The latest update to the Lenovo Mirage Solo adds a passthrough mode. The Mirage Solo is the first standalone Daydream headset, launched in May last year for $399. Daydream is Google’s Android-based VR platform. Passthrough refers to seeing the real world while inside a VR headset via cameras built into or mounted on it. The feature was first announced back in September, and has now finally shipped to users. GIF from Google The option can be found in the Beta section of the Settings, and is described as “Allow headset to use camera see-through mode for safety graphics and in experimental apps“. There are no “experimental apps” which seem to use the passthrough mode yet. Passthrough For Safety The first VR headset to offer passthrough was the Samsung Gear VR. The phone’s rear camera could be activated from the settings, however its low field of view, lack of stereo and latency made it impractical. The HTC Vive in 2016 shipped with a similar kind of passthrough built into its Chaperone boundary system, so when you step near the edge it activates. Google’s new passthrough system is also activated by leaning out of the play area. But unlike earlier passthrough systems, Google uses the two cameras and computer vision to enable depth perception. Passthrough techniques are also expected on the upcoming Oculus Quest and Rift S headsets. Stereo-correct passthrough that activates when you move outside the play area is a great addition to VR, and could be an essential feature of all headsets in the future. Users who enable this on their Mirage Solo should be able to enjoy VR without worrying about situational awareness as much. Perhaps this is a stepping stone to a Mirage Solo successor from Google — a competitor to Facebook’s Oculus Quest? Tagged with: Daydream, google, lenovo, Lenovo Mirage Solo, passthrough .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Lenovo Mirage Solo Update Adds Camera Passthrough To The Daydream Standalone appeared first on UploadVR.

Read more..

I spoke to Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney at the Game Developers Conference last week. Sweeney declined a full interview but agreed to answer one question about the VR and AR market on the record. Sweeney is, of course, the CEO of the company behind Unreal Engine, Fortnite, Epic Games store and more. A team at Epic built Robo Recall for Oculus Rift and the company’s development tools are designed to support the OpenXR specification for cross-platform development. Beyond that, though, how Sweeney views opportunity in these markets could be helpful to developers. ‘You can quote me on this’ He spoke for nearly two minutes about how he views VR and AR: VR and AR will transform the future of entertainment and Epic is investing heavily in it. A lot of our investment is the enterprise side where customers all over the world are doing amazing things to visualize products and do virtual production on movie sets and other things like that. I think our recognition now is we’re still — despite a lot of early hopes — we’re still sort of in the Palm Pilot phases of this revolution rather than the smartphone era of the revolution. So we’re investing heavily but its…going to take years before it develops into a market that changes the world for everyone. But I do believe in this future of the world in which billions of people are wearing AR hardware, AR glasses are their everyday life and I believe that’s the entertainment platform of the future. And we’re gonna be there. And we’re very very happy to see Microsoft announce the HoloLens and all their future AR efforts will be treated as open platforms. I think that’s an incredibly important thing for the future of the industry. AR especially, you’re talking about hardware that’s going to present unparalleled visual fidelity — imagine 8K per eye filling your entire field of view — and imagine sensors constantly picking up your facial movement and the world around you to digitize it. We’re going to need very strong privacy protections and very strong guarantees of open platforms and open access to platforms so that we don’t end up in some sort of surveillance dystopia as you might see in science fiction. Tagged with: Epic Games, Fortnite, Tim Sweeney, Unreal engine .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney On AR: ‘We’re Going To Need Very Strong Privacy Protections’ appeared first on UploadVR.

Read more..

