• Within Brings AR Storytelling To LA’s Best Afterschool Enrichment Program

    The Wonderscope Los Angeles Community Reading Initiative brings AR education to nine schools and seven libraries. Since first established back in 1988, LA’s Best afterschool enrichment program has been providing daily support to over 25,000 elementary school students from hundreds of underprivileged schools using numerous initiatives designed to promote intellectual and social development. Afterschool—a period

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  • Oculus for Business Gets a Revamp at F8 2019 Oculus Quest is being introduced of course.
  • Oculus Quest & Rift S Arrive Next Month, Pre-Orders Now Live

    The dramatic conclusion to #QuestCountdown ends in yet another countdown. During Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference earlier this morning, Zuckerburg himself took to the stage to outline the companies commitment to user privacy and company ethics, teasing a variety of features and programs designed to create a more secure ecosystem of applications and products. Naturally,

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  • Here are the 50+ Launch Titles for Oculus Quest There's going to be plenty to play next month.
  • Apex Construct Quest Review: A Port Worthy Of This Enjoyable Adventure
    Apex Construct Quest Screenshot

    Apex Construct is one of the games I expected to have some troubles fitting onto Oculus Quest. That’s largely because the game is impressive even on a PC VR platform. Here’s what we had to say about the game last year:

    ” From the moment you begin it’s clear that this is a ‘full’ VR game. You play as an unnamed protagonist summoned into the real world by an experimental AI named Fathr and pair up to defeat a rogue program named Mothr. Across six environments that are smartly reused over the campaign you explore the conflict between these two advanced beings as you journey through what remains of the facility in which they were created.”

    A full single-player adventure with multiple levels, environments and action set pieces? Something has to give, right? Well, it does, but not quite as dramatically as you might expect.

    Apex Construct is a great example of what developers can achieve when porting their PC VR games to Quest. It is, unmistakably, a visually inferior experience to all other versions of the game, but the core charm has been preserved incredibly well.

    If you’re familiar with the original then some of the differences will be immediately obvious; textures are much more simplistic and have had little touches removed. The game’s first outside area, for example, swaps out details like dried up patches of grass for one-note color schemes. Rocks have lost the moss that once grew on their edges and flowing waterfalls look less convincing inside Quest.

    Despite this, somehow the visuals retain their core appeal. The opening level’s sweeping vista impressed me just as much on Quest as it ever did on Rift or PSVR.

    More importantly, the game remains a real thrill to play. Apex Construct’s visual downgrades serve to maintain the core experience and Fast Travel has absolutely pulled that off. In fact, the lack of wires on Quest more than made up for the visual gap between the two. I found it easier to spin around as enemies circled me and get more lost in Apex Construct’s chaotic brand of action than I ever have before. As I noted in my Oculus Quest review, I did notice a small handful of tracking hiccups, but nothing significant enough to frustrate or make me long for alternative tracking.

    Still, many of the game’s original issues remain in this new version. The curtain often threatens to fall on Apex Construct’s post-apocalyptic world. Whether its events triggering when they’re not meant to, items disappearing under a fit of collisions or certain objects and even environments not loading properly, you’re never too far away from your next immersion-breaking bug. But Fast Travel has included all of the updates that have reached the game in the past year, including the Cygnia Cup survival mode it added for free. That’s more bang for your buck, especially if you consider this is a cross-buy game.

    Final Score: 8/10 – Great

    Apex Construct might have lost some of its visual sheen in the journey to Oculus Quest, but it’s all in service to the

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  • Here Are Install File Sizes For Every Oculus Quest Game So Far
    oculus quest insight

    We've broken down the install file sizes of every Oculus Quest game that we've got access to so far so you can see what you'll be working with at launch.

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  • New Oculus Touch Review: A Slight Step Back As Oculus Headsets Go Forth
    Oculus Touch 2 Review

    Oculus Touch’s new revision is born more out of necessity than opportunity. 2019 sees Facebook’s VR hardware make the jump from outside-in positional tracking, which uses external sensors, to an inside-out system that instead has sensors mounted on the device. You can see the tech employed in the new Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest headsets.

