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  • Oculus Touch Controllers May Hold Accidental Hidden Messages

    Oculus co-founder confirms tens-of-thousands of devices may be affected. In a series of tweets made by Nate Mitchel, the Oculus co-founder and head of VR product at Facebook revealed that tens-of-thousands of Oculus Quest, Rift, and Rift S controllers have released with “easter egg” messages hidden within their internal components. Michel clarified on Twitter that

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  • Research Suggests VR May Help Patients Suffering From Parkinson’s

    Research into VR’s benefits on balance and motor control continue to reveal new information. More than 10 million people worldwide live with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and experience the neurological disorder that progressively affects their movement. Individually, the results can vary, but will usually include muscle rigidity, tremors, loss of balance, and changes in speech and

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  • PlayStation VR Version of Seeking Dawn Officially Cancelled The port is indefinitely on hold.
  • A Game Of Thrones Magic Leap Hands-on — Winter Is Coming To AR
    A Game Of Thrones Magic Leap Hands-on — Winter Is Coming To AR

    Experimental technology has become a part of the marketing campaign for the final season of A Game of Thrones. I checked out the Magic Leap One augmented reality and HTC Vive Focus virtual reality installations for A Game of Thrones at the AT&T store on Powell Street in San Francisco.

    I tried out Magic Leap’s experience, Game of Thrones: The Dead Must Die, first. It was upstairs in an area that was like museum for A Game of Thrones, complete with outfits from the show on display in glass cases. The Dead Must Die is a mixed reality experience, combining real world props and AR. The physical space was set up like a scene out of King’s Landing.

    An attendant helped me put on the Magic Leap One Creator Edition glasses, which come with a computing puck that you sling over your shoulder and glasses that enable you to see animated overlays on the real world. Before me, on the floor (as you can see in the picture), was one of the White Walkers, an undead creature that was sawed in half. But its animatronic arm was still moving.

    Above: The Dead are not quite dead yet.

    Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

    Then, another one of the virtual Walkers started busting out of a box. I had to pick up a flaming torch and light the creatures on fire. I did so, and they promptly burned back to death. Then an ice wall on other side of the room started to crack. I had to physically walk up to the wall. When I did so, a Dragon Glass knife appeared. I grabbed it, and then a Walker busted through the icy portal in the wall. I stabbed the Walker, and then the experience ended. It was a pretty quick, accessible, and immersive experience.

    The Dead Must Die experience is available at AT&T locations in San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago. It will arrive in Los Angeles and Dallas later in the month, and it will last until June 10.

    After that, I went downstairs, where they were still working on setting up the HTC Vive Focus experience with A Game of Thrones VR experience. It took a while to get it up and running. But I waited.

    Above: The Night King in A Game of Thrones.

    Image Credit: Magic Leap

    I put on the HTC Vive Focus, which is a standalone VR headset. I was standing on a mixed reality platform with a lot of plastic ice around it. And when I went into the VR experience, I was at the gate at the bottom of The Wall. A Ranger from the Night’s Watch was there in the icy corridor. He told me that I needed a sword, and he gave me his. Then he picked up his bow and opened the gate.

    In VR, snow blew in through the open passage. And in real life, I was hit with a blast of cold air. It was a pretty cool effect. Then he began walking ahead. I followed him, though I didn’t have to physically move or

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  • New Trailer Drops for Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series Oculus Rift and Rift S support have now been confirmed.
  • New ‘Vader Immortal’ Trailer Teases A Thrilling, Narrative-Driven VR Experience

    SNL’s Maya Rudolph is your trusty droid side-kick in this narrative-driven experience. Hello, all my fellow Star Wars fanatics!  Today marks the second day of the 4th annual Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, Illinois and things are heating up quick. Not only were we treated to the first official teaser for Star Wars: Episode IX

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  • Facebook Workers Put ‘Big Brother Is Watching’ Inside Oculus Touch Dev Kit
    new oculus touch controllers

    Oculus founder Nate Mitchell posted three tweets revealing people working on the Oculus Touch controllers buried “easter eggs” inside the housing of “tens of thousands of Touch controllers.”

    Here are the tweets:

    Unfortunately, some “easter egg” labels meant for prototypes accidentally made it onto the internal hardware for tens of thousands of Touch controllers.

