I’ve had my fair share of VR crashes. I’ve rolled down the side of Lydden Hill in Dirt and smashed into every corner in Project Cars. I don’t have a driving license, so don’t judge. But, for all your cinematic expectations, crashing is usually one of the most awful, suddenly sickening sensations you can experience in VR. But not in Curfew – Join the Race. This short piece, the latest from UK-based Rewind, is set to release next week. It ties into the upcoming Sky TV series of the same name and was produced in partnership with Endemol Shine. In the show, the UK has been infested with a zombie virus. For one reason or another, this pits a series of survivors in a vicious race to escape the country. Each episode hones in on a different character. This VR entry is like its own self-contained episode in the series. You find yourself somewhat cramped up in the passenger’s seat of one car, sitting next to a silent driver named Eduardo. As you race for first place, you’ll be in contact with a woman named Helena over the radio. Rewind has some neat ideas here. Creative Director Daryl Atkins told me that the studio had a surprising degree of autonomy over the piece’s script and development. You’ll see cars and characters from the show, but the events of the experience are largely separate. You communicate with Helena using a handset mapped to Oculus Touch’s buttons, which feels seamless and natural. Rewind explained that, to keep the pace going, many of the game’s light interactions are optional. At one point you’re asked to hit the boost but, if you don’t, Eduardo will eventually reach over and do it for you. It’s a clever way to keep the experience flowing without allowing for unnatural pauses between commands and actions. It’s that crash that’s the star of the show, though. Inevitably your journey gets a little hairy and you find yourself spinning offroad. But, instead of a stomach-churning stop and mind-breaking corkscrew, Rewind makes some clever sacrifices in order to retain a sense of coherency and comfort. The screen fades to black and, when it comes back, you’re mid-air in slow motion. Items from the car glide past your face and Eduardo seems frozen in time. The screen fades out two more times, with the entire sequence lasting around 20 seconds. Perhaps not the most realistic sensation, then, but in a weird way it mirrors that sense of time slowing as you, say take a bungee jump or do something equally nerve-racking. More importantly, though, it never once made me feel ill or disorientated. It was, oddly enough, VR’s most comfortable car crash yet. When you land you find yourself upside down. It’s initially confusing and requires you to gather your bearings. Again, I sort of imagine that to be like getting into an actual car crash, though I’m fortunate enough not to be able to verify that personally. Then the zombies come and well, yeah, you know how that [...] The post Curfew Put Me In VR’s Most Comfortable Car Crash appeared first on UploadVR.

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Good news colleagues! There’s an all-new reason to jump back into Neat Corp’s Budget Cuts this Valentine’s Day. The indie dev today launched Budget Cuts Arcade. It’s a new mode for the original game that you can access by finding the arcade cabinet in the menu. As the name suggests, Arcade Mode is all about scoring. It includes four brand new levels that will push your sneaking skills to the absolute limit. There’s a local leaderboard system so you can challenge friends to beat your best and three difficulty levels will help you find the right fit. Eight new collectibles can also be found in this mode. Unsurprisingly, the mode is also intended for use in VR arcades around the world. It’s great to see Budget Cuts getting more content. The campaign’s short length was one of our main complaints when we reviewed the game last year. That’s not all that’s new in this update, though. There are some tweaks made to the game that make the hardest difficulty “a bit more difficult” and fix various other bugs. Again, issues with bugs were one of the biggest talking points in our review, so we welcome any fixes. To celebrate the launch, Budget Cuts is set to have a half-price sale for a few days, too. Expect more from Budget Cuts later this year. Last month we reported that Neat Corp is bringing the game to Sony’s PSVR headset, and may even port it to Oculus Quest too. Fingers crossed we hear more about that soon. Tagged with: Budget Cuts .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Budget Cuts Gets Arcade Mode With New Levels And Fixes appeared first on UploadVR.

