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  • Every Major PSVR Exclusive Game
    PSVR Exclusives

    Sony might be a hardware company first and foremost, but over the years it’s funded dozens of high-quality exclusive games for its platforms. PSVR is no different. There’s a bunch of massive PSVR exclusives out there right now.

    This article lists every major permanent (fully funded) exclusive title.

    Note: You’ll notice some games are missing from this list, like Driveclub VR and Starblood Arena. That’s because these are online multiplayer games either due to be decommissioned or have already been shut down. In other words: don’t buy them!

    PlayStation Move Games
    Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
    Supermassive Games

    Rush of Blood puts a new spin on Supermassive’s popular branching narrative horror series. It swaps out player-made choices for an intense rollercoaster ride.

    Taking place in the mind of one of the original game’s characters, there are jump scares aplenty as you shoot your way through hell. We thought the game was a lot of fun, giving it 7/10 in our review.

    PlayStation VR Worlds
    Sony London Studio

    Sony London’s collection of VR minigames is a mixed bag overall, but its best bits far outshine the lesser additions. We only gave it 5/10 at launch but it’s since dropped in price.

    Namely, The London Heist short story is definitely worth trying to warm up for its spiritual successor, Blood & Truth. The same is true of the atmospheric Ocean Descent as an intro to VR. The game is often bundled with PSVR headsets these days, though.

    Note: Some games inside the collection can be played with a DualShock 4 instead.

    Deracine
    From Software

    Few would have expected to see a VR game from Dark Souls developer From Software so early on in the industry’s lifespan. Fewer still would have predicted it to be a narrative-driven adventure game.

    But Deracine works. It’s a melancholic short story, in which you play as a faerie in a boarding school. Its puzzles are simple but its intriguing strangeness alone earned it 8/10 in our review.

    PlayStation Aim Controller Games
    Farpoint
    Impulse Gear

    Farpoint was the first game to put Sony’s rifle-shaped Aim controller front and center. It’s a first-person shooter (FPS) in which you crash land on an alien planet and fight off hordes of bug-like enemies.

    Certainly, the Aim support gives Farpoint its own flair. But it’s also a relatively pedestrian FPS with simple design, earning it 7.5/10 in our review.

    Note: Can be played with a DualShock 4 instead but not recommended.

    Firewall: Zero Hour
    First Contact Entertainment

    For many, Firewall: Zero Hour is a dream come true. It’s an online FPS that plays out a lot like laser tag, with one team attacking an objective and another defending from it. Tight 4 vs 4 matches unfold in office spaces and warehouses.

    The use of the Aim controller gives Firewall a tactile feel unlike any other VR FPS. It was enough to earn it a 9/10 at launch, and there have been lots of updates since.

    Note: Can be played with a DualShock 4 instead but not recommended.

    Gamepad Games
    Resident Evil 7
    Capcom

    The seventh main installment in Capcom’s beloved horror franchise really mixed things up. For starters, it changed perspective to first-person

    The post Every Major PSVR Exclusive Game appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Sony ‘Very Happy’ With PSVR Sales ‘But We Know We Can Do Better’
    Sony ‘Very Happy’ With PSVR Sales ‘But We Know We Can Do Better’

    Sony’s PSVR headset is thought to be the most successful of the three major VR devices from 2016. We don’t know that for sure, but the headset has sold 4.2 million units. That might be a lot for the nascent VR industry, but it’s just a fraction of the near-100 million PS4s sold out there. Sony, then, wants to do better.

    Dominic Mallinson, senior vice president of R&D at Sony, said as much at Collision 2019 last week. As reported by VentureBeat, Mallinson noted that Sony was “very happy” with PSVR’s current position.

    “We’re very happy with those numbers and very happy with the position,” Mallinson noted. “But we know we can do better. There are over 96 million PlayStation 4s in the market today. And every single one of those is capable of delivering a great VR experience. So we’d like to convert many, many more of those people to be PSVR users. And we won’t just stop with PS4.”

