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Racket: Nx Takes First Step Towards Olympic Glory With Official IRF Endorsement

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The pinnacle of sporting achievement for most athletes is winning a medal at the Olympic Games. It’s also a badge of honour if a new sport is recognised and accepted into the Olympic Program. Whilst there’s still a way to go until that happens, One Hamsa’s Racket: Nx has taken an important step towards that goal, receiving an endorsement by the IOC (International Olympic Committee)-recognised International Racquetball Federation (IRF).

Racket: Nx

The first time a virtual reality (VR) videogame has received an official endorsement of this kind, One Hamsa and the IRF have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). They’ll collaborate to develop Racket: Nx as an Olympic Virtual Series sport with the eventual aim to fully approve Racket: Nx as a full l discipline, thus making it a candidate for the Olympic Games.

Racket: Nx is an immersive, skill-based and fully athletic experience, that opens the gate for players of all racquet sports–not only racquetball–to play full out inside a lighted, player-responsive, sound and music-filled dome, in a game that is as unique as it is engaging,” said One Hamsa Studio Director Assaf Ronen in a statement. “Racket:Nx has over 150,000 players connected overall PC and mobile VR platforms, including the fastest-growing VR headset, the Oculus Quest 2 and is available around the globe, including the emerging Chinese VR market. That means that this game is more likely to achieve the mass acceptance that the IOC seeks.”

The Olympic Virtual Series was unveiled earlier this year and ran from May through to June. It featured five games simulating Baseball, Cycling, Rowing, Sailing and Motorsport but only two were physical (Cycling & Rowing) and none were in VR. Should Racket: Nx eventually join this group it’ll add another highly physical element to the roster.

Racket: Nx

“This is a marriage made in future-sport heaven: a world-class developer and a unique, successful, and wonderful game, with a fully global international IOC-recognised sports federation, that has the vision and the grit to not just see around the corner but to go there. This is a major opportunity, as there are more total racquet sports players in the world than soccer players,” adds Virtual Sports Association CEO Victor Bond who helped broker the deal.

Available for Oculus Quest and PC VR headsets, Racket: Nx is known for its highly energetic gameplay. Players find themselves inside a futuristic dome where they have to smash a floating ball into the wall to score points as quickly as possible to progress through the waves. Gameplay is augmented with various tiles like wormholes, so they need to listen to audio cues to hear where it’ll appear next. Last month One Hamsa released a new update adding a level builder enabling players to create and share their own designs.

As further details regarding Racket: Nx’s Olympic aspirations are revealed, VRFocus will let you know.

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/07/racket-nx-takes-first-step-towards-olympic-glory-with-official-irf-endorsement/

AR/VR

Competition: Win A Township Tale for Oculus Quest

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A Township Tale

When it comes to the sheer amount of content available, being able to sink hours and hours into a videogame, Alta’s recent release of A Township Tale for Oculus Quest is hard to beat. It’s all about building and exploring your own world with friends and this weekend VRFocus is giving you a chance to win a copy for yourself.

A Township Tale

A Township Tale gives you your own virtual server where you and up to seven others can team up, master professions and then go on adventures together. You can choose to become a blacksmith, woodcutter, miner, archer or warrior, each vital to the ecosystem as you recover crafting materials to make new equipment and improve your gear. 

You can try by yourself but there’s so much to do and explore that bringing a few friends along for the ride makes it a whole lot easier. From chopping wood, mining the caves or cooking up new recipes, there’s plenty to learn, all of which require vital resources, some of which are in dangerous locations. And it’s all highly interactive, whether you’re lighting a fire or making a backpack, there’s no automation here.

In VRFocus’ first impression of this massive videogame: “It’s an impressive achievement getting this massive open-world to work on Oculus Quest considering its hardware limitations. There are no loading sequences that I could find, run into a fort or go explore some dark and dingy caves and it’s all smooth and effortless, making A Township Tale truly feel immersive.” 

A Township Tale

So onto the competition. VRFocus has several Oculus Quest codes for A Township Tale to giveaway. 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 (@VRFocus) or alternatively, visit our Facebook page or YouTube channel to get an entry for each. The competition will be open until 11.59 pm BST on Monday, 2nd August 2021. The draw will be made shortly thereafter. Best of luck.

Win A Township Tale for Oculus Quest

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/07/competition-win-a-township-tale-for-oculus-quest/

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AR/VR

The VR Drop: Brutal Parkour Golf

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The VR Drop 300721

It’s currently raining which makes for a perfect excuse to not go outside and enjoy some virtual reality (VR) gaming instead. July has been an awesome month for new videogames, and as we welcome in August here’s a selection of titles that have caught VRFocus’ eye on the release schedule.

EVERSLAUGHT

Everslaught – MobX

A hardcore action RPG designed for veteran VR players, Everslaught drops you in a fantasy world where you traverse an ancient city filled with randomly generating dungeons, monsters galore and an upgradable skill and weapon set to play with. It’s designed to be very fast and unrelenting, where you can mix up the combat between melee and ranged weaponry using a rather cool arm gadget.

Valley General Hospital: NiVR – Valley General

A hospital simulator designed for training: “Valley General simulations are accurately representative of hospital environments. We present the truest to life training scenario from the audio environment to equipment interaction and lighting to accessories. Interactions are closely modelled on the real life-saving equipment for the most accurate and available learning.”

