• Tokyo XR Startups Reveals Successful Applicants for 5th Incubation Program The companies will get ¥ 5 million to ¥ 10 million from Tokyo XR Startups.
  • Robo Recall On Oculus Quest Gameplay “Identical” To Rift, New Screenshots Released
    robo recall quest poster

    Five new images of Robo Recall for Oculus Quest were revealed today on the Oculus blog. The blog also revealed that the game was ported by Drifter Entertainment.

    Drifter’s co-founder Ray Davis was Executive Producer for Bullet Train when he worked at Epic Games. Bullet Train was a VR FPS tech demo and prototype that eventually “evolved” into Robo Recall itself.

    Robo Recall was the Rift’s flagship game for 2017. Developed by Epic Games and funded by Oculus with an estimated budget of up to $10 million. The graphical quality pushed the bounds of what was possible in VR games with action and physics.

    That’s why when Mark Zuckerberg announced on-stage at Oculus Connect 5 that the game would come to Quest, the entire VR industry was rightly skeptical. Could a mobile GPU really play this game, or would this be a port beyond recognition?

    “Early on, everybody had some skepticism,” David claimed in the blog. “But once we got Robo Recall playable on Quest, more and more people were like, ‘Wow, this is how the game was meant to be played.’”

    While the game’s graphics required significant reduction to run on Quest’s mobile hardware, the gameplay apparently did not. From the blog post:

    Throughout development, Drifter was adamant that the gameplay experience should be identical. “Our core principal was, ‘Do not change the gameplay,’” stresses Davis. “We want complete parity on Rift and Quest.”

    Proving Quest’s Potential

    Of course, images and videos don’t come close to representing how a game will feel in VR. The distances these shots were taken at may also hide low detail areas. So Drifter will be letting members of the press get hands-on with the game running on Quest this week. We’ll post our impressions after the event- we’re eager to see how it really holds up to the Rift version.

    Oculus Quest opens up a new frontier for VR- fully untethered room scale with tracked controllers without needing a PC. While we know its mobile processing hardware can play games like Beat Saber or Job Simulator, questions have been asked about what more it can handle.

    Oculus Studios now tells its developers to build for Rift and Quest, but will Quest truly get the types of full scale games these developers have delivered in the past? If Robo Recall truly does have the same gameplay as Rift just with reduced graphics, that may be an indication of the answer.

    Tagged with: Drifter Entertainment, Oculus Quest, Oculus Studios, robo recall

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  • Why Catching Pokemon In Skyrim Could Be The Future Of VR And AR
    Why Catching Pokemon In Skyrim Could Be The Future Of VR And AR

    You have been invited to join a movement. A rebel cause to make the future a stranger, freer, more interesting place. A place where people, applications, games, all intersect and intermingle seamlessly around us in unlimited configurations. Where the barriers between VR and AR dissolve and our virtual worlds and augmentations can seamlessly intermingle. A place without central ownership or one-size-fits-all rules for existence.

    To get there, all we need to do is remove the barriers that exist between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and let them become one thing.

    Come again?

    Augmenting Any Reality

    Check out this video:

    What you’re seeing here is Pokemon Go’s AR mode augmenting Skyrim VR. Augmented Virtual Reality. This isn’t some crazy hack with kitbashing and emulation. We simply put the iPhone’s camera up to a VR headset’s lens and tricked the phone into thinking Skyrim was reality. This works for any ARKit and ARCore app today in any virtual reality.

    AR Apps augment whatever reality is given to them. They don’t care whether they’re augmenting real or virtual reality.

    Every single AR app made today should run great by augmenting virtual worlds instead of the real one (with possibly the exception of AR navigation apps, but even those have a use in VR — they just need to be provided different data).

    Why Do This?

    About half of the people we tell this to are already on board. The other half ask “Why?”. Why would you augment a virtual world? What does that do for you?

    Here are some anecdotal answers:

    I want to climb up a mountain in Skyrim and find a Pokemon Gym on top that I can conquer by calling up friends and having them also launch Skyrim and climb that mountain so we can take it down together. The augmentation adds a new social motivation to do something in the virtual world.
    I want to bring my virtual pet with me when I explore new worlds.
    I can invite my friends to join me as augmentations and give them a tour of my house in Minecraft.
    I can add my own body or parts of my house into any VR experience as an augmentation.