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This mesmerizing new puzzle game from Brazil-based BitCake Studio packs some serious voice talent with ove 40 magnet-themed puzzles. The post DeMagnete VR Is A Magnetizing Puzzler Coming To All Major Platforms This Year appeared first on UploadVR.

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A book out next week tells the story of the founding of Oculus VR based on hundreds of interviews across several years. I read an early version of the Harper Collins book by Console Wars author Blake Harris. We’ve decided to refrain reporting certain elements of the book until we verify information, or until we read the finished edition which arrives February 19. The draft I read, however, is an intimate portrait of Palmer Luckey, Nate Mitchell, Brendan Iribe and other key members of the Oculus founding team. They assembled in 2012 to realize consumer VR and just two years later were acquired by Facebook for $3 billion. Written in a “narrative non-fiction” style, the final section of The History Of The Future follows the path Luckey took after September 2016, when a Daily Beast article tied him to “secretly funding Trump’s meme machine.” It ends after Luckey’s departure from Facebook in March 2017. Though we broke news of Luckey’s exit, Facebook representatives wouldn’t say at the time whether the departure was voluntary. Instead, they said he’d be “dearly missed.” Luckey was also quiet on the subject despite lasting questions surrounding the misleading public statement he issued. In April 2018, Senator Ted Cruz asked Facbook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about it: Late last year the Wall Street Journal reported Luckey “was put on leave, then fired.” From the Wall Street Journal: “Internal Facebook emails suggest the matter was discussed at the highest levels of the company. In the fall of 2016, as unhappiness over the donation simmered, Facebook executives including Mr. Zuckerberg pressured Mr. Luckey to publicly voice support for libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, despite Mr. Luckey’s yearslong support of Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the conversations and internal emails viewed by The Wall Street Journal.” VP of VR/AR at Facebook Andrew “Boz” Bosworth published on his Twitter the statement “we did not pressure him to say something untrue.” I’ve reached out over direct message to Oculus co-founders Nate Mitchell and Brendan Iribe in hopes of understanding what happened in Luckey’s final months at the company. Iribe has not responded to my messages. I also reached out to Luckey, who responded but declined to comment publicly until the book’s release. I received the following statement over email attributed by Facebook PR to Mitchell, Head of VR Product: It’s certainly surreal to see such a huge part of our lives turned into a few hundred pages. The book’s dramatization of our history is not always consistent with what happened, and some of the stories are definitely not reflective of our real relationships. That said, what I hope people take away is the spirit of Oculus: we lived, dreamed, and breathed VR. We worked to build something that would make the community proud, and it wasn’t easy nor without mistakes. VR has always been much bigger than just Oculus, and I’m looking forward to what this community builds together in the next 10 year chapter. Harris sent an email late last week circulating with Facebook employees working on the VR and AR teams. I read [...] The post ‘So…What Really Did Happen With Palmer [Luckey]’ appeared first on UploadVR.

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Audica is a brand-new VR rhythm-based music game from Harmonix, the creators of Rock Band and Dance Central. The post Audica Is A VR Rhythm Music Shooter From Harmonix Coming In March appeared first on UploadVR.

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Shadow Legend is fast-approaching! The new VR RPG is set to release on Rift and Vive next week on February 21st and PSVR later this year. The post Shadow Legend VR RPG Releases On Rift And Vive Feb. 21 appeared first on UploadVR.

