The new book The History Of The Future is out today in hardcover, ebook and audiobook. The narrative written by Console Wars author Blake Harris charts the 2012 founding of Oculus. Along the way there is an accounting of the $3 billion acquisition by Facebook and $500 million jury decision. The story ends after the 2017 exit of Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey. Along the way is Chapter 23, titled NINE STORIES. The chapter focuses on developers in April 2013 receiving the first Rift development kit — known as DK1. 56,334 of the headsets would eventually ship out to 114 countries. The nine stories provide an intimate look into how some lives changed with the arrival of that VR headset. Last week, we published a remarkable email referenced in the book originally sent by John Carmack in 2015 to Oculus leaders. The document assesses the group’s strengths and weaknesses with extraordinary detail. This week, we are printing excerpts from Chapter 23. Below are the first four of the nine stories. Check back tomorrow when we excerpt the remaining five stories from Chapter 23 of The History Of The Future. FOUR STORIES April 2013 “Check this out,” Luckey said, showing Dycus an eBay web page littered with results. Skimming the items, Dycus couldn’t help but grin: Oculus’s $300 devkits were in such high demand that some were going for over a thousand bucks. By this point, the first week of April, it was now clear that the launch of DK1 had been an unmitigated success. Secondhand units were selling for three times their price; tech journalists were publishing glowing reviews; and Luckey’s in-box was flooded with affection and admiration—comments like this one, from a Korean fan, proclaiming that Luckey was “going to be a historic human in 21c.” But as cool as all that was, none of it compared to the fact that developers all over the world were starting to receive their devkits in the mail; and over the next few months, these devs would get to work and begin building incredible things . . . 1. JUSTIN MORAVETZ Santa Monica, California In seventh grade, Justin Moravetz and his classmates were asked to give a presentation about “The Future.” So Moravetz decided to talk about the technology that excited him most—virtual reality!—and even cobbled together a makeshift headset using a VGA monitor and two Game Boy Screen Magnifiers. For the next two decades, he waited for VR to finally arrive in all that glory he had imagined as a boy. But year after year yielded disappointment after disappointment. From Forte’s VFX1 to eMagin’s latest Z800 3-DVisor, Justin Moravetz had seen it all. From his experience as a 3-D animator at Sony Computer Entertainment, Moravetz had insight into what a powerhouse was doing with virtual reality. And, well, it wasn’t much. He came to believe that the only way virtual reality could ever really take of would be for a small, scrappy outside force to come in—resurrect the technology from the ashes of its failures—and force big companies (like the one he worked for) to [...] The post Excerpt: Four Stories From Blake Harris Book The History Of The Future appeared first on UploadVR.

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Development studio Schell Games is announcing its upcoming sword fighting VR game Until You Fall. The studio is focusing on delivering satisfying melee combat in the “magic-infused” title. Until You Fall launches on VR headsets sometime in 2019. From the game’s official description: “Players will be masters of their own martial style and battle corrupted humanoids, monstrous creatures, and unknown horrors.” CEO Jesse Schell said Until You Fall is focused on single player at first and the game works by showing players where to block incoming attacks. That essentially gives the player the mind of an expert sword fighter. Until You Fall is an upcoming VR title from Schell Games. “We’re blending various styles of sword fighting to create an intense, real-time combat experience that hasn’t been seen before with VR,” said Schell in a prepared statement. “Using our deep knowledge of these platforms, we believe this game will push boundaries and leave players with the immersive melee fighting experience they’ve been craving.” We talked to Schell recently and the game design professor, author and developer said he thought Facebook could sell more than 1 million Oculus Quest headsets in 2019. The studio’s spy-themed I Expect You To Die is one of VR’s bigger success stories. The game crossed $3 million in total revenue late last year. Schell Games hasn’t announced what, if anything, it’s developing for Quest. Hopefully Until You Fall is coming to it, though.  Schell believes the standalone $400 Oculus Quest headset marks a major step forward in VR headset usability. It is “going to have way lower barrier of entry than any other headset,” he told us. Tagged with: Jesse Schell, Schell Games, Until You Fall .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Until You Fall Is A VR Sword Fighter From I Expect You To Die Studio appeared first on UploadVR.

