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Five Nights at Freddy’s AR: Special Delivery Update Expands Phone Compatibility, Adds New Modes

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As happens every year, Halloween is the best time to release either themed updates or improvements to current horror titles. Some like Snapchat’s are fun additions designed to get celebrate the season whilst others are much more frightening. To that end, Illumix has announced an update for Five Nights at Freddy’s AR: Special Delivery which sees a new sharp-toothed character join the roster as well as expanding the videogame to more players.

Added to the character feature set is Plushtrap, well known to fans of the franchise. But Plushtrap isn’t any old AR encounter like the rest of the group, this mean-looking rabbit is part of a new mixed reality (MR) gameplay mode Illumix has introduced. This is thanks to the development of a proprietary AR engine, meaning Plushtrap’s encounter only takes place within this MR environment.

Detailing a little more about the new addition over on Reddit, Illumix notes: “Plushtrap’s CPU is currently only compatible with the Plushtrap plush suit given the unique environment in which his encounter takes place–you’ll note that his CPU looks distinct from that of the other animatronics. That said, you will still be able to use Plushtrap’s plush suit in conjunction with other CPUs in regular animatronic AR encounters.”

The Illumix AR engine has also allowed the studio to expand Android device compatibility for more of you can play Five Nights at Freddy’s AR: Special Delivery. Thus you no longer need an ARCore or ARKit compatible device.

Since the launch of Five Nights at Freddy’s AR: Special Delivery last year Illumix has introduced new mechanics such as allowing users to locate and ‘pick up’ digital objects as well as have real objects trigger digital content. The studio says the videogame has generated over 7 million downloads and that: “More than 1 year of total time spent in the AR experience on average by users per day.”

There’s been plenty of Halloween activity this year, with Steam launching its annual sale, Blair Witch: Oculus Quest Edition arriving and Angry Birds VR And Acron: Attack Of The Squirrels getting updates. Plus don’t forget to enter VRFocusAffected: The Manor and The Walking Dead Onslaught competitions.

For further updates from Illumix on Five Nights at Freddy’s AR: Special Delivery, keep reading VRFocus.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/10/five-nights-at-freddys-ar-special-delivery-update-expands-phone-compatibility-adds-new-modes/

AR/VR

Go Behind Enemy Lines in Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’s First Multiplayer Trailer

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Respawn Entertainment’s Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond is gearing up to be the biggest virtual reality (VR) launch of the month, coming to PC VR headsets next week. The studio has been fairly vocal about the single-player campaign and the Gallery feature yet remained secretive about the multiplayer. Until now of course, with the first trailer dropping for the online mode.

While the campaign has you fighting Nazi’s the multiplayer is more concerned with all-out battles across Europe, with everyone in period clothes to ensure no one really stands out – as you would in an SS uniform for example.

The multiplayer is split across five gameplay modes, all of which support 12 players matches involving both human and AI opponents. These are:

  • Mad Bomber: Plant bombs to score big kill points and defuse opponents.
  • Domination: Control large areas with your team.
  • Team Deathmatch: Your classic squad-based mode. Most kills win.
  • Deathmatch: A WWII free-for-all.
  • Blast Radius: Adds an explosive twist to King of the Hill. Keep opponents at bay with a rocket launcher.

The multiplayer is entirely cross-platform, so you can jump in via Oculus Rift through the Oculus Store and team up with mates who are using a Valve Index or HTC Vive via Steam.

Not only does the trailer showcase all the individual gameplay mode but you get to see some new levels, fighting on ships, in small village squares and inside fortified bunkers. Plus there’s plenty of immersive realism throughout, whether that’s reloading weapons, throwing enemy grenades back at them or using cover to maximum effect.

As for the rest of the videogame, Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond will offer a single-player campaign where you’re a part of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) aiding the French Resistance on daring raids against Nazi bases. The Gallery then adds weight to the entire experience with short documentary films featuring interviews and stories recounted by WWII veterans.

Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond will launch on the Oculus Store and Steam on 11th December 2020, supporting Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Valve Index. For further updates, keep reading VRFocus.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/12/go-behind-enemy-lines-in-medal-of-honor-above-and-beyonds-first-multiplayer-trailer/

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Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA Confirmed for Oculus Quest & PlayStation VR in 2021

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VRFocus first came across ROTU Entertainment’s Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) last year, promising a musically-theme virtual reality (VR) adventure. The team had slated a Q4 2020 launch for PC VR headsets, instead, revealing today that’s been pushed back as more platforms are included, Oculus Quest and PlayStation VR.

