oculus rift

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CCP’s VR sports game Sparc has arrived on PSVR today

Remember CCP’s multiplayer VR sports sim Sparc? We first heard about it back in February, and now as planned, the Icelandic studio known best for MMO EVE Online has formally launched the game on PSVR for $29.99 as of today. It’s not really an MMO or even trying to be; the idea is that players will be sparring in a 1v1 arena playing a VR-based match of what is essentially fancy neon ping-pong/dodgeball versus friends or frenemies plucked from the matchmaker, then when that’s over, you even get to play dress-up.

MOP’s Brendan Drain got a hands-on with the game at this past spring’s EVE Fanfest. “CCP has hit the nail on the head with the feel of Sparc,” he wrote in April. “Sparc legitimately has the potential to become the Wii Sports of VR, a collection of competitive activities transmitted via the internet and experienced in VR but played in real space with real athletic competition. I’ve often complained that VR has no killer app, no must-have game that absolutely needs VR to work, but I think Sparc might be it.”

We’ve tucked the brand-new trailer down below, but we warn you: You won’t burn any calories watching it.

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Leaderboard: Do the HTC Vive’s and Oculus Rift’s price cuts change your opinion on VR pricing?

When Oculus dropped the price of the Oculus Rift down to $400 earlier this summer, supposedly temporarily (but not its first drop), analysts were torn over the decision, suggesting that Facebook’s rumored cheaper wireless Pacific device might be the impetus.

Now this week, HTC joined in the price-slashing parade, reducing the price of the Vive from $799 to $599, a fee analysts said back in January was still too pricey for the Oculus. However, the president of the Viveport marketplace rejected the idea that the new price was a response to the Rift’s panic-mode. “I think we are the leader in the market, and the plan was always that high-end VR be available to everyone,” he told Polygon. “So of course there are a couple of components that need to fall into place … in order to reach the mass market, you need to have a lower price point. That’s been the plan all along. I think it’s good that other players in the market are making similar moves.”

For this edition of Leaderboard, I thought it would be fun to take stock of our core audience’s view of the price of VR here in 2017 to see whether it differs significantly from the 2014 vs. 2016 report, which suggested that while initial high prices had shifted many gamers’ expectations for a higher price, an even greater number still wouldn’t pay over $300 for a device. To the pollmobile!

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Young adults are the prime market for virtual reality

It’s a well-known maxim in gaming circles that younger players have more time but lack disposable income while older players have the money but find themselves short on that “free time” angle. It may come as no surprise then that this spectrum extends to interest and investment in virtual reality.

Superdata published a survey — in helpful infographic form — that shows the relation of gamers’ age to their willingness to dive into VR and their ability to spend money on it. The younger set have a 74% rate of interest in the platform, but this drops to 54% by the time you get to middle-aged gamers. However, the advent of jobs in a person’s life seems to help with spending, as older gamers are willing to spend up to $47 more than their younger counterparts on VR.

The sweet spot here are 18 to 35-year-olds, of whom two-thirds are interested in VR and willing to drop $277 on such devices. It’s not mind-blowing, but it is interesting as we continue to push into this new age of technology and gaming. You can check out the full chart after the break.

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CCP’s VR sports game Sparc launches August 29

First announced back in February, CCP’s multiplayer VR sports sim Sparc was all set for a summer launch as of E3, and now the date is firming up: The Icelandic studio known best for MMO EVE Online has picked August 29th for the game’s debut on PSVR. Expect it to run $29.99.

Sparc is a virtual sport, or ‘vSport’ – a unique full-body experience only possible in virtual reality, where the player’s VR equipment is their sports gear. In Sparc, players connect online to compete in fast-paced and physical one-on-one gameplay. Players use their two PlayStation®Move motion controllers to throw projectiles across the court at their opponent, while dodging, blocking or deflecting any incoming shots.”

MOP’s Brendan Drain got a hands-on with the game at this past spring’s EVE Fanfest. “CCP has hit the nail on the head with the feel of Sparc,” he wrote in April. “Sparc legitimately has the potential to become the Wii Sports of VR, a collection of competitive activities transmitted via the internet and experienced in VR but played in real space with real athletic competition. I’ve often complained that VR has no killer app, no must-have game that absolutely needs VR to work, but I think Sparc might be it.”

