Htc Vive  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Htc Vive  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Top 11 Most Anticipated VR Games of 2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/nbhiu/top-11-most-anticipated-vr-games-of-2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/nbhiu/top-11-most-anticipated-vr-games-of-2019 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 16:35:37 -0500 Ty Arthur

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcov-d7d9b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcov-d7d9b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"190958","description":"

There are undoubtedly many, many more games set to hit the virtual reality market in the coming months, but these are the ones we're most excited to try out.

\n

What did you think of our picks for the top 11 VR games slated to land in 2019? Did we miss any that should have made this list? Sound off in the comments below!

\n

 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e540546285302b4fe7e9cfcd44602ac3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e540546285302b4fe7e9cfcd44602ac3.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12485","description":"

Population: One

\n
    \n
  • Release date: 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: Crossplay between Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows MR
  • \n
\n

If you aren't sick of Battle Royale mania yet, you should be excited by the prospect of this growing genre finally coming to VR.

\n

Yep, you'll be falling from the battle bus, building structures, plundering empty buildings, and struggling to survive to the #1 spot as the circle shrinks all in glorious virtual reality. 

\n

If this catches on, I'd expect to see Fortnite add on a VR mode next year as well!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/01510398bb91005dfc10a4edefd5a5b7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/01510398bb91005dfc10a4edefd5a5b7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12483","description":"

Ghost Giant

\n
    \n
  • Release date: Unknown (maybe 2019?)
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR
  • \n
\n

VR is tailor-made for this kind of experience, where you are just a pair of giant disembodied hands looking down on a virtual world and deciding how you are going to interact with it.

\n

This seems like an excellent attempt to embrace the standard tropes of virtual reality games and expand on them, rather than try to hide them. With any luck, Ghost Giant will show all the other games how it's meant to be done.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/17e70003afe1d5c163e130a92ce78816.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/17e70003afe1d5c163e130a92ce78816.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12484","description":"

Trover Saves the Universe 

\n
    \n
  • Release date: 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR, with PC likely down the line
  • \n
\n

Speaking of over the top, hoo boy, Trover Saves The Universe is going to strain the patience of anyone not fully onboard with the Interdimensional Cable episodes of Rick And Morty.

\n

This is going to be pure, grade-A, weapons-grade nutso that will put all other attempts at bizarre gaming to shame by several orders of magnitude.

\n

I still can't decide if this will be the best thing ever or if I'll be rolling my eyes and pulling my own hair out, but either way expect this game to make a splash.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/87418ced5f2688c92be45d1d04333759.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/87418ced5f2688c92be45d1d04333759.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12482","description":"

Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot 

\n
    \n
  • Release date: Expected sometime 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: PC, PSVR
  • \n
\n

VR has pretty consistently shown an affinity for spin offs offering new ways to experience a well known franchise.

\n

With Cyberpilot, we'll get to saddle up in giant mechanical doggos to light Nazis on fire. What's not to love?

\n

I do have to wonder how much of the over-the-top grisly imagery from Wolfenstein 2 will make it over in the translation, as that might become a bit much to handle in VR mode.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/cacaf83464d1cf5fc2cc10a2ef1484b8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/cacaf83464d1cf5fc2cc10a2ef1484b8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12481","description":"

Gadgeteer 

\n
    \n
  • Release date: Early 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: PC
  • \n
\n

While plenty of VR games these days are become ever more ambitious and working in fully movement, there are still plenty of great games where you remain more stationary and just interact with the environment.

\n

That's what's on display with Gagdeteer (previously going by the code name Ruberg), which has you setting up and knocking down intricate chain reaction puzzles. I would expect this one to be a party hit like Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2c19b8678b7176599d74b7ed3d72da45.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2c19b8678b7176599d74b7ed3d72da45.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12479","description":"

Stormland 

\n
    \n
  • Release date: Unknown 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: Oculus Rift exclusive
  • \n
\n

This is probably the one big VR release of 2019 that's getting the most buzz right now and its being developed by Insomniac Games and Oculus Studios.

\n

Some of VR's biggest triumphs so far are games that change your perspective and offer a different kind of experience, and that's what it seems like we'll get as a broken down robot (the Short Circuit comparisons are coming strong and fast).