    As such, Oculus Touch is in need of a bit of a refresh. The original Touch had a tracking ring that looped under your hand, but Rift S and Quest’s sensors wouldn’t be able to spot that. Instead, the loop now runs over the top of the controller. You might think it’s a minor change, but it does impact the overall ergonomics of the controller, and not necessarily for the better.

    Some Things Never Change

    To be clear, this new Touch is still an amazing piece of technology. It offers all the same buttons and features as the original version. Each has two face buttons, a clickable analog stick and grip and trigger buttons. The right controller also sports an Oculus button whereas the left swaps it with a menu button. Finally, the same basic ‘finger tracking’ function, which detects which buttons you’re touching (if any), is still present. These features have helped make Touch the best VR controller since its launch in 2016, and they remain just as compelling here.

    That is with exception of the Oculus button, which is now located closer to the face buttons. On the original, it would happily sit to the right side of your thumb when you pressed ‘A’ and ‘B’, but now it’s easier to accidentally press it with the base of your thumb. It won’t happen often but you will find yourself more aware of it which, in turn, occasionally distracts you from the virtual task at hand.


    You can read our separate impressions on tracking the Touch controllers with either Rift S or Quest in their respective reviews. Broadly speaking, though Touch offers solid, precise VR tracking on both platforms, with the limitations of inside-out tracking  holding it back in certain scenarios. It’s not a good idea to bring the controllers up close to the headset, for example, and you can easily occlude one tracking ring by holding the other over the top of it.

    Half A Step Forward

    The build quality of the new Touch is largely as good as the old, except for a few things. The back of the controller now has a more textured grip. In fact, the entire device feels like it has just a touch more friction to it, which will hopefully save us all some smashed lights and TV screens in the years to come.

    Half A Step Back

    For the most part, the tracking ring is kept out of the way, but not entirely. If you do a thumbs up gesture (which many apps will simulate), you might find your thumb knocking against the top of the ring. In fact, you can reach any part of the ring with your thumb very easily. If, like

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  • Valve Index Makes Official Debut Ahead Of Facebook’s F8 Conference

    The Valve Index VR Headset will begin shipping June 28th for $999. In what can only be described as a giant middle finger to Oculus, Valve officially unveiled its highly-anticipated Valve Index VR headset earlier this morning, just ahead of the Facebook F8 developer conference. The Valve Index headset will feature 2880×1600 “fast-switching” LCD panels,

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  • Hands-on With Valve Index: VR Passion Redefined Valve doesn't care about entry level, Index is for the enthusiast.
  • Four VR Games Compared Side-By-Side On Rift And Quest
    Four VR Games Compared Side-By-Side On Rift And Quest

    Oculus Quest, Facebook’s new standalone VR headset, is arriving in just a few weeks’ time. Facebook is pushing its latest device as an all-in-one VR system that will enable Rift-quality experiences. And it’s true that Quest’s inside-out tracking, for the most part, brings great PC VR titles to mobile. But to get there, developers have had to intensively optimize their games for less powerful hardware.

    How did that pan out?

    We’ve rounded up four Quest games that also appear on Oculus Rift and taken screenshots of each version. The left side of each picture below is Quest and the right is Rift. The differing hardware means that images are captured in different ratios, so we’ve done some cropping on Rift’s part.

    Superhot VR (Demo Version On Quest)

    Based on the demo supplied to us, Superhot VR is probably the best-looking port you can find on Quest right now. Granted the game’s minimalist art style was never the pinnacle of VR visuals, but the developer has done a remarkable job keeping them in line for Quest all the same.

    You can notice a few slight differences, though. Namely in the below shot you can see additional lighting effects on Rift through the chainlink fence. Quest doesn’t enjoy such luxuries, but it doesn’t dent the experience one bit.

    Apex Construct

    We’ve had extensive time with Apex Contrsuct on Quest and it holds up really well compared to PC. As you can see from these comparison videos, though, there’s an undeniable difference between the Rift and Quest versions.

    Details like extra vegetation and overall texture quality are reduced in the Quest version. For the chance to play Apex Construct on Quest, though, the trade-off is more than worth it.

    Creed: Rise to Glory

    Performance-wise, Creed is one of the games we’ve seen that’s struggled most in translation to Quest. The tracking is a challenge and load times can be lengthy. Visually the game is much drabber too, though Survios has been smart with its optimizations.