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The much-anticipated 2019 update for social VR app Bigscreen is finally here. Well, in beta form at least. The 2019 update comes packed with a heap of features, many of which are highlighted in the trailer below. For starters, there are new environments, including an improved social lobby to meet other visitors and a new cinema. The latter now has a curved seating layout. It encourages you to chat with your friends as you watch content. It’s especially concerned with mobile headsets that don’t have the same tracking capabilities as PC VR. Another major improvement to BigScreen is, well, the screens. The app now uses real-time raytracing for more realistic lighting effects. Screens will light up rooms in realistic ways, without placing intense demands on the hardware running the app. There’s also improved clarity on virtual displays thanks to Oculus Overlay support. That’s far from the end, though. The app’s UI has been completely retooled for accessibility, avatars have a huge number of new customization options, teleportation now enables movement around environments and desktop audio streaming has been massively improved. On the mobile VR front, the app also adds the ability to create public and private rooms. Wrapping up, there’s a wealth of bug fixes addressing crashes and audio blips. But Bigscreen isn’t done yet. It’s 2019 roadmap includes yet more big updates. Chief among them is a port to Oculus Quest, Facebook’s upcoming standalone headset. The team is also working on a new friend and party system, the ability to play local video files and more movie nights. The hope is that Bigscreen 1.0 will be ready for summer 2019. Bigscreen is available for free on Rift, Vive, Windows VR, Go and Gear VR. Tagged with: bigscreen, Oculus Quest, social vr .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Bigscreen’s Huge 2019 Update Goes Live, Quest Support Confirmed appeared first on UploadVR.

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Sony’s Shawn Layden says the VR industry is starting to move into its second generation of content. Layden said as much during his keynote speech at this year’s DICE conference. He began by speaking about how it’s still early for the new tech, adding that “much of VR is one dot out, and it still feels experimental.” But those experiments are laying the foundations for what’s next. “We’re starting to see progress towards VR 2.0 games and software,” Layden said. He then brought up an ever-popular example of great VR game-making: Astro Bot Rescue Mission. Sony Japan’s 2018 PSVR-exclusive platformer stole people’s hearts with its engaging gameplay and inventive use of VR. “Astro Bot used the VR medium to redefine what a platformer could be, and to very good effect,” Layden said. “A game of this quality arriving in the first generation of a new technology helps us lay a foundation for everyone to build upon.” Indeed, we loved Astro Bot. But, like Layden, we’re excited to see what games are built upon the template it established. PSVR is nearly three years old now and we’re hoping 2019’s slate of content will be its strongest yet. We know that Sony London Studio is working on Blood And Truth, but past that we’re not sure what else is coming to the headset this year. Of course, we’re also excited to see what’s next for PSVR itself. In an interview published earlier this week, Layden said that the changes the headset sees over the next ten years will be dramatic. Tagged with: PSVR, Shawn Layden, sony .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Sony’s Shawn Layden: ‘We’re Seeing Progress Towards VR 2.0 Games’ appeared first on UploadVR.

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The long-awaited PSVR support for ChromaGun is nearly here. Pixel Maniacs announced today that the VR edition of its 2016 puzzle game is coming to Sony’s headset on February 19th. You can check out a launch trailer for the game below. In ChromaGun you wield a paint-firing gun that can change the colors of walls and drones. Different colors will attract WorkerDroids that populate the test chambers you’re progressing through. You have to arrange the droids to unlock doors and progress to the next level. The game’s tone and story have often been compared to Valve’s puzzling classic, Portal. On PSVR, the game’s set to support both the DualShock 4 and Sony’s flashy Aim controller. Move support isn’t listed, though. Either way, it’s quite nice to see Aim support for a game that isn’t just a straight up shooter. It has us wondering what other uses for the controller there might be out there. ChromaGun VR is a separate release to the normal version of the game, which released on PS4 last year. A lone programmer has been working on the port ever since that launch. This should provide a pretty solid bit of puzzling fun for PSVR fans. The original version of ChromaGun was quite well received by both critics and fans alike. Players point towards a story length of around four hours, too. It might not be the ultimate expression of what VR is capable of, but it should be a fun distraction for those that like to scratch their heads. Support for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive hasn’t been confirmed at this time. Tagged with: ChromaGun VR, portal, puzzle .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post ChromaGun Hits PSVR Next Week With Aim Support appeared first on UploadVR.

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Get ready for another new month in the world of VR! We've got some really exciting new VR game releases to look forward to this month. The post VR Game Releases For February 2019 appeared first on UploadVR.

