about the simplicity of small-village life. No matter how advanced the technology gets, playing it should always feel like a blissful breeze through a cartoony countryside town filled with a handful of talking animals. Keep the vibe, as well as the mechanics for fishing, fossil hunting, bug catching, and decorating easy to approach (although don’t be afraid to add a new thing or two).

    Take Advantage of Rumble

    HD rumble is a huge part of tight game feel on Switch, it makes all sorts of movements pop out more than regular rumble. VR motion controllers, or some sort of additional accessory, should be able to add a similar effect. Everything from the feeling after a fish takes the bait or when your ax slaps the side of a tree could be enhanced by a little bit of extra rumble.

    Bring Back Constellation Creation

    Animal Crossing Wild World originally introduced a constellation creation mechanic where you could go to a conservatory above the museum and create your own designs in the sky.  Combine this with the many festive events that lead to fireworks and shooting stars, along with a gorgeous first person view in VR (and better visuals overall), to make for a perfect night under the stars.

    Build on Happy Home Designer Mechanics

    Animal Crossing New Leaf’s spin-off, Happy Home Designer, introduced new and efficient ways to organize furniture and other decorations around your house and yard. A VR installment should include these improvements while adding additional functionality for first person viewing. Mechanics like the ability to hot switch between tools and an easier way to manage inventories without looking at a plain menu would be welcome additions.

    Focus on Relationships Over Scale

    Bigger isn’t always better, even as console generations and technology advance making more things possible. While a lot of Animal Crossing fans want a bigger space to explore and more villagers to keep the company, the true nature of the series remains humble at it’s core. New areas should be added, like the downtown section after City Folk, but it shouldn’t compromise the rustic aesthetic the series has tried so hard to maintain.


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  • A Field Guide To Surviving VR Bullet Hell – Evasion With Evasion's PlayStation VR release is around the corner - learn how best to survive.