News

  • Introducing Superhot VR: Arcade Edition, Out Now At VR Arcades
    Superhot VR Arcade Edition

    One of VR’s most popular and best games is finally getting an arcade version.

    Superhot VR: Arcade Edition launched today for VR arcades across the globe. This isn’t a brand new Superhot game with new levels but instead a remixed version of the original classic. It features a new point-scoring mode, encouraging players to pull off their slickest, most stylish slow-motion action movies. Local leaderboards will let them solidify bragging rights, too.

    You’ll be able to play this version of the game in either five, 15 or 30-minute sessions. Check it out in the trailer below, although you probably already know what to expect.

    In a prepared statement, Alastair Hebson, Head of Special Projects at the Superhot team, said there was a “large appetite” for this version of the game. “It was an obvious decision for us to greenlight a project and hire a team solely focused on making it happen,” Hebson said. “It’s exciting for us to be in the space and part of this growing industry sector.”

    Indeed, many VR developers are looking to arcades as a means of further monetizing their games as VR’s modest install base continues to grow. Arcades take a lot of the cost out of VR, allowing people to try headsets out without buying one, let alone the PC it takes to power them.

    Superhot VR itself is already one of VR’s bigger success stories, though. In fact, with over 800,000 copies sold the game has surpassed even the original non-VR game it was based on.

    As for the home edition of the game, the developer says it’s looking at ways of integrating the arcade features later down the line. That sounds nice, but we’d really like to hear about something along the lines of a sequel. Until then we can still look forward to the Quest version.

    Tagged with: Superhot VR: Arcade Edition, VR arcades

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  • New Falcon Age Update Addresses Some Of The Game’s Biggest Issues
    Falcon Age Review

    We really liked Falcon Age, the VR debut from Outerloop Games, but it wasn’t without its issues. This week’s first update to the PSVR adventure addresses some of the bigger ones.

    A heck of a lot of tweaking has been done here, largely for the game’s control scheme. You can now switch hands for locomotion and bird-pointing, for example. Most importantly, though, a bug that stopped your bird from resting on your hand when using smooth locomotion has now been fixed. Auto-aim for your whip weapon has also been increased.

    Other combat refinements include a new stun animation for heavy sentry units and hit animations for alarm drones. You’ll also have more time to fight shock enemies on fairer ground, too. Finally for fixes Outerloop has ironed out some typos and a handful of bugs.

    But that’s not all. The developer also added in a bunch of new cosmetic items for your bird. Along with a new type of skateboard with new trick animations, you can now adorn your companion with a yo-yo, sunglasses, goggles, baseball cap and more. The full changelog and a short trailer can be found here.

    It’s great to see Falcon Age getting this support. We found a lot to love about the game, but its technical shortcomings held it back. “Falcon Age nurtures a soft spot inside of you, one big enough to overlook many of its technical shortcomings,” we wrote. “It’s a sentimental game, one that knows VR’s ability to build relationships is as compelling as and additive to any other feature. It never fully capitalizes on that connection in the way you might expect, but it’s a spark of companionship to be cherished all the same. That’s something the industry could use a little more of.”

    Tagged with: Falcon Age, updates

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  • Game Studios now Have an Easier Path to LBE Development With Two Bit Circus’ Park as a Platform Want your game in arcades, Two Bit Circus might have the solution.
  • A Closer Look At What Microsoft’s SeeingVR Offers The Visually Impaired
    microsoft visually impaired VR research

    Microsoft Reseach, in partnership with Cornell University, developed a range of techniques to make virtual reality accessible to the visually impaired.

    VR is a heavily visual medium. Most VR apps and games assume the user has full visual ability. But just like in real life, some users in virtual environments are visually impaired. In the real world a range of measures are taken to accommodate such users, but in VR no effort has yet been made.

    The researchers came up with 14 specific tools to tackle this problem. They are delivered as engine plugins for Unity. Of these tools, 9 do not require specific developer effort. For the remaining 5, the developer of each app needs to undertake some effort to support them.

    It’s estimated that around 200 million people worldwide are visually impaired. If Microsoft plans to release these tools as engine plugins, it could make a huge difference in these user’s ability to use virtual reality. For VR to succeed as a medium it must accommodate everyone.