\n

The combat here looks like a more fully realized version of Blasters Of The Universe, and that's a very good thing, and the visuals will make you think of Horizon: Zero Dawn, but minus the humans.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c781dc8dbe869268b8671300f3755cf2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c781dc8dbe869268b8671300f3755cf2.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12477","description":"

Ace Combat 7 

\n
    \n
  • Release date: January 18, 2018
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR
  • \n
\n

Surprisingly, the number of air combat simulations in VR are pretty sparse on the PlayStation 4 right now. There's that super short Call Of Duty Jackal entry, and not a whole lot else.

\n

Rather than a full VR game, Ace Combat 7 will include a series of VR-specific missions, but what we've seen so far looks very slick. Hopefully this is just the start of the virtual reality dog fights headed to Sony's flagship console.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a15dca499678a006f879779ea24c2f84.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a15dca499678a006f879779ea24c2f84.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12459","description":"

Age Of Wushu 2 

\n
    \n
  • Release date: TBA 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: PC
  • \n
\n

This upcoming Chinese action MMO will include something you haven't seen in the massively multiplayer realm before.... a VR element for exploration (although sadly not for combat).

\n

There's not a ton of info yet on exactly how the VR sections will work and how you will switch back to non-VR during combat, but you can officially color me intrigued.

\n

Seeing virtual reality aspects worked into more games will go a long way towards see VR get adopted on a wider scale.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2e1b514a31740679f0b57053100b0d6a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2e1b514a31740679f0b57053100b0d6a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12458","description":"

The Mage's Tale 

\n
    \n
  • Release date: Very up in the air
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR (already out on PC)
  • \n
\n

This full VR RPG set between The Bard's Tale 3 and 4 is actually already out now on Steam, but it was actively in development for a PSVR port in early 2019.

\n

Sadly, the fate of this one is now very up in the air sadly, with InXile just being bought out by Microsoft.

\n

We can't imagine they'll be keen on letting their new acquisition release a game on a rival console, but there's been no official word yet on whether this is actually cancelled or not, since it had already been announced and was deep in development.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/604663286368b3fecb03f46696e3aa78.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/604663286368b3fecb03f46696e3aa78.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12457","description":"

Borderlands 2 VR

\n
    \n
  • Release date: December 14th, 2018
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR
  • \n
\n

OK, OK, we're cheating even more with Borderlands 2 VR! This one comes out December 14th, a half month before its officially 2019, but that's not going to stop us from putting it here.

\n

This is easily my own most anticipated title as it provides another opportunity to face off against awful dad Handsome Jack and interact with the amazingly psychotic Tiny Tina yet again.

\n

Who else absolutely cannot wait to joy puke your face off in virtual reality? Of course, with this version of the game arriving soon, it leads to a more important question... where the hell is Borderlands 3 already?

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d32889319eb495de4b13486441b41cbd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d32889319eb495de4b13486441b41cbd.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12476","description":"

Star Child 

\n
    \n
  • Release date: December 31st, 2018
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR
  • \n
\n

Yes, Star Child does in fact arrive one single day before it officially becomes 2019, but you'll forgive us, right?

\n

This looks like the new unexpected VR game that's going to provide a totally different experience than you'd expect, much like Moss did for PSVR at the beginning of the year.

\n

Based on the trailer, it seems like we're in for some crazy platforming and giant boss-dodging action in a unique alien landscape.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/o/frontcov-016e4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/o/frontcov-016e4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"190960","description":"

Any given trailer for a VR title these days still gets hit with the running gag about how 5 people will love the game when it releases, but the notion of VR remaining firmly underground is about to be strongly challenged in 2019.

\n

A whole lotta killer games have already arrived since our article earlier in the year looking at whether PSVR in particular is worth investing in at this point.

\n

Between horror games like The Persistence, shooters like Firewall Zero Hour, and platformers like Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, there's just no reason not to jump into the VR fray anymore.

\n

There's plenty more slated to land in the next month before the year's over as well, such as Arca's Path coming soon and two Persona dancing games arriving in early December.

\n

That's just the beginning though, as 2019 is unquestionably going to be the year VR breaks out into the mainstream. In the slides ahead we round up the 11 most anticipated tiles in every possible genre!

\n

While many of the upcoming games in our top 11 picks will be available for the PSVR, we've broadened out our search across the entire VR lineup, including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality.