    — Nate Mitchell (@natemitchell) April 12, 2019

    While I appreciate easter eggs, these were inappropriate and should have been removed. The integrity and functionality of the hardware were not compromised, and we’ve fixed our process so this won’t happen again.

    — Nate Mitchell (@natemitchell) April 12, 2019

    We confirmed with Facebook the text appeared on versions of the Oculus Touch controllers for Rift S and Oculus Quest. The text “This Space For Rent” and “The Masons Were Here” appears inside finished units which will ship with the headsets to consumers. Those are the only messages which made it into finished production, according to Facebook.

    While the messages are clear attempts at humor, one which appeared on dev kits states “Big brother is watching,” an obvious reference to global fears about the reach and influence of Facebook’s social platform. Reaction to the acquisition of Oculus by Facebook was swift and strong when it acquired the company in 2014 for roughly $3 billion. It was instantly apparent the social media giant would have access to more personally identifiable information through these headsets.

    Current VR headsets include microphones, sensors and cameras to facilitate communication and track head and hand movement. Over time, more VR headsets are likely to watch eye and facial movements too. Facebook’s leaders, for example, hope to create hyper-realistic avatars and transmit body movements anywhere in the world in an effort to “defy distance,” as Facebook defines the mission of its Oculus efforts in VR.

    Tagged with: oculus touch

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  • Watch The First Full Trailer For Star Wars: Vader Immortal For Rift + Quest
    Watch The First Full Trailer For Star Wars: Vader Immortal For Rift + Quest

    At long last, we have our first real glimpse of Star Wars: Vader Immortal Episode 1.

    The first proper glimpse of the game was revealed at the Star Wars Celebration event in Chicago today. There’s a lot to unpack but let’s start with the good news; the experience is coming to the Oculus Rift S too. It had previously been announced as a launch exclusive for Oculus’ other headset, Quest. It’s not clear if the app will launch on both headsets at the same time or come to Rift S a little later on.

    Anyway, let’s get to the good stuff. The trailer gives us a good look at the experience, which is set in the Dark Lord’s super secret lava base. You play as a prisoner inside the complex that launches a desperate escape. Accompanying you is a droid and some aliens we’re not too familiar with. Oh, yeah, and there’s a lightsaber.

    Vader Immortal isn’t a ‘game’ per say, but the footage shows combat with training droids, Stormtroopers and, at one point, a duel with droids that looks like it’s alongside Vader himself. Quick glimpses of space combat, sneaking and even environments outside of Vader’s base also feature. There’s a climbing segment too.

    Frankly, there’s a heck of a lot in here that we’ll need to digest over time. A full panel detailing the piece is happening right now and we’ll be sure to pick it apart piece-by-piece soon. A release timeframe for the experience isn’t included in the trailer, but we are expecting it to be out this year.

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  • Pavlov VR Modding Community Welcomes Diversity Just In Time For 20th Update

    As developer Dave Villz and the team behind the popular VR FPS Pavlov VR wrap up their most recent patch, the title’s tight-knit modding community is pulling together to give representation to LGBTQ+ modders and players. As with all modular games like Pavlov VR—a title which celebrates and nurtures its homegrown community of diehard modders—it’s

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  • Here’s What Information Facebook Stores About Oculus Web Browsing Activity
    Here’s What Information Facebook Stores About Oculus Web Browsing Activity

    Oculus Quest and Oculus Go are bringing a lot of new buyers to VR headsets in 2019 and that means a lot of new people using the Oculus Browser to surf the Web.

    For those unfamiliar, the Oculus Browser lets you visit any normal web page while also including support for virtual worlds built with WebVR. The software includes most standard browsing features, including private browsing mode. We contacted Facebook recently to get explanations about what the company stores related to browsing activity.

    We received some interesting answers over email and are including them below. If you have any questions or additional information — please share in the comments or email tips@uploadvr.com.

    We’ll plan to update this post over time if we receive substantial updates.

    What data, if any, does the Oculus Browser transmit back to Facebook? Does it transmit browser history?