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Beat Saber is arguably VR’s biggest phenomenon, taking PC VR and PSVR platforms by storm. But it’s also a game that lives and dies by its music, which helps players get in the flow. For deaf VR fans, that’s a big barrier to cross. But Beat Games and Subpac are working to break it down. Beat Games CEO Jaroslav Beck this week posted a video outlining the partnership. Beck traveled to Ravensbourne University in London to see how Subpac and Beat Saber combined was helping deaf players get into VR. Subpac offers a backpack-like subwoofer. In Beck’s own words, it lets you feel the bass of music as if you were in a nightclub. For Beat Saber, this sensation could be a vital way to communicate the rhythm of a son. “I feel like being in a different world,” one player in the video says. “The main vision behind this is that, in the future and especially in the esports, with platforms like virtual reality we can simply erase all the boundaries,” Beck says. He later adds: “Me personally I will be interested if the retention will be the same. Because our retention is almost 50% of people who bought the game are playing it even after three months which is kind of crazy.” He envisions getting people in the disabled community onto the game’s leaderboards and competing in tournaments. It would indeed be fantastic to see that happen. One of VR’s best aspects is that it can be for almost anyone. Beat Saber shouldn’t be an exception to that rule. And, just in case you came here hoping for Beat Saber DLC news, Beck adds that news will be coming “very soon”. Stay tuned. Tagged with: Beat Games, Beat Saber, Subpac .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Beat Saber And Subpac Are Helping Deaf Fans Play The Game appeared first on UploadVR.

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Most people have a dream VR setup. It might be laid out for the ultimate racing experience, or designed for immersive flight simulation. Studio Muybridge, however, built the ultimate VR paragliding experience. The France-based studio recently shared this look at its elaborate contraption. The rig suspends players on a seat in mid-air where they put an HTC Vive on. In the virtual world, they’ll find themselves soaring above a canyon. But the best part is the control. Players are able to dictate their direction by pulling and pushing the two Vive controllers. They’re attached to their own pulleys to simulate moving the glider above you. Inside VR you’ll use this system to swoop over rivers, steer through caves and compete in races. “The player doesn’t have any contact with the floor, therefore we needed to create a great feeling using electronic cylinders and wind turbines to prevent motion-sickness,” Studio Muybridge’s Matthieu Carron told me over email. “We worked with professional paragliders to create realistic flying sensations. We also gave the player the ability to accelerate which enhances the flying experience by providing more control and power.” Everything you see was made in-house. Carron says the most difficult part was balancing comfort and realism. Indeed, some of the turns in the trailer are enough to make our stomachs churn. But we’d be eager to see how it works for ourselves. Studio Muybridge is selling and renting the solution out for location-based experiences. You can contact them at this address: contact@studiomuybridge. The team will also be at the Lava Virtual event at the end of next month. Tagged with: vr paragliding .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post This Awesome VR Paragliding Rig Puts You In Control appeared first on UploadVR.

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Nearly a year on from raising $7.6 million, social VR network vTime is rebranding and jumping on AR platforms. The company today launched the AR version of its app on iOS and Android. It joins the already-available VR headset and smartphone app versions where users can make a virtual avatar and meet up. The AR version gives users a full 360-degree diorama to explore with their phones. Most importantly, all versions are compatible with each other, so a VR user can be talking with an AR user. Take a look at a walkthrough of the AR mode below. Dioramas appear on a flat surface and can be scaled up or down. You can move your phone through the virtual space too. Virtual emojis let you express yourself without the need for VR’s hand controllers. To coincide with the news vTime is also rebranding as vTime XR. In a press release, the company also noted that this would help it set “the stage for further social VR and AR technologies currently in development.” The company confirmed to UploadVR that the app is coming to Oculus Quest. As for Magic Leap and HoloLens, vTime Managing Director Clemens Wangerin told us that “vTime’s current focus is on consumer platforms. Ultimately, we want to be as cross-reality as we are cross-platform, so when the consumer audience is there, we will be too.” vTime XR is free to download on pretty much ever device under the sun. That includes Android, iPhone, Google Cardboard, Oculus Go, Gear VR, Windows Mixed Reality, Daydream View, and Oculus Rift. Tagged with: ar, vtime, vTime XR .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post VR Social Network vTime Adds AR Support, Quest Version Inbound appeared first on UploadVR.