    Automatic Tools

    Magnification Lens: Mimicking the most common Windows OS visual accessibility tool, the magnification lens magnifies around half of the user’s field of view by 10x.

    Bifocal Lens: Much the same as bifocal glasses in the real world, this tool adds a smaller but persistent magnification near the bottom of the user’s vision. This allows for constant spatial awareness while still enabling reading at a distance.

    Brightness Lens: Some people have different brightness sensitivity, so this tool allows the user to adjust the brightness of the image all the way from 50% to 500% to make out details.

    Contrast Lens: Similar to the Brightness Lens, this tool lets the user modify the contrast so that low contrast details can be made out. It is an adjustable scale from 1 to 10.

    Edge Enhancement: A more sophisticated way to achieve the goal of the Contrast Lens, this tool detects visible edges based on depth and outlines them.

    Peripheral Remapping: This tool is for people without peripheral vision. It uses the same edge detection technique as Edge Enhancement but shows the edges as an overlay in the center of the user’s field of view, giving them spatial awareness.

    Text Augmentation: This tool automatically changes all text to white or black (whichever is most appropriate) and changes the font to Arial. The researchers claim Arial is proven to be more readable. The user can also change the text to bold or increase the size.

    Text to Speech: This tool gives the user a virtual laser pointer. Whichever text they point at will be read aloud using speech synthesis technology.

    Depth Measurement: For people with depth perception issues, this tool adds a ball to the end of the laser pointer, which lets them easily see the distance they are pointing to.

    Tools Requiring Developer Effort

    Object Recognition: Just like “alt text” on images on the 2D web, this tool reads aloud the description of virtual objects the user is pointing at (using speech synthesis).

    Highlight: Users with vision issues may struggle to find the relevant objects in a game scene.

    The post A Closer Look At What Microsoft’s SeeingVR Offers The Visually Impaired appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Grassroots Student Initiative Brings XR To The Midwest

    The future of XR technology is now in the hands of the young and ambitious. Michigan students Michael Zhang and Matthew Kosova successfully hosted over 70+ attendees at their homegrown XR Midwest Conference on April 7, bringing companies like Ford to share VR/AR projects with a nascent but optimistic young audience. Zhang and Kosova have

    The post Grassroots Student Initiative Brings XR To The Midwest appeared first on VRScout.

  • Digital cathedrals: bringing Notre-Dame de Paris back to life After the tragic fire at Notre-Dame de Paris, planning for an ambitious reconstruction is already underway – and the latest digital technologies will be at the forefront.
  • EXCLUSIVE: Dreamlike VR Experience ‘The Key’ Set To Debut At Tribeca Film Fest

    Anna has no memory of her past, but she continues to dream about a mysterious key. Anna is having trouble remembering her past. She dreams about it every night, however, the details are unclear. The only thing she can remember is a mysterious key that she knows is somehow critical to unlocking her puzzling past.

    The post EXCLUSIVE: Dreamlike VR Experience ‘The Key’ Set To Debut At Tribeca Film Fest appeared first on VRScout.

  • Baobab Reveals Trailer For Bonfire Starring Ali Wong
    Bonfire Baobab Ali Wong

    Baobab Studios revealed the trailer for its next VR project, Bonfire, starring Ali Wong.

    The 5th animated VR project from Baobab Studios builds interaction into a strong narrative that places you as Space Scout 817 “on a mission to discover a new home for the human race after it has made a mess of Earth. The stakes are high. Too bad your piloting skills lack… precision. In fact, you crash-land at night in a mysterious clearing of an unknown planet three-hundred light-years from Earth. Your only source of light is your makeshift bonfire. Beyond its glow everything falls to darkness. And what are those strange noises coming from the alien jungle?”

    Wong voices robot sidekick Debbie with “a signature wariness” as you encounter furry inhabitants of the alien planet. The project builds to the question “Will you follow your captain or your conscience?”

    Baobab is doing groundbreaking work in VR with animated projects formed around strong narratives that put a single person in VR at the center of the story. The approach makes Baobab’s stories accessible to a wide range of viewers while still leaving visitors to their virtual worlds with indelible memories. In the studio’s last project, Crow: The Legend, interactivity was layered onto the experience in subtle ways — you could wave your arms to change the seasons, for instance. Bonfire continues Baobab’s journey of exploration in immersive storytelling with this tale about trust and friendship.

