• Sony To Make PSVR Announcements In New Nintendo Direct-Style Series
    Sony To Make PSVR Announcements In New Nintendo Direct-Style Series

    Here’s why Sony is backing out of E3 this year; it has its own Nintendo Direct-style series to replace it.

    The PlayStation maker will host the first ‘State of Play’ event on March 25th at 2pm PT/9pm GMT. The show promises to showcase new PS4 and PSVR games. That includes “new trailers, new game announcements and new gameplay footage.” It’ll be aired on Twitch, Youtube, Twitter and Facebook, with a video on demand version following on.

    We’re hardly surprised to see Sony follow in Nintendo’s footsteps. Late last year the company confirmed it would not be attending E3 in June 2019. That means its traditional press conference isn’t happening either. Last year Sony chose a show where it made fewer announcements and instead spotlighted a slate of already-announced games.

    There is speculation that, with this generation of consoles reaching its sixth year, Sony is simply running out of big announcements to make for PS4 games. With Days Gone, The Last of Us 2, Death Stranding, Dreams, Concrete Genie and Ghost of Tsushima all on the way, the company has plenty left for the console’s swan song. These smaller, more direct (sorry) videos, might make more sense than a giant press conference.

    As for PSVR, we can only speculate as to what might be announced at the show. We’re still waiting for news on Blood and Truth’s release date. We also know that a new Sony-owned UK studio has been toying away at a big PSVR exclusive for some time now. Perhaps it’s finally time we saw that.

    Tagged with: Nintendo Direct, PSVR, sony, State of Play

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  • Details Released on Nintendo Labo: VR Kit, Pre-orders now Open The kit will be released on 12th April.
  • Nintendo Switch Labo VR Features Over 64 Games, First Trailer Revealed
    Nintendo Labo VR Kit Switch

    Missed the news? Nintendo’s getting into VR. At least, it sort of is. Later this year the beloved gaming company will launch a Nintendo Switch Labo VR Kit. It’s a set of cardboard peripherals that you make yourself. One forms a Google Cardboard-style headset to plug the Switch into. The others all resemble controllers. But what can you actually play with these devices? Nintendo just revealed all.

    The below video walks through each of the cardboard peripherals, or ‘Toy-Con’ as they’re called. It looks like each peripheral comes with a handful of games.

    The Blaster Toy-Con, for example, offers some simple alien shooting. It looks a little like Nintendo’s take on the wave shooter. There’s also a hippo game where you try and fire food into their mouths.

    Next up is a Wind Pedal. You keep it by your foot and press of it to get a gust of air in your face. It’s assigned to a weird-looking game where you jump over balls as a frog. Weirder still is the Toy-Con Bird, which turns the headset into, well, a bird. As you might’ve guessed it comes with two games that make you a bird.

    Perhaps the best-looking of the bunch is the Toy-Con Elephant. Surprisingly, this comes with Toy-Con’s own version of a VR creation app like Tilt-Brush. You use the elephant’s trunk to move a 3D paintbrush. There’s a handful of minigames for this one too. The Toy-Con Camera, meanwhile, takes you to an underwater world.

    But these aren’t the only games you’ll get with Toy-Con VR. Nintendo also revealed a VR Plaza that features some 64 minigames to explore. You can play a virtual drum kit and get into a boxing match.

    Finally, there’s Toy-Con Garage VR. This allows you to make your own VR games. With some simple programming interfaces, you can design characters and maybe make your very own Astro Bot, for example.

    Nintendo Labo VR launches on April 12th. We’ll be hugely interested to see if this is a VR experience worth our time or if Switch’s various limitations hold it too far back.

    Tagged with: Nintendo Labo, Nintendo Labo VR Kit, Nintendo Switch

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  • Oculus Quest To Have 128GB Storage Model
    oculus quest retail box

    While the $399 Oculus Quest model will have 64GB of storage, Facebook confirmed to UploadVR there will be a more expensive model with 128GB of storage space.

    This isn’t the first time Facebook has sold tiers by storage. The Oculus Go is currently sold as two models- a $199 32GB model and a $249 64GB model.

    Unfortunately neither Go or Quest feature an SD card slot, so you’re stuck with the storage you buy. Facebook is working on the ability to use USB storage, but there’s no release date for this feature yet.

    We don’t yet know what size Quest games will be, but Go games tend to be a few gigabytes each. We’d expect the same for Quest, with the biggest games perhaps approaching 10 GB.

    For games the base model should be fine. Whether to get the higher tier storage likely depends on your media habbits. If you prefer to stream content from Netflix or PLEX you’ll be fine with the base model, but if you like to have your media stored on the headset itself, you’ll probably want to opt for 128GB.