    The Oculus Browser does not share information with the Facebook family of apps unless you choose to log into Facebook via FB login (this would be the same information that Facebook would receive if you logged in to Facebook while using another browser). That said, as with using any browser, web sites themselves may collect information about you. What data is collected, how it is used, and who it is shared with is up to the web site and their privacy policy. Some web sites may share information about you with Facebook through Facebook Business Tools they use, including our social plug-ins (such as the Like button), Facebook Login, our APIs and SDKs, or the Facebook pixel (see the Facebook privacy policy for more information). This is generally true no matter what web browser or device you use.

    Has this data collection level been different in the past?

    No. nothing has changed with how the Oculus Browser has worked.

    What controls do users have over how much data Oculus Browser sends to Facebook?

    As stated above, what data is collected, how it is used, and who it is shared with is up to the web site and their privacy policy. Some web sites may share information about you with Facebook through Facebook Business Tools they use, including our social plug-ins (such as the Like button), Facebook Login, our APIs and SDKs, or the Facebook pixel (see the Facebook privacy policy for more information). This is generally true no matter what web browser or device you use.

    Facebook gives people controls for how their information is used to serve them ads which can be found here.

    UploadVR noted in a follow up email that “sharing” information is not the same a “collecting” or “saving” information. So we sent these follow up questions:

    If I’m using the Oculus Browser on an Oculus headset, is my browser history transmitted from the device to Facebook/Oculus servers in any circumstance?

    Oculus does not transmit your complete browser history to our servers. We, do, however, collect domain name data (like wikipedia.com) to assess how many unique users visit a specific website to help us prioritize what sites we focus on from a compatibility and performance standpoint. We disassociate this information from our users because we only care that a person visited a site, not that YOU in particular visited that site. We limit the storage of this data to 30 days.

    An additional point to add – one of the features of the Oculus Browser includes curated WebVR experiences that

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  • The North American Retail Edition of Ghost Giant Will Arrive in May for PlayStation VR The digital release takes place next week.
  • Blade & Sorcery: How One Man Redefined VR Melee Combat Physics
    Blade & Sorcery: How One Man Redefined VR Melee Combat Physics

    Even though it’s still just in Early Access, Blade & Sorcery is an emerging sandbox VR combat game that’s been gaining a lot of attention as of late. The gladiatorial combat simulator is the brainchild of solo developer KospY, under his studio WarpFrog, and has been available to public audiences since December 2018. It was built from the ground up for VR; with several maps, enemy types and weapons and it has a ton of replay value. The game’s focus on realistic physics make for an immersive and satisfying experience — if you can stomach the violence.

    Last month, I contacted WarpFrog’s Community Manager and public spokesperson – ‘The Baron’ – seeking an interview to discuss the game’s success and gain some insights into its development. He actually took me one step further, and arranged for me to speak directly with the elusive developer himself.

    KospY and I sat down and talked for a while over Discord one evening, and I was able to pick his brain over the game’s origins and his vision for the future. For more details, you can read up on KospY and The Baron in this Oculus blog post as well.

    UploadVR: Let’s start by talking about your background. How did you get started with programming and development?

    KospY: As far as background goes, I come from the modding scene. The funny thing is I don’t have any experience in game development, and I’ve never worked in the industry before. However, I’m self taught and I’m passionate about gaming and VR.

    I’ve been making mods since my childhood, and my most recent modding experience with Kerbal Space Program gave me a good knowledge of Unity and programming. 3 years ago, after I first received my first VR set, I started a project on Unity, and worked on it as a hobby from time to time. I spent nearly 2 years designing the game in many iterations, and it changed direction several times. Last year, I finally had the chance to work full-time on that project and Blade & Sorcery was born.

    UploadVR: What made you want to develop for VR rather than more traditional platforms?

    KospY: Mainly because I’m just very passionate about VR! I’ve been following the scene since I first got the Oculus Dev Kit 2. Also, the community is great, it’s a smaller market and I like to innovate. VR felt like it was suited perfectly for a solo developer like myself.

    UploadVR: And you mentioned that in its early stages, the game itself changed direction a lot. Care to talk a bit more about that?

    KospY: Well, my original idea was to create a sorcery based combat game, something pretty simple. The game was called “Sorcering” once upon a time and the main idea was to fight waves of undead enemies. It used teleport-style locomotion, and combat was restricted just to spells back then.

