Author: vrcreators

Palmer Luckey: “I’m still working in the VR industry on some very exciting things”

Appearing this week on the stage of Oculus competitor HTC at the Tokyo Game Show, Oculus founder emeritus Palmer Luckey affirmed that he’s continuing to work on projects within the VR industry.

Luckey’s appearance on the HTC Vive stage during TGS 2017 was a panel discussion that touched on a variety of topics surrounding the Japanese VR scene and beyond.

Back in June the New York Times reported that, following his departure from Oculus, Luckey was working on a new business involving border security. But that seems to be only one of a number of initiatives; Luckey affirmed during his TGS appearance that he’s still working within the VR space too.

“I have a new company, I can’t talk about my projects too much yet, but I’m still working in the virtual reality industry on some very exciting things.”

Palmer Luckey | Image courtesy MoguraVR

Back in a May interview Luckey offer a hint into what his next project might entail; he spoke of his interest in the anime Sword Art Online, in which characters become trapped in a VR MMORPG—if they die in the game, they die in real life. Luckey said that he liked the idea of VR having significant consequences.

“This concept of [significant consequences] is part of one of the projects I am working on. But I won’t talk about any details,” he said, and added that it was still “very early” for the project.

Back on the HTC Vive stage at TGS this week, Luckey distanced himself from Oculus, saying that even though he founded the company, he’s interested in all of VR.

“Don’t think of me as an Oculus person. Just think of me as a VR person. Everything. Sony, HTC, other companies. Everything.”

Despite distancing himself from his former company, elements of the discussion regarding his opinions of HTC may also have been aimed at Oculus.

[…] I have a lot of respect for that, I think it means a lot that HTC is looking at all markets, not just Western markets, not just China, not just Taiwan, not just Japan, not just the US, not just Europe… they really are looking at all the difference markets, and actually spending money to put their money where their mouth is… I don’t know if that idiom comes across in Japanese.

[…]

There are a lot of companies that say they care about the whole world and the global market, but just look at where they’d spending the money, look at where they’re actually putting their marketing dollars. You can tell who they actually care about and who they don’t care about that way.

[…]

I’ve always been pretty supportive of all VR companies. [For instance] right when Sony announced PlayStation VR, I did the same thing—I was so excited to see other companies really entering the marketplace and seriously investing in it, and funding developers, funding awareness, getting hardware out there. I think HTC is doing the same thing, so of course I’m going to say good things about HTC. It’s no special preference for HTC, it’s a preference for the way that they’re doing business right now.


For more on what Luckey has been up to following his departure from Oculus, take a look at ‘Palmer’s Post-Oculus Interview’ Series:

The post Palmer Luckey: “I’m still working in the VR industry on some very exciting things” appeared first on Road to VR.

Intel Cancels All-in-One VR Headset

Last year, Intel announced it was working on a standalone virtual reality (VR) headset called Project Alloy. Originally slated for release in 2017, now it seems the device will not be making an appearance, as Intel has cancelled the project.

Project alloy was designed to be a self-contained head-mounted display (HMD) with a separate controller, inside-out tracking and 6DoF control. It was meant to act as a ‘reference system’ with shared technology and open APIs.

It seems that Intel has decided to abandon the project, according to Road to VR, this is due to a lack of interest from Intel’s partners. There’s been no further information on why there was a lack of interest, or if there was anything specific that Intel’s partners objected to. There has been some speculation that might be due to Intel’s preferred manufacturing partners, such as Acer, Dell and Asus choosing to get involved with building Windows 10 mixed reality (MR) headsets.

A statement sent to Road to VR from Kim Pallister, Intel’s Virtual Reality Centre of Excellent Director, suggested the company was concentrating on developing other VR-related technologies, such as the WiGig link for wireless VR.

The statement said: “Intel has made the decision to wind down its Project Alloy reference design, however we will continue to invest in the development of technologies to power next-generation AR/VR experiences. This includes: Movidius for visual processing, Intel RealSense™ depth sensing and six degrees of freedom (6DoF) solutions, and other enabling technologies including Intel WiGig, Thunderbolt, and Intel Optane™. All of these Intel technology solutions are supported by a robust portfolio of software capabilities, and we’re building out a VR support ecosystem, from software design kits to reference designs, to spur innovation that’s enabling rich and immersive content. Project Alloy served as a great proof of concept for Intel and the industry – showing what’s possible in a high-performance, immersive and untethered VR experience. What we’ve learned through Project Alloy will inform future efforts.”

VRFocus will bring you further news on Intel’s VR projects as it becomes available.