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Pokemon Go's latest update seems to channel the spirit of Pokemon Snap to create some amazing Kodak moments with your favorite Pokemon. The post Pokemon Go’s Snapshot Feature Turns Your Phone Into An AR Camera appeared first on UploadVR.

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Some of the biggest virtual reality and augmented reality technology announcements of the year will be made in connection with the events listed on this page. We’ll update this list from time to time as we get updates about major new events in 2019, like Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Also, if we’ve missed a major conference or event people can attend this year related to VR and AR, please email tips@uploadvr.com. We’ve confirmed that there are no plans to host a VRLA conference in 2019 and some events typically held late in the year have yet to be confirmed. This compilation of festivals, conferences and events in 2019 is also not an exhaustive one. Be sure to check out the list maintained by Virtual Umbrella for a larger list of industry-focused VR and AR events. Mobile World Congress // February 25-28 Barcelona, Spain Registration: Attendee SXSW // March 8-17 Austin, United States Registration: Attendee SIGGRAPH // July 28-August 1 Los Angeles, United States Registration: Attendee Game Developers Conference (GDC) // March 18-22 San Francisco, United States Registration: Attendee Laval Virtual// March 20-24 Laval, France Registration: Attendee IEEE VR // March 23 – 27 Osaka, Japan Registration: Attendee VRX Europe// April 10 – 11 Amsterdam, The Netherlands Registration: Attendee Tribeca Film Festval // April 24 – May 5 New York, United States Registration: Attendee F8// April 30 – May 1 San Jose, United States Registration: Attendee Microsoft Build// May 6 – 8 Seattle, United States Registration: Attendee Google IO // May 7 – 9 Mountain View, United States Registration: Attendee Augmented World Expo // May  29 – 31 Santa Clara, United States Registration: Attendee E3 // June 11 – 13 Los Angeles, United States Registration: Attendee San Diego Comic-Con // July 18 – 21 San Diego, United States Registration: Sold Out Gamescom // August 20 – 24 Cologne, Germany Registration: Attendee Tagged with: 2019 Events, Conferences, e3, IEEE VR .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post 2019 Events Schedule: The Major VR/AR Conferences And Festivals appeared first on UploadVR.

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Virtual reality has an identity crisis. Whether talking about games or movies, the medium can’t seem to escape the shadows of the past. But, three years on, the template for what makes VR tick may finally be starting to emerge. It was the recent surprise announcement of Groundhog Day VR that got me thinking about this. Sony Pictures’ decision to continue the original’s story not on the screen but inside a headset is an intriguing one. It made me question which other films should get VR sequels. I even started to wonder if we had got it all wrong. Instead of trying to trace Fortnite and Skyrim into VR, should we instead look at iterating on the big screen experience? Is that where VR’s true power lies? Then I realized the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Just as VR game makers could learn a lot from film, so too could filmmakers take a page from developers. A hybrid of these two approaches may be where VR finally stakes its claim. Gamifying VR can make it strange. Character stats and progression systems are excellent barometers to judge a traditional game by, but VR feels different. Simply put, these factors aren’t, y’know, real. Why do I need to level up my strength to swing a sword? How am I surviving being riddled with bullets? The very tenants of a lot of game design are at odds with the core of VR’s immersion. Some of the best VR games out there right now are deliberately unconcerned with such metrics. Superhot doesn’t work because it’s got a leveling system, it works because it dials down on the experience. One hit kills both you and your enemies. Your every movement is like a play on a chess board. Your control over time often delivers cinematic satisfaction. Do you really remember Skyrim VR for the progression you made as a character? Or is it the moment your head was on a chopping block and a dragon landed at your feet? The list goes on. From a design viewpoint, Farpoint is a very basic first-person shooter (FPS); it’s the unbeatable feeling of becoming a space marine that makes it a must-see. Astro Bot is also a simplistic platformer in its own right, but the exploration of space, scale and bond is unlike anything else out there. More and more we’re finding that VR game’s most memorable components aren’t about the nuts and bolts of game making. At the same time, telling a VR story in which the user isn’t a direct participant or, at the very least, a known quantity, seems like it’s missing the point. Baobab’s Invasion is a joyous bit of Pixar-aping. But, for all its cutesy glory, the moment I remember most is being used as a human shield when the protagonist cowers behind you. It made me feel strong, brave and responsible. Those aren’t emotions you can easily conjure when watching something on a flatscreen. The more I think about my favorite VR moments over the past three years, [...] The post Editorial: For VR To Shine, Film And Gaming Must Overlap appeared first on UploadVR.