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SuperData weighs in on Oculus Rift’s price drop and rumored mid-end ‘Pacific’ device

If the Oculus Rift’s pricedrop to $400 last week wasn’t enough to get your hands reaching for your wallet, point your eyeballs at this Bloomberg report, which suggests Facebook is angling toward a $200 wireless device, a cheaper version of the more expensive platform. Supposedly code-named Pacific, the new headset is aimed at the middle market between smartphone-hookups and high-end desktop-style PC VR gaming.

Facebook has neither confirmed nor denied Pacific, but that isn’t stopping gaming analysts from weighing in (via MCVUK), including SuperData

“Facebook is not a company for the niche consumer – their selling point is how accessible their services are to anyone, anywhere. So finding something with the potential for mass penetration is a priority, especially with Rift’s bumpy past,” SuperData says. “However, an untethered, self-contained device for $200 seems like either a loss-leader or a highly simplified VR experience (for instance, Google and HTC’s new Daydream device will boast the same conveniences for a much higher price). Pacific may be a combination of both so that Facebook can finally have a long-term stake in the mass consumer market, but it’s too soon to tell.”

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Oculus Rift price drops to $400

How cheap does a VR headset and motion controller have to be before you’ll consider purchasing it? Facebook is hoping the answer to that question is right around $400, it seems, as the company is dropping the price of the Oculus Rift and its associated motion controller to $400 for the moment. That makes this the cheapest VR headset on the market, at least for as long as the price cut lasts.

The price drop in question is officially just a temporary drop to see how the headset performs, but it may well become permanent if this is what finally motivates people to buy headsets in large numbers. The Oculus Rift previously cut prices back in March, so this is a rather quick turnaround on further drops; feel free to add your own doom-and-gloom explanation in the comments, if you like. Let’s not forget that Oculus lost a founder and has been embroiled in legal troubles for most of the year.

Source: Fortune

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E3 2017: Preta Vendetta Rising is multiplayer VR in the right direction

I have a love-hate relationship with VR. I’ve bought an Oculus Rift and the Touch, but don’t play it much these days. Part of it’s because my college stuff and Japanese stuff are crammed into a small space with my PC, so I can’t take advantage of certain features, but it’s also because the games aren’t very complete. VR can give you some really cool moments, but most of the time, the games are what you’d get on your PC or console, just in your face, and maybe with a few sides of motion sickness and virtual molestation.

Preta: Vendetta Rising is not revolutionary. It’s not even exclusively a VR title, being cross-platform from mobile to PC. The early animations and voice acting don’t emotionally resonate yet; most of what I saw would have been bland if it wasn’t for the fact that this was specifically a VR demo. That being said, developer Illion and game developer JJ Baek are incredibly sensitive to VR’s largest issues, from women in VR spaces to developing content based on consumer realities rather than developer dreams.

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E3 2017: CCP’s VR sports game Sparc debuts new trailer, summer PSVR launch

First announced back in February, CCP’s multiplayer VR sports sim Sparc is getting the E3 treatment this week, being available for play (and spectating) at the show. Expect it for PSVR later this summer, though it’ll eventually filter to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive too.

“Sparc is a skill-based, fast-paced, and physical sport only possible in virtual reality,” says the Icelandic studio known best for MMO EVE Online. “In Sparc, players utilize their two PlayStation Move motion controllers to aim and throw projectiles at each other inside a sleek virtual arena, while defending themselves by dodging, blocking, or deflecting incoming attacks from a live opponent. Players can compete against their friends or find challengers via online matchmaking.”

Our own Brendan Drain got a hands-on with the game at this past spring’s EVE Fanfest, arguing that “CCP has hit the nail on the head with the feel of Sparc.”

Sparc legitimately has the potential to become the Wii Sports of VR, a collection of competitive activities transmitted via the internet and experienced in VR but played in real space with real athletic competition,” he wrote in April. “I’ve often complained that VR has no killer app, no must-have game that absolutely needs VR to work, but I think Sparc might be it.”

