• RiftCat’s Latest VRidge Solution Turns Your Smartphone Into a Controller This continues the company's progress towards making VR more affordable.
  • I Played Beat Saber On Oculus Go With Two Controllers Using RiftCat
    I Played Beat Saber On Oculus Go With Two Controllers Using RiftCat

    Want to play Beat Saber on Oculus Go or other low-end VR devices? There’s a way, though we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.

    VRidge Controller is the latest release from RiftCat, a company best known for its PC VR streaming app. The $4.99 download turns your Android smartphone into a three degrees of freedom (3DOF) pointer-based controller similar to a Go or Daydream remote. That means you can flick your wrist to slash a sword in Skyrim, for example, but not reach out to thrust it forwards or anything of that sort. Many PC VR games would still be unplayable.

    Beat Saber Oculus Go? It’s Possible… But Not Very Good

    You can connect two phones to the service, though, allowing you to play apps like Beat Saber, or just pair one phone with an existing motion controller. Here’s us playing it with the help of Oculus Go; the controller on the right is the standard Go remote and the one on the left is a first generation Google Pixel. It’s a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster of VR.

    As you can see, once I’d turned off many of the options I was able to have a little fun playing. My phone controller was very jittery (RiftCat says quality varies depending on the phone) and I couldn’t realign them. I had to turn obstacles off because I couldn’t move my head and I had to turn failing off because, well, it was really hard even on Easy difficulty. I can imagine it being slightly better on Vive Focus with 6DOF head tracking, but not dramatically so.

    How It Works

    But here’s the catch; the app only works through streaming with VRidge on another phone or standalone VR headset. You couldn’t use this as a replacement controller for your Rift, for example. So if you have a VR PC but no PC VR or standalone headset, jumping into Beat Saber would require three phones for inferior 3DOF controls. It’s not exactly sounding like a great alternative to buying a headset anymore, is it?

    It does make slightly more sense if you have a standalone device and want to sample what’s available on PC. Still, without 6DOF tracking in either the headset or the controllers, it’s bound to be pretty awkward.

    To get it to work you’ll need to download the standard VRidge software on your platform of choice. Then you have to connect the first device for streaming and then to phone connects to that. Once it’s connected your phone will turn into a surrogate motion controller. The touch screen will include buttons staple VR interactions like gripping objects, pulling triggers and accessing menus.

    RiftCat told me that it is considering making the application separate for use with other headsets in the future. For an app that started life as an easy workaround to buying a PC VR headset, though, this is all starting to get a bit complex. We’ll just keep waiting for that rumored Oculus Quest port, thanks.

    Tagged with: Beat Saber, Oculus Go, RiftCat, VRidge

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  • Ubisoft Announces Space Junkies Arcade, Available in 100+ Locations Worldwide The studio will be running a special Space Junkies Tournament starting this month.
  • Subnautica’s Below Zero Expansion Probably Won’t Ever Have VR Support
    subnautica below zero unknown worlds vr support

    Subnautica's newest Below Zero expansion is apparently really, really good but unfortunately it seems like VR support won't be happening.

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  • Walking the Walk With LBE VR Specialist PlatformaVR VRFocus caught up with PlatformaVR's Ilya Kuzyuk to learn more.
  • The Messy Truth Is A VR Experience About Race Starring Black Panther’s M’Baku
    The Messy Truth Is A VR Experience About Race Starring Black Panther’s M’Baku

    A new VR experience focused on race made waves at this week’s Lumiere Awards.

    The Messy Truth VR Experience, which is the latest addition to TV host Van Jones’ long-running series, took the Social Justice Award at the event on January 30th. The experience stars Winston Duke, best known for playing M’Baku in last year’s Black Panther. In it, viewers step into the shoes of a 12-year old African American boy. Based on a real-life incident, the story follows both him and his father (Duke) when they’re pulled over by the police.

    The piece is directed by Elijah Allan-Blitz and produced with the help of research from Time Magazine. But it’s not just a simple 360 video; the piece used Leap Motion hand-tracking to put you in the body of the character.