New Summer Lesson Trailer Reveals New Student

Earlier this month it was revealed that Summer Lesson would be adding a new student with a new expansion pack titled Summer Lesson: Chisato Shinjo – Seven Days of Etude. The latest trailer revealed at Tokyo Game Show reveals some more details.

Chisato Shinjo lives in a large, impressive house and is part of a prominent, wealthy family. However, she is also something of a recluse who doesn’t go out to socialise very much. Though intelligent, she can be prone to selfishness, with something of a bleak, pessimistic personality. It will be the player’s job to get to know her, and teach her about what is happening in society and how to get along better with others.

As has been the case for previous chapters of Summer Lesson, Summer Lesson: Chisato Shinjo – Seven Days of Etude will have optional DLC packs containing extra scenes, costumes and events. There is also likely to be a deluxe DLC pack as there was for previous chapters.

Summer Lesson: Chisato Shinjo – Seven Days of Etude will be released for PlayStation VR on 12th October, 2017. You can watch the Tokyo Game Show trailer below.

VRFocus will bring you further news on Summer Lesson as it becomes available.

Advancing Immersive Computing with Intel’s Virtual Reality Center for Excellence

kim-pallisterIntel is investing in the future of immersive computing through their Virtual Reality Center for Excellence. They’re pushing the boundaries of high-end of VR gaming experiences, pursuing initiatives to help VR reach critical mass, and exploring how RealSense depth sensor cameras and WiGig wireless technologies fit into the VR ecosystem. I was able to demo an early prototype demo of an HTC Vive game rendered on a PC and transferred wirelessly to a mobile headset, and it’s part of a research project to search for additional market opportunities for how high-end PCs could drive immersive experiences.

LISTEN TO THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST


I was able to sit down with the Kim Pallister, the director of Intel’s VR Center for Excellence to talk about their various initiatives to advance immersive computing, their WiGig wireless technology, RealSense and Project Alloy, and some of the experiential differences between their lower-end and higher-end CPUs.

Pallister predicts that immersive gaming markets may mirror differences in mobile, console, and PC markets, and that there will be a spectrum of experiences that have tradeoffs between price, performance, and power consumption. Intel is initially focusing on pushing the high-end of VR gaming experiences, but they believe in the future of immersive computing and are looking at how to support and are looking at how to support the full spectrum of virtual reality experiences.


Support Voices of VR

Music: Fatality & Summer Trip

The post Advancing Immersive Computing with Intel’s Virtual Reality Center for Excellence appeared first on Road to VR.

Preview: Eternity Warriors – Bringing Hack n Slash Gameplay to VR

Vanimals Games is well known for its arcade hack n slash series Eternity Warriors which has seen several iterations released on mobile devices over the last six years. So now the developer has turned its attention to virtual reality (VR) bringing that same universe to HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, giving players a chance to engage in all out combat.

The early access release features three standard type characters (or loadouts), Warrior, Hunter or Gunner. Naturally each has its own particular strengths and weaknesses depending on how you like to play. The Warrior is the close range specialist – and probably the most fun – equipping you with a massive sword in one hand and a shield in the other. All the loadouts have secondary options, so once the sword is charged it’ll let out a long distance attack, while the shield hand can also fire a massive laser beam – both good for ranged enemies.

The Hunter is the bow carrying character, good for those who like to keep things at a distance, although because you’re rooted to the spot it does tend to be the weakest of the three as you can’t move to maintain that distance. To help, the bow has explosive fire arrows and seeker arrows which can lock on to multiple enemies which do work very well. Should things get close quarters the bow hand can release a stasis field for a short time and the bow can be used like a blade. It was just nowhere as good as the warrior’s sword.

Lastly there’s the Gunner and as the name implies you’re dual wielding a pistol and shotgun. There’s no need to worry about ammo or reloading, the pistol is infinite and the shotgun reloads automatically and quick. This is another very good class as the pistol can be charged for high damage, rapid fire shots, and the shotgun can place a small shield to protect against incoming projectiles.

Currently gameplay consists of killing waves of enemies across five rounds. The same area is used but you do move around it, offering different hostile spawn locations. If you know the Eternity Warriors franchise then you’ll already kind of know what to expect, Vanimals Games isn’t trying to sell you some massive story driven adventure, just the fun action sequences boiled down into one experience. Even at this stage it’s a hoot. Parrying an enemies strike with the warrior’s shield flings them up into the air where you can juggle them with your sword which never gets old.

Plus Eternity Warriors does look gorgeous which always helps. The enemy characters are very well crafted and highly detailed – very noticeable when they’re right up in your face – and so is the one location, with the last round overlooking a city in ruins.

