What a week it has been! Facebook Connect dominated on the virtual reality (VR) front with Oculus Quest 2, new platform features and tons of videogames on the horizon – and PlayStation 5 cropped up too. Looking to the week ahead there are plenty of titles to look forward to, so here’s VRFocus’ regular Friday rundown.
Gnomes & Goblins – Wevr/Golem Creations/MWM
One of the big VR experience this week, Gnomes & Goblins has been in development for five years, the work of Wevr, MWM, Golem Creations and director Jon Favreau. A narrative-driven title, Gnomes & Goblins takes you to a magical realm where you make friends with the small, local inhabitants, becoming part of their society unravelling an adventure in the process.
Solaris Offworld Combat – First Contact Entertainment
From the team behind Firewall Zero Hour, Solaris Offworld Combat is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS). Offering 4v4 arena battles, one gameplay mode called ‘Control Point’ has been revealed so far, where teams have to hold a specific location. All players start with the same loadout, acquiring new weapons in the arena.
- Supported platforms: Oculus Quest & Oculus Rift
- Launch date: 24th September
Swordsman VR – Sinn Studio
For those who like brutal melee gameplay Swordsman VR is here to scratch that itch. Choosing a fighter from one of four cultures – Knights, Vikings, Mongols and Samurai – you have to save the world from an evil force, swapping and upgrading your equipment and stats to suit your play style.
Budget Cuts – Neat Corp
After a couple of delays comedy stealth title Budget Cuts is finally coming to PlayStation VR. Tasking players with infiltrating a corporation’s headquarters by navigating vents, ceiling crawl spaces and other areas to avoid being seen by the robot guards, you can also take them out with a well thrown pair of scissors. The PlayStation VR edition also gets an exclusive level called ‘Panopticon’.
- Supported platforms: PlayStation VR (Physical & Digital)
- Launch date: 25th September
Propagation VR – WanadevStudio
If you love a scary VR videogame then Propagation VR by WanadevStudio is for you. Dumping you in the middle of a zombie apocalypse you need to survive by fighting off hordes of monsters. A virus has mutated not only humans but wildlife as well – yes that means giant spiders – so grab a shotgun and get blasting. Oh, and its also free.
PSVR Not Compatible With PS5 Camera, New Japanese Bundles Include Adapter for PS4 Camera
Sony has unfortunately confirmed that PlayStation VR on PlayStation 5 won’t be able to use the console’s upgraded camera. Instead an adapter will allow users to plug in the original PS4 camera for use with the headset. New PSVR bundles in Japan will include the adapter to ease the transition to PS5, but so far there’s no word on how existing PSVR owners will get their hands on it.
It’s been confirmed for a while now that Sony’s existing PSVR headset will be compatible with its upcoming PS5 console. But the new PS5 camera can’t be used to track the headset which unfortunately means PSVR will continue to rely on the original PS4 camera and won’t see upgraded tracking like we had hoped.
In order to make the leap to the new console, PSVR owners will need an adapter allowing them to plug the existing PS4 camera into PS5. Less than a month away from the release of the new system, there’s no word yet on how existing owners can get their hands on the adapter.
However today Sony Japan announced two new PSVR bundles, both of which will include the PS4 to PS5 camera adapter so that PlayStation VR will have smoother transition to the new console. In the announcement the company also clearly confirmed a handful of details regarding PSVR and PS5 compatibility:
- You will need the PS4 to PS5 camera adapter to use PSVR with PS5
- The PS4 to PS5 camera adapter will be provided free of charge to existing PSVR owners (details on how to get one are still forthcoming)
- PSVR on PS5 apparently won’t support DualShock 5 controllers. Supported controllers are DualShock 4, PS Move, and PS Aim.
As for the bundles, it’s the usual two-tier approach we’ve seen from Sony: one includes the headset, camera, and PS Move, and the other includes just the headset and the camera. Here’s the breakdown:
PSVR Variety Pack Bundle – ¥40,000 (~$380)
- PSVR headset
- PS4 camera
- PS4 camera adapter
- PS Move controllers
- Astro Bot Rescue Mission (physical disc)
- PlayStation VR Worlds (physical disc)
- Everybody’s Golf VR (physical disc)
- Blood & Truth (physical disc)
PSVR PlayStation VR Worlds Bundle – ¥35,000 (~$330)
- PSVR headset
- PS4 camera
- PS4 camera adapter
- PlayStation VR Worlds (digital download)
There’s no word if these bundles will be released in other territories, but the odds seem high that something similar will crop up in time for the holiday shopping season.