    Here’s my less anecdotal answer:

    Any value from augmenting the real world carries over to virtual ones.
    Right now there are millions of VR headsets ready to be augmented. That’s a market much larger than AR headsets today. Even phone AR apps can run in virtual worlds.
    It’s easier to augment virtual worlds because virtual worlds are already software, and we can get direct access to game information. In the real world we have to painfully, expensively, and often erroneously reconstruct information from camera pixels and other sensors. This means the quality of augmentations in VR will always be better than augmentations in the real world.
    When augmenting virtual worlds, we can give our augmentation real power and agency to interact and make changes to the world. Each virtual world can choose how much access the augmentations should have. My virtual cat can fight alongside me in Gorn!

    Point 4 above is the really exciting

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  • Stress Level Zero Teases Actual Level From VR Physics Game ‘Boneworks’

    Our first look at Boneworks’ up-to-date gameplay is nothing short of jaw-dropping. Last month Stress Level Zero dropped the first look of their upcoming VR sandbox physics game, Boneworks. The 15-minute video has since sent the VR community into a frenzy as users foam at the mouth over the tight gun mechanics and incredibly-realistic physics. Yesterday,

    The post Stress Level Zero Teases Actual Level From VR Physics Game ‘Boneworks’ appeared first on VRScout.

  • Afterlife is a Hard Hitting VR Experience Examining Grief, Coming in May It'll support a range of VR headsets.
  • Snapchat’s ‘Landmarkers’ Update Brings Famous Structures To Life In AR

    Snapchat’s latest update turns NYC’s Flatiron Building into a giant slice of pizza. Morphing your face and adding dog ears through Snapchat’s AR filter is definitely fun party trick and good for a few laughs, but the company sees its technology offering so much more, and by so much more I mean turning surrounding landmarks

    The post Snapchat’s ‘Landmarkers’ Update Brings Famous Structures To Life In AR appeared first on VRScout.

  • The Oculus Rift is Dead, Long Live Quest (and Rift S) There was no fanfare this year for the headset that started it all.
  • Nintendo Labo VR Getting Best Buy Demos This Weekend
    Nintendo Switch VR Games Labo

    A new VR headset is releasing this week. No, not Rift S, Quest or Index. It’s actually Nintendo Labo VR, a makeshift device for the company’s Switch console. Like you, we’re eager to dive into the kit an learn what it’s all about. If you’re still on the fence, though, you’ll be able to do that before you purchase one.

    Best Buy will be holding in-store, hands-on demos with Nintendo Labo VR this Sunday, April 14th. The company will hold the demos from 10:30am to 2:30pm. You can book a slot at a participating store through this website. Expect to get demos from the new line of peripherals that includes blasters, wind pedals and, uh, an elephant trunk. Then you can pick one up, head home and build it yourself.

    That is a few days after Labo VR launches, mind you. The kit arrives on April 12th with either just the blaster or the whole slew of add-ons. Each comes with its own minigames to play and then there are more than 60 others to in the VR Garage. You can even make your own games with a relatively simple editor.

    Nintendo Labo VR is mainly intended for kids, but hardcore VR fans have reason to pay attention too. Later this month Nintendo will update both Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with VR support. The former will include three new mini-missions to play through whereas the latter will be playable start to finish in VR. Needless to say, we can’t wait to get out hands on that.

    Tagged with: Nintendo Labo VR

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  • Real-Time Strategy Title GODS Looks for Kickstarter Support It'll support Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR.
  • Sony Patents Prescription Glasses With Eye-Tracking To Use With VR Headset
    Sony patent eye-tracking 2

    Well, this is an interesting little design. Sony has patented what looks like a pair of prescription glasses for use with VR headsets like PSVR. Not only that, but the glasses include eye-tracking sensors.

    The patent, published last week, doesn’t showcase a new VR headset with its own eye-tracking capabilities. Instead, it’s concerned with a pair of prescription glasses to fit inside such a headset. VR headsets have had an uneven history with supporting glasses; some accommodate them quite easily and other major ones don’t. Designing custom glasses intended for use with a headset could help Sony bring in more VR enthusiasts for PSVR or perhaps the unannounced PSVR 2.

    But it’s the inclusion of an eye-tracking sensor that makes this patent really interesting. The patent says that the sensor is able to determine “gaze information of the user in order to improve quality of content provided for rendering on the head mounted display.”

    To us, that sounds a lot like foveated rendering. That’s a process in which a headset tracks the position of the user’s eyes and fully renders the area of the screen in the center of their vision. The rest of the image isn’t fully rendered, but this is unnoticeable in the user’s peripheral vision. This greatly reduces the processing power demanded on the machine running the VR experience.