Mike Ambinder, a psychologist and researcher at Valve, packed a room at the Game Developers Conference with a talk on whether you can control games directly with a brain-computer interface (BCI). Increasingly, game developers are asking whether a 17-button controller or a mouse/keyboard are the best possible interfaces for interacting with games — or if there is something more “naturalistic” that could improve the connection between what we want to do in a game and what actually happens. It may be the stuff of dreams, but Ambinder said many researchers are working on solving the problem today, and it’s hard to predict how soon someone will make a breakthrough. The whole point is to cut the middleman, in this case the game controller, between the intention of the player and the game simulation. Above: Mike Ambinder is the experimental psychologist at Valve. Image Credit: Dean Takahashi “In the long run, this will give us the most bang for the buck,” said Ambinder, in terms of directly wiring into our brains. For instance, we know there are both verbal and nonverbal parts of a conversation. The nonverbal includes the change in someone’s tone of voice, facial expressions, and where someone is facing. “With games, we have traditional inputs, but we might be missing the nonverbal part of the conversation. There might be other data that can be provided to us as game designers that we’re not acquiring.” Current interfaces Above: Xbox One controller. Image Credit: Astro Gaming A mouse and keyboard has lots of different inputs that can be very precise, but they might be very hard for humans to remember them all. “Memory is actually a fundamental limitation,” Ambinder said. “How many possible combinations you can remember off the top of your head when you’re playing a game? What if you didn’t have to remember everything? What if you could just think about what you wanted to do and it happened? Wouldn’t that change how you play games?” Gamepads can be simpler, but they still have all those buttons. There are also gesture controls — for things like swinging your arm and boxing. Those can be more intuitive, but they also make you tired. In the case of both controllers and keyboards, you have to think about a movement and translate it into a movement that triggers an interaction in a game. A new kind of controller might be able to help people play better, including those who are disabled in some way. Microsoft showed that with its Xbox Adaptive Controller for people with limited mobility. They could perhaps even help people see again who can’t see, Ambinder said. Maybe we could send data that bypasses the eyes and goes straight to the brain. An ideal interface? Above: What’s the ideal game interface? Image Credit: Dean Takahashi/Valve “What happens if you didn’t have to use those things?” Ambinder asked. “What are better ways of interacting with games?” Ambinder thinks we can come up with things that can make us respond quicker, give us a broader set of input commands, achieve more complex patterns of input like chaining together commands, and being [...] The post Valve Psychologist Explores Controlling Games Directly With Your Brain appeared first on UploadVR.

Read more..

Gameplay officially began this past weekend in Season 3 of the VR League with a $250,000 total prize pool across four games. The post VR League Season 3 Begins With New Games And $250,000 Prize Pool appeared first on UploadVR.

Read more..

If there was any doubt as to if Blade and Sorcery was VR’s bloodiest game yet it’s surely done away with this update. Set to debut next week, Update 5 will add in decapitation for the first time. Blade and Sorcery already featured gruesomely realistic stabbing. The game’s physics-driven melee mechanics have made it one of the most popular titles in VR. But, when the new update hits, you’ll also be able to lop off heads, arms and legs with your weapon of choice. You can even pick up the dismembered body parts and then, uh, stab those too. Because, well, why not? There’s plenty more squeamish details included now too. You’ll be able to pin enemies to walls with sharp pointy things and even disarm them of their own weapons. One of the trailer’s coolest moments has players zooming to saftey by using an axe to hop on a zipline. Finally there’s a handful of less-deadly updates like a spectator mode for desktop masochists. As you probably noticed, there’s a new map set in a canyon too. There are also new weapons including a rapier, dane axe, longsword and double bladed staff. Update 5 is due to hit on April 4th, which is the same day the Early Access version of Blade and Sorcery arrives on the Oculus Store. No word yet on when the full version of the game will release, nor the chances of seeing it on PSVR. For now, you can pick it up on Steam for $19.99, where it supports Rift, Vive and Windows VR. Tagged with: Blade and Sorcery .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Blade And Sorcery Gets Even Bloodier In Decapitation Update appeared first on UploadVR.

Read more..