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The long wait for Ubisoft’s next VR game, Space Junkies, is almost over. Not only that, but it’s coming to PSVR too. Ubisoft announced today that the zero gravity shooter will hit PSVR, Rift, Vive and Windows VR headsets on March 26th. The PSVR edition isn’t too surprising considering the ESRB rated the game for launch on PS4 last month. In the game, players bound across zero gravity arenas in 3D shootouts. It’s set to launch with 1v1, 2v2 and free-for-all modes as well as six different maps. Over time, developer Ubisoft Montpellier will introduce new modes, maps and weapons across several updates. On PC, Space Junkies uses each headset’s respective motion controllers. On PSVR, however, the game will only utilize DualShock 4 with a “unique navigation system”. This is likely down to the tracking limitations with PSVR’s camera. DualShock controls will use Sixaxis motion control, though. On top of all of that, an open beta is set to run across all platforms ahead of launch. You can sign up to participate in more closed tests right here. The news comes shortly after Ubisoft launched an arcade version of the game in over 100 locations worldwide. We’ve been impressed with that we’ve seen of the game thus far. “So far I’ve been really impressed with Space Junkies visually and this map only strengthened that feeling,” we wrote in our most recent preview. “Colors are bright and eye-catching and the team at Ubisoft has done a great job of giving everything a strong sense of personality. It’d be very tough to mistake Space Junkies for any other game, which is a great credit to the art team that’s worked on this one.” Tagged with: multiplayer, Space Junkies, ubisoft, vr shooter .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Space Junkies Coming To PSVR, Full Launch Next Month appeared first on UploadVR.

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PlayStation’s Shawn Layden has us hopeful that PSVR 2 will happen. And maybe even PSVR 3 and 4, for that matter. In a recent interview with Game Informer, Layden, who heads up Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) US, said that PSVR’s change over the next 10 years will be “dramatic”. Talking about the future for the platform, he compared its growth to that of smartphones. He reasoned that it’s hard to see how current phones had evolved from their predecessors. “By the same token, you look at PSVR right now, none of us are going to be able to imagine what it will look like 10 years from now, but the change will be that dramatic,” Layden said. “You can’t get to 5.0 until you do 1.0. It’s just the nature of the thing.” His words seem call for patience on the PSVR 2 front. We’re just reassured to hear high-level Sony executives talk as if a follow-up headset is a possibility. With over three million units sold, PSVR is thought to be the most successful major headset on the market right now. Layden himself later stated: “I think we’re the biggest VR platform in the world.” But this is just a fraction of 91.6+ million units PS4 itself has sold. There’s no guarantee that Sony will push on with the medium until it definitively says so itself. That said, we have seen a lot of patents pointing towards potential PSVR improvements over the past few years. Just yesterday we reported on new documents that give us a closer look at what could be new PlayStation Move controllers. At this point, PSVR 2 would likely debut on PS5, a console that’s also yet to be announced. We wouldn’t hold our breath for any PSVR 2 news this year, then. Tagged with: ps4, PSVR, PSVR 2, Shawn Layden .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post PlayStation US Boss: PSVR’s Change In 10 Years ‘Will Be Dramatic’ appeared first on UploadVR.

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