    There’s no price on the 128GB model yet, but based on Go’s pricing it’s unlikely to be less than $449 or more than $499. We’ll update you when Facebook announces the price of this tier.

    Tagged with: Oculus Quest

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  • Cartoon Network Launches ‘We Bare Bears’ Location-Based VR Experience

    Serve up some lunch in this hectic 3-person competitive free-roam experience. Step into the chaotic lives of Griz, Panda, and Ice Bear as Cartoon Network’s Emmy-nominated animated series We Bare Bears makes its VR debut with Food Truck Rush VR. Developed in partnership with location-based specialists WePlayVR, artificial intelligence experts AiSolve, and game studio PHL

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  • Charming VR Adventure Spark of Light Sneaks onto SteamVR The title supports Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
  • No Valve VR Updates At GDC But News Coming ‘In The Not Too Distant Future’
    No Valve VR Updates At GDC But News Coming ‘In The Not Too Distant Future’

    Valve Corporation employees are delivering updates during a presentation today at GDC about Steam features. The talk focuses on how new features and services in Valve’s Steam storefront got more people using it over the years. VR is one of the features listed in the presentation as building on-ramps to more growth on Steam.

    That is the only mention of VR in the presentation.

    Valve representative Doug Lombardi confirmed to me there would be no VR updates at GDC from Valve but that it remains an area of interest and investment for the company.

    “We still see VR as being really important, we still see a lot of people adopting it,” Lombardi said. “In the short term, or the not too distant future, we are going to be talking more about…what’s happening on Steam with VR past, present and future, but it just won’t be happening here at the show.”

    Late last year photos leaked showing what appeared to be a Valve-made head-mounted display. We heard from sources Valve could be targeting early this year for broader availability of the system with Knuckles controllers and perhaps a Half-Life VR game. In December, Valve started shipping fresh developer kits for its several-years-in-the-making hand controllers. Last month, Valve laid off 13 people including some working in VR — a prepared statement said it “does not represent any major changes at the company.”

    The reveal of Rift S from Facebook means after three years of work the company committed to shipping a follow-up system to its first PC VR headset. Valve partner HTC is developing a range of headsets but none of them appear to use Valve’s SteamVR Tracking technology that was so critical to the appeal of the original Vive.

    With certain compromises apparent in the design of the Rift S — it is heavier than the original, for example — we are extremely curious to see what choices Valve made in developing newer versions of its VR technology.

    It sounds like we should get those updates soonish.

    Tagged with: steam, SteamVR, valve

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  • Sony Files Patent For Wireless PSVR Device

    Sony looks to cut the cord on console VR.  According to a new patent filed by Sony, the company is looking into wireless functionality for the next iteration of their PSVR headset. Sony plans on using a breakout box that would pair with the PSVR headset using two different frequencies to deliver a seamless VR experience as

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  • Tobii’s new XR SDK Aids Eye Tracking Integration Tobii wants to help developers integrate more eye tracking into their software.
  • Oculus Medium Won’t Be On Quest, Requires “The Power And Memory Of A PC”
    Oculus Medium Won’t Be On Quest, Requires “The Power And Memory Of A PC”

    If you were hoping to do some VR sculpting on Oculus Quest, you may be out of luck. The Rift app Oculus Medium won’t be coming to Quest. Facebook says it requires “the power and memory of a PC”.

    Standalone VR is great- it’s affordable and wireless. Over the past few months and throughout GDC we’ve been hearing about plenty of games coming to the $399 standalone headset. Developers have been working hard to optimize their art assets and code to make them run on the Snapdragon 835 SoC.

    But some apps and games simply can’t be brought to standalone. They depend on the power of a PC. If you want to know the extent of this difference, check out our article Standalone vs PC VR Power Compared: How Big Is the Difference?

    Facebook is positioning Quest as a games console. The company has repeatedly told developers that the focus of the device’s content library is gaming. That’ll disappoint potential buyers who were hoping to unleash their creativity in VR.

    Facebook’s other VR art app, Quill, won’t be coming to Quest either. But thankfully Quest will act as a Quill viewer. You’ll (though perhaps not at launch) be able to view Quill creations. At XRDC Facebook explained the efforts they’ve been taking to make this work, including making a custom Android renderer for the format.

    Thankfully, there will be competing apps to Medium with a similar featureset. SculptrVR launched to PSVR last year, and is already available on Oculus Go. It’ll be available on Oculus Quest, allowing the same kind of sculpting experience, if not all the features.