Cyan Worlds, the developer behind VR adventure game Obduction and, of course, Myst is back. But the developer’s new VR game, Firmament, needs your help to become a reality. Today, Cyan launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for its latest project. The studio is hoping to raise a hefty $1,285,000 over the course of the next month. At the time of writing the campaign has been live for a few hours and already raised close to $40,000. This isn’t a new move for Cyan; both Obduction and a 25th Anniversary Edition of Myst were both funded via Kickstarter. Firmament very much follows in the footsteps of Myst and Obduction. It’s a visually-striking adventure in which you solve puzzles and learn about the mysteries of the world around you. We actually went hands-on with the game all the way back in April 2018. We fell in love with the highly-detailed world, which you’ll explore alongside an AI companion known as an adjunct. Why Kickstarter? “Though our goal of $1.3 million seems high, it is a relatively modest budget for the kind of experience that Cyan creates,” the developer writes of the decision to take the game to Kickstarter. “But Cyan has plenty of experience, and a small, but talented team. We’ve learned over the years that a smaller, experienced team, working closely together can be very efficient and satisfying.” As with Obduction, Firmament’s VR support is optional. Crucially, though, Cyan is working on VR integration from the off this time. That means no retroactive additions like motion controllers, it’ll all work naturally from the start. Cyan itself says the game is specifically designed for VR. Interested? Backers of the campaign will get exclusive access to downloadable content like unique skins for the adjunct and other skinned items. You can pledge $40 to get a copy of the game on PC with VR support. Supported headsets haven’t been announced yet, and neither has a possible PSVR port (Obduction did eventually reach PSVR). Cyan is estimating a July 2020 launch at this time. Elsewhere, Cyan is also publishing another VR adventure named Zed. We’re expecting that one to launch pretty soon. Tagged with: cyan worlds, Firmament, kickstarter, VR adventure .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Obduction Dev Cyan Launches Kickstarter For Next VR Game, Firmament appeared first on UploadVR.

Read more..

Trover Saves the Universe is coming very soon to PSVR and PC VR headsets and after playing it at GDC we have no doubt we're all in for some good laughs. The post GDC 2019: Trover Saves The Universe Kept Me Laughing Through The Whole Demo appeared first on UploadVR.

Read more..

Yesterday saw jaws hit the floor as Marvel’s Iron Man VR was announced exclusively for PSVR. A high-flying trailer introduced us to the game’s action, but developer Camouflaj is promising much more than that. Taking to the PlayStation Blog following the game’s reveal, Director Ryan Payton also promised a “deeply personal” story for the game. He said the team has set its “sights on not only giving the player thrilling moment-to-moment action, but also a deeply personal, and appropriately funny, narrative that puts players in Tony Stark’s armored shoes.” Anyone that’s seen Robert Downey Jr’s turn as Tony Stark will likely know what to expect, then. Payton did make reference to a classic Iron Man story, Demon in a Bottle, in which Stark battles with alcoholism. It’s clear he knows his stuff when it comes to Tony Stark. Payton didn’t reveal too much more but did say the game will be “more than just an origin story.” He promised we’ll meet iconic allies (War Machine?) and villains (uh… Mandarin?) on a global journey. In the trailer we see what looks very much like Ant-Man and the Wasp baddie, Ghost, popping up. Ghost is indeed closer to an Iron Man villain in the comics, though. Could we perhaps meet up with other Avengers? Dare we suggest we might even play as other armored superheroes? Hopefully all of this means that we’ll be getting a full game here and not an ‘experience’. Other superheroes like Spider-Man and Batman have their own VR apps but the content never lasts much longer than an hour. Iron Man VR is due out later this year. Tagged with: Camouflaj, Iron Man VR .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Iron Man VR Will Tell A ‘Deeply Personal’ And ‘Appropriately Funny’ Story appeared first on UploadVR.

Read more..

Ubisoft is pressing on with its location-based VR business. The company today announced its second game for the initiative, which again ties into the world of Assassin’s Creed. Beyond Medusa’s Gate will be arriving at locations across the US and Europe on May 7th. It’s again developed by Blue Byte, the studio that made last year’s excellent Escape the Lost Pyramid. Whereas that piece tied into Assassin’s Creed Origins, though, Beyond Medusa’s Gate is set in the world of last year’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. As the name suggests, that’s ancient Greece. The game can be played with either two or four players. Teams will have up to 60 minutes to work their way out of a coastal cave. It houses the ship of the Argonauts. As with Escape the Lost Pyramid, you’ll need to work together to solve puzzles in order to get out alive. Don’t expect any combat, but you’ll at least get a taste of the world of Assassin’s Creed inside VR. We don’t have any other images to go on right now other than the one above. We really liked Escape the Lost Pyramid when we tried it out last year. While it might not be the full Assassin’s Creed VR experience fans want, it shows VR at its collaborative best. Elsewhere, Ubisoft’s Space Junkies is now in VR arcades across the globe too, though it launches today on home VR headsets. We’re hoping to see some of the company’s other famous brands like Far Cry and Rainbow Six make their way into the location-based realm too. Tagged with: assassin's creed, Beyond Medusa's Gate .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Beyond Medusa’s Gate Is Ubisoft’s Next Assassin’s Creed VR Arcade Game appeared first on UploadVR.