VRFocus previewed the single-player but there’s also a coop multiplayer mode as well, so you can team up with a mate (or stranger) to help protect your back. This should help add to the longevity of the experience. Otherwise Eternity Warriors would be fairly short lived, which good graphics alone can’t save. It’ll be interesting to see how Vanimals Games goes about expanding the title as development continues.

Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV Tokyo Game Show Trailer Revealed

For those who want to spend more time with Noctis, Ignis and the rest of the boys from Final Fantasy XV, Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV is coming to PlayStation VR in November to let you head on a virtual reality (VR) fishing trip.

The latest trailer shown by Sony and Square Enix at the Tokyo Game Show showed off some of the gameplay of the upcoming VR fishing adventure. Players will be able to accompany the Final Fantasy XV crew to picturesque locations to catch fish. There is a story mode that lets players take advantage of RPG elements such as upgradable equipment to catch bigger fish, and learn that fish are not the only things lurking in the waters, as terrifying aquatic abominations can also be found.

There’s also a free-fishing mode for a more relaxed experience.

Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV is available for pre-order from the PlayStation Store, and users who do so will get access to an in-game Samurai outfit and a PlayStation 4 dynamic theme. The title is expected to release on 21st November, 2017.

You can watch the Tokyo Game Show trailer below.

VRFocus will bring you further information on Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV as it becomes available.

The Nexus Box Brings Multiplayer, Cooperative AR Puzzles to Merge Cube

The Nexus Box image 1

Last month virtual reality (VR) headset maker Merge VR launched its take on augmented reality (AR) with the Merge Cube, a physical toy that can be used with a smartphone. Now Texas-based AR developer Possum Interactive has launched a multiplayer, cooperative puzzle for Merge Cube called The Nexus Box.

Made for iOS and Android mobile devices, The Nexus Box is a team game where one player has possession of Merge Cube (or ancient artifact) while the other players have a journal full of clues (downloadable for free). The players have to work together to decipher complex instructions, manipulate the artifact’s controls and solve the puzzles before time runs out.

Featuring eighteen puzzles, procedurally generated challenges and family focused gameplay, players can take it in turns either manipulating the puzzle or figuring out the clues from the journal.

While AR is becoming big news thanks to the launch of iOS 11 and ARKit from Apple, and Google releasing ARCore to developers, the Merge Cube is taking a different tact by giving users something they can hold to see holographic objects.

The Merge Cube retails for $14.99 USD. Users can then dive into the company’s Merge Miniverse to select from a curated range of family-friendly content. The toy can also be used with the Merge VR headset so customers don’t need to hold their smartphones.

For any further updates from Merge VR, keep reading VRFocus.

Dark Eclipse MOBA Coming To PlayStation VR

Despite the popularity of the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, or MOBA, genre of videogames, for the most part they have yet to make the jump to virtual reality (VR). That may be about to change, since Sony showcased a VR MOBA called Dark Eclipse at the Tokyo Game Show.

Described as a hybrid between the Real-time strategy and MOBA genres, Dark Eclipse will allow players to choose three characters from a roster of over 20, and then set forth to battle. Users will need to get a grip on topology and terrain, keep an eye on the opponent’s strategy as they aim to capture the most territory. You win by forcing your opponent to retire his characters or by destroying their base.

Developer SunSoft says the intuitive nature of VR control schemes will change the paradigm for simulation and strategy titles. Dark Eclipse is due to be released on the PlayStation VR some time in 2018. It is not yet known if the title will be released in the West.

You can watch a trailer video for Dark Eclipse below.

VRFocus will continue to report on new and upcoming PlayStation VR titles.

This Week in VR Sport: Formula E Driving Experience, PGA Tour Expands Coverage and 360 Video at Singapore F1 Grand Prix

sebastien-buemi-at-red-bull-media-world

It may be a busy week for videogame events, with the Tokyo Games Show (TGS) 2017 going on in Japan, the VRDC expo taking place in California and EGX 2017 being held in Birmingham, UK, but that doesn’t mean to say VRFocus’ weekly roundup of news relating to sport and virtual reality (VR) has gone wanting. This week features Red Bull and Virtually Live with a Formula E driving experience, 360-degree coverage being tested at the recent Singapore F1, and if you missed it, the PGA Tour and Intel will be expanding their immersive coverage of golf.

Virtually Live Launches Formula E VR Driving Experience at Red Bull Media World

If you’re heading to Red Bull Media World at the Verkehrshaus der Schweiz, Luzern, anytime soon then you’ll be able to check out a new VR experience by Virtually Live which place guests in the drivers seat of a Formula E race car.