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Varjo's VR-1 headset is officially here for enterprise users and delivers amazing human-eye caliber resolution in a state-of-the-art display for professional use cases. The post Varjo VR-1 Shows Us Virtual Reality Through High-Res Lenses appeared first on UploadVR.

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Remember that incredible boss battle with The End in Metal Gear Solid 3? Sneaking through the forest for hours on end, using camouflage to avoid detection? Sniper’s Ground looks set to capitalize on that in VR. Indie developer Mohammed Alsharefee introduced this upcoming game to the world this week. It’s a multiplayer shooter in which players trade bullets over massive maps and try and sneak past the enemy. Check it out in the trailer below but take note this isn’t really what the game will look like. It uses Unity’s Book of the Dead Forest environment, which is not something that would easily squeeze inside a VR headset. It’s very much a concept trailer, so expect the final product to look very different. According to the developer, this will be an in-depth sniping experience. You’ll be able to customize weapons and bullet types and even have to take the wind into account before pulling the trigger. He envisions Sniper’s Ground as a slow-paced action game, more akin to chess than Call of Duty. Expect three maps at launch and different modes include plans for, you guessed it, a battle royale game type. But Sniper’s Ground needs your help to become a reality. Alsharefee now has a Patron campaign up and running for the game to fund it. He’s hoping to hit $400 a month, which he’d use to pick up a VR headset. Right now he’s using a Kinect and the Trinus VR app on iPhone to develop the game. That can’t be the best way to do it. A possible release date depends on how much funding the developer gets. It’s coming to PC VR headsets but final platforms also haven’t been announced at this time. Tagged with: FPS, multiplayer, Sniper's Ground, sniping .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Sniper’s Ground Is A VR Multiplayer Sniping Game appeared first on UploadVR.

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AR headset-maker Magic Leap saw 6,500 developers apply to its recent Independent Creator Program. It’s a figure that “exceeded” the company’s expectations. But, a few days on from the application cutoff point, not everyone’s satisfied. Announced late last year, the Independent Creator Program promised funding and resources for smaller developers building Magic Leap apps. Studios with less than 20 members could apply for grants between $20,000 – $500,000. At the time, Magic Leap said it would screen applications and decide how much money to provide winners. Successful applicants were also promised free Magic Leap One kits and marketing support among other benefits. According to the timeline shown on Magic Leap’s site, entrants were to be “offered grants on a rolling basis through February 15, 2019.” In an email sent by Magic Leap to applicants, the company said it would let them know if they had been selected “no later than February 15th, 2019.” However, three days on from that date some developers still don’t know if they have been selected or not. Magic Leap’s official Twitter account yesterday told people to “Stay tuned for more info on who and what was selected.” After months of reviewing the most innovative and imaginative ideas #mixedreality has ever seen, we’ve selected the recipients for this year’s #IndependentCreatorProgram. Stay tuned for more info on who and what was selected. pic.twitter.com/IgAZ8Nul80 — Magic Leap (@magicleap) February 17, 2019 Speaking to UploadVR, Chief Content Officer, Rio Caraeff, said that every initial winner had been contacted before February 15th. He said that the company has “been going back and forth, basically with the selected winners, to finalize the paperwork as you do when you have a program of this size which is $10 million.” At the same time, Caraeff said a “small quantity” of developers also turned the grant down due to other commitments. “And then basically our communication plan was really to start notifying everybody, basically all of the applicants, of the status of the program this coming week because we just started locking in the winners and notifying them Wednesday, Thursday, Friday of last week.” Developers are free to announce they’ve won, but at the time of writing, we haven’t seen any studios do so. But what about those that didn’t win? By not immediately notifying other developers as to if they had been successful, the company has left some applicants in suspense. One AR developer told me they had spent around $3,000 on assembling their submission for the grant and had even put off investor meetings in hopes of hearing by now. One developer on Twitter said the situation had them considering dropping Magic Leap support. Over on the official forums, another said they may have to turn down the grant if they aren’t notified by the end of the month. Caraeff assured me that unsuccessful developers would be notified tomorrow.  “I would agree with you that we could improve the process and the wording going forward, and that’s our intention,” he said when asked if he could understand developer’s frustrations. “As you likely [...] The post Magic Leap Receives 6,500 Applications For Grant Program, But Not Everyone’s Happy appeared first on UploadVR.

