The Atomic Tree took SXSW through a story of an old bonsai tree that was deep, and rich in history. The post SXSW 2019: The Atomic Tree Tells A Riveting Deep-Rooted Story appeared first on UploadVR.

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At GDC this week Qualcomm announced an update to their VR845 reference design which allows it to also wirelessly connect to a gaming PC. The first headset to be based off this design and using its technology is the Pico Neo 2. The Neo 2 will launch in the second half of this year. They aren’t announcing price just yet, but the Neo 1 was $749 and the Qualcomm VR845 development kit is $1600 so don’t expect it to be cheap. In standalone mode the headset will have access to Viveport M– HTC’s mobile store used on the Vive Focus Plus. That means you’re not going to be getting access to the same level of games as Oculus Quest. But if you’re using your PC for games, standalone mode should be sufficient for media viewing. In wireless PC mode it will work with HTC’s Viveport PC store, but it will likely work with SteamVR also thanks to that platform’s open driver model. Yes that’s right, you should be able to play SteamVR games wirelessly on this headset. The wireless connection to the PC uses 60 GHz technology, just like the HTC Vive wireless adapter and TPCast. That allows for significantly higher bandwidth than WiFi and for low compression with low latency, but has to be within line of sight of the headset and needs a dedicated transmitter- not your router. This will likely add significantly to the cost, so it’ll be interesting to see whether the transmitter is included or sold separately. There are no images of the Neo 2 or further details yet, but we’ll keep you updated as soon as Pico provides further information. Tagged with: GDC, gdc 2019, Pico, Pico Neo, qualcomm, Standalone VR, VR headsets .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Pico Neo 2 Is A Standalone VR Headset Which Can Also Wirelessly Connect To Your PC appeared first on UploadVR.

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At GDC 2019 today Pimax released two new software features aimed at making its headsets easier to run. Fixed Foveated Rendering (FFR) and Smart Smoothing. The features work for both the 5K+ and 8K headsets. Fixed Foveated Rendering renders at a lower resolution everywhere except the center of the lens. This is the same technique used on the Oculus Go and Quest standalone headsets. Pimax claims this provides a 10-30% performance improvement. Right now it only works on NVIDIA RTX GPUs, but the company is working on bringing this to older cards too. Smart Smoothing is similar to Facebook’s Asynchronous Spacewarp and Valve’s Motion Smoothing. When your GPU isn’t making framerate, Smart Smoothing forces the running game to render at half framerate and synthetically generates every other frame. When the GPU is no longer being strained, the app is returned to full framerate. If you’re confused about these terms, read our guide VR Timewarp, Spacewarp, Reprojection, And Motion Smoothing Explained. Unlike Facebook and Valve, Pimax is giving users the ability to change the headset’s refresh rate. As well as the default refresh rate of 90 Hz and 80 Hz for the 5K+ and 8K respectively, users can now change it to 72 Hz or 64 Hz. These new features and options are all aimed at making the Pimax headsets easier to run on existing GPUs. Tom’s Hardware recently benchmarked the headset using the $700 RTX 2080. While they were able to run simplistic games like Space Pirate Trainer smoothly, games like Arizona Sunshine and Serious Sam VR required turning the field of view down to 120° and setting the resolution far below native. Hopefully the combination of FFR, Smart Smoothing, and the option to use a lower refresh rate will improve the Pimax experience. Tagged with: asw, brainwarp, GDC, gdc 2019, pc vr, pimax, Pimax 8K, VR headsets .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Pimax Releases ASW-Like “Smart Smoothing” And Static Foveated Rendering appeared first on UploadVR.

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Rovio and Resolution Games have been extremely busy. Today, they're announcing three new versions of Angry Birds for iOS, Windows VR, and PSVR. The post GDC 2019: Angry Birds Officially Coming To PSVR And iOS ARKit Very Soon appeared first on UploadVR.

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Having showcased its promising hardware at CES and MWC already, Nreal is targetting gamers at GDC 2019. The company today announced a partnership with NetEase to showcase content on its AR sunglasses, Nreal Light. Nreal offers a pair of light sunglasses that connect to an external processing unit, be it either a dedicated device or a Snapdragon 855-powered smartphone. The glasses then produce virtual images in the real world, much like Magic Leap One or HoloLens 2. I was surprised by just how well the experience worked when I tried it at MWC. That said, I didn’t get to sample any truly interactive content. That changes at GDC, where Nreal is showing NetEase AR’s YuME. It’s a puzzle game in which players explore a series of fantastical landscapes and objects. Puzzles rely on optical illusions, getting players to utilize six degrees of freedom (6DOF) tracking to solve them. Nreal Light supports a 3DOF motion controller, which we assume you use to interact with the game. Nreal hopes to show developers at GDC that it has a viable platform for AR game development. Current AR gaming is largely confined to smartphone-based AR on Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore. Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 is an enterprise-level device that isn’t concerned with entertainment. Magic Leap One does feature plenty of games, but at $2,295, it’s too expensive for many gamers to really consider. We don’t yet know when Nreal Light will release, nor how much it will cost. But, weighing in at just 85g, we have high hopes that this could be an AR ‘headset’ that really catches on. Tagged with: ar, GDC, netease, Nreal, Nreal Light .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post GDC 2019: Nreal AR Sunglasses Target Gamers With NetEase Partnership appeared first on UploadVR.

