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Oculus Link update improves positional tracking

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The Oculus PC app v18 update improves the accuracy of positional tracking prediction for Oculus Link.

Oculus Link is the feature which lets Oculus Quest act as a PC VR headset via a USB cable. This gives Quest owners who own a gaming PC access to the Oculus Rift library and SteamVR.

Oculus Link works differently to regular PC VR headsets like Oculus Rift S and Valve Index. For those headsets, when each frame is rendered, it gets transmitted, raw, from the GPU to the displays via DisplayPort or HDMI.

USB doesn’t have enough bandwidth for raw video frames at VR-suitable resolution, so Link works by first compressing (encoding) each frame. When the frame arrives at the Quest, it gets decompressed (decoded) by the Snapdragon processor. Since this encoding and decoding takes time, Link has higher latency than a “real” PC headset.

You don’t notice this latency when rotating your head because the Quest warps the decoded frame in the direction your head rotated since starting rendering — this is called TimeWarp. When moving your head or controllers around, however, the delay until seeing that movement in the headset can become noticeable.

One of the primary methods used to reduce perceived latency in VR systems is prediction. Before each frame is rendered, the system has to decide what position in the virtual world to use as the perspective. Since rendering takes time, the ideal position is where the user’s head will be once rendering is complete.

Prediction algorithms, sometimes hand crafted and sometimes powered by machine learning, try to determine where your head will be after that time. It’s based on the most recent position and factors like the current acceleration and past movement.

Since Link’s frames also have to be encoded and decoded, the prediction algorithm needs to look even further into the future than usual. Based on this patch note, it looks like Facebook tweaked its algorithms to produce more accurate results with this longer prediction interval. Facebook is a world leader in machine learning, but it’s unclear whether that’s related to this change.

v18 is currently available on the Public Test Channel. To opt in, navigate to the Beta tab of the Oculus PC app’s settings. You’ll see it start to download in the Library tab.

Toggling between v17 and v18, there is a small but noticeable decrease in the perceived positional tracking. That should come as good news to Quest owners now using Link to access the wealth of content on Rift and SteamVR.

This story originally appeared on Uploadvr.com. Copyright 2020

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/venturebeat/SZYF/~3/CDW8dZtzeww/

AR/VR

Preview: Little Cities – Delightful City Building on Quest

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There’s something to be said for calm, relaxing virtual reality (VR) experiences. Not the full tranquil, meditative sort but the ones that give you a challenge without all the rush and frustration. Videogames like Cubism and Puzzling Places are great examples of these and now VRFocus has been able to demo another that easily fits the bill, just in its own way. Little Cities harks back to those city building classics which were all about the strategic planning of an awesome metropolis, rather than worrying about what crazy event would happen next.

Little Cities

The work of indie team Purple Yonder with help from VR veterans nDreams, the demo was an early, pre-alpha version, offering up a suitable slice of the mechanics and the charming miniature aesthetics. With a shipping port as the starting off point, there was a wedge of cash in the bank to start building a few roads and stretch out across the main island. While the studio has said the final version will feature a multitude of locations, for this particular demo there were four, sun-kissed islands to expand across, with a couple of bridge designs automatically appearing once the shoreline was reached.

Roads are the core infrastructure mechanic here, there are no dropping buildings in random locations to connect up later. Each piece of road has two build markers that appear on either side, these are the only place to build the rest of the city ensuring that roads need to be carefully placed to maximise space. This meant sticking with traditional city building rules of creating blocks rather than twisting road systems that look fun but are entirely impractical once the videogame really starts to open up.

That happens by levelling up to a maximum of level 25. By this stage most of the city was built, finally unlocking the City Hall which made all the resident’s happy. Way before that though was the careful art of zone placement that fell under Residential, Commercial, and Industrial. People need homes, they need places to shop and they need work. Little Cities does continue to stick to real-life needs and desires in this regard, people don’t want to live next to factories so if you build a house next to one its happiness will go down. The same thing with utilities. Everyone wants a good network connection and reliable electricity but living next to pylons and giant masts, that’s a no-no.