"}]]]>
The Race Is On: Oculus and HTC Go Headset to Headset in a Race to Standalone VR https://www.gameskinny.com/nh8jj/the-race-is-on-oculus-and-htc-go-headset-to-headset-in-a-race-to-standalone-vr https://www.gameskinny.com/nh8jj/the-race-is-on-oculus-and-htc-go-headset-to-headset-in-a-race-to-standalone-vr Wed, 28 Mar 2018 14:36:06 -0400 Ben Mattice

It's been two years since the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift found their way into the hands of early adopters. Out of the gates, HTC crushed Oculus. But Oculus pivoted, added room-scale, dropped their price, and now they're outselling the "premium" HTC Vive. 

A year ago, if you'd asked anyone in the VR sphere, they would have told you the next iteration of VR was years away. But a lot has changed in the last year. In October 2017, Oculus announced two new headsets, the Go and the Santa Cruz.

Then HTC announced their answer, the Vive Focus and the HTC Pro. 

The focus this year is on standalone headsets. Mobile versions of VR headsets once required an expensive phone with a pristine screen. Higher-end VR headsets required an expensive PC, external sensors or light arrays, and cords ... lots of cords. 

This new phase of VR headsets promises to do away with almost all of those things. Here's where we are in the race to cord-free and standalone VR.

1. Oculus Go and the Santa Cruz

At Oculus Connect 4, Mark Zuckerberg made a bold statement. He wants to get a billion people in VR. And at the same conference, he announced two new headsets, the Go and the Santa Cruz.

The Go

The Go is a major upgrade to the Gear VR, which was a partnership with Samsung. The new mobile headset will be completely standalone, with no phone required.

It will cost $200 and come with a tracked motion controller. The specs basically mimic a smartphone with WQHD LCD instead of OLED. It will run with a Snapdragon 821 processor, which is just as fast as a Samsung phone. 

Where this headset falters is in its head tracking. It still does not have positional tracking. This means you can only look up or down and side to side. 

You can't bend over and examine an object. This means the kinds of games you can play with it will be limited. You'll be able to play tabletop games like Catan, you'll be able to play wave shooters that keep you in place, and you will be able to try out cockpit-style games. 

Outside of gaming, the Go will be an excellent way to watch Netflix and Hulu from the comfort of your own private theater. And we know that some people will secretly be watching porn as well. 

The Santa Cruz

We actually know very little about the Santa Cruz headset. It will supposedly be fully standalone, and the prototype Oculus showed off at Connect 4 included a smartphone strapped to the back of the head. 

We do know that the controllers will be different than the Oculus Rift Touch controllers. The focus will shift away from analog sticks and buttons and move toward infrared sensor tracking like that tech that already tracks your fingers on the current-gen Touch controllers. 

Six degrees of freedom is the other promise with the Santa Cruz. With the Go, there is no positional tracking, but with the Cruz, you should be able to stop and "smell" the flowers if you like. 

HTC Vive Pro in blue

Image courtesy of Vive

2. HTC Vive Focus and HTC Vive Pro

While HTC is ahead of Oculus in releasing a new headset, they've still released nothing in the United Staes. China already has the Vive Focus, and we're slated to see the standalone later this year.

The phone company will also release the HTC Vive Pro later this year.

The Focus

The HTC Vive Focus is HTC's answer to the Go. It includes a slightly higher capacity processor with the Snapdragon 835 and six degrees of freedom. 

While this is an upgrade compared to the Go, is it worth three times the price of the Go? Especially when Oculus already has the Santa Cruz in the works to best the Focus?

Everything else about the Focus is the same as the Go. You have similar refresh rates, similar displays, and even a single, tracked motion controller. And admittedly, Go's design is much prettier. The Focus almost looks like a child's toy in comparison.

But who are we to judge? None of us has even tried either of these headsets on.

The Vive Pro

For a while now we've heard the buzz about the Vive Pro. This is HTC's upgrade to the original HTC Vive. It features upgraded screens and lenses, built-in audio, a premium head strap, and dual chaperone cameras in the front. All to the tune of $800 for just the headset.

This doesn't include lighthouse bases or Vive wands. 

And if you want to go wireless, you can buy the TPCast, which will currently set you back $300. And that's not to mention the beast you need to run the Pro. HTC just announced that if you're running NVIDIA, you'll need at least a GTX 1060.