    That last comment led Mallinson on to outline the next-generation of VR headsets. But he also spoke about how to pull more people in with the current PSVR. One area to improve in is non-gaming VR applications.

    “We need more people to come in and make compelling experiences for VR,” Mallinson said. “We have a pretty good handle on games. So I’m not too worried about that. And we’re still investing in our own first-party games as well. But I think everyone else out there — they could step up their game a little bit. So we could see more education, see more training, see more medical applications.”

    With likely at least a few more years on the market, how much further can Sony push PSVR sales?

    Tagged with: PSVR, sony, VR sales

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  • Oculus Rift S June Update To Bring Higher Quality Passthrough+ & ASW On RTX GPUs
    passthrough+ NVIDIA

    Next month’s Oculus Rift S software update should bring higher quality ASW 2.0 and Passthrough+ on the latest NVIDIA Turing GPUs.

    In addition to the RTX cards, this should also work on the GeForce GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti since they have the Turing video encoder hardware. It’s unclear whether it will work on the GTX 1650, as it has a previous generation encoder chip instead.

    ASW

    ASW (Asynchronous Spacewarp) is the Oculus Rift’s driver-level frame drop compensation technology.

    When your GPU isn’t maintaining framerate in VR, ASW kicks in automatically. It forces the running app to render at half the refresh rate of the headset and generates a synthetic frame after each real frame. So when ASW is engaged, half the frames are real and half are synthetic. Whenever performance returns to normal, ASW deactivates and the app returns to normal rendering.

    To synthesize the new frame, the motion between the previous frames is used. This is obtained from the graphics card’s video encoder. However, the quality of these ‘motion vectors’ is far from perfect.

    Passthrough+

    Passthrough+ is the name for the camera passthrough mode on the Rift S. When you move out of the Guardian boundaries or double tap the Oculus button, you will see the real world in black & white.

    On Quest the passthrough is not at the correct scale or depth. Objects look smaller and up close may result in eye strain.

    Rift S uses the same video encoder used for ASW and same algorithms to deliver a result with correct scale and depth. It works by comparing the frame motion to the known position of the headset. Facebook claims Passthrough+ is “state-of-the-art”.

    Turing Optical Flow

    The latest NVDIA ‘Turing’ GPUs, such as the RTX cards and GTX 1660 Ti, contain new hardware for motion detection, called optical flow. This is made available through NVIDIA’s Optical Flow SDK.

    This new hardware “quadruples the macroblock resolution, increases motion vector resolution, enables following objects through intensity changes, and emphasizes plausible optical flow over compression ratios”. Facebook claims this results in half the errors.

    Because Passthrough+ works entirely from these motion estimations, this results in an “increased stereo resolution”. If you have a Turing GPU, your Passthrough+ experience should get noticeably better next month.

    Other June Update Improvements

    The June update is also slated to bring improvements to the built in audio. Some users are experiencing a bug where volume is too low, and many have complained about the poor bass. Oculus Head of VR Product Nate Mitchell stated that the update will improve “bass and overall volume” and that it makes “a meaningful difference”.

    Additionally, Facebook told us it is “working on” a fix for the “white snow” issue some users are experiencing where the image will sometimes flash to a white static pattern. Improvements to this are slated to come “shortly after launch”, but it’s unclear whether that means in time for the June update.

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  • Lone Echo II Interview — What Ready At Dawn Has Learned From Its Third VR Game
    lone echo 2

    In Lone Echo II, Captain Olivia Rhodes and the android Jack are stranded on a strange spaceship near the rings of Saturn. They have to explore the environment and find a way to safety amid mysterious biomass.

    I checked out a demo of the narrative adventure game from Ready At Dawn Studios. The virtual reality title is coming out in the first quarter of 2020 on the Oculus Rift and Rift S. It is a sequel to Lone Echo and Echo VR, which debuted in 2017 from Oculus Studios. Oculus will publish the new title as well.

