• Charming Puzzle Adventure Ghost Giant has an Official Release Date for PlayStation VR It'll launch both in digital and physical form in April.
  • Brighton Startup GOVR Opens VR Cafe in the City Relax, enjoy some coffee and play some VR.
  • Oculus Quest Will Require A Higher Standard Of Content From Developers

    The company is taking a “quality-first” approach in regards to their standalone headset. As we grow closer to the release of the Oculus Quest, creators are already underway developing a new helping of games and experiences capable of harnessing the standalone devices 6DoF capabilities and inside-out tracking. With the latest addition to their VR ecosystem,

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  • Walmart Is Selling A $30 SteamVR Headset And $80 Standalone
    walmart vr headset

    US retail giant Walmart is selling a range of ultra low price VR headsets.

    SteamVR Headsets

    Three models of the SteamVR headset are listed. A 960×1080 per eye model for $20, a 1280×1440 per eye model for $30, and a 1440×1440 per eye model with IPD adjustment for $45.

    Like most other PC VR headsets they connect to your PC via HDMI and USB. But unlike other PC VR headsets, they do not feature 6DoF positional tracking. That means you can rotate your head, but not move around.

    The cheaper models run at 60Hz, whereas the $45 model is claimed to run at 90Hz. They all use cheap, small lenses so don’t expect a wide sweet spot or good sharpness.

    All three models come with a USB gamepad, so in theory you can play any SteamVR game which doesn’t require tracked controllers- as long as your PC is capable.

    Standalone Headsets

    Two models of the standalone headset are listed. One uses a 1080p screen for 960×1080 per eye, the other has the same 1280×1440 per eye resolution as Oculus Go.

    The headsets run a modified Android OS. The app store is called Nibiru– used by various Chinese mobile headsets. Therefore the content available won’t come close to Oculus or Daydream.

    They’re powered by a low end chipset from 2014. That makes them significantly less powerful than other standalones. Stunningly, the GPU in the chipset is actually an overclocked variant of that used on the iPhone 4S back in 2011. If you think normal mobile VR graphics are bad, you probably don’t want to use these headsets.

    You control the headsets with buttons built onto the top. Or if that gets tedious, you can pick up a remote for $20 extra.

    You Get What You Pay For

    While we haven’t tried them ourselves yet it’s hard to recommend buying these headsets given their likely quality. They’re a great example of how low the price of VR could get if too many compromises are made.

    Hopefully people who do buy them realize that they don’t represent what VR truly has to offer.

    Tagged with: Daydream, Oculus Go, walmart

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  • Qualcomm Announces 5G Support For XR Viewers

    Qualcomm wants to use the power of 5G to deliver VR and AR to your XR glasses. With 5G networks promising reduced latency, higher system capacity, and massive device connectivity, Qualcomm is pursuing the development of a smart phone-powered 5G “XR viewers” – a unique headset device capable of delivering both VR and AR experiences.

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  • Review: ViSP – Virtual Space Port Ludicrously fun and addictive...beware.
  • Promising VR Adventure Game Proze Now Coming In April
    Promising VR Adventure Game Proze Now Coming In April

    We’ve been pretty interested in Proze ever since the release of its free prologue last year. We were hoping to get our hands on the first full episode this month. Sadly, it looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer.

    Proze Episode 1: Enlightenment is now arriving on April 11th. Developer SignSine recently confirmed as much over on Steam. “Everything looks promising and we’re almost at the finish line – but need a little more time to wrap things up,” the team wrote. “The first full chapter of PROZE story will be out on April 11.”

    SignSine also promised that a new trailer was on the way. In the meantime, there’s this one that we missed before (ignore the February release date).

    Proze is a first-person adventure game set both past and present. You explore a Cold War-era Soviet facility, hopping between the two time zones. In the 1970’s, you follow an engineer that uncovers the work going on at the facility. Then in the present day you explore the aftermath of those events. Puzzles and horror elements fill out the episodic story. We’re not sure how long each episode will last, nor how many installments are planned for the series.