This means that if you want to get the most out of the Pro, you'll need to sell your kidneys because, ya know, cryptocurrency mining? 

Too Early to Call

What we all need to remember is that nothing is in consumer hands outside of China. It's too early to tell if HTC will up their game or if Oculus will fail in their promises (hopefully they've learned their lesson). 

RIght now, appearances tell us Oculus is ahead in the game. But we'll see. 

Where do you think VR will end up? Let us know in the comments below, and stick with GameSkinny for more VR-related content in the future.

]]>
Universal, Digital Domain Announce Voltron VR Chronicles https://www.gameskinny.com/0yhgz/universal-digital-domain-announce-voltron-vr-chronicles https://www.gameskinny.com/0yhgz/universal-digital-domain-announce-voltron-vr-chronicles Tue, 29 Aug 2017 16:16:42 -0400 Erroll Maas

Today, Digital Domain and Universal have announced Voltron VR Chronicles, a new virtual reality game for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR based on the Netflix animated series Voltron: Legendary Defender.

In Voltron VR Chronicles, the player will take the role of one of the paladins of Voltron to participate in space battles, solve puzzles, and complete challenges. Not much gameplay has been shown so far, but it's fair to speculate that the game will be a brief experience similar to Batman Arkham VR and PlayStation Worlds, due to its $14.99 price point. The game will be released on September 26, but PS VR owners who pre-order it today will get a 20% discount.

The first season of Voltron: Legendary Defender premiered on Netflix on June 10, 2016, with the second season premiering on January 20. The third season, which is half the length of the previous two seasons, premiered on August 4 and the fourth season will premiere on October 13. The series is notable for being made by some of the same people and the same animation studio behind Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Voltron VR Chronicles as it develops. 

]]>
Age Of Heroes VR Hits Kickstarter https://www.gameskinny.com/vhgf7/age-of-heroes-vr-hits-kickstarter https://www.gameskinny.com/vhgf7/age-of-heroes-vr-hits-kickstarter Sun, 07 May 2017 19:07:34 -0400 UltimateWarriorNot

We recently covered the announcement of OmniGames new MMO-inspired virtual reality title Age Of Heroes VR. Just over a week later, the developers have launched a $10,000 Kickstarter campaign to expand the scope of the title. Age of Heroes VR looks to bring a multiplayer raid experience to virtual reality players.

The developers are seeking to improve the game's core content and have several stretch goals that go in depth about potential features for the title. However, should the game not get funded on Kickstarter, all is not lost. 

OmniGames stated: 

"We have the private resources that will allow us to deliver the core product. Actually, we expect to release the early access of the game this May. Then why Kickstarter? The answer is actually very simple. We want to make it even better with more raids, more classes, and more game modes. And only with your voice and support could make this happen. Kickstarter builds the bridge to connect us directly to you, our most valuable players." 

This means that the core game will be hitting Steam's Early Access platform incredibly soon, which likely explains why the Kickstarter campaign is only six days long. Age Of Heroes VR is set to provid features like multiplayer raids, an actual body movement system, and RPG character progression. Regardless of the Kickstarter, it won't be long until players can see the game in action on Steam.

]]>
What Even Is McOsu? Because It's Not Osu! https://www.gameskinny.com/mhaa0/what-even-is-mcosu-because-its-not-osu https://www.gameskinny.com/mhaa0/what-even-is-mcosu-because-its-not-osu Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:00:02 -0400 ThatGamersAsylum

Throughout the years most of us have had some experience with rhythm games. Whether it be the peripheral invasion and subsequent living room takeover of Guitar Hero and Rock Band respectively throughout the 2000's, or the dominance of dancing games like Dance Dance Rev coming full circle with Ubisoft’s Just Dance games that utilized motion tracking. During much of this time, a rhythm game has been quietly building and maintaining its own niche audience: Osu!

In order to truly understand what exactly McOsu is, you must first understand what Osu! is.

Osu! is an open source rhythm game for PC and Mac, with derivative games released on mobile platforms such as iOS, Android, and even the Windows Phone. The gameplay itself is based on various rhythm games, such as Ouendan/Elite Beat Agents. But perhaps the official website puts it best:

While keeping some authentic elements, Osu! adds huge customization via skins/beatmaps/storyboarding, online rankings, multiplayer, and boasts a community with over 500,000 active users! Play the way you want to play -- with your own music -- and share your creations with others.