    Bonfire is premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival and is expected to run around 15-20 minutes when it launches widely on “multiple Oculus devices.” The project is directed by Eric Darnell.

    Tagged with: Ali Wong, Baobab Studios, Bonfire

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  • UploadVR Announces The First Ever E3 VR Showcase
    UploadVR Announces The First Ever E3 VR Showcase

    I love E3. It’s a heck of a lot of work, incredibly stressful and relentlessly tiring, but nothing beats the big moments. You know the ones I’m talking about; the surprise reveals and unexpected trailers. They keep me coming back for more.

    It’s time VR got in on that action.

    VR has struggled to find a home at E3 in the past few years. Sony’s had some amazing reveals, but it’s skipping this year and PC VR developers haven’t really had anywhere to turn. There are plenty of amazing VR games that deserve just as much of a spotlight as many of today’s popular console titles and they’re just not getting it.

    We’re planning to change that.

    So we’re making the Upload E3 VR Showcase. The simplest way to explain it is like a Nintendo Direct or PlayStation State of Play show, but for VR. It’ll be a pre-recorded presentation with a BUNCH of new game reveals, trailers and more. We’re going to be jetting off around the globe to meet VR devs of all shapes and sizes, talk to them about their latest projects and reveal them to you. Expect faces old and new as well as some guest stars from the VR community and beyond.

    This is our chance to show the world what the future holds for VR. We want to produce something that will excite not just the Rift, Vive, PSVR, Quest and Windows VR owners of the world today but also those that haven’t yet bought a headset. We’ve been talking with developers about this since last year and, trust me, some of these reveals are going to be big.

    With a lot more work, your support (and a bit of luck), we might just pull this thing off. Be back here on June 10th, 9am PST/12pm EST/6pm CEST for an action-packed presentation of all things VR. You’re not going to want to miss this.

    Tagged with: The E3 VR Showcase, Upload, uploadvr

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  • Super Mario Odyssey VR Includes 3D Movie Viewer, Hidden Items
    Super Mario Odyssey VR

    A lot of Switch fans are going to get their first taste of Mario in VR this week. Super Mario Odyssey is getting an update that will add three new levels to Nintendo’s beloved platformer. These can be played with the company’s recently-launched Labo VR kit. But that’s not all that’s coming in the update.

    The official Twitter account for the game (translated from Japanese) confirms that the update will also add a ‘Theater Mode’. From what we can tell, this will allow you to watch the game’s cutscenes with the VR goggles, stretching the world out in 3D. Not a bad little bonus, that.

    4/26のアップデートでは、ムービーシーンを見ることができる「シアターモード」も追加されます!「VR ゴーグル」を使えば、オープニングなどの映像を奥行きのある立体的な映像で見ることができちゃいます。クッパのパンチにビックリ!? pic.twitter.com/HstnsGk8fF

    — スーパーマリオ オデッセイ (@mario_odysseyJP) April 11, 2019

    The account also confirms that the three levels will add more hidden Cat Marios to find, which should be pretty fun using VR’s head-tracking. Oh, and you’ll also be able to play these new levels without the VR headset, but where’s the fun in that?

    These levels will revisit some of the worlds from the original game from a fresh angle. Think Astro Bot, but replace Sony’s new VR mascot with Nintendo’s iconic plumber. We can’t wait to see Nintendo’s interpretation of what VR brings to the genre.

    The update arrives on April 26th alongside a free update for another Switch classic, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. That will add full VR support to the original game. Sadly it doesn’t look like Super Mario Odyssey will be getting the same treatment for now. Let’s hope more Switch games are due a VR upgrade, though.

    Tagged with: Super Mario Odyssey VR

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  • Oculus’ Rubin: We Believe Quest Users Want To Say ‘Everything Here Is Good’
    Oculus’ Rubin: We Believe Quest Users Want To Say ‘Everything Here Is Good’

    Facebook’s latest VR headset, the Oculus Quest, is set to be quite different from the Oculus Rift. For starters, it’s an all-in-one device with no need for a PC. But Oculus is also approaching Quest with a stricter content curation policy than on Rift.