    We tried out the free prologue and, though brief, it provided a glimpse of a promising adventure. If the puzzles are kept in check and the horror hits the right notes, Proze could be a winner. Beta testing for the game is currently underway (you can apply for a key on Discord). The game will launch on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

    Tagged with: Proze Episode 1: Enlightenment

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  • HTC On Why It Sold Vive Pro To Gamers, Why Pro Eye Won’t Replace It
    HTC On Why It Sold Vive Pro To Gamers, Why Pro Eye Won’t Replace It

    HTC has a lot of new VR headsets. There’s much to learn about the Vive Cosmos, but there’s two new additions coming to the enterprise side too. The upcoming Vive Pro Eye improves on the first Pro with integrated eye-tracking, for example. Meanwhile, the newly-announced Vive Focus Plus succeeds a three-month-old headset with new six degrees of freedom (6DOF) controllers.

    Despite surpassing their predecessors, though, neither of these headsets will be fully replacing them. Why is that?

    I put that question to Vive General Manager Daniel O’Brien at MWC this week. He told me that it was down to the difference between consumer and enterprise markets. “It’s really about — when you’re talking about enterprise — it’s a very long lead sales times,” O’Brien said. “And you’re also talking about time that you need to service and you need to keep supporting those customers. They’ve built business cases around them, they’re going to deploy them, they’ll ramp in that new hardware when they’re ready to ramp it in.”

    Having previously worked in HTC’s phone division, O’Brien said he understands how that may look to a consumer market. “You’ve got to give your customer enough time,” he added. “And sometimes that cycle can be 12 – 18 months. You’ve got to be very respectful of your customers and how they purchase products and not cause friction to their planning process or else you’re out of business.”

    Speaking of the Pro, I also spoke to O’Brien about the decision to sell the kit to consumers too. When HTC introduced the Pro at CES 2018 it seemed marketed toward both consumers and businesses. When the hefty $799 price tag was later revealed (for just the headset), it became clear it was focused on the latter audience. The company caught a lot of flak for the price online. So why sell it to consumers at all?

    “We just knew on the consumer side if we blocked them out of a higher resolution display and more comfortable headset, we were going to upset them,” O’Brien explained. “And we didn’t want to upset those customers.”

    He told me that the company was selling “a lot” of Pros on the enterprise side. “I know it seemed confusing in the messaging, but we were just trying not to upset anyone,” he said.

    Vive Pro Eye will be much the same case. Prosumers will be able to buy the headset when it launches in Q2, but it’s more built for business use than gaming. Instead, it’s Cosmos that will be HTC’s next consumer-focused VR headset. The device is due to launch this year. HTC remained tight-lipped about it at MWC, however.

    Tagged with: b2b, Dan O'Brien, enterprise, htc, htc vive

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  • Magic Leap Accepts 31 Companies into its Independent Creator Program They include some well-known VR developers.
  • Ambitious VR Project Restores 1964 Tokyo With Real Images
    Ambitious VR Project Restores 1964 Tokyo With Real Images

    The absence of Terminators in 2019 means VR is probably the closest we’re going to get to time travel. But how do we ensure trips to our past are as accurate as possible? NHK Enterprises (NEP) and Rhizomatiks have one idea.

    The pair this week announced a new project set to showcase at SXSW next month. Simply named The Time Machine, it will allow audiences to travel back to 1964 Tokyo. Crucially, the Japanese capital has been recreated not through interpretation but by using actual pictures of the city taken from that year. The aim is to provide photo-accurate 3D renditions of sites around Tokyo. Check out the trailer below.

    We’ve seen this process, named photogrammetry, used in VR before. It’s being utilized to preserve historic artifacts, for example. But this is the first time we’ll have seen images from the past used to allow people to step back in time. That means that the world you see will be in black and white.