  • Supported platforms: Oculus Rift
  • Launch date: 31st July
Disc Ninja -

Disc Ninja – Immersion Games

Released as a Steam Early Access title in 2020, now it’s the turn of Oculus Quest players to try their hand at disc golf, in a cool Japanese Samurai setting. Offering solo or online gameplay for up to three other players, Disc Ninja has 15 courses to complete, each with its own secrets including shortcuts and hidden loot which unlocks cosmetic items.

  • Supported platforms: Oculus Quest
  • Launch date: 5th August

Stride – Joy Way

Another Steam Early Access videogame due to make its debut on Oculus Quest, Stride is a parkour experience all about running across rooftops, wall running and shooting bad guys. It consists of three modes Endless Mode, Time Run and Arena. Endless provides procedurally generated levels to get as far as possible, Time Run is all about being really quick and flying through the levels as smoothly as possible to score big points; whilst Arena Mode gives you the greatest freedom with challenges to complete over a wide-open area.

  • Supported platforms: Oculus Quest
  • Launch date: 5th August

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/07/the-vr-drop-brutal-parkour-golf/

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AR/VR

Facebook’s Next Hardware Product Will be the Ray-Ban Smart Glasses

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For those hoping that Facebook’s next immersive piece of hardware would be an Oculus Quest Pro, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that rather than a new virtual reality (VR) headset its smart glasses route was next. As part of Facebook’s recent Q2 earnings call this month Zuckerberg said that the company’s smart glasses collaboration with Ray-Ban would mark the next hardware arrival.

Facebook - Project Aria
Facebook’s Project Aria

“Looking ahead here, the next product release will be the launch of our first smart glasses from Ray-Ban
in partnership with Essilor Luxottica,” Zuckerberg remarked. “The glasses have their iconic form factor, and they let you do some pretty neat things. I’m excited to get these into people’s hands and to continue to make progress on the
journey towards full augmented reality glasses in the future.”

While he does say augmented reality (AR) these Ray-Ban glasses won’t be a Facebook version of Microsoft HoloLens or even Facebook’s own research hardware Project Aria. The design will likely be much closer to Snapchat Spectacles with basic functionality geared towards taking photos. Currently, nothing has been shown of these upcoming smart glasses or what the feature set will be, just that a launch should be taking place this year.

Project Aria is the company’s main AR development revealed so far, unveiled as part of Facebook Connect in 2020. This is much closer to others in this field, providing a digital experience overlaying the real world. One which you can connect to your smartphone and then operate it completely hands-free. The eventual goal would be like current mixed reality (MR) devices for enterprise, a completely self-contained device. For consumers at the moment, devices like Rokid Air or Nreal Light are the closest they’ll get.

Facebook - Project Aria
Facebook’s Project Aria

The Ray-Ban smart glasses will be another stepping stone towards Zuckerberg’s much talked about vision for the metaverse, a virtual world everyone can connect in no matter the hardware they own. He reiterated this in the earnings call saying: “You’re going to be able to access the metaverse from all different devices in different levels of fidelity —
from apps on phones and PCs to immersive virtual and augmented reality devices. Within the metaverse, you’re going to be able to hang out, play games with friends, work, create, and more. The defining quality of the metaverse is presence – which is this feeling that you’re really there with another person or in another place.”

As Facebook has already held its F8 developer conference in June it’s likely that Facebook Connect in September will be used to reveal the smart glasses. For further updates on those AR plans, keep reading VRFocus.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/07/facebooks-next-hardware-product-will-be-the-ray-ban-smart-glasses/

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nDreams Opens Studio Orbital Focusing on Live Service Games for VR

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British developer nDreams is doing very well at the moment, seeing success with Phantom: Covert Ops (2020), Far Cry VR, and soon its latest Fracked will arrive. Today, the studio has unveiled its latest initiative, opening a second virtual reality (VR) development studio focused on live service games, nDreams Studio Orbital.

Far Cry VR

The new studio will be helmed by Chris White who previously worked for FitXR – the VR fitness app which moved to a subscription model this year – bringing his live service experience to the team. White has also worked at Electronic Arts (The Sims Social), Glu Mobile (Project Gotham) and Space Ape Games (Transformers: Earth Wars and Samurai Siege).

“VR continues to grow at pace so it’s an incredibly exciting time to join,” said White in a statement. “There are so many awesome games out there already, but there’s still so much to discover, especially around experiences that engage players for years. I can’t wait to start building out the team and deliver something truly amazing for all the VR players out there!”

nDreams Studio Orbital hasn’t revealed any projects at this time or which direction the team plans to take down the live service route. Whatever the team decide it’ll be very different to nDreams’ usual titles which all tend to be single-player experiences.

Phantom: Covert Ops

Based in Farnborough, UK, nDreams was founded in 2006 and pivoted towards VR when the first Oculus Rift development kits (DK1) became available in 2013. The studio’s first big project was The Assembly which was followed up by Perfect, Bloody Zombies and Shooty Fruity. nDreams Studio Orbital will be fully remote and currently has several roles to fill.

It’s not just live service games nDreams is expanding into. Earlier this year the VR specialist announced a new £2 million fund which would be used to co-fund and publish VR content from other developers.

As and when nDreams Studio Orbital reveals what the team is working on, VRFocus will keep you updated.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/07/ndreams-opens-studio-orbital-focusing-on-live-service-games-for-vr/

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