    It calls this a “quality-first approach” that has seen at least one developer have their VR game rejected from Quest’s submission process. Recent comments from VP of Content, Jason Rubin, shed light on this approach.

    In an interview with MCV, Rubin was asked if a more standardized platform may lead to more experimentation in VR games. “I think a lot of that experimentation will happen on Rift,” he replied. “Then we’ll take the best of the experimentation and bring it to Quest because we believe the Quest user wants to go to the store and say: ‘Everything here is good’.”

    Indeed, most of the games Oculus has revealed for Quest thus far are ports of some of VR’s most popular titles. Those include the likes of Superhot VR and Beat Saber. Rubin, meanwhile, says that Rift will still be home to initiatives like Early Access games.

    Rift Remains For VR Enthusiasts

    “Whereas on Rift, the users are just in love with VR and they want to try everything,” he reasoned. “And we find that people are more than willing to go into half-finished software. Early Access is not really a console mentality. It’s a PC mentality: ‘I know this thing’s busted but I’m buying it anyway.’”

    It’s true that PC VR is home to plenty of Early Access titles. But we still have questions on what Oculus’ stance on Quest curation means for some developers. Quest will be out later this spring at $399, with a new version of Rift named Rift S expected to arrive in the same timeframe for the same price.

    Do you agree with Rubin’s comments? Or are you hoping to see the more experimental side of VR reach Quest too? Let us know in the comments below.

    Tagged with: curation, jason rubin, oculus, Oculus Quest

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  • In Fantasy Smith, You Make The Weapons Other Adventurers Wield
    In Fantasy Smith, You Make The Weapons Other Adventurers Wield

    Nothing’s quite as satisfying as swinging a sword in VR. But do you ever wonder where your mighty blade came from? What fires forged its sharp edges? In Fantasy Smith, you’ll find out.

    Fantasy Smith has quite a novel idea for a VR game. Instead of heading off into dungeons to slay monsters, you make the weapons that other adventurers will use to do just that. It’s a cutesy little VR game developed by a group of Taiwanese students collectively named Gunben3. If the trailer below doesn’t melt your heart then we can’t help you.

    This looks a little like Job Simulator with a fantasy twist. Customers enter your little workshop and ask you to make them different types of gear. You then use the tools at your disposal to craft them. That includes enchanting items with magic and, of course, hitting them with a big hammer. Once you’ve completed a day’s work you can go out and spend your hard-earned cash on new items.

    Oh, did I mention the fact that the adventurers are incredibly cute animals? Like a fedora-sporting dog or an armored bear? I can’t take this much cuteness.

    Environments look to be highly interactive. Customers react to different actions like ringing a bell in their ears or bopping them on the head with items, and enchanting items in certain ways gives them a life of their own.

    Fantasy Smith is available now on SteamVR with official support for the HTC Vive. It usually costs $12.99 but you can pick it up for the slightly lower price of $11.69 until April 29.

    Tagged with: crafting, Fantasy Smith

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  • Celebrate Earth Day With These Nature Themed VR Experiences

    Immersive experiences that highlight the importance of environmental protection. There’s no better way to celebrate Earth Day than hitting the streets with a garbage bag and cleaning up random litter scattered around your local area. It may feel like an insignificant effort in the grand scheme of things, but only by holding ourselves accountable to

    The post Celebrate Earth Day With These Nature Themed VR Experiences appeared first on VRScout.

  • Nintendo: Labo VR On Switch Was ‘Planned Out From The Very Beginning’
    mario labo vr

    The recent release of the Nintendo Labo VR kit marks the second coming of Nintendo's VR efforts and apparenty it's been planned for some time.

    The post Nintendo: Labo VR On Switch Was ‘Planned Out From The Very Beginning’ appeared first on UploadVR.

  • The Future of Fashion: Magic Leap One Street-Style As You Never Imagined

    Mainstreaming XR Wearables Starts with Styling for Inclusion The old adage “seeing is believing” certainly checks out, but to believe in something, an idea, a notion, has one seeing it proven over and over again. I decided to create a photo campaign to make mixed-reality wearables look good and diversity in tech industry marketing a

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