    Lots of character models still look detailed, for example. The Quest version also sheds a lot of lighting effects which, while atmospheric in the Rift version, help it compare a little better in screenshots.


    Rush is an interesting one given that it’s designed to run the gamut of VR headsets. The Rift version was never particularly show-stopping visually, and the two compare a lot closer than you might expect.

    In fact the Quest version seems to sport more vegetation in some places, which makes up for the blurrier textures. Draw distance is very low on Quest, but it was never huge on Rift to begin with.

    So that’s just a handful of comparisons. We’ll likely share more as more games are added to Quest’s line-up in the run-up to launch on May 21st.

    Tagged with: Apex Construct, Creed: Rise to Glory, Oculus Quest, oculus rift, RUSH, SUPERHOT VR

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  • Creed: Rise To Glory Quest Review – Fighting On The Ropes
    Creed: Rise To Glory Quest Review – Fighting On The Ropes

    Creed: Rise to Glory on Oculus Quest is mostly the same game, but it suffers from performance issues and tracking loss that impacts gameplay.

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  • Dance Central VR Review-In-Progress: Grooving To The Music
    dance central thumbnail

    Dance Central VR is coming soon to Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift headsets and we've put the VR dancing game through its paces in our review.

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  • Rift S Hardware Review: A Simplified PC VR Headset Focused On Easier Setup And Lowering Cost
    oculus rift s

    Facebook and Valve support VR for different reasons.

    Valve’s Steam storefront is the dominant digital distribution store on personal computers. Virtual reality creates new markets for content which Valve can sell to PC owners via Steam.

    Facebook’s relationship to people is reliant on platforms controlled by other companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft. VR offers an opportunity for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook to loosen its dependence on those companies.

    I start there in my Rift S review for a few reasons.

    First, Facebook set its embargo for Rift S reviews at 10:30 AM Pacific on April 30 — mid-way through its keynote at the F8 developers conference which started at 10 AM.

    About two hours before my hands-on time with the Valve Index HMD last week, a representative from Valve emailed me to say the company shifted its embargo time from May 1 to April 30 at 10 AM Pacific. Any sense of rivalry between these companies is not imaginary. It is fact.

    Second, it is apparent Facebook prioritized one consideration in its design of the follow-up to 2016’s Oculus Rift. Above all else, Rift S makes it easier for new VR buyers to sign up for an Oculus account, set up their headset, and get into a virtual world delivered by Facebook.

    Easier Setup And Lower Cost

    Before Rift S arrived at my home on Friday last week I disconnected three USB cords from my PC.

    Each cord ran to a sensor for tracking movement of the original Rift and its Touch controllers. At its discontinuation this month, Rift cost more than $400 for a complete “room-scale” system if you wanted all three sensors. For me, that meant running two of the three USB cords taped to my ceiling with the sensors mounted high on my walls so they could spot movement in almost any direction from the outside-in.

    Insight Tracking

    Rift S moves to “inside-out” tracking via five cameras on the headset itself to erase the need for those extra USB ports on the PC. This is the same “Insight” system deployed on Oculus Quest (via four cameras on that headset) and in my experience setting up Guardian boundaries works just as quickly and smoothly across both systems.

    I spent the last three years setting up Oculus Rift sensors in dozens of configurations, buying USB extension cords, drilling holes in walls and, worst of all, dealing with trial-and-error PC issues across desktops and laptops as a result of hooking up three sensors and a VR headset.

    I don’t think I can overstate how much of a delight the out-of-box setup experience is with Rift S in comparison to the original. You’re still limited to a tracked area tethered by a cord to your PC, although now it’s five meters instead of just four. Thankfully, now it’s no longer a huge inconvenience to simply just move the VR play area by a few feet. And, if you wanted to go portable, the inside-out tracking system is more friendly to backpack PCs.

    The Insight system makes it easier to use Rift S with laptops, lowers

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  • Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S Pre-orders go Live; Dual Launch on 21st May Wireless or cabled, you decide.
  • Oculus Quest And Rift S Launch May 21, Pre-Orders Now Available
    Oculus Quest And Rift S Launch May 21, Pre-Orders Now Available

    We finally know when the Oculus Quest and Rift S are launching, this May, as pre-orders for both devices are now live across the US, UK, and EU.

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