Read more..

Have you ever wondered what Tokyo’s popular Shibuya district looked like in 1964? Thanks to NHK Enterprises, many SXSW (South by Southwest) attendees were able to experience a short demo showing them what Shibuya was like the last time the Olympics were in town. Although the demo itself was less than ten minutes long, seeing what is possible from stitching old photos together to create an immersive experience is quite remarkable. To travel to the past, we used an HTC Vive Pro headset, two Vive controllers, and a backpack similar to ones worn at The VOID, or Dreamscape. We only used the controller to point; the touchpads were off limits. Completely set up with our equipment, the narrated demo began. The narrator gave us some backstory on Shibuya, explaining that we were going on a journey to see what it looked like in 1964. Our tour began with the Hachiko bronze statue near Shibuya Station. The narrator instructed us to walk up and touch the statue after hearing its backstory. I don’t recall seeing a statue while we were getting geared up, so that was a pleasant surprise. The 3D environment was created by stitching together old photos. Photo provided by NHK Enterprises Inc. From there, we flew to the top of a building, looking down on the Shibuya from the past. The facilitators of the demo warned before gearing up that the experience had quick forward and upward movement, but it was surprisingly smooth. Typically quick motions like that disorient me, but I had no issues with The Time Machine. Looking around Shibuya from above, the narrator encouraged us to walk to the edge, and look down. In addition to feeling like I was really looking over the edge, facilitators used fans to give us the sensation of real wind, making the experience that more immersive. The end of the demo took us to modern day Shibuya Crossing. This portion of the experience was filmed using a 360 degree camera; if you looked down, you could see the person handling the camera. The comparison between Shibuya in the present day compared to what it once was really put things into perspective. As technology advances, we build taller buildings and continue to incorporate technology into our everyday lives. A look at modern-day Shibuya Crossing. Photo: Alessandro Crugnola, Five Hundred Pixels, via Lonely Planet. Keiko Tsuneki, of NHK Enterprises Inc., told me their goal was to have several location-based attractions around the globe. A huge target audience for the company is actually older people. Tsuneki talked about how eventually the company would like to be able to serve several people at a time, to take them back to the years they want to revisit. “It’d be nice for older people to have their avatars and be able to go visit a cafe [or other landmark] they remember together,” she told me after the demo. Keiko also talked about how when demoing it to an older crowd, the reactions were very positive. A lot of people would [...] The post SXSW 2019: The Time Machine Takes Attendees To 1964 Tokyo appeared first on UploadVR.

Read more..

HTC revealed its Vive Focus Plus standalone VR headset is priced $799. It starts shipping April 15 with two hand controllers included. That is essentially double the cost of the consumer-oriented Oculus Quest, which starts shipping this spring starting at $399 for similar overall functionality. You can read our most recent hands-on impressions of Quest and everything else we know about the device here. Vive Focus Plus The Vive Focus Plus will ship in most markets with an enterprise license. The headset is said to launch with 250 Vive Wave applications while its Viveport Infinity subscription program claims to include “over 70 premium titles.” Here are the Vive Focus Plus specifications, according to HTC: Display: 3K AMOLED (2880×1600) Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Audio: Built-in Speaker Tracking: Inside-Out Frame Rate: 75Hz Field of View: 110-degrees Battery: 4000 mAh Controller: 6DoF Data Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Memory (RAM/ROM): 4/32 GB Connector: USB Type-C Charging: QC3.0 HTC is a company that appears to be in technological transition — with the Vive Focus Plus the latest example. HTC’s first generation Vive headset debuted in 2016 for $$799, a full $200 more than the Rift with a wider feature set. That system relied on Valve’s SteamVR Tracking technology to operate. All headsets HTC released since 2016, except for the Vive Pro, don’t rely on this technology. It should still be possible for some HTC systems to interact with SteamVR content but we’ve yet to test that sort of of functionality in a home setting. While Vive Focus Plus is HTC’s current standalone headset the company is also planning the convertible Vive Cosmos as well. Currently, Oculus sells business editions of the original Rift for $799 with room-scale tracking and extra accessories while the Oculus standalone headset is $299 with 64 GB of storage. Oculus is also planning a 128 GB Oculus Quest for $499 but we don’t have any word on a business edition of the headset. It is hard to get a full picture right now of how different Vive Focus Plus and Oculus Quest are from another in actual real-world use. HTC is trying to gear the headset to the business market but it is not clear how the headset or its business license will outperform Oculus Quest for business use cases. Tagged with: Vive Focus Plus .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Vive Focus Plus Ships April 15 For $799 With Business License appeared first on UploadVR.