    “Sometimes it seems nearly impossible to truly understand what a person of a different race, gender or worldview is going through,” Jones said of the piece. “But a Virtual Reality experience can give life-changing insight. VR has the potential to be the world’s most powerful tool for generating empathy and understanding. It’s time to start using this new technology to bring us together across old divides.”

    For now, The Messy Truth VR Experience is on display at LA’s Technicolor Lab. The production team plans to take it on tour, though, visiting sites like airports across the country. No word on a home release just yet, though. This is the first in a planned series of VR episodes.

    Interested in other VR apps about race? We’d definitely recommend I Am A Man, a powerful retelling of transformative days for America.

    Tagged with: The Messy Truth VR, vr movies, Winston Duke

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  • Onward Goes Arctic With New Level, Trailer Debuts
    Onward Goes Arctic With New Level, Trailer Debuts

    Onward‘s 1.5 update is just a little late for Christmas but still offers some snowy slaughter.

    The latest version of Downpour Interactive’s military simulation shooter adds a host of new features. Chief among them is a new map, named Snowpeak. It’s set in Russian mountains and has one team making their way into an enemy base. You can check it out in the trailer below.

    But that’s far from all that’s new here. In a new game mode, Uplink Assault, you’ll finally be able to respawn in a match. The mode is largely similar to Onward’s core online mode, getting one team to secure an uplink and the other to defend it. The attacking team will now be given 20 respawn tickets, though, giving the match a little more space. The defending team will have infinite respawns.

    There’s also another new mode called Gun Game. In this 10 player deathmatch, you get a new gun every time you kill another player. The first player to cycle through all of the weapons wins. Gun Game is the first in a rotating series of modes that will switch out every two weeks. These will be more casual game types and will feature the return of Spec Ops.

    Still going: update 1.5 adds the RPG7, M203 Grenade Launcher for both frag and smoke, flare gun, and new AK-74, SKS, and Makarov models. There’s also new hand models, gestures and new animations. And, of course, 1.5 rounds out with a massive list of changes and tweaks including bug fixes and more.

    Whew! That should keep you happy for a while. You can see the full list on a Steam blog post.

    Tagged with: onward, vr shooter

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  • Start A VR Band With EXA’s Multiplayer Music Update
    Start A VR Band With EXA’s Multiplayer Music Update

    PC VR headset owners can start a band in VR with music-making app EXA: The Infinite Instrument.

    The added multiplayer functionality in a new Early Access build gives players the ability to share music-making sessions with others around the world. One player hosts a room and EXA keeps layouts synced for the various instruments as well as “items, playback states, metronome, and live ringer events.”

    “The room can be made available publicly, can be hidden until a player enters the room name, or can be limited to your local network (LAN). The room creator can even put players into a ‘spectator’ mode by disabling some of their room permissions,” developer Zach Kinstner wrote in an update explaining the change.

    Calling All Bands

    A video further explains the syncing functionality and how it might work better over lower latency conditions. Players can talk to one another and record loops in any network condition — arranging instruments, adding sounds and building up compositions together. Loops, however, transfer to other players upon completion. That process could take several seconds for detailed loops with lots of data to transfer, according to Kinstner. Musicians can add live sounds on top of the loops via their shared instruments — just like a real-life band — in extremely low latency sessions, like over a local area network.

    “When latency is low, each player’s ringer events can transfer fast enough for other players to hear the full ringer sounds at the correct time,” Kinstner explains. “In these conditions, you could conceivably play a live performance in EXA, with everyone playing their virtual instruments at the same time, rather than sharing loops. With higher latency levels, you won’t hear the full sound from a ringer event. For example, if an event reaches you 80 milliseconds late, you’ll miss the first 80 milliseconds of that ringer’s sound. As latency increases, it becomes more difficult for live performers to stay in sync with each other, and players should collaborate using recorded loops instead.”