    The question is, why would these glasses include the eye-tracking sensor and not the headset itself? We can think of several reasons. Perhaps, for example, these glasses could be used in tandem with the current PSVR headset, which doesn’t feature eye-tracking. PSVR is home to great experiences, but it’s no secret that the PS4 that powers it pales in comparison to PCs running the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Implementing foveated rendering into the current setup could really give PSVR a boost.

    Or perhaps it’s simply that using these glasses disrupts an eye-tracking sensor already embedded in the next version of PSVR. As such, the sensor in the glasses simply replaces the other one. Or it could be neither of those things. At a time in which companies are striving to make VR more accessible, we have to wonder if Sony would really ask people to buy glasses specifically designed for use with headsets.

    This is just the latest in a series of patents we’ve seen from Sony in 2019. Last month we reported on what looked a wireless version of PSVR. Back in February we also spotted some new features for a long-running controller patent that could replace PlayStation Move. Still, with so many great PSVR games coming this year, we wouldn’t expect to see the headset’s successor in 2019.

    Tagged with: eye tracking, patents, PSVR 2, sony

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  • New Boneworks Video Showcases How Realistic VR Physics Work Stress Level Zero has shown off an early level.
  • Sci-Fi London Film Festival 2019 Returns in May With a Selection of 360 & VR Shorts The festival will also be hosting the secretive #HACKSTOCK: 5.
  • Game Of Thrones’ Kit Harington Plays An Intolerable VR Character On SNL

    Jon Snow can’t keep his mouth shut in this VR-related sketch from last nights SNL. Anyone familiar with video games probably has a story or two about a particularly infuriating NPC (non-playable character) that severely dampened their gaming experience. Perhaps an annoying quest-giver constantly hounding you about menial objectives or a cumbersome side-character that keeps

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  • Boneworks Feels Like The First Next Generation VR Game
    boneworks logo stress level zero

    Boneworks from Stress Level Zero feels like the first game of PC VR’s second generation.

    The small team based in Los Angeles previously developed Duck Season and Hover Junkers. In Boneworks, they are applying years of refinement to physics, locomotion and object handling systems. You can feel the effort every second inside their virtual world.

    A recent demo of Boneworks from Stress Level Zero co-founder Brandon Laastch shows interactions tuned to a degree I’ve never seen before. First I held, loaded and fired a one-handed pistol. I dropped the gun, grabbed a bigger one, racked it with my other hand and started firing. I decided to steady it with my second hand for better control and it just worked. I also grabbed an axe with one hand and steadied it with the other.

    During my demo, Laatsch told me to release my index finger from the right hand of the axe. My virtual hand loosened its grip, letting me find a better spot to grip for maximum hacking power. I also took a few swings of the crowbar before resorting to just good old-fashioned robot punching. Boneworks even enables throwing objects and then “force” grabbing them back to your hand just by making a fist with your index and middle fingers. Magazines are attached to my body. I look down and see them there for easy reloading. Larger guns store on my back for later so my hands are free to grab more things in the world.

    I turned my body to the right, pushed the thumbstick forward on my controller and started exploring the demo level.

    “Thus far, VR content has asked gamers to lose some core features of gaming in exchange for some new exciting ones,” Laastch explained in an email. “With Boneworks, we want to show gamers and developers that a VR player controller can exist that maintains all action/adventure genre staples while adding incredible agency due to precise tracked controllers. By removing as many ‘two steps forward, one step back’ examples and only presenting the expected experience plus a ton of new exciting gameplay, we can massively interest gamers and developers in VR gaming.”

    What I’ve described about Boneworks might sound simple — other developers do some of these things with their software — but not to the degree and the level of execution on display here. There are still plenty of interactions in many VR games which are huge barriers. In Boneworks, it seemed like those barriers are practically gone. What that leaves a player with in their virtual world is a sense of empowerment.

    “It is the job of the software to blend user input into an expected, responsive, and visually pleasing result,” Laatsch wrote. “For twenty-plus years, gamers have been shown increasingly high fidelity first-person animations in AAA games. In order for VR to go massively mainstream, the end visual result of the hands – both inside and outside of the headset – need to match the fidelity of hand-keyed first-person animations. By doing this, we remove a

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  • The VR Job Hub: Blackwall Labs, Alchemy VR, Pebble Studios & KageNova Ignore Brexit and look at all these jobs in sunny England.