Tue.Mar 24, 2020

World’s Greatest Teacher Delivers VR Math Lesson In Half-Life: Alyx


Not even an alien invasion can stop this teacher from educating his class. Half-Life: Alyx offers plenty of incredible moments throughout its roughly 10-15 hour campaign. Exciting gunfights, creepy subterranean exploration, unique puzzles sequences, and the list goes on. Surprisingly, however, all players seem to care about is a dirty window and set of markers.

‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Breaks Concurrent User Record for VR Game on Steam

Road to VR

Half-Life: Alyx (2020) launched yesterday on Steam, which not only symbolizes Valve’s first dip back into the Half-Life franchise from over a decade, but also marks it as their first full-fledged VR title. You might not be too surprised to learn that Half-Life: Alyx broke some serious records on the platform yesterday too. Update (11:00 AM ET) : Valve appears to back up these numbers, as displayed by Steam’s own game stats.

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Oculus Quest UI Redesign Rollout Begins, Plus Oculus Link Bug Fixes


The redesigned Oculus Quest UI which Facebook announced last week started rolling out to Oculus Quest users. The new UI will be available as part of the V15 Oculus Quest firmware update, and has to be enabled in the ‘Experimental Features’ tab of the settings menu after installation. The firmware update also includes a few new features, such as speech-to-text options for the keyboard and a shortcut for Passthrough, alongside some Oculus Link bug fixes.

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‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Tops ‘Fortnite’ and ‘Warzone’ with 300K Concurrent Twitch Viewers on Launch Day

Road to VR

Half-Life: Alyx beat out major titles like Fortnite and League of Legends in concurrent Twitch viewers on the game’s launch day. Half-Life: Alyx became one of gaming’s most watched titles on Twitch yesterday.

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Down The Rabbit Hole Review: A Versatile VR Adventure Worthy Of Wonderland Itself


When I say Down The Rabbit Hole is VR adventure worthy of Wonderland, clearly, I don’t mean on a literary level. Cortopia’s rendition of the long-loved, well-trodden fantasy world doesn’t compete on that plane. Instead, what Down The Rabbit Hole wants is to ensnare that celebrated weirdness of T. Eliot’s creation, recognize its best elements and then repurpose them for a new medium.

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HP Teases New VR Headset Designed In Collaboration With Microsoft & Valve


The company promises “a more immersive, comfortable and compatible experience” than the Reverb. With all the hype surrounding yesterday’s release of Half-Life: Alyx, many may have missed HP’s announcement regarding a mysterious new VR headset built in partnership with Microsoft and Valve Corporation.

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Sony to Slow PlayStation Downloads in Europe Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Road to VR

In the wake of steaming services like YouTube and Netflix reducing video quality in Europe , PlayStation console owners will see a similar slowdown soon, although it’s only slated to impact download speeds. Jim Ryan, President & CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, released a statement today on the PS blog , stating that Sony will be working with ISPs in Europe to “manage download traffic.”

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VR Game Delays Possible As QA Testing Process Shifts To Work From Home


COVID-19 is leading a number of VR development studios to work from home in order to protect workers, their families, and communities from the spread of the disease. While the switch to new working conditions and schedules might affect productivity in the ongoing development of VR projects, we’ve also heard from sources that the quality assurance testing processes for companies like Sony and Facebook may be affected as well. That could mean delays for upcoming VR games on some platforms.

Virtual Collaboration in the Age of #COVID19

Tech Trends VR

The new collaborative feature shows how XR can help us keep connected during the coronavirus pandemic. Vancouver-based start-up Precision OS just introduced a new multiplayer feature for VR surgical training platform. This means that surgeons and nurses can work together in the same operating room even if they are physically thousands of miles apart.

Community Download: What’s The Best VR Game To Play During Quarantine?


Community Download is a weekly discussion-focused articles series published (usually) every Monday in which we pose a single, core question to you all, our readers, in the spirit of fostering discussion and debate. For today’s Community Download, we want to hear which VR games you recommend playing if you’re trapped in a coronavirus-fueled lockdown quarantine.

Manus Brings Your Entire Body Into VR With its Polygon System

Peter Graham

Ever since virtual reality (VR) remerged as a viable consumer product the quest has been to make the technology as immersive and interactive as possible. That’s lead to motion controllers, eye tracking and hand tracking but full-body tracking has stopped and started due to the complexities of this process. Manus VR , the company which makes enterprise-grade data gloves, is almost ready to release its solution to this challenge, Manus Polygon.

Valve On Why Half-Life: Alyx Doesn’t Have Boneworks-Style Melee/Physics


Finally available to PC headsets owners everywhere, Half-Life: Alyx is a stunning interpretation of AAA VR. It’s as polished a spectacle you’ll find in the industry. But, despite what you might expect, it’s not a physics showcase comparable to, say, Boneworks. Don’t get us wrong, Alyx is an impressive technical demonstration of physical interaction in VR.