When it comes to the Oculus Quest version ROTU Entertainment confirms that it’ll be a native app, so there’s no need for a PC and Oculus Link – although that’ll also work. Because of the additional headset support, Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA is now slated for a Q2 2021 launch.

“We’ve made the decision to delay our musical theory puzzle adventure so we can bring it to Quest and PSVR players at the same time,” says Jason Parks, ROTU CEO in a statement. “We want everyone with a VR headset to be able to explore the gorgeous world we’ve created from our experiences working extensively with international musicians and documenting the deforestation of the Amazon.”

The extra headset support should increase sales and therefore aid the charity ROTU Entertainment has teamed up with, environmental non-profit Wildlife Warriors. Two percent of proceeds will go to the organisation, established in 2002 by Steve and Terri Irwin to protect injured, threatened or endangered wildlife.

Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA will be a big series by the looks of it, with this initial release the first of seven planned instalments. While each will have that musical puzzle theory at its core, the studio notes they’ll all enjoy ‘a distinct look and feel’.

The videogame places you into an otherworldly forest, teeming with strange creatures as well as instrument-inspired flora and fauna. From solving puzzles using music-based magic to climbing trees, ziplining across trenches and collecting supplies, you’ll stumble across hidden areas and eventually heal the forest through the power of song.

Take a look at the new trailer below, and for further updates on Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA, keep reading VRFocus.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/12/rhythm-of-the-universe-ionia-confirmed-for-oculus-quest-playstation-vr-in-2021/

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Mixed Reality Revolution: Out-of-Home!

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With the latest news of a major ‘AR-powered’ theme park attractions, this news underlines the investment this sector is making in these types of experiences in the attraction scene. Kevin Williams gives a brief overview of the deployment that has led to these latest announcements concerning Super Nintendo World.

The use of Mixed Reality (MR), in both augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) presentations, as well as the use of projection mapping and immersive display technology has seen increased investment for application in theme park, and attractions deployment. These developments have been leading steadily towards more advanced deployment, while consumer applications seem to have advanced little since Pokémon Go!  

The use of MR in attractions has been broken into two key areas of utilisation so far. The first being “Props” – systems that interact with elements of the venue. And secondly “Viewers” – allowing guests to view unique elements / surroundings and have interactive experiences.

One of the well know uses of interactive props has been seen at “Wizarding World of Harry Potter”. The Universal theme park land has incorporated ‘Interactive Wands’, guests able to acquire special RFID enabled wands that when waved at particular areas of the land, their interaction can trigger physical show set elements.

Guests in Diagon Alley trying out the spell-casting skills with their interactive wand. (Source: Orlando Informer)

A concept that can also be traced back to the Great Wolf Lodge venues in North America, that incorporated the MagiQuest experience, with unique tracked wands correct movement unlocking digital and physical puzzles, competing with digital characters located throughout the experience.

Most recently we have seen the wireless interactive prop married to dark ride, with the ‘Smurf Ride’ at Comics Station in Belgium. The dark ride experience has riders wielding magic wands with their movements interacting with the ride experience while collecting points.  

Guests using their magical wand to interact with the attraction. (Source: AlterFace Projects)

Walt Disney has a long track record of experimenting with the use of location-specific interactive elements. Both in the queue line, and special “scavenger hunt” style experiences, at various resorts. One of the trailblazers of this was the ‘Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure’ – that utilized a smart device acting as the “prop”, used to supply information and help crack puzzles to collect rewards. The system was ahead of its time in comparison to what would be seen later with the Pokémon Go smartphone app.

Recently a new smartphone app allows guests to interact with unique elements of the queue line and other show sets, collecting special points and badges through cracking puzzles. This was deployed at the ‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’ land in Orlando and California, distributed through the Play Disney, Star Wars: Datapad, on the park app. 

Unlocking the secrets at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge via their Datapad app (Source: Walt Disney)

Building off much of these approaches, and some six years of development, one of the most ambitious AR projects is to be launched, looking at a new generation of audience.

