• Hotel Transylvania 3 Receives Augmented Playground Experience

    Biba partners with Sony Picture Animation to bring Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation to smart playgrounds across the US. Since its founding in 2014, the folks over at Biba Ventures has dedicated themselves towards integrating AR games and mobile apps into interactive playgrounds across the United States. Using their smartphones, parents can scan specialized access points

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  • Google Adds Support For Two Controllers To Daydream SDK
    Google Adds Support For Two Controllers To Daydream SDK

    Google is showing indications that its operating system for VR could be evolving toward support of two-handed games. While it remains unlikely you’ll ever be playing Job Simulator or Tilt Brush on a Lenovo Mirage Solo or a Daydream View, the new addition to Google’s Daydream SDK could lay the groundwork for those titles and other great games like Beat Saber and Superhot to eventually run on future headsets powered by Google.

    The Lenovo Mirage Solo and other Daydream headsets all use a single hand controller that operates a lot like a laser pointer. The latest update to the Google VR SDK for Unity, though, adds support for two of those types of controllers. Functionality shouldn’t change on devices that only support one controller, but apps could now see that controller as the player’s dominant hand. On certain devices capable of supporting two controllers, there could also be a non-dominant hand shown as well.

    Google previously revealed computer vision research showing how it could determine the location of pointer-only controllers, effectively turning them into the point-and-reach controllers that are more compelling and fun to use, but there’s no indication in the documentation of support for point-and-reach hand controllers. That means Beat Saber or Job Simulator running on a standalone headset is still something we’ll have to wait to see.  I’ve reached out to Google representatives to see if Mirage Solo or Pixel phones will support two pointer controllers, and I will update this post if they respond.

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  • Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Hyperreality Spy Experience Coming to San Diego Comic-Con Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan Experience will start this Thursday.
  • Sci-fi Thriller Downward Spiral: Horus Station Coming to PlayStation VR in August Only a few weeks to go until you can float through the derelict space station.
  • Hopalong: The Badlands Review – Ride Like The Wind In This Surprisingly Nimble Shooter
    Hopalong: The Badlands Review – Ride Like The Wind In This Surprisingly Nimble Shooter

    If there were ever a VR game in which I’ve thought “I must look ridiculous playing this” it’s got to be Hopalong: The Badlands. In this single-player shooter, you’re given a virtual hobby-horse, a toy horse head stuck on a stick that kids would place between their legs to pretend giddy-up with. You then proceed to imitate riding the horse (how much enthusiasm you put into it is at your discretion) to gallop around in VR. It’s pretty ridiculous, to say the least.

    But, you know what? It’s also pretty fun.

    As gimmicky as it is, Hopalong’s horseback riding lays the foundation for a surprisingly nimble, if ultimately forgettable shooter. You play as a Sheriff hunting down a gang of bandits over the course of 11 levels. You’ll journey through canyons, dive deep into mines and race through settlements as you steer your trusty companion with one and hand return fire with the other using one of several weapons.

    Moving is done by flicking your controller up and down to walk forwards. The broader the strokes you make the faster your horse will move, and the direction you point your controller is the direction in which you’ll travel. It takes a little getting used to but it wasn’t long before I found myself falling in love with bounding around the game’s levels, which fuse tight corridors with more open set-pieces. Circling around enemies or simply keeping your head down and charging forward feels fluid, with a kind of natural intuition that most VR shooters long for.

    It sets up some grin-inducing shootouts, too. As the name implies, Hopalong has a spring to its step, and you’ll need to keep moving in order to stay alive, lest you been bombarded with dynamite, mounted-gun fire and pick-axe wielding maniacs. Combat quickly becomes frantic, fuelled by the satisfying thrill of pulling off a well-aimed headshot from across a river as you race along its banks, or the last minute pull of a shotgun trigger before an enemy sword reaches your throat.

    As intuitive as the movement can be, though, it’s not perfect. Weapons, of which there are a few, can only be cycled through in real-time, causing real frustration as you hunt for the right tool for the job in the middle of a fire fight. If you’re on PSVR or using a 180 degree Oculus setup, you’ll also struggle with wanting to instinctively shoot an enemy that runs past you but coming up against the tracking limitations. The game’s quick turn option is somewhat sluggish, taking some of the pace out of combat, and making some of the already-maddening difficulty spikes even moreso.

    There’s also no escaping the fact that, innovative movement aside, Hopalong is a pretty basic and barebones shooter from a design standpoint. You move from A to B, shooting enemies that wait for you at set points without ever really engaging much thought. You’ll often find the AI sending bad guys running into walls or even getting grenadiers to accidentally bomb themselves. In fact, you can

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  • Amazon Prime Day Offers Include Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR Discounts These deals are just for the UK at present.
  • Blood And Truth Aim Controller Support Not Happening ‘At The Moment’
    Blood And Truth Aim Controller Support Not Happening ‘At The Moment’

    One of PSVR’s most promising upcoming games may not get support for the headset’s excellent Aim controller, but hope is not lost.

    VentureBeat recently spoke to Sony London’s Director of VR Product Development, Stuart Whyte, about the studio’s newest game, Blood And Truth. The PSVR exclusive is a first-person shooter (FPS) set in London’s gritty streets in which you take on gangsters. Currently we’ve only seen the game running with two PlayStation Move motion controllers, but could we also see the rifle-shaped Aim controller supported?

    “It’s a great question,” Whyte said when asked. “We’ve optimized our experience around two Move controllers currently, as it allows you to intuitively use both hands in play. We don’t have anything else to share on Aim at this moment.”