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Fast Travel Games’ Apex Construct was one of the big winners in HTC’s third annual Viveport Developer Awards. This year’s winners were announced at GDC 2019 today. As the name suggests, the awards recognize developers that have published apps on HTC’s VR storefront in the past year. Winners will net goodies from a $50,000 prize pool. That includes new Vive hardware, tickets to GDC itself and future marketing support. Crucially the awards don’t just focus on games but also try to recognize other areas of VR content development like education and arts. Apex Construct took home the prize in the PC Entertainment section. Fast Travel’s 2018 adventure offered a full VR experience and is a pretty deserving winner in our book. VictoryVR’s gruesome VR Frog Dissection took home the award for PC Education while the Vive Arts-backed The Water Lily Obsession won in the PC Arts & Culture section. Finally, nDreams’ Shooty Fruity Arcade scored a win for PC Arcade titles. There were also awards for developers on HTC’s mobile platform, Vive Wave. Resolution Games’ Bait! won Entertainment, Star Chart scored Education and Paint VR won Arts & Culture. As HTC points out, each of these apps will be included in Viveport Infinity when it launches next month. It’s basically Netflix for VR; $12.99 a month gets you access to over 600 VR apps for unlimited use. We’ll be looking forward to seeing how HTC’s upcoming launches change next year’s awards. The company is soon to launch its Vive Cosmos headset and a new platform named Vive Reality System alongside it. Tagged with: Apex Construct, Fast Travel Games, htc vive, Viveport Developer Awards .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post GDC 2019: Apex Construct, More Win Big In Third Annual Viveport Developer Awards appeared first on UploadVR.

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We've gone hands-on with the newly announced HP Reverb VR headset and came away impressed with its comfort and visual clarity. The post HP Reverb Is An Impressively Comfortable 4K VR Headset For $599 appeared first on UploadVR.

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If you hadn’t heard, Space Channel 5 VR is coming. Yes, really. Don’t believe us? This new trailer proves it. Sega revealed the latest look at its upcoming VR port, developed by Grounding, earlier this month. It’s our best glimpse yet, showcasing improved graphics and announcing a new two-player co-op mode. The original Space Channel 5 was a rhythm action game in which you performed snazzy moves to fend off an alien invasion. That might seem like a strange fit for a VR game but this trailer remarkably makes some sense of it. We can easily see ourselves throwing out shapes to Ulala’s commands using VR’s position tracking. Heck, it might even be a pretty good workout. It’s like it’s been turned into Just Dance, just with a little Space Invaders thrown into the mix. We’re not exactly sure how the game’s co-op mode will work. At a guess we’d say it’ll probably need two VR users but it would be cool to see some of the original gameplay mechanics for someone on a standard screen. Elsewhere this version of the game is going to come with new content. Sega is promising new stories, stages and characters. That’s pretty exciting news for the cult classic series; there hasn’t been any genuinely new Space Channel 5 content since 2002’s Part 2. We don’t have a release date for Space Channel 5 VR just yet. We do know it’s coming to PSVR and HTC Vive. No word on an Oculus Rift (or, hey, Oculus Quest) release just yet but we’ll let you know. Tagged with: Space Channel 5 VR .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Space Channel 5 VR Is Really A Thing And This Trailer Proves It appeared first on UploadVR.

