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Oculus Now Accepting OpenXR Apps on Quest & Rift, a Big Step for Cross-platform Development

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OpenXR is a widely supported open standard which aims to make cross-platform VR development easier by allowing developers to build around a single API rather than porting their apps to many different APIs. Today the company announced that developers can submit OpenXR applications to be published on the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift stores.

OpenXR is a royalty-free standard that aims to standardize the development of VR and AR applications, making for a more interoperable ecosystem. The standard has been in development since April 2017 and is supported by virtually every major hardware, platform, and engine company in the VR industry, including key AR players.

Oculus today announced that developers can submit OpenXR apps for sale on the Quest and Rift storefronts which, will run on those headsets as of the v19 version of the Oculus software.

This is a major step for cross-platform VR development because it means that developers building VR applications now have the option to build against the OpenXR standard which will allow the same app to work on other OpenXR supported platforms. Previously, developers have had to build separate versions of their apps for each platform’s API (ie: two different versions for Oculus and SteamVR), which complicates cross-platform development.

OpenXR creates a unified structure between VR engines, apps, and headsets | Image courtesy Khronos Group

Note that OpenXR app support on Oculus stores does not mean that Oculus’ stores will support headsets other than their own. It only means that developers can submit the same app to other OpenXR platforms without needing to specially port the app to those platforms.

Valve is also moving ahead with its OpenXR implementation; the company announced a preview of OpenXR support in SteamVR last month. Once complete, three of the four largest VR distribution platforms (Oculus Quest, Oculus PC, and SteamVR) will fully support OpenXR applications, allowing developers to build a single application which can work across all platforms.

The fourth major VR distribution platform is PlayStation VR. While Sony is a member of the industry group which is building OpenXR, the company has been quiet about OpenXR support on PSVR.

Microsoft has also released initial OpenXR support for both its VR headsets and HoloLens 2.

Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/oculus-accepting-openxr-apps-rift-quest-cross-platform-development/

AR/VR

Competition: Win Either Angry Birds VR or Acron: Attack of the Squirrels! for Oculus Quest

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It’s coming up to the season of giving and what better way to start the celebrations early than with a competition where you can win some videogames. Today’s giveaway is a double bill, with Resolution Games’ Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs and Acron: Attack of the Squirrels! up for grabs.

Angry Birds VR

Rovio’s iconic Angry Birds franchise came to VR in 2019 with a selection of core levels which have been expanded upon over time. One of the major updates to the bird flinging experience was the addition of a level builder late last year, followed by online sharing to massively enhance the gameplay possibilities.

Acron: Attack of the Squirrels! on the other hand, is a purely multiplayer experience. One person is in VR controlling a tree trying to protect its golden acorns from a bunch of thieving squirrels. All the squirrels are controlled by players on mobile devices – via a free app – who are able to select characters with particular traits such as burrowing short distances underground. All making for a fast and entertaining party game.

Most recently, Resolution Games released a Halloween update for both titles, adding new levels as well as spooky themes to get into the spirit of the season as a lot of developers like to do.

Acron: Attack of the Squirrels

So onto the competition. VRFocus has got six codes to give away, three for Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs and three for Acron: Attack of the Squirrels, both for the Oculus Quest platform. There are multiple ways to enter the giveaway with the standard prize draw entry rules applying: Follow us (or already be following us) on Twitter or alternatively, visit our Facebook page or YouTube channel to get an entry for each. Winners will receive a single randomly drawn code. The competition will be open until 11.59 pm GMT on Monday 26th October 2020. The draw will be made shortly thereafter.

Win Angry Birds VR or Acron: Attack of the Squirrels!

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/10/competition-win-either-angry-birds-vr-or-acron-attack-of-the-squirrels-for-oculus-quest/

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Beat Saber Multiplayer for PlayStation VR Arrives Early 2021

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Last week to coincide with the launch of Oculus Quest 2, Beat Games launched the long-awaited multiplayer mode for Beat Saber across PC VR and the Quest platform. There was one notable absence, PlayStation VR support. Today, the studio has confirmed a delay until next year.

Beat Saber

Taking to Twitter the team said: “Dear PS VR players, we’re so sorry that multiplayer is still not available for PS4. Bringing MP to PS4 is a priority for us, but development is taking much longer than we’d expected. We’re trying to deliver multiplayer in January if everything goes to plan.”

Even with Beat Games’ acquisition by Facebook towards the end of 2019 the studio has continued to support all the platforms Beat Saber is available on. As can be quite often the case, porting content to PlayStation VR isn’t a simple or quick process hence why it launched so many months after the PC version.

The studio went onto say in subsequent tweets: “We will keep working on multiplayer for PS4 as fast as possible, along with exciting new music content on the way!,” responding to one disgruntled player: “We’re really sorry and totally understand your feelings, we want to release multiplayer asap, but the development is taking us longer than we expected. Please bear with us, we are doing our best.”

rocket league - beatsaber

Beat Saber has garnered a legion of fans thanks to its easily picked up gameplay and continually updated selection of tracks; the latest coming from rock band Linkin Park a couple of months back with a BTS music pack arriving in November.

The multiplayer mode allows up to five people to compete against one another, either in a private party with friends or taking part in a random match. The feature doesn’t support cross-platform gameplay – although the studio is looking into it – and there isn’t any built-in voice chat but the mode does support all the official base songs as well as those in DLC.

For further updates to Beat Saber including that PlayStation VR multiplayer date, keep reading VRFocus.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/10/beat-saber-multiplayer-for-playstation-vr-arrives-early-2021/

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The VR Game Launch Roundup: A Horrifyingly Tasty Selection

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October hasn’t disappointed when it comes to virtual reality (VR) titles for most of the major headsets and with one week left to go there are more to look forward to. Naturally, with Halloween coming up, there are a couple of spooky titles as well as non-seasonal entries.

Flavortown

Flavortown – Last Hope of the Internet

The first of a six-episode series arrives next week in the form of comedic title Flavortown, where you become a meatball cop in a world entirely populated by living food. Your job is to infiltrate Flavortown’s underworld and clean up the streets, as well as enjoying all the other tasty treats the town has to offer.

AGOS: A Game of Space – Ubisoft

Ubisoft has made a few VR titles and continues to support the technology with interstellar simulator AGOS: A Game of Space. Mankind has abandoned Earth heading out among the stars to find a new home. Split between thousands of ships, you play the AI onboard one, tasked with keeping your cargo safe and well.

AGOS: A Game of Space

Groove Gunner – BitCutter Studios

VR fans love a good rhythm-action videogame and Groove Gunner will be the latest to join this energetic genre. With a demo already available, the gameplay is split between shooting targets as well as blocking incoming projectiles with arm-mounted light shields.

Blair Witch: Oculus Quest Edition – Bloober Team

Time for the big horror title of the week. Bloober Team is bringing its Blair Witch videogame to VR, with Oculus Quest being the first platform. Redesigned around VR interaction, you have your lovable companion Bullet by your side as you venture into the cheery forest…and, well you know the rest.

Blair Witch Oculus Quest

Horror Bar VR – VR Factory

Time for some light-hearted Halloween fun, from the team which brought you Bartender VR Simulator, comes Horror Bar VR. Released as an Early Access title, you’re the bartender in a zombie bar serving all-sorts of ghoulish drinks for the undead patrons, even rustling up the odd snack or two.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/10/the-vr-game-launch-roundup-a-horrifyingly-tasty-selection/

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