    It takes a bit of reading between the lines but, to us at least, Whyte’s answer certainly suggests Aim support could happen at some point down the line. Given that Blood And Truth is one of the biggest PSVR games on the horizon right now, it seems strange to us that Sony wouldn’t use the game to promote the Aim controller, which already makes FPS games like Farpoint and the upcoming Firewall: Zero Hour so compelling.

    Still, as Whyte said, Blood And Truth has clearly been optimized for the dual-wielding Move controllers from what we’ve seen before. That doesn’t mean we couldn’t see an Arizona Sunshine-style reworking, though, that switches our pistols for rifles depending on what controller you’re using. We’ll keep our fingers crossed as we await the game’s launch date.

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  • Spice & Wolf VR Coming in 2019 from Project LUX Creator It'll support multiple headsets including Vive and Rift.
  • Pro 3D 8K 360° VR Camera Detu MAX Sails Past Kickstarter Goal The campaign has secured over 7x the funding target.
  • Amazon Prime Day 2018: PSVR With Free Move Controllers, Oculus Rift For Less
    Amazon Prime Day 2018: PSVR With Free Move Controllers, Oculus Rift For Less

    It’s Amazon Prime Day 2018. That means customers subscribed to the retailing overlord’s premiere service can get a little bit of money slashed off of things they don’t really want. Well, that’s not entirely true; there are actually some pretty decent offers in the VR space this year that we should point out.

    We’ll update this page with new deals as they go live throughout the day, but there’s already some stuff you should definitely be interested in. Deals expire tomorrow at midnight local time.

    UK Deals

    PSVR Starter Pack + Two PlayStation Move Controllers – £229.99

    This is actually a pretty excellent deal for anyone that hasn’t picked up a PSVR headset yet. For £230, which is what Amazon usually charges for the base headset alone, you also get the PlayStation Camera needed to track the device, a digital copy of entertaining minigame collection, PlayStation VR Worlds, and two Move motion controllers. The last two are a great addition, as they’re usually priced around £60 and are essential for many of PSVR’s better titles.

    PS4 500GB Console – £219/PS4 Pro 1Tb Console – £299.99

    Of course, you’ll actually need a PlayStation 4 console to run your PSVR. Amazon has you covered there, too, with two really good deals on the two different types of PS4 consoles out there. The base PS4 can run any PSVR title no questions asked, but the £299.99 Pro model will ensure better performance and visuals on many of them, too. Personally, we’d go Pro.

    Oculus Rift and Touch Controllers – £349

    Unsurprisingly Oculus has slashed another £50 off of the price of its premiere VR headset for Prime Day. £349 now gets you the Rift, two Touch controllers and two sensors to track them with. That’s everything you need to get into PC VR beside, y’know, a PC.

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  • Thalu: Dreamtime Is Now Is A Surreal VR App Exploring Australian Culture
    Thalu: Dreamtime Is Now Is A Surreal VR App Exploring Australian Culture

    It’s always nice to see VR apps that look genuinely new, and Thalu: Dreamtime is Now certainly seems fresh.

    This new VR experience from Frame VR will be on display at the Melbourne International Film Festival next month. It’s a piece that brings you closer to the lives of director Tyson Mowarin’s people, the Ngarluma, an indigenous group living in the western Pilbara area of the country.

    In the experience, a guide will take you on a tour of the spirit world where you’ll encounter lush, surrealist visuals and unique interactive elements. Expect to encounter talking clouds, spiritual boomerangs and the blazing hot Australian landscape. The app’s art was created by Sutu, the artist behind the Mind at War experience we saw at last month’s Sheffield Doc/Fest.

    We haven’t seen the app for ourselves but it’s hard not to fall in love with the art style or the simple prospect of experiencing a world unlike anything we’ve ever seen before in VR.

    Listings of when and where to catch Thalu can be found here. As the trailer above suggests, the app should also be arriving on the HTC Vive via Viveport in the near future.

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  • Experiencing The Thrill Of Being A Spy In Defector VRFocus get hands-on with Twisted Pixel's upcoming Oculus exclusive spy thriller.
  • Owlchemy Labs’ Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality Nominated for an Emmy It's up against some stiff competition.
  • Downward Spiral’s PSVR Version Is Releasing Very Soon
    Downward Spiral’s PSVR Version Is Releasing Very Soon

    The PSVR version of one of our favorite VR games of the year so far is nearly here.

    Finland-based 3rd Eye Studios this weekend confirmed that its VR space odyssey, Downward Spiral: Horus Station, will arrive on Sony’s headset sometime in August. Writing in a blog post, the studio noted the console version was “in the final stages of certifications” with a few last bugs to fix. We didn’t get a specific day, but it’s great to hear the PSVR version isn’t too far around the corner.

    Downward Spiral sees players awaken on a seemingly deserted space station, which they must then explore in search of the missing crew. The game uses zero gravity traversal, getting players to grab onto surfaces and then launch themselves into the air. It also includes a full campaign that can be played in either single-player or with a friend in co-op as well as competitive multiplayer modes to boot. VR support is optional and support for both the DualShock 4 and Move controllers is included.

    We were big fans of the game when it launched on Rift and Vive in May, awarding it 8/10 in our review. “There are issues with each of Downward Spiral: Horus Station’s core elements, but the game’s hugely compelling atmosphere, ever-evolving arsenal and first-rate immersion is more than enough to see you through to the end,” we said. “From the chilling exploration to the nimble combat, this is an adventure that keeps its hooks in you and occasionally even pulls off that rarest of sensations: to make you forget where you really are in the world.”

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  • Beat Saber to Feature PlayStation VR Exclusive Features Plus PlayStation 4 Pro will be supported.