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Epic Games this week revealed its final round of Unreal Dev Grants. The program, which has been running for the past four years, offers funding to companies using Unreal Engine. It gives indie studios a leg up with no-string-attached funding. Most notably, though, it’s a chance to unearth some VR projects we hadn’t previously heard about. Epic issued $500,000 across 17 different companies, six of which are working in VR. On the gaming front, there’s SnapClick: Fossil Diggers FR from Australia-based The Orphanage. As the name suggests, it casts you as a paleontologist that uncovers dinosaur fossils. Once found you piece them together to make animated models of dinosaurs. Check it out in the trailer below. EVR Studios’ Project M is also a recipient. You may have seen a teaser for the experience back in 2017. It offers stunningly realistic virtual characters. The actual game will be a story-based adventure that we’re excited to see develop. Elsewhere there’s a location-based game named Eclipse – 4D Virtual Reality from Backlight. This is a space-set adventure in which four players are cast as astronauts light-years from home. They work together to make their way through a ship. Also on the arcade front is nDreams’ Shooty Fruity Arcade, a location-based adaptation of its popular wave shooter. In terms of film there’s a new project from Mr. Kite called Glimpse. It’s a short animation in which players become Herbie, a struggling artist (who is also a panda). Herbie is wallowing away in his studio, upset about his relationship with a deer. Sign us up. Finally there’s money for Virtual Helsinki, a project to digitally recreate the Finnish capital from Zoan. And that’s it. That’s all of the $5 million Epic pledged towards the grants four years ago now spent. That said, now that it’s earning Fortnite money, surely there’s grounds for an even bigger scheme to take its place. .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Intriguing New VR Projects Unearthed In Final Unreal Dev Grant Round appeared first on UploadVR.

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Now that the 2019 Game Developers Conference (GDC) is in full swing it can be tough to keep track of everything. Each day is jam-packed full of announcements and as we get the time to go hands-on with everything we’ve got impressions and news stories coming out extremely quickly. You can let this article serve as your one-stop shop for links to everything we’ve written about GDC 2019 to date. We’ll try to keep it updated within 24 hours of a story posting, but you should check the GDC tag or the UploadVR homepage for real-time updates on all current GDC stories. Day 1: Monday 18th March Beat Saber announced as Oculus Quest launch title: the most popular and widely known VR game to date will be available on day 1 for the $399 standalone headset HTC launched finger tracking for Vive and Vive Pro in a free SDK, as well as gesture tracking for Vive Focus OpenXR was provisionally released, letting developers make apps that work across all VR hardware NVIDIA claimed that their GeForce NOW streaming service will one day support VR on headsets such as the Vive Focus Plus 5G version Tagged with: GDC, gdc 2019 .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post GDC 2019 Day 1 Roundup: Beat Saber For Quest, Vive Finger Tracking, OpenXR Release appeared first on UploadVR.

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GDC isn’t the only major tech event going on this week. The GPU Technology Conference (GTC) 2019 is also currently underway in Silicon Valley. GPU maker Nvidia just hosted its keynote and there are some interesting notes on the VR front. Specifically, the company revealed that it’s expanding its RTX Server lineup, increasing its cloud computing capabilities. Basically, it’s now got better technology running intensive applications in cloud data centers streamed right to your given device. In a blog post announcing the news, the company revealed it will have VR and AR applications running on “cloud-based hardware” at this week’s event. Going a step further, Nvidia also announced that its cloud streaming platform, GeForce Now, will “enable wireless VR and AR.” Currently available in Beta, GeForce now enables streaming of traditional games to a normal display.  In theory, bringing the experience to VR headsets could allow high-fidelity VR games to run on headsets that don’t have to local compute power to support them. We saw something similar at MWC last month when HTC demoed 5G streaming on its Vive Focus headset. Exactly when we’ll see any real-world results for all these big claims is unclear. The question with any kind of streaming service is always concerned with quality and latency. The latter is crucial for VR; anything more than a fraction of a millisecond of latency and the user will notice the drag. “At AT&T Foundry, using NVIDIA CloudVR software, we were able to play an interactive VR game, over a 5G radio streamed from an RTX Server,” the developer wrote in its blog. “The result was a great end user experience, with only 5ms of network delay and no observable performance loss.” If Nvidia can deliver on these claims it will be big for VR. Tagged with: GeForce Now, nvidia .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Nvidia Says GeForce Now Will Enable Wireless Streaming VR/AR appeared first on UploadVR.