    After some time, once I’d gotten my ‘VR legs’, I moved to free locomotion and started to take the game towards PvP Multiplayer. It was around then

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  • Ghost Giant Review: A Bold And Brave Adventure That Hides A VR Treasure
    Ghost Giant Review Image

    Ghost Giant has all the warmth and wonder you’ve come to expect from VR storytelling. It’s got a twee diorama world of small miracles to explore, cutesy characters to fall in love with and even a handful of subversive themes to pick apart. It doesn’t take long to fall for these charms. But Zoink Games’ VR debut then goes an unexpected extra mile. It takes these elements and adds a secret ingredient to the mix: you.

    Zoink mines virtual gold from deceptively simple concepts: companionship, kindness and, for the deeper crowd, our reliance on and manifestations of those themes in times of extreme distress. Ghost Giant is a thoughtful game, one that’s not afraid to tackle tough subjects in new ways. For that, it’s something I’ll cherish for a long time to come.

    Rarely has it felt so good to simply help. Ghost Giant introduces us to Louis, a young kid from the fictional town of Sancourt. We meet him out by an old hangout spot where he’s quietly sobbing. His tears start to flow toward you and, before you know it, form two hands you control with PS Move controllers. After a flustered introduction, you become an unlikely problem-solving duo, charting a path toward Louis’ deeper troubles.

    Ghost Giant first establishes bonds familiar to those that played Moss and Astro Bot. Micro fist bumps, constant eye-contact and friendly waves between you and your friend are just as potent as ever here. Louis himself is a wonderfully realized bit of work; at times he’s a peppy youngster that zips around with an enthusiasm that’s tough to keep up with. He’s joyfully voiced and often a pleasure to be around, uplifting the already feather-light world. The same is true of the rest of Sancourt’s inhabitants, which resemble something like an Animal Crossing cast with a touch of world-weariness. Three cool cats sit on a bridge and complain about the lack of art in town until you paint a giant burrito. A hard of hearing pelican locked in argument with a walrus keeps mishearing requests (“You collected kelp here?!”). It’s both ridiculous and delightful in equal measure.

    In fact, just about every presentational aspect of Ghost Giant is a marvel in its own right. Each of the game’s 14 scenes is a miniature theatre production with stages cobbled together from nuts and bolts. Louis enters a house and you’ll have to pull a lever to rotate the building or outright lift its roof off to see what’s going on. Adorable little-big interactions are hidden in every corner, whether its dressing townspeople in hats you find in the environment or tossing a basketball into hidden giant hoops (which is sometimes an inexplicably difficult task). I’d be remiss not to mention the melancholic soundtrack, the soothing whispers of which still linger as I write.

    These features are whimsy and memorable, though they hide Ghost Giant’s darker side. Zoink’s weird and wonderful work is a Trojan Horse disguising a bold take on depression and neglect, one depicted from angles not always considered.

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  • Acer Introduces new Windows Mixed Reality Headset: ConceptD OJO It'll be aimed towards creators rather than consumers.
  • Racket: Nx Is Coming To Oculus Quest, Supports Cross-Buy With Rift
    nacket nx

    Racket: Nx, the game described as “racquetball meets breakout”, is coming to the Oculus Quest standalone VR system.

    The developers, One Hamsa, filmed a new trailer for Quest in their home country of Israel. They shot it playing outside in the desert and edited in a sci-fi background. It is just an advertisement but this is the first time we’ve seen Quest being used outside.

    Games like this which depend on strong distinct gameplay mechanics rather than graphics are ideal for standalone VR systems like Quest. While Quest is significantly less powerful than a PC, it has room scale tracking and Touch controllers which enable the same kind of gameplay as PC VR.

    In fact, when playing Racket: Nx on PC the cable could often be a burden. This kind of active game with frequent rotation is perfect for wireless and standalone VR.

    The developer also enabled cross-buy. That means if you own it already on the Rift store, you won’t have to buy it again for Quest. Or if you buy it for Quest and get a Rift S in the future, you’ll still be able to play it on that headset as well.

    One Hamsa say the game probably won’t be a launch title, but should be available “very soon” after launch. We’re excited to give this game another try with the freedom of movement of standalone VR.

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