    I talked with Ru Weerasuriya, the CEO and creative director of Ready at Dawn, about what it’s like to make the studio’s third major title in VR, even as virtual reality is still struggling to take off in consumer markets. In this game, you play as Jack, and you try to solve various puzzles as you make your way through the dangerous space vessel. The goal is to make repairs, get around barriers, and find out what the heck is going on.

    Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.

    Above: Ru Weerasuriya is CEO and creative director at Ready At Dawn Studios.

    Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

    GamesBeat: Which part of the game are you showing here today?

    Ru Weerasuriya: It’s pretty early on, in the first act of the game. It’s a moment where, as I talked about before, we’re revealing the connection between you, the player, and Liv.

    GamesBeat: This is right after the previous demo?

    Weerasuriya: Right. There’s still a portion of it after Jack gets repowered and what we did for the announcement, where you actually see him being repowered and she says, “I have so much to tell you.” There’s a part of the game that happens afterward where you learn a lot about what’s going on and what’s really at stake here. But then this part happens, where you’re navigating through the station we see here. You finally get out of that and you realize what’s going on in the world that you’re in, in the 26th century.

    GamesBeat: Can you remind me where we are?

    Weerasuriya: We’re in the rings of Saturn. The first game leaves you in the rings of Saturn, but 400 years in the future. After you finish Lone Echo you’re thrust into this future and you have no idea what’s going on. You arrive there and look around, and I think Jack’s last words are, “What are we going to do?” “Well, we’ll improvise.” The beginning of the game is understanding what’s happened, what this future is about, and what’s going on. You’re still in the rings of Saturn, and over the course of the game you’ll find out what’s been happening.

    Above: You can interact with the environment with hand gestures in Lone Echo II.

    Image Credit: Ready At Dawn/Oculus

    GamesBeat: What is the biomass?

    Weerasuriya: The biomass is something that started in the first game. If you remember after the big alien ship arrives in the first game–it appears about two-thirds into the game and destroys the Kronos station. Out of it comes

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  • ‘Moon Rider’ Is A Free Beat Saber Alternative Available Via WebVR

    Punch and slash your way through a catalog of hit songs from any web browsing device. Although still in its infancy, webVR has already proven a viable solution for providing low-performance interactive VR experiences directly from a web browser. So far the technologies primary use-cases have been simplistic gaming experiences, virtual showrooms, and various other

    The post ‘Moon Rider’ Is A Free Beat Saber Alternative Available Via WebVR appeared first on VRScout.

  • Asgard’s Wrath — How Sanzaru Is Crafting A 30-hour Norse Saga Game In VR
    Asgards Wrath Key Art 02

    Asgard’s Wrath is one of the full triple-A games in the works for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. The Oculus Studios game is a sword-fighting action adventure title set in the universe of Norse mythology.

    Mat Kraemer, creative director at developer Sanzaru Games, said the VR title has more than 30 hours of gameplay, anchored by physics-based sword combat with a layering of role-playing game elements.

    The game is coming this fall from Oculus Studios and Sanzaru Games to the Oculus Rift and Rift S headsets. I played a demo of a level where I was able to switch between human and god forms to solve various puzzles. Then I interviewed Kraemer about the making of the game, which comes after Sanzaru’s previous title, Marvel Powers United VR.

    Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.

    Above: Mat Kraemer is creative director at Sanzaru Games.

    Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

    GamesBeat: How long have you been working on Asgard’s Wrath?

    Mat Kraemer: We’ve been working on this for about three years now. We were still working on this when we were doing Marvel Powers United VR.

    GamesBeat: Where did the inspiration come from?

    Kraemer: Originally—this game has gone through a bunch of iterations. It was originally a game that was more like Lemmings, where you were the god and you’d finish these puzzles, and the character would automatically move. We added this feature where you could switch to the human scale and look back, and everyone said, “This looks so cool! This is so much fun!” Being the hero down there and going back and forth between scales. We ended up changing the entire design of the game and making it what it is today.