Read more..

Sony officially cleared a new sales milestone of 4.2 million headsets sold through March 3, 2019. Sony is the only wired VR headset manufacturer to release actual sales figures. Samsung released some sales figures for its Gear VR headsets, but those systems offer a different caliber of experience compared with PlayStation VR. We last heard Sony cleared 3 million headsets sold in August 2018. The headset first went on sale in late 2016. The PlayStation Aim controller (above) was released in 2017 with support in some VR shooters. Astro Bot, Beat Saber and other games have clearly driven sales for the system into 2019. A Sony livestream today announced a series of new VR games coming to the system in the next few months, including No Man’s Sky and Five Nights At Freddy’s. We’re of course curious what the future holds for Sony’s VR system. The PlayStation Move controllers and single sensor used with the PSVR system could be improved dramatically in a second generation of hardware. Oculus just announced its second generation Rift S and we’re curious if Valve will follow through with a new generation of headset powered by its technology. Sony is due to provide updates on a potential PS5 system at some point. We’re anxious to hear what is in store for the company’s VR hardware efforts. In particular, 4.2 million PSVR headsets means Sony is incredibly well positioned to build a strong second generation that could improve upon the experience of games from the first. We’ll update you as soon as we hear what Sony has in store next. Tagged with: sony .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Sony Sold 4.2 Million PSVR Headsets appeared first on UploadVR.

Read more..

Good news FuturLab’s deceptively tactical VR boardgame, Mini-Mech Mayhem, just got a PSVR release date. The game’s due out on June 18th. That’s just after this year’s E3 so you’ll have something to play in the post-news blues. The date was confirmed during Sony’s State of Play broadcast earlier today. Mini-Mech Mayhem is a four-player PSVR exclusive. In the game, you befriend a little robot companion that you bring into tabletop battles. Battles are turn-based and have players looking to secure positions on a grid-based map. Every movement you assign your robot has a cost. Big strides across the board, for example, might have you moving slower than your opponent. The same goes for aiming at more damaging body parts with your robot’s weapon. The idea is to predict what your enemy is going to do and then counter it. We went hands-on with the game late last year and fell for its strategic gameplay. It also helps that it’s utterly adorable; you can kit out your robot buddy with a range of clothing and then interact with mini fist bumps and more. The date was announced alongside a slate of other PSVR release windows. We also got launch details for Falcon Age, Trover Saves the Universe and Jupiter & Mars among others. It’s been a busy day for PSVR fans. This isn’t FuturLab’s first dance with VR. A few years back the studio also made Tiny Trax, a tricky little toy racer that we were quite fond of. We have high hopes for Mini-Mech Mayhem, too. Tagged with: FuturLab, Mini-Mech Mayhem .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post FuturLab’s Mini-Mech Mayhem Arrives On PSVR In June appeared first on UploadVR.

Read more..

Jupiter & Mars is making its trippy and visually splendid debut on PSVR in less than a month this April! The post Jupiter & Mars Brings Trippy Ecco The Dolphin Vibes To PSVR This April appeared first on UploadVR.

Read more..

Everybody's Golf VR is making its debut on PSVR later this year on May 21st to really give you something to swing at. The post Everybody’s Golf VR Swings Onto PSVR This May appeared first on UploadVR.

Read more..