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EVE Fanfest 2017: Hands-on with competitive VR sports game Sparc

At the end of February, CCP Games announced a new game that has nothing to do with EVE Online or even the EVE IP. Named Sparc, the new VR game is being pitched as a virtual sport environment with competitive online gameplay and an online social space. It has the aesthetic of the Tron-style cyberspace world that movies promised us throughout the 80s, and uses motion controls to deliver full-body VR gameplay. Even the social space will have a bit of an 80s arcade vibe, with players able to gather around and watch others compete and challenge the reigning champion to a match.

Anyone who’s been to EVE Fanfest in recent years will recognise Sparc immediately. The game made its public debut as Disc Arena in Fanfest 2015’s VR Labs demo section alongside three other VR experiments, and made a re-appearance the following year with motion controls as Project Arena. Just as Project Nemesis became the release title Gunjack, this game has now graduated into a full production title with its own development team and budget. Sparc is due for release at some point in 2017 on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR, and we managed to get some hands-on time with an early version at this year’s Fanfest.

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EVE Fanfest 2017: EVE Valkyrie adds atmospheric flight in Groundrush, coming April 11th

Virtual reality dogfighter EVE: Valkyrie has taken centre stage in the emerging VR landscape, growing from a tech demo developed by some devs at CCP Games in their spare time to become a bundled launch title on the Oculus Rift and launch on several other VR platforms. The game has received several major updates since its launch just over a year ago, adding a new Carrier Assault game mode, weekend Wormhole events, a competitive league system, and more.

Today at EVE Fanfest 2017 and as just announced by the official PlayStation blog, CCP Games revealed the next step for Valkyrie — and it’s a pretty big one! The Groundrush update will add a radically different way of playing the game with the first ever ground-based map, “Solitude,” which will see you dogfighting within the atmosphere of a planet and dodging through pirate structures. The update also expands co-op play to the Control and Carrier Assault game modes, adds some new Wormhole events, and adds official support for the Steam Controller. The Groundrush update officially launches on April 11th, and you can check out the trailer below.

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Palmer Luckey departs Oculus

The founder of Oculus has officially left the building. Palmer Luckey, co-founder of the company, has left the company and Facebook (as the owner of Oculus) as of Friday. An official statement by the company wishes his the best of luck, but requests for clarification from the press over whether it was a voluntary departure or not have so far been met with silence. So feel free to develop your own conspiracy theories.

Luckey has already not had a particularly good year, with the high-profile personal and professional legal loss to ZeniMax over Oculus serving retroactively as his last major appearance for the company. It’s up to you whether you consider this departure to be a good or bad thing for VR as a whole, although it’s important to note that Luckey has been one of the most vociferous industry voices in support of the technology.

Source: Upload VR via Polygon; thanks to Ceder for the tip!

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OrbusVR has fully funded on Kickstarter

OrbusVR, the blocky indie VR sandbox from Ad Alternum, has finished out its Kickstarter successfully this morning.

The studio had originally promised a brief, one-week Kickstarter with only a $10,000 goal, which backers met within four hours of launch. It sails to the finish line today with over 500 backers and $34,000 raised, which covers stretch goals including a pet companion system, extra world boss, and the Explorer’s League faction, falling just shy of an additional battle discipline (like the Monk or Shaman). The Kickstarter money is intended to buffer the game’s existing funding, not pay for the whole game.

OrbusVR is being built for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift as a full-scale MMORPG with all the basics — questing, combat, open-world zones, group content, and crafting — plus more unusual features like hybrid instanced dungeons, hidden and “feat” quests, player bounties, tiered safety zones for PvP, and a nifty compass system, the last of which was previewed over the weekend. Raiding won’t make it in for launch.

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Virtual reality MMO OrbusVR has launched a one-week Kickstarter campaign

A week ago, we told you about OrbusVR, a full-scale VR MMORPG built for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift — and today, the Kickstarter for the game is live. “OrbusVR is the first MMORPG designed from the ground-up for room-scale virtual reality, including the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift + Touch,” declares the crowdfund. “Explore, socialize, and fight online with thousands of other players from around the world, as we create and conquer a virtual realm together.” Crafting, group dungeoning, socializing tools, a massive map, and endgame PvP are all on tap.

Founder Riley Dutton of Ad Alternum Game Studios seeks $10,000 and hopes to raise it in a week — one of the shortest MMO Kickstarters we’ve seen in a long time, as well as smallest, as Dutton says the game is already funded (by the founder) and is seeking more money to improve the art and writing quality.

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