It all feels a little quiet on the VR and AR front right now, but with Oculus Connect taking place later this month, that will hopefully soon change. Will we finally get a confirmed release for Oculus Santa Cruz?
But while there weren’t any huge headlines this week, things were certainly still happening. Read on for the news you need to know, as well as our recommendations of new VR games to play.
Read this: News hits
Oculus Rift owners get access to Viveport
Isn’t it better when we all just get along? That’s the thinking (well, that and $$$) behind HTC’s and Valve’s latest move to open the Viveport store to Oculus Rift owners.
Until now, Rift owners have had access to the Oculus store as well as Valve’s own Steam store. Many game on Viveport are already available to the Rift on other platforms, but Viveport also has a subscription service. Users will be able to download five titles to their online locker for $8.99 a month – and more if they pay for the pricier subscriptions. More expensive tiers also let you keep some titles permanently.
VR headset sales take a tumble
IDC has been crunching the numbers once again, this time looking at VR headset shipments in Q2 2018. And it makes for some tough reading.
Worldwide headset shipments were down 33.7% year over year in the second quarter, which IDC says can be attributed to multiple factors. The biggest contributor was the decline in smartphone makers bundling screenless headsets with phones. 1 million screen headsets shipped in in Q2 2017 compared to 409,000 this Q2. Ouch.
Tethered headsets also say a 37.3% drop, which IDC blames on companies like Sony and Oculus being unable to maintain the momentum set during price cuts in 2017.
But IDC says this is all a “temporary setback” as new products including the Oculus Go and HTC Vive Pro come to market. It believes all signs point to a “positive outlook”. Here’s hoping.
This is what multiplayer AR looks like on Magic Leap
When we recently got our hands on the Magic Leap One, we came away part impressed, part disappointed, and part excited. Excited because of how much potential lies in Magic Leap, but right now there’s very little content. That will soon change now that it’s in the hands of developers.
This week, a 45-second clip posted by Viewer Ready developer JJ Castillo showed several Magic Leap users sharing the same virtual game while in different physical locations. Check it out.
While the design of game itself looks quite simple, the ability to blend each player’s realities together is incredibly impressive, and a taste of the potential Magic Leap holds.
Play this: Thumper on Oculus Go
Trippy rhythm game Thumper has become something of a virtual reality favorite, starting out exclusively on PS VR and slowly making its way to other VR headsets since. This week it landed on Oculus Go, where you can pick it up for $10. We recommend it, and get some headphones paired up too for the best experience.
Also play this: Wolfenstein 3D VR
id Software’s genre-spawning classic Wolfenstein 3D is getting the VR treatment from indie studio Further Beyond. It’s a shareware release and works with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. It’s also free and can be downloaded here.
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