    GamesBeat: What can you do as a human that’s interesting compared to playing as the god?

    Kraemer: The god’s primary role—each human character has a story arc. You as the god are helping aid them through that story arc. You can pick up animals in the world. You can convert the animals to animal warriors and place them in the scene. Then you can switch to the human character and use those animals and command them. As the human character you have several weapons. With Ingrid, the shield maiden, she has the sword and shield, and you can get in hand-to-hand combat with that. Each of the sagas has its own unique human characters.

    GamesBeat: The sagas are each of the worlds, right?

    Kraemer: Right, it’s the world. Right now we’re just looking at one saga. If you go to another saga, you’re going to be playing as a completely different character – different moves, different abilities. Each of those characters has their own leveling path, along with their animal buddies.

    Above: Uh oh. A god battle in Asgard’s Wrath.

    Image Credit: Sanzaru/Oculus

    GamesBeat: How is this different from what you did with your Marvel VR project?

    Kraemer: This is a much more progressive game. It’s telling a story. We’re looking at 30 or 40 hours of action-adventure with some light RPG elements. The narrative pulls you in from beginning to end.

    We take some gameplay elements from Marvel. We have

    The post Asgard’s Wrath — How Sanzaru Is Crafting A 30-hour Norse Saga Game In VR appeared first on UploadVR.

  • The VR Job Hub: FundamentalVR, StartVR & Tripwire Interactive More jobs from around the world.
  • Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway Is Now One Of The Largest AR Exhibits In North America

    Exploring Boston’s past via an AR time machine. If you are familiar with Boston, then you know all about the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, a stunning strip of land filled with beautiful gardens, promenades, plazas, and fountains that takes you through multiple Boston neighborhoods, from Chinatown all the way to Boston’s North End. Thanks to an

    The post Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway Is Now One Of The Largest AR Exhibits In North America appeared first on VRScout.

  • Phantom Covert Ops — How nDreams Is Making A Covert Stealth Game In A Kayak
    Phantom Covert Ops — How nDreams Is Making A Covert Stealth Game In A Kayak

    Who makes a covert operations stealth game where you’re in a kayak? It sounds like a dumb idea, but I played a preview of Phantom Covert Ops recently on the Oculus Quest virtual reality headset.

    And it was fun. nDreams is making the title for Oculus Studios. Coming out this year, the game turns the player into an elite covert operative who sneaks into a flooded Russian military compound. You have to sneak around the hostile wetlands, take out your targets with silencer, and disable enemy installations like a satellite tower. If you’re caught, you’re pretty much dead.

    I spoke with Lewis Brundish, the game director at nDreams, about how the studio tackled the task of making this unusual stealth game for the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift VR headsets.

    The game is coming out later this year. Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.

    Above: Phantom Covert Ops game director Lewis Brundish.

    Image Credit: nDreams/Oculus

    GamesBeat: How long have you been working on Phantom Covert Ops?

    Lewis Brundish: The concept started probably around 18 months ago, maybe two years. I forget the exact dates because it’s something that came together quite naturally out of prototyping and various ideas we had.

    GamesBeat: What have you done before in VR?

    Brundish: We’ve been working in VR for five years. As soon as the Oculus DK1 came into the studio, everyone knew that’s what they wanted to do. We saw the potential there. We’ve done a bunch of VR games. We’ve done the “Perfect” games, like Perfect Beach, those experiences. We did The Assembly, which was a narrative-driven game a few years back. Shooty Fruity is probably the latest one. We published Bloody Zombies. We’ve been around in VR for a long time. This is our fifth game, something like that.

    GamesBeat: What led you into this stealth-military space?

    Brundish: For a while, we’ve been wanting to make a really substantial VR game, something you can sit down and play for extended periods of time and lose yourself in. We came up with the idea of this military theme and this kayak movement as a way of giving you a game where you could play comfortably for extended periods of time.