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Samsung is offering an incredible deal this week — its Odyssey+ PC VR headset is just $299. This saves $200 (40%) from the regular $499 price. Odyssey+ is the refreshed version of the original Odyssey, which was Samsung’s first PC VR headset released in 2017. The Odyssey+ launched in October, adding a new “anti screen door effect” technology to the OLED diplays, as well as ergonomic and weight improvements. The Odyssey+ is a PC VR headset that leverages Microsoft’s Windows MR platform built into Windows 10. This platform is the default experience for the headset and the Microsoft Store is the default store, but it also works with SteamVR by using Microsoft’s SteamVR drivers. The Odyssey+ has the same resolution as HTC Vive Pro, yet is significantly cheaper. The Vive Pro with base stations and controllers starts at $1,098. The main difference in these two headsets is the positional tracking technology. The Vive Pro uses the SteamVR “Lighthouse” tracking system, whereas the Odyssey+ uses the two cameras on the front of the headset for “inside-out” tracking. Lighthouse generally provides better tracking quality with more tracked range for controller motion, but inside-out tracking requires no external hardware setup, making it less hassle and more portable. When we reviewed the 2017 Odyssey we we impressed, concluding that it sits among the best VR headsets on the market. By some reports, the Odyssey+ is even better and at $299 it’s a steal. Remember, this headset can play most VR games on Steam. The only time we’ve seen a VR headset with this resolution reach a price this low was Black Friday. Tagged with: odyssey, Samsung Odyssey+, VR sales, Windows MR .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Samsung Odyssey+ Is Just $299 This Week – 40% Off Sale appeared first on UploadVR.

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We've rounded up a list of 10 amazing power trip VR games that are so epic and intense you can't help but feel like a complete badass. The post 10 Amazing ‘Power Trip’ VR Games That Make You Feel Like A Badass appeared first on UploadVR.

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Virtual reality experiences have historically been islands — unconnected apps and videos, sometimes platform-specific — but the past year has seen efforts to tie them together using device-agnostic tools and portals. Mozilla’s vision has been to leverage the web and browsers for VR, and now it’s launching a free WebVR “starter kit” developed with web and app development community Glitch. Their kit is a five-part video course accompanied by interactive code examples, designed to help developers learn to use A-Frame, a free WebVR development framework. A-Frame creates VR content that can be viewed on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Google Daydream, and Gear VR headsets, as well as desktop and laptop PCs, including everything from complex 3D animated objects to 360-degree panoramas. “Our hope is that this starter kit will encourage anyone who has been on the fence about creating virtual reality experiences to dive in and get started,” Mozilla explained in a blog post today. To that end, interactive code examples are presented on Glitch’s site alongside step-by-step instructions and a viewing window, enabling developers to see how a “remix” of the code changes the VR output.  One example lets you play with textured planets from our solar system, adding and editing spheres using simple HTML code. Glitch’s Intro to WebVR is free and available now. Additional examples of A-Frame WebVR apps can be seen here. This post by Jeremy Horwitz originally appeared on VentureBeat.  Tagged with: Glitch, mozilla, webvr .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Glitch And Mozilla Launch WebVR Starter Kit For Building VR Websites appeared first on UploadVR.

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GDC is next month and the Oculus Quest is only a handful of months away. Which games do you think will come bundled with the standalone headset? The post Community Download: Which Games Should Oculus Quest Bundle? appeared first on UploadVR.