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HTC released an SDK which allows developers to add finger tracking to their Vive or Vive Pro apps. For the Vive Focus standalone headset the SDK instead provides hand position and gesture recognition. The feature was first announced back in October. At the time HTC seemed to suggest it would not come to the regular Vive, but thankfully they’ve managed to pull it off. However the Pro will give better tracking quality thanks to its dual cameras. The software tracks 21 points on the hand at up to 30FPS on PC. On Vive Focus, the hand position tracking runs at 17FPS. As the tracking runs on the GPU, it shouldn’t affect CPU performance. The Vive Focus seemingly doesn’t have enough computing power for true finger tracking. Instead, it simply provides the position of the hand, not each finger. Gesture recognition is however available. It can tell the difference between pointing, making a fist, making an OK sign, and giving a thumbs up: The SDK is available as a free plugin for Unity or Unreal Engine. There’s also a C and C++ API. It’s not restricted to Viveport, so developers can use this in Steam apps too. Since the tracking is using the regular cameras on the headsets and not a depth sensor, HTC recommends against having “complicated backgrounds”. The lighting needs to be bright enough so your hands are visible but not so bright as to cause glare. To make things easier, HTC specifically suggests to “Roll up sleeves and make sure wrist is visible” The Potential In non-interactive VR experiences and social VR, controllers often feel more like a chore than a help. The ability to enter these experiences by just putting on a headset and seeing your real hands will be a welcome improvement. Enterprise customers using VR for tasks like architecture visualization often forgo controllers entirely due to this friction. Gaming-style controllers are simply much less appealing to non-gamers than directly seeing your hands. In social VR the ability to gesticulate freely with your real hands adds to immersion and increases social presence. I’ve spent a lot of time in platforms like AltSpaceVR- Leap Motion is by far my preferred method of input. Lets hope these kinds of apps integrate HTC’s new SDK soon. Tagged with: htc, htc vive, HTC Vive Pro, Viveport .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post HTC Brings Gloveless Finger Tracking To Vive and Vive Pro, Gestures To Vive Focus appeared first on UploadVR.

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Beat Saber might be VR’s savior in more ways that one according to John Carmack. Following today’s announcement that the hit VR game is coming to Quest, Carmack revealed an interesting fact. He said that he used the hit game to help refine Oculus Quest’s positional tracking. Specifically  Carmack was refining Quest’s six degrees of freedom (6DOF) extrapolation code. Beat Saber was his primary testing ground. I spent a couple weeks refining the 6dof extrapolation code, and the primary test was “does Beat Saber play better?” Which requires multiple runs after each change for statistical accuracy, of course. — John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) March 18, 2019 Oh, and as you can see from that tweet, Carmack is also currently third on Beat Saber Quest’s leaderboards. Extrapolation code refers to prediction algorithms for accurate tracking. It’s concerned with predicting how a user is going to move in an attempt to reduce any perceived latency. In the case of VR controllers, such code would use the kit’s accelerometers to decipher where a user is probably moving their hand next. Refining that code simply means getting faster, more accurate feedback out of the given device. Oculus confirmed to UploadVR that Carmack’s tweet was accurate. It was also quick to point out that Carmack was far from the only person eager to test Beat Saber on Quest. Big surprise. Carmack’s comments are pertinent given that, in today’s announcement, Beat Games itself spoke about Quest tracking. The developer said that the visuals “look absolutely stunning, gameplay is smooth and polished, and tracking is just great. Watching the game evolve on this platform was pretty exciting.” Tagged with: Beat Saber, john carmack, Oculus Quest .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post John Carmack Used Beat Saber To Refine Oculus Quest Tracking appeared first on UploadVR.

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Facebook’s $400 Oculus Quest standalone VR headset is launching with Beat Saber in its lineup. For Facebook, Beat Saber was a must-get for its Oculus Quest launch lineup. The game is a system seller for some buyers. If you don’t own a PS4 or a high-end gaming PC, Oculus Quest is also going to be the lowest cost way to enjoy the VR game. Beat Saber is rhythm slashing game first that was released in May last year for PC VR headsets. It launched on Sony’s PlayStation VR in November and, by February, sold more than 1 million copies across those systems. That makes it one of VR’s highest and fastest selling titles. Beat Saber doesn’t require high-end graphics hardware while making incredible use of 6dof controllers. The game makes players feel like powerful light-sword equipped warriors fighting in perfect sync to the music. We are of course extremely curious if Oculus Quest Insight tracking system is able to keep up with higher level difficulties seen in the game. We also asked representatives of Oculus and development studio Beat Games if the recently launched song pack will be included in the Quest version. We’ll update this post if we hear back. Beat Games also has other plans for Beat Saber in 2019, including multiplayer, and we don’t know how that feature might be implemented with regard to Quest. There are still lots of unannounced titles still to be revealed for the launch of Oculus Quest. Facebook promised more than 50 titles for the system in 2019 with games like Superhot and Face Your Fears shown previously. Tagged with: Beat Games, Beat Saber, Oculus Quest .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore The post Beat Saber Confirmed As Oculus Quest Launch Title appeared first on UploadVR.

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Beat Saber is officially coming to Oculus Quest! The developers of the hit viral sensation had good things to say about the upcoming standalone headset. The post Oculus Quest ‘Tracking Is Just Great’ Says Beat Saber Studio appeared first on UploadVR.

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