Little Cities

Little Cities also likes to throw in other mechanics such as crime, healthcare and other worries, all of which can be fixed with police stations, hospitals, schools and other services. Trying to juggle all of this sounds stressful yet it isn’t. Purple Yonder have created a rather idyllic city builder, where you can sit back and survey all while the sounds of the city mutter along below.

In screenshots and the first trailer the studio showed the ability to get down and into the city, which wasn’t available in the demo VRFocus tried. It kept a lofty viewpoint with the city placed directly on the floor, almost like playing with a toy set. Even so, it looked very quaint seeing all the tiny motor vehicles whizzing around carrying out their daily chores. Once Little Cities really go going it superbly highlighted some awful road placement, vehicles stuck in long tailbacks because there was only one bridge or there weren’t enough junctions for them to take alternate routes.

For such an early demo ahead of a Spring 2022 launch for Oculus Quest, Little Cities was a pleasing delight. Placement of most of the buildings was easy – although being able to manually twist help would be good – especially when dropping a whole new neighbourhood in one hit. Even with only one area to build upon, once that first city had been completed it was time to open another save slot and try a whole new design, it’s why these types of videogames can be ridiculously addictive. Can’t wait to see what Purple Yonder has in store for Little Cities next year.  

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/10/preview-little-cities-delightful-city-building-on-quest/

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AR/VR

Build Your Own Spacefolk City on Oculus Quest This Week

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Indie developer Moon Mode in conjunction with publisher Beyond Frames revealed colourful city builder Spacefolk City back in August for Oculus Quest and PC VR headsets. This week, It has been confirmed that Spacefolk City will see an initial for Oculus Quest this Thursday, with the Steam release to follow at a later date.

Spacefolk City

The single-player title is set to offer a quirky take on the traditional city building experience. Taking place entirely in space, you’ll have the freedom to construct your floating city however you wish, creating some unusual urban layouts in the process. As you’re not limited to a flat surface, you can build up or down as you see fit, just making sure everything’s connected so that inhabitants can navigate your undulating cityscape.

Like any city builder, you’ll need to encourage new residents whilst ensuring their interests and requirements are met. From building them houses to useful establishments to frequent, as you can see from the screenshot there’s a definite food theme to some of the aesthetics. This is key to making inhabitants happy, as their body type indicates their interests. A happy community means they’ll be productive and efficient, helping you further build out the growing metropolis.

Alongside all the core buildings, you’ll also be able to decorate your space city to give it that homely feel. Drop in some lighting, foliage and more, making the whole place vibrant and alive. To help keep that motivation pumping, Spacefolk City will feature a funky soundtrack of more than 20 songs influenced by late-70s electro-disco and early-80s electro-pop.

Spacefolk City

Spacefolk City even has its own backstory with Moon Mode’s synopsis explaining: “The Spacefolk are in trouble! Their sun is going supernova, and they need your help to build up their city and find a way to escape the impending solar disaster!”

Moon Mode has confirmed that Spacefolk City’s Oculus Quest launch will take place on 21st October, retailing for $24.99 USD. A Steam page currently lists the PC VR release for November. For continued updates, keep reading VRFocus.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/10/build-your-own-spacefolk-city-on-oculus-quest-this-week/

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AR/VR

The 20 Best Rated & Most Popular Quest Games & Apps – October 2021

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While Oculus doesn’t offer much publicly in the way of understanding how well individual apps are performing across its VR storefronts, it’s possible to glean some insight by looking at apps relative to each other. Here’s a snapshot of the top 20 Oculus Quest games and apps as of October 2021.

Some quick qualifications before we get to the data:

  • Paid and free apps are separated
  • Only apps with more than 100 reviews are represented
  • App Lab apps are not represented
  • Rounded ratings may appear to show ‘ties’ in ratings for some applications, but the ranked order remains correct

Best Rated Paid Oculus Quest Apps

The rating of each application is an aggregate of user reviews and a useful way to understand the general reception of each title by customers.