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Poor Nintendo will probably never be free of Switch VR speculation until it announces its own headset. The latest rumors suggest that could be this year. Nintendo World Report cites multiple sources in saying Nintendo will announce the kit ‘as early as this year’. The report also claims that a small number of first-party games will get VR support. Go Nintendo then followed up on the report with its own source. The site claims that the headset will be a part of Nintendo’s Labo line of cardboard-based peripherals. Labo was announced last year. It’s a child-friendly product line that encourages you to build makeshift controllers for specific games. That might mean that the rumored headset isn’t made of Cardboard itself but does utilize these peripherals for immersive control. Take this all with a pinch of salt for now, but there are past stories that support the rumors. In late 2016 we reported that the company had filed a patent for a headset. Users plug the Switch console into the device much like that would a smartphone. Last year data miners also found what appeared to be a ‘VR Mode’ for the console. Then again, there’s a lot of information that goes the other way too. We’ve reported on Nintendo executives downplaying interest in VR on numerous occasions. In fact last year the company said Labo isn’t meant to be an answer to VR on Switch. There’s also the fact that the Switch’s 720p screen and lack of six degrees of freedom (6DOF) tracking don’t make it an ideal fit for VR. We’d love for it to be true, of course. We got a taste of what Mario Kart could be like in VR last year. It proves that Nintendo could create some amazing VR experiences. Tagged with: nintendo, Nintendo Switch, Switch VR .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Report: Nintendo To Launch Switch VR Headset This Year appeared first on UploadVR.

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Last year Transpose developer Secret Location dabbled with the VR movie genre. The result was The Great C, an excellent virtual take on a short story by Philip K. Dick. From this week, you’ll be able to watch it before jetting off around the world. Secret Location this week announced partnerships with Inflight VR and Skylights. Both agreements will see The Great C brought to both company’s pre-flight VR offerings. For Inflight VR it’s available at the Paris Star Alliance lounges at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and Fiumicino Airport in Rome. Skylight’s offering is also available to Business and First Class passengers at Charles de Gaulle. Expansions to other airports are coming later this year. It’d be great to see the experience available as an in-flight VR movie but The Great C currently isn’t available on mobile headsets. Somehow we don’t think anyone wants to lug a heavy VR rig onto a plane to get a Rift working either. Nevermind then making the space for room-scale. In-flight VR has long been touted as a great potential use case for VR. You can see why; imagine being able to slip away from the dingey isle seat next to the screaming child and into a comfy virtual apparently where you can switch on Netflix and kick back. The Great C is a sci-fi short set in a post-apocalyptic world. You follow two young villagers as they embark on a long journey to appease a mysterious machine. The app is one of the longest VR movies out there with a run time of over 30 minutes. Tagged with: The Great C, VR flight .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Secret Location’s The Great C Is Coming To Airports Around The World appeared first on UploadVR.

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The inevitable has finally happened; Five Nights at Freddy’s VR is (very likely) on the way. An ESRB listing for Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted popped up late last week. It’s since been taken down but Bloody Disgusting caught the below screen grab. According to the description, the game will see players repair the animatronic characters that stalk them in the main series. The listing says that game is coming to PS4, so that obviously means PSVR support is included. It also states that the game contains ‘frequent’ jump scares. Oh good. Five Nights at Freddy’s is a horror series notorious for its jump scares. They’ve haunted many a Youtuber. It’s been a fair few years since the series’ last numbered release, which makes this VR game feel somewhat belated. Still, we’re sure those that love a good fright are more than ready to jump into this twisted world in VR. Given that the game was rated by the ESRB we’d expect an announcement soon. Ubisoft’s Space Junkies was outed on the platform a few weeks before the reveal, for example. We’ll likely have to wait for an official announcement before we hear about plans for PC VR and a release date etc. This won’t be the series’ first brush with VR, though. Back in 2017 we reported that a fan was remaking the original game in VR. The experience has since been released in Early Access so, if you’re desperate to poop yourself in VR right now, you could always start there. Tagged with: Five Nights at Freddy;s VR, horror, jump scare, puzzle .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Five Nights at Freddy’s VR Coming To PSVR According To ESRB appeared first on UploadVR.

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