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Review: Down the Rabbit Hole

Peter Graham

Virtual reality (VR) platforms have seen a growing trend towards charming puzzle adventures like The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets or Ghost Giant , offering miniature worlds to explore, almost like a virtual toy set. The latest in this genre comes from Cortopia Studios with Down the Rabbit Hole , inspired by Lewis Carroll’s famous novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. As the title suggests you now literally find yourself in the rabbit hole, in a perfectly enjoyable VR videogame.

Valve Looked At Portal VR ‘But We Didn’t Get Very Far’


It sounds like Aperture Science needs to go back to the drawing board if there’s to be a Portal VR game. In an interview with IGN surrounding the release of Half-Life: Alyx, Valve’s Robin Walker revealed that Valve had experimented with a Portal VR game, but it hadn’t got very far with it. “We [looked] at our various IPs when we started… before we selected Half-Life… which is a really standard thing for us to do,” Walker explained.

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Final Assault Makes its Incursion Onto PlayStation VR in March

Peter Graham

Phaser Lock Interactive launched its WW2-themed real-time strategy (RTS) title Final Assault almost a year ago for PC-based virtual reality (VR) headsets. When VRFocus spoke with the studios’ creative director Todd Bailey last summer he mentioned that with the PC version finished they were working on the PlayStation VR port. Today, it has been confirmed that Final Assault will be coming to the headset next week.

Join Us LIVE On YouTube To Discuss Half-Life Alyx!


UploadVR’s weekly podcast, The VR Download, is LIVE on YouTube today at noon PST (19:00 UTC) ! Unlike regular video podcasts, The VR Download is broadcast from virtual reality! Our team are together in a virtual space, giving us many of the benefits of a studio even though we live on different continents. Today we’re bringing you a special episode of the show, discussing Valve’s “flagship” VR game, Half-Life: Alyx, the first full entry in the series in over a decade.

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EON Reality Releases New Remote AR and VR Packages for Education, Government, and Industry

EON Reality

In response to the global COVID-19 outbreak, the basic features of the AVR Platform will now be free to use through the end of the pandemic. EON Reality, the world leader in Augmented and Virtual Reality-based knowledge and skills transfer for industry and education, announces the Remote Classroom 3.0 and Remote Industry 4.0 packages.

“GeoPose Evangelist” Talks Spatial Computing and Autonomous Vehicles


When many casual users think of extended reality, they think about big glasses and funny controllers. However, one application of this technology – autonomous vehicles – requires neither of those tools. XR enthusiast and author Stephen Black took some time to talk with me about XR, GeoPose, and autonomous vehicles. Spatial Computing: Locations as Inputs. If you think of XR as just impressive optics, it might be helpful for us to introduce another term – spatial computing.

HP, Valve & Microsoft Are Working on a ‘Next Gen’ Reverb G2 Headset

Peter Graham

Microsoft’s endeavour to support the virtual reality (VR) industry with a reference design headset which the likes of HP, Dell and others could build up never really took off. Windows Mixed Reality headsets weren’t bad but the sudden flood of them in late 2017 made for a confusing hodgepodge of devices. HP was one of the companies that stuck to its guns and released a followup in 2019, the HP Reverb , geared more towards enterprise with a much nicer display.

How is Enterprise AR Taking Shape?

AR Insider

This post is adapted from ARtillery Intelligence’s report, Spatial Computing: 2019 Lessons, 2020 Outlook. It includes some of its data and takeaways. More can be previewed here and subscribe for the full report. At this stage of spatial computing’s lifecycle , it’s becoming clear that patience is a virtue.

Turning a Game Engine into a Training Experience, with PIXO VR’s Sean Hurwitz

XR for Business Podcast

Today’s guest Sean Hurwitz started his journey to the XR field in the realm of game development. But as the years went on, more and more he saw the value of putting game engines to work training professionals instead of hunting zombies. He talks about how PIXO VR achieves this. Alan: Hey, everyone, it's Alan Smithson here with the XR for Business podcast.

A-Tech Cybernetic’s PlayStation VR Launch is Taking Place This Week

Peter Graham

Last month XREAL Games announced in a developer blog that it was almost ready to release sci-fi horror shooter A-Tech Cybernetic for PlayStation VR. As it turns out that was completely correct, with the studio confirming the launch will take place later this week.

Putting Your Classroom AR/VR Learning Plan Into Action

EON Reality

Last week, we invited Jamie Justice, Director of US Education and Global Innovation to speak about AR/VR related technological developments that have contributed greatly to the classroom experience. This week, he shares the guiding principles and frameworks for a seamless and effective classroom transition. Now that the capacity is here to access, use, and share virtual content, what do educators need to think about in order to fully benefit from using AVR into their classrooms?