Rank Name Rating (# of ratings) Rank Change Price
#1 Puzzling Places 4.93 (515) $15
#2 The Room VR: A Dark Matter 4.89 (8,024) $30
#3 I Expect You To Die 2 4.88 (1,070) $25
#4 Walkabout Mini Golf 4.86 (3,760) $15
#5 Swarm 4.82 (1,237) $25
#6 Moss 4.82 (4,987) $30
#7 YUKI 4.81 (144) $20
#8 Cubism 4.81 (477) ↑ 1 $10
#9 I Expect You To Die 4.81 (3,844) ↓ 1 $25
#10 The Thrill of the Fight 4.79 (6,241) $10
#11 Pistol Whip 4.77 (7,424) ↑ 1 $30
#12 GORN 4.77 (5,115) ↓ 1 $20
#13 Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted 4.77 (6,260) $30
#14 ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos 4.76 (908) $40
#15 In Death: Unchained 4.74 (3,044) $30
#16 Trover Saves the Universe 4.74 (1,757) $30
#17 Yupitergrad 4.73 (406) $15
#18 Racket: Nx 4.72 (1,543) $20
#19 SUPERHOT VR 4.72 (13,708) $25
#20 Job Simulator 4.72 (8,188) $20

Rank change & stats compared to September 2021

Dropouts:
None

  • Among the 20 best rated Quest apps
    • Average rating (mean): 4.8 out of 5 (±0)
    • Average price (mean): $23 (±$0)
    • Most common price (mode): $30 (±$0)
  • Among all paid Quest apps
    • Average rating (mean): 4.3 out of 5 (±0)
    • Average price (mean): $19 (±0)
    • Most common price (mode): $20 (±$0)

Continue on Page 2: Most Popular Paid Oculus Quest Apps »

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Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/best-oculus-quest-games-app-rated-october-2021/

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Sony Reveals Top 5 Most Played PSVR Games Ever

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It’s been five years since Sony released PlayStation VR on PS4 consoles, and to commemorate the anniversary its creators have released the top five most-played PSVR games to date.

Unlike its monthly top-download list, Sony has stacked up all of its 500+ games on the store and ranked them according to playtime hours, showing us just where most people have been spending their time on the now five year-old headset.

Here’s the global list, although you’ll also find regional breakdowns below:

Most-Played PSVR Games (Global)

  • Rec Room (2017)
  • Beat Saber (2018)
  • PlayStation VR Worlds (2016)
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR (2017)
  • Resident Evil 7 biohazard (2017)

Unsurprisingly at the top of the global list is Rec Room, which launched on PSVR back in late 2017. The social VR platform is free, and includes a host of mini-games which rival some of the bespoke paid content on the store.

The cross-platform game is also constantly evolving thanks to the inclusion of user-generated content, new first-party content like the Mario Kart-style Rec Rally mini-game all of which shares common usership across desktop, PCVR, console (Xbox and PS), and mobile devices running Android and iOS.

Rec Room seems to have done well across Europe and North America, although it didn’t make the list in Japan. Here’s the regional breakdowns.

  • Europe: Rec Room, PlayStation VR Worlds, Beat Saber, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim VR, Resident Evil 7 biohazard
  • North America: Rec Room, Beat Saber, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, Job Simulator, Firewall: Zero Hour
  • Japan: Resident Evil 7 biohazard, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, PlayStation VR Worlds, Beat Saber, Gran Turismo Sport

There’s still no word on when the next PlayStation VR headset is coming; Sony has said previously the headset won’t launch until ‘sometime after 2021’. Maybe there’s a barn-burner sale coming this Holiday Season to help wipe out stock before the company makes a commitment to show off the new hardware?

Although just a rumor at this point, the next-gen hardware is reportedly packing some pretty impressive specs like eye-tracking, inside-out positional tracking, and resolutions reported to be 2,000 × 2,040 pixels per-eye. Bear in mind that none of that’s substantiated, so we’ll just have to wait and see when Sony decides the time is right.

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Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/psvr-most-played-games-2021/

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