    Using an HTC Vive, viewers will find themselves standing at the iconic Shibuya Scramble Intersection in the present day. They’ll then travel back to 1964, visiting sites like Hachiko statue at Shibuya’s JR Train Station, the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo Cultural Center) and Miyamasu-zaka Hill.

    Produced by Toshio Tsuchiya, the piece is a part of celebrations leading up to Tokyo’s 2020 Summer Olympics. The games were last held in Tokyo in, you guessed it, 1964.

    The Time Machine will be up and running from March 10th – 13th at the Austin Convention Center.

    Tagged with: SXSW, The Time Machine, tokyo

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  • Angry Birds VR Dev Resolution Games Confirms Work on Several Oculus Quest Titles More will be revealed during GDC 2019.
  • Oculus Quest’s Content Quality Will be set High for Developers Which makes for good news for consumers.
  • Beat Saber’s First Music Pack Will be Released in March It looks to be a multiplatform launch.
  • Oculus Quest To Have Strict Game Console-Like Store Curation
    oculus quest standalone vr headset

    A new blog post authored by Facebook’s Chris Pruett announces a stricter process for software approval on the upcoming Oculus Quest Store.

    Facebook’s standalone VR system should ship in the coming months starting at only $400. Quest is a hybrid of the company’s previous efforts with Oculus Go, Gear VR and Oculus Rift. Like Go, Quest is a fully self-contained VR system. Like Rift, Quest ships with Touch controllers and 6DoF tracking perfect for engaging games like Superhot and Face Your Fears.

    Quest Competes With Nintendo Switch

    Oculus Quest is also a departure from earlier VR efforts at Facebook.

    Efforts like Oculus Share, Concepts, Gallery and the Mobile Game Jam encouraged widely sharing unfinished work. There’s also an Early Access section available on Rift for projects that are in active development. With Quest, though, Facebook aims to compete directly for time against the likes of Nintendo Switch.

    On Oculus Rift, it is a simple toggle in the menu system to allow unapproved content while on Oculus Go you need to sign up as a developer to activate “sideloading“. This is also how developers can distribute apps among friends and testers. In contrast, game consoles typically limit user access to the operating system. Console software releases also come from a single storefront. We’re still getting a picture of where Quest sits on that “openness” spectrum.

    “We haven’t changed our stance on the massive value of early experimentation. In fact, we’ve increased our investment in independent developers with programs like Oculus Start. We don’t intend to shut down sharing of builds amongst friends,” Pruett wrote in an email in response to questions. “Like Oculus Go, Quest builds can be shared easily to others who have Developer Mode turned on. The goal of this new policy is to ensure that the contents of our storefront are consistently high quality. We have a lot of quality on Rift, and much of that is thanks to experimentation. Many of those titles will make their way to Quest as well. That’s part of the reason we’re not changing the Rift store policy.”

    Facebook is still keeping the Quest launch lineup under wraps. The company is investing considerably, though, with partners in bringing titles to the system. We expect details in the coming weeks at the Game Developers Conference. In the meantime, though, the blog post from Facebook set some new expectations ahead of the VR console’s broader availability.

    “We’ve set a high bar for content quality on Quest, higher than we’ve ever enforced before, in order to build a platform where everyone has confidence in the quality of the titles they’re buying and developers know that their investments have a strong chance of success,” Pruett’s post states. “It’s important to submit a concept document for review as early in your development cycle as possible. Those titles that pass this early review unlock direct support and resources from Oculus to help you make your title as high quality as it can possibly be. This new process is specific to Oculus Quest: no changes have been made to

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  • Angry Birds VR and Bait! Dev Resolution Games Working On ‘A Few’ Oculus Quest Games
    angry birds vr Snowy Slopes

    Resolution Games, creators of Angry Birds VR and Bait!, announced today that they're working on multiple Oculus Quest games.

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