Universal Studios Japan is about to throw open its doors to the new land called Super Nintendo World. Developed in partnership with Nintendo, a loving imagining, physically re-creating the video game world. Scheduled now for a February 2021 opening the venue has embraced a strong interactive element, with guests able to gather coins, badges and find secrets through the space, via their wearable “Power Up Band” prop that also links into a paired smartphone app.

The Nintendo Power Up Band paired with the smartphone app to collect coins (Source: NintendoObserver)

But it has been the recent leaks that have generated much excitement, regarding the deployment of new MR technology throughout the park, offering a high level of guest engagement. Recently the veil was lifted on one of the two major attraction of the venue. Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge has guests competing while on a tracked dark ride attraction. Buttons used in the ride vehicle, synced to physical and virtual effects of the attraction – elements seen by the player through special AR headsets, worn throughout the ride.

The unique AR headset that will be used on Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge
(Source: Universal Studios)

This will be the first dedicated use of AR headsets in a theme park attraction, building off advancements in visual displays and optics. The manufacturers of the headsets to be used on this attraction is still secret. The players will be able to compete with groups of riders on other tracks riding in competition, virtually launching Koopa shells and collecting coins. A new level of gamification being added to a dark ride attraction.

The interactive ride vehicle used on Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge
(Source: Universal Studios)

Another less publicised AR component of the venue is the use of “AR Viewers” – digital binoculars mounted round the land that superimpose animated effects and characters onto the real-world visuals. Using these viewers, the guests will also be able to interact with the digital characters using mounted buttons, continuing their hunt for coins, badges, and secrets.  Super Nintendo World is not just planned for Japan, with Universal Studio properties such as Orlando and California getting their own version eventually. What is being described as one of the “most interactive theme parks ever!

Artist interpretation of the ‘AR Viewers’ being deployed, taken from the Universal Studios patent filings (Source Theme Park Stop)

Wider interest in MR deployment, especially AR headsets is expected to see consumer resurgence beyond current smartphone applications. With both Apple and Facebook rumoured to be about to launch ground-breaking consumer AR systems in a matter of months – while the Nreal Light headset saw much fanfare for its launch this year. The commercial design and training sectors have benefited from the launches of the Microsoft Hololens 2, as well as the launch of the Lynx-R1.

The out-of-home entertainment sector will benefit from the advancements achieved from AR consumer development, as was seen from consumer VR. And we can expect to hear announcements of other theme park developers launching their own new AR-based attractions to stay competitive.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/12/mixed-reality-revolution-out-of-home/

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The €699, 180Hz Pimax 5K SUPER is Now Available

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While companies like Facebook are consolidating their virtual reality (VR) ambitions into a singular headset, Pimax is going in the opposite direction. This week the company announced the launch of its Pimax 5K SUPER, filling in the mid-range of its headset catalogue.

The Pimax 5K SUPER was initially revealed during CES 2020 in January in prototype form, as part of a six headset range. But the 5K SUPER is in fact a refreshed version of the Pimax 5K Plus from 2018. Just like its forebear, the new headset will feature dual 2560 x 1440 LCD panels, a diagonal 200-degree field of view (FoV) and full SteamVR 1.0 and 2.0 tracking support.

Pimax has, of course, added new features to ensure this is a proper upgrade. These include a standard 160Hz refresh rate as well as an experimental 180Hz refresh rate for buttery-smooth gaming – alongside 64/72/90 & 120 Hz modes. Customers will also gain a Modular Audio Strap (MAS) for improved comfort and ease of use and Pimax’s comfort kit face cowling for those longer play sessions.

Additionally, like all new headsets, the Pimax 5K SUPER will come with Pimax VR Experience software which aids first time setup and can optimise all VR settings.

The Pimax 5K SUPER retails for €699 EUR just for the headset, so that’s all you’ll need if you have a previous SteamVR setup. For those after the entire kit including two SteamVR 2.0 base stations and Index Controllers, the kit will set you back €1,202.00. That’s a tidy sum considering the cheaper price of the Valve Index, even if it doesn’t have quite the same specs.

In the Pimax range the Artisan kicks things off at €449 and the 5K PLUS is still available for €559. Then at the top of the pile are the two Vision 8K headsets, the Plus (€869) and X (€1,199.00) if you’re look for the best resolution.

As Pimax continues to expand and enhance its range, VRFocus will keep you updated.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/12/the-e699-180hz-pimax-5k-super-is-now-available/

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