An Unknown HTC Vive Headset Has Appeared in New FCC Filings
New regulatory filings for an unknown HTC Vive headset have appeared at the US Federal Communications Commission.
Since the confused introduction of HTC’s Vive Cosmos headsets earlier this year the company has been laying low on the hardware front while Facebook has stolen much of the spotlight with Quest 2.
But HTC looks to be readying some new headset offering; Road to VR has spotted documentation for a headset not previously seen at the FCC.
The FCC is tasked with certifying products with electromagnetic emissions to be safe and compatible with regulations. Products utilizing radio, WiFi, infrared, etc. need certification before they can be distributed for sale. Certification by the FCC marks one step closer to the launch of consumer electronics product.
Documentation for the new headset, which goes by the FCC ID 2Q9R100, was submitted in September but only made public in the last week. Test report filings indicate that HTC sent the product to a lab for testing in August.
Though it’s that clear the filings refer to a Vive headset from HTC, exactly which headset is not clear because the company has requested confidentiality of key filings (as is common). Luckily we’ve been doing this long enough to make some good guesses.
As far as we can tell, this is a “new” Vive headset from HTC, at least as far as the FCC considers a product “new,” which could include outwardly minor changes to existing products—for instance, a version of Vive Focus (HTC’s standalone VR headset) with a new processor.
Indeed, some new version of the Vive Focus is our best guess for now; compared to filings for prior versions of Vive Focus, the latest filings include the use of the same block diagram to indicate the position of the FCC label on the product.
A version of Vive Focus updated with a newer Snapdragon XR2 chip seems like a reasonable bet, and aligns with other evidence spotted last month. Maybe they’ll add some new controllers while they’re at it?
And while the filing could conceivably cover a previously announced but unreleased version of Vive Cosmos—like the Cosmos Play or Cosmos XR—the indicated location of the FCC label doesn’t line up with the label placement on the Cosmos headsets so far.
But there’s another possibility; though less likely than a revision of Vive Focus, it’s possible that the filings refer to HTC’s next-gen standalone headset, Vive Proton, which the company teased earlier this year. We’ve reached out to the company for comment on the new filings.
Quest 2 has been the talk of the town as of late, but hopefully we’ll soon find out what’s up HTC’s sleeve.
From Environmental to Social: XR Tackles Global Issues
As part of the VRFocus Awards – the largest ever survey on the VR/AR market -, VRDays Europe has been chosen to be the ambassador of one of the categories: ‘Global Impact Award’. Even more this year, VRDays tackles the future of XR and how immersive tech shapes the world of tomorrow.
VRFocus introduces the ‘Better-Than-Reality Awards’
Have you always wanted to bring a VR/AR experience to light? VRFocus is giving you the opportunity to speak out! The virtual reality specialist website created the VRFocus Awards, the largest ever survey on the VR/AR market. “No judges, no committees, no bullsh*t”. Users have got the power.
Best game, most promising startups, top influencer, favourite hardware… Altogether, 6 awards will be delivered. VRFocus asks its readers to vote for the best XR content of the year 2020. No industry professionals will be selected for the final vote. It’s up to us! VRFocus has listed nominations, but also offers the possibility to fill in an open entry section. This is the time to promote new projects and companies.
VRDays Europe – ambassador of Global Impact Award
In order to help promote the awards, VRFocus has chosen a selection of industry ambassadors for each category, encouraging “their VR fans to make their voices heard”. VRDays is one of the lucky ones! The XR international event from Amsterdam is the official ambassador of the Global Impact Award.
For six years now, VRDays has been about: Business, Science and Art. But this year is special, and VRDays wants to make a difference. For its 6th edition, VRDays is exploring new horizons and taking up emerging challenges. This year, VRDays is about how immersive technologies are shaping the world of tomorrow. How can they help build a better future?
From environmental to social, XR tackles global issues the society is facing today. More and more, immersive technologies are used for sensibilization. Showing the past, present and future as a way to open people’s minds and find solutions to preserve the beauty and uniqueness of our world. XR is a powerful tool to tell meaningful stories.
Shaping the world of tomorrow
This year, more than ever, VRDays Europe wants to show how much immersive technology can make a difference. From November 4th to 6th, visionary XR experts will discuss how virtual reality has an important impact today and is becoming a valuable tool to build new perspectives for our future. Together, let’s explore new horizons – at the most immersive event of 2020.
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