    We went through loads of iterations on how the boat would work. We went through boats with motors and two-person kayaks with other people in them. We were just prototyping different ideas. We didn’t know if any of them would work. But as soon as we got near the version you played today, we knew it would work. Then the stealth game wrapper fell very neatly around that.

    Above: You can plant bombs in Phantom Covert Ops

    Image Credit: nDreams/Oculus

    GamesBeat: I don’t think anyone has done kayaking in a stealth game before.

    Brundish: Yeah, it’s unique. It’s quite a unique selling point.

    GamesBeat: You could turn it into a sports game later.

    Brundish: Right, we’ve got all the tech. It’s one of those things—I hope you can attest from playing the demo, but you hear it and think, “Oh, that’s an interesting idea.” But when you play it – this is how we felt in the

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  • Win Steam Gift Cards in VR Furballs’ Level Creation Contest They will then be part of a PC update and the upcoming PlayStation VR version.
  • Doodle Cam AR Draws Users Closer To Their Imagination

    The perfect AR app for all your doodlin’ needs. A few short weeks ago, my friend and former colleague, the prolific Aidan Wolf, connected the dots between an old school effect built into a JVC camcorder and the seemingly infinite possibilities of AR resulting in an app he’s called, Doodle Cam. Inspired by a clip

    The post Doodle Cam AR Draws Users Closer To Their Imagination appeared first on VRScout.

  • Sports Scramble Review: Mixing Things Up On Oculus Quest
    sports scramble thumbnail

    In Sports Scramble games of Tennis, Bowling, and Baseball get all sorts of mixed up as you play through them against AI or real players online.

    The post Sports Scramble Review: Mixing Things Up On Oculus Quest appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Bonfire Review: Baobab’s Latest Charms To No End
    Bonfire Baobab Ali Wong

    You have to admire Baobab at least for its persistence if nothing else. Its ever-growing catalog of endearing VR animations has a throughline of progression, each feeling more assured in immersive storytelling than the last. Its latest experience, Bonfire, makes similarly significant strides in promising new directions.

    Interaction is at the heart of Bonfire, and it yields potent results. You embody a scout sent to a distant alien planet to investigate potential colonization. After a rough landing, you’re forced to take shelter around a fire with your AI companion, Debbie (joyfully played by Ali Wong). There, dimly lit in the gentle flames, you’re treated to a close encounter with one of the planet’s inhabitants.

    Fans of Baobab’s past work will find themselves right at home amongst the tongue-in-cheek tone, fantastical score and splendid visuals. But Bonfire has its roots in work beyond the studio, harkening back to early introductory VR like Oculus’ Farlands demo. In some senses, this too feels like a technical showcase, laying the groundwork for further adventures to come. There are sparks of invention all the same; playing a game of fetch with your new alien friend brings a few minutes of virtual delight, as does trying to tempt them into snatching a marshmallow from your hands.

    It’s the narrative’s sharpness, both in scripting and pacing, that keeps a smile on the face. Bonfire has wit in both speech and action. You’ll find it in Wong’s lines, delivered with an enthusiastic naivety as she serves you cricket-flavored rations. But it’s also in the punchy animation, that stops and starts at an erratic tempo, giving the piece an unpredictable edge. It helps, too, that audience participation is an essential ingredient in the narrative.

    There’s more work to be done, though. Interactions here are charming to no end but also feel somewhat limited in scope. Bonfire is brilliant but brief, and I wanted to explore more of the world around me and spend more time with the friends I’d made.

    Bonfire exposes Baobab to a world of deeper storytelling possibilities, then. With that comes huge technical challenge, the kind we’re only just starting to see overcome in other experiences. For Boabab, it’s a promising start in a new era. Where it goes from here will be the real story.

    Final Say: Recommended 

    Bonfire is available now on Oculus Quest for $9.99. For more information on how we review experiences and games, check out our Review Guidelines.

    Tagged with: Bonfire, vr animation

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  • Kickstarter Backed ZED to be Released in June There's only a couple of weeks until release.