The company has partnered with the FIA Formula E Championship to recreate races in VR using last Season’s Paris ePrix race track, allowing them to compete over 2 laps to beat Renault eDams driver Sébastien Buemi’s fastest time.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Red Bull Media World to provide visitors to the Verkehrshaus der Schweiz with a cutting edge VR driving experience, showcasing our relationship with Formula E,” said Oliver Weingarten, Director of Motorsport at Virtually Live in a statement. “Virtually Live has been recreating Formula E ePrixs live in immersive VR by ingesting the live telemetry from the drivers’ cars. This has enabled us to give fans a unique opportunity to compete in VR against Sébastien Buemi’s fastest lap at last Season’s Paris ePrix. We look forward to seeing who comes out on top early next year.”

“The level of detail and realism in the “Virtually Live Driving Experience” is incredible,” commented Sébastien Buemi. “This is a really innovative experience, which allows me to engage with my fans, at the same time as giving them the experience of driving my Formula E car in VR around the Paris ePrix track.“

The driving experience will be available until 31st January 2017. For those unable to attend download the Virtually Live Formula E VR App, and experience Season 3 ePrixs in VR with complete freedom of movement, where you can go anywhere on the track during the ePrixs; including the perspective from inside any driver’s car, but also have the chance to drive and set your own lap time.

Tata Communications Trials Live 360 Video at the Singapore F1 Grand Prix

Last weekend the 2017 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix took place with Tata Communications and Formula 1 trialling a live 360-degree video feed and TV broadcast in complete sync.

It’s quite common for there to be a 30-second delay between the 360-degree video and live TV feeds which in a fast paced sport like F1 can mean all the difference.

Tata placed two 360 cameras at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore, one trackside and one in the paddock. Via the Official F1 App fans could use their tablet to access a live 360º video feed from the paddock and see the biggest names in the sport. Or, during a race, as a driver pulls into the pits for a tyre change, fans could complement the action on TV with a 360º view of everything that is happening in the pit lane in real-time.

“We’ve done this test to show how a fan could watch Lewis, Sebastian or any other drivers coming into the pits on TV, grab their tablet and get a second, completely in sync 360º view of everything going on around him while he is there – not 30 seconds after he has driven off!,” said John Morrison, Chief Technical Officer, Formula 1. “In a sport like F1 where every millisecond matters, there are huge opportunities to empower fans to take control of key Grand Prix moments and create their unique, personalised race experiences through the powerful combination of live TV and 360º video.”

“This proof of concept shows the potential of live 360º video to augment the F1 TV viewing experience and bring VR mainstream in live sports and entertainment,” said Mehul Kapadia, Managing Director of Tata Communications’ F1 Business. “Eliminating the delay in 360º video means that, for the first time, it’s possible to offer fans truly live 360º video experiences on a global scale. This will enable sports and entertainment organisations to engage with their audiences in new ways and generate new revenue streams – helping the 360º video and VR market achieve its USD $60 billion potential.”

Singapore F1 Grand Prix

PGA TOUR And Intel Expand Immersive Golf Coverage

And just in case you missed VRFocus’ coverage earlier this week, the PGA Tour and Intel are continuing thier partnership by bring golf fans more immersive coverage over 2017/18.

The expansion will see six PGA Tour events being broadcast in 360-degrees, beginning with the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta this month, followed by the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club from 28th Sept. – 1st October, then the Waste Management Phoenix Open and THE PLAYERS, both in 2018.

All the action can be viewed through the PGA TOUR VR Live app available for free on Samsung Gear VR. If you happen to miss the live broadcast the content will also be available on demand following each event. Live and on-demand VR and 360 video coverage of the TOUR Championship will showcase holes 1, 15 and 18, beginning 21st September 2017.

Watch A Videogame Music Symphony in VR

It has becomes increasingly popular to hold concerts and recitals featuring music from videogames. The success of these concerts demonstrates the enduring popularity of the music created for videogames, as well as the growing recognition of videogame music as its own sub-genre. PlayStation VR users will soon be able to experience a VR videogame concert from the comfort of home.

For many people, the big videogame concert events are out of reach for reasons such as money or geography. With PlayStation VR, you can strap on the headset and experience the 23rt Concert of the Game Symphony Japan at the Japan Studio Music Festival, 2017. This particular concert was called Colouring PlayStation, and featured some of the most beautiful and iconic music to be featured on Sony’s consoles.

Music from titles such as, Gravity Daze, Gravity Daze 2, Wild Arms, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian and ICO are featured, played with a full orchestra and able to be experienced in virtual reality theatre style.

You can watch the trailer video below.

VRFocus will bring you further news on PlayStation VR as it becomes available.