    Tagged with: facebook, oculus, oculus medium, Oculus Quest, Standalone VR, vr art

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  • World War Toons No More As Developer Roqovan Closes Its Doors
    World War Toons No More As Developer Roqovan Closes Its Doors

    World Wars Toons, one of VR’s earliest hopes for a great first-person shooter (FPS), is no more as developer Studio Roqovan closes its doors.

    The company revealed as much last week. World War Toons was a multiplayer FPS. It featured optional VR support set in a cartoonish version of the Second World War. In 2015 Studio Roqovan (then named Reload Studios) raised $4 million to make the game a reality. The game launched in open beta in the US for Sony’s PSVR headset when it released back in 2016. However, the studio removed the game from the PlayStation Store in September 2017. At the time, the developer explained that “increasing difficulty of having both VR and 2D gameplay interacting together began to compromise what we could make at the timeframe we wanted to keep.”

    World War Toons never returned to the PlayStation Store. Last September, we reported that Roqovan was partnering with SNK to developer an arcade crossover with the Metal Slug franchise. In a Facebook post last week, Roqovan revealed that the game had now launched in Korean arcades. However, due to issues that “unfortunately could not be resolved” the Metal Slug content has been completely removed. The original World War Toons has been “put to sleep” too.

    “Bigger bad news is that Studio Roqovan is no more,” the Facebook post reads. “We really tried our best to make the game happen, but it wasn’t to be.”

    The World Wars Toons IP will go to a new company.

    Speaking to UploadVR over email, studio CEO James Chung spoke a little about Roqovan’s demise. “Long story short, it just comes down to slow adaptation of VR market’s growth and my failure to bring in enough funding to launch World War Toons properly and do live ops,” Chung wrote. ” We had our game up on PSVR for about 8 months. The main goal was to test gameplay and network issues. So the beta test was limited on the North American region on PS4 alone. We did see healthy amount of downloads initially and internally, we have a version of the game that was improved from this test. But this one was never shown to the public. But the production of this version had to halt due to the funding issue as mentioned earlier.

    “We did try to pivot into other unmentioned areas. And doing LBE based games was our attempt to ride through what a lot of people are calling the “VR winter”. But as you pointed out, we could not reveal a lot of what we were building with Metal Slug due to finalizing some of our agreements and it just did not lead to a place where it was reasonable for us to keep pursuing. All the complications lead us to drop Metal Slug IP and focus on World War Toons IP driven game as you saw from our announcement.”

    VR’s slow start has made it a difficult market for developers. There’s hopes that new, most accessible headsets might change that as 2019 moves on.


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  • WarDucks Secures $3.8 million Investment for a Location-Based AR Experience The Sneaky Bears developer has plans for AR.
  • GDC 2019: Beat Saber On Oculus Quest Feels Incredible
    GDC 2019: Beat Saber On Oculus Quest Feels Incredible

    Beat Saber is officially coming to Oculus Quest and we got a chance to play it this week! See what we thought and hear from Beat Games CEO about the game.

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  • Beat Saber Adds the Game Developers Choice Awards to its Trophy Shelf As if any other title had a chance.
  • GDC 2019: Tobii Lauches VR, AR Eye-Tracking SDK
    GDC 2019: Tobii Lauches VR, AR Eye-Tracking SDK

    Eye-tracking specialist Tobii is honing in on VR and AR developers at GDC this week.

    The company yesterday announced the launch of its XR software development kit (SDK). It’s a set of tools and resources designed to get developers up to speed with its eye-tracking tech. Using the kit, creators can implement features like gaze-based selection and eye-tracked interfaces. Tobii also says it includes tools to mirror a user’s eye movements on a VR avatar for social VR applications.

    To accompany the news the company also launched an updated developer portal.

    Eye-tracking as a key part of VR’s future. Not only because it enables new forms of interaction and social VR capabilities but because of performance too. One day the tech will be used to enable foveated rendering in VR headsets. This is a process that only fully renders the exact part of the VR display users are looking at. The rest of the screen isn’t fully rendered, but the difference can’t be seen in your peripheral vision. This greatly reduces the demands on whatever’s powering the VR experience.

    That said, eye-tracking isn’t yet a feature in most consumer VR headsets. The newly-announced Oculus Rift S doesn’t include it, for example. Tobii itself partnered with HTC to implement its tech in the upcoming Vive Pro Eye, but this is an enterprise-level device. Some form of eye-tracking could also be integrated into Valve’s still-unannounced SteamVR headset.

    Tagged with: eye tracking, GDC, tobii

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