    EXA lists support for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

    Tagged with: band, Exa, music, perform

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  • Kosmos Looks To Establish K-12 School That Exists Entirely In VR

    Relax, it’s just rocket science. Students taking classes with Kosmos School can design and launch rockets in VR as a way to study physics and chemistry, but the school hopes that students will soon be able to study all of their coursework in a virtual environment. Right now, things are still small. Kosmos School is

    The post Kosmos Looks To Establish K-12 School That Exists Entirely In VR appeared first on VRScout.

  • Chatting With The Developers Of Tactical VR Shooter ‘In League’

    Pick your avatar, customize your loadout, and extinguish your rivals in this homegrown jailbreak-themed shooter. VR has become a beacon for low-budget breakout hits; the success of Beat Saber and Onward in this space would not be possible in the saturated indie market of traditional flatscreen gaming. As such, VR isn’t just an exciting frontier

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  • Mosh Pit Simulator Is A Lacking Attempt At VR Memedom
    Mosh Pit Simulator Is A Lacking Attempt At VR Memedom

    There’s a strand of VR madness that really works. Accounting+ embraces inevitable moral panics and judgment-free murder to create something entirely surreal. Job Simulator finds fun in the mundane, letting you live out your stupidest daydreams free from consequence. As the name implies, Mosh Pit Simulator has a slightly more traditional take on the zany possibilities of VR. It’s essentially a Goat Simulator wannabe inside a headset. I’m sorry to say the results are profoundly less interesting.

    Don’t get me wrong, I had my giggles inside Mosh Pit Simulator’s creaky sandbox. Attaching missiles to a whale’s fin and then watching it corkscrew off into the sunset or punching rubbery humans through windows 50 stories high will always be at least a little funny. But it’s laughter I’ve already enjoyed in other, better games, and it wears too thin too fast.

    If anything, this feels like a cautionary tale. Yes, there’s fun to be had being the last human on earth, but be careful what you wish for. Mosh Pit Simulator is set in a relatively small open world in which human’s bones have been turned to rubber and their brains resemble mush. In the sandbox mode, you can summon missiles and rotators that will send them and other objects spiraling off into space. It’s broken more often than not; humans clip through walls, collisions end with objects disappearing and the screen can stutter with how much it has to handle.

    But any laughter you might get from it rings hollow across the game’s unsightly streets. These aren’t happy accidents; they’re glitches for the sake of glitches. Mosh Pit Simulator seems content with laughing at VR’s limitations rather than finding the deeper humor in what it does right. The world is also empty; there are some NPCs around but you have to summon most of them yourself in a shop. In the game’s single-player story (essentially a glorified tutorial), giant animals tour the town like clockwork. It fleshes the world out considerably. If the sandbox mode itself were this unpredictable I might find a reason to spend more than a few minutes inside it.

    As it stands, this world feels dead and not intentionally so. There’s no audible impact when objects collide, making spectacular crashes feel lifeless. You can stick any two objects together but there often isn’t much point to it. The truth of the matter is that there just isn’t that much to do.

    Now, I realize that I probably just don’t ‘get it’. I know that I’m being a Scrooge here and that people may mine hilarity from Mosh Pit. It’s probably the same people that find Drunkn Bar fight funny (I don’t). And, hey, more power to you. This has enough ammunition to fuel a few hours of streaming madness for sure. But a VR game that’s ultimately better watched than it is played is not something I can recommend.

    Mosh Pit Simulator’s current state is a bit of a disappointment, then. This is all just the start, though. The game’s kicking off a proposed six-month Early Access phase today. If Mosh Pit

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  • Get into the Action as the NHL Partners With NextVR The recent 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game is currently available to watch.
  • Vreal Adds Desktop Mode To VR Streaming Platform
    Vreal Adds Desktop Mode To VR Streaming Platform

    VR startup Vreal is opening up the audience for its service more widely with the addition of a desktop mode for its streaming platform.

    The Vreal service is integrated with a number of VR titles including Tilt Brush, Superhot, H3VR, Gorn, Blocks and Fantastic Contraption. The app allows folks to record their session in a virtual world for playback later. This new mode lets viewers navigate around a recorded scene to see the action from another angle without needing to put on a VR headset.

    This new mode could be useful for folks who spend a lot of time in one of the compatible titles and want to grow an audience for those experiences. The app should let viewers get closer to the action than a traditional Twitch stream. In particular, creators in apps like Tilt Brush or Blocks might be able to explain how they are making something to future viewers who get right up to see every brush stroke.

    The company uploaded the following video to demonstrate the new mode.

    Vreal remains in early access on Steam. Earlier in January, the company added support for Gunheart, representing the first game built in Unreal Engine to get support for the service.

    We’re curious to see what 2019 has in store for Vreal. There is still little in the way of details regarding next generation PC-based VR headsets and those new systems could have a major impact on adoption and usage of a streaming platform like Vreal. We’re expecting major updates in the coming months at events like Mobile World Congress, Game Developers Conference and even E3 which could reshape the market.

    Tagged with: streaming, Vreal

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  • Go Mental as Mosh Pit Simulator is Out Now Humans with literally no backbones.
  • Facebook: Oculus Go “Contributed To Revenue Growth”, But Also To Marketing Costs
    Facebook: Oculus Go “Contributed To Revenue Growth”, But Also To Marketing Costs

    Facebook this week hosted their Q4 2018 earnings call, reporting their finances for the quarter. During the call Facebook Chief Financial Officer (CFO) David Wehner stated:

    Payments & Other Fees revenue was $274 million, up 42%. Sales of Oculus Go and the launch of Portal contributed to the revenue growth in the quarter.

    This is the first time Oculus has been mentioned as a revenue source. In 2016 after the Rift launch Wehner had very different news, stating “It’s not going to be material to our financials this year.”

    This seems to indicate that the Oculus Go is selling much better than Rift ever did. Remember these are revenue figures, not units, so multiple Go headsets need to be sold to generate the same revenue as one Rift.

    At Oculus Connect 5, Oculus CTO John Carmack claimed Go headset sales “exceeded even my expectations”- and that he had been “the most optimistic”.

    It’s important to note that “Payments & Other Fees” is the smallest section of Facebook’s revenue. The company’s main business is still advertising, which brought in over 98% of revenue.

    Marketing Costs

    The notable Oculus Go revenue didn’t come for free, however. Facebook’s total expenses were up by $1 billion – an increase of 62% compared to this time last year. When explaining this increase, Wehr included the marketing cost of Oculus Go:

    In addition to continued investment in infrastructure, safety & security, and innovation, expenses were also driven by seasonal factors – including marketing efforts, notably the promotion of Portal and Oculus Go.

    This likely refers to the celebrity marketing campaign Facebook threw in fall. Wiz Khalifa, Jonah Hill, Adam Levine, Leslie Jones, and Awkwafina were enlisted in an effort to sell the standalone headset. While Facebook doesn’t break down its marketing expenses in detail, we don’t imagine those stars work for cheap.

    Future VR Investment

    The earnings call also gives hints as to Facebook’s future commitment to VR. CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented:

    Longer term, I remain very focused on building technology that brings people together in new ways, including through AR and VR. I’m looking forward to Oculus Quest shipping this spring — the feedback there so far has been very positive.

    CFO David Wehner went into more detail, explaining that the company plans “to continue to invest aggressively in the priority areas, including on the innovation side with AR/VR and AI”. This is consistent with past Facebook statements, including that spending would increase 40-50% in 2019 due to VR, AR, and more.


    No comments were made about the profitability of Go- only about raw revenue. At $199 it’s likely the headset is sold at or near cost. The Oculus Store is where the profits should come from.

    But this early in the VR market Facebook may not care about profit yet. In a 2016 earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg described VR’s profitability as “a 10-year thing”. But what does seem likely from this week’s comments is that Oculus Go is selling better than Rift ever did.

    Tagged with: facebook, Oculus Go

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