A tutorial to give you a basic feel for Osu!

So OK: What the Heck is McOsu, Then?

McOsu's (Short) History

Interestingly, McOsu was founded in this same spirit of open-ended customization. McOsu plays the exact same way as Osu! It uses the same notes, sliders, and spinners, too. You even use the same beatmaps you would otherwise load into standard Osu! The only substantial difference between the two is all of the extra mods that have been added into McOsu that are not in the base game, which I will get to in a bit.

First, it is important to realize the context in which McOsu was created. Its development started before Osu! became open source, and its alpha was released around the same time that Osu! went open source.

Reading through the Reddit announcement, which was posted onto the Osu! subreddit, you can see a conversation between McKay, the creator of McOsu, and Peppy, the creator of Osu!, in which they discuss the future of their respective games in a little bit more detail.

But the TL;DR is that Peppy doesn’t seem bothered by the existence of McOsu, even going so far as to inquire about McKay eventually helping with work on Osu as a community contributor.

McKay seems dissatisfied with the potential shackles of doing something like that, however. Working on an official product like Osu! comes with certain boundaries that are not so easily circumvented. Adding in certain features that he wants and has included in McOsu might be harder while keeping a clean, or intuitive UI.

McOsu's McUses

McOsu's biggest reason for existing is to practice. This is stated by McKay in both his Reddit announcement and on the game’s official storefront pages on both Github and Steam. It's also backed up by many users. They want to be able to practice songs more easily. The most prominent features for McOsu assist with this.

Options, Options Everywhere

Speed

In McOsu, you can change the speed of songs more easily and with greater finesse. For instance, changing the Beats Per Minute (BPM) will make the song go faster, but will not change the Approach Rate (AR), how fast the circle closes in on the note, or the Overall Difficulty (OD), the number of milliseconds you have to click the circle when it meets up with the note. Changing the Speed Multiplier, however, makes everything faster.

Scrubbing

You can scrub through the song to get to certain points that you might be struggling with. McKay even mentioned that he had been getting requests to create a bookmark feature, so that players didn’t need to scrub, but so that they could automatically skip to the place they wanted to practice. However, I do not think this feature has yet been added.

Rotation

You can make the screen rotate while you are playing, which some say helps them more naturally react to the notes rather than just use muscle memory to naturally get better at hard beatmaps.

Skipping 

You can skip past parts in a song that have no notes. Many argue that this helps them keep their flow going.

Novelty

FPS, Rainbow Notes, and VR

The game also features a lot of novel features too, like turning all the notes rainbow colored. Or a first person mode where the screen moves around and you “shoot” the notes.

Perhaps most intriguingly is the fact that the game supports VR play for the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. This is particularly noteworthy since the VR market is so starved for content that any game is welcome. A solid adaption of a successful, quality rhythm game, like Osu, which has a huge database of user-generated content is all the more welcome.

NO Note Locking

One of the more notable changes in McOsu is the absence of note locking. Note locking is where the game requires you to play the notes in a particular order. The reason this is a problem in Osu! is that missing a note can cause the game to not register that you attempted to hit that note, meaning that when you move on to the next note it won’t register it because you didn’t hit the prior note. This, in turn, can cause you to miss a whole string of notes, which can possibly make you lose on a beatmap, especially on harder difficulties.

Reception

It is hard to tell how many people actually use McOsu. Parsing the subreddit it seems as if some people really love it and yet others used it for a little while but went back to just inefficiently practicing in Osu! A very common complaint is that McOsu feels different. Not worse, but different. Some people feel that playing McOsu throws them off when they return to playing Osu!, others just say something feels slightly off. Some discussions have said that McOsu seems easier and/or smoother than Osu! In short, I would suggest testing out McOsu for a while to get your own reactions on the game.

Development Proceeds...

According to GitHub, development seems to continue at a steady rate. Although the developers have done a poor job of communicating with the fan base. For instance, the only major announcement I can find seems to be associated with the Alpha 20 release, which didn’t feature the Osu! Databases for loading beatmaps, meaning loading beatmaps was slow. Well, Alpha 25 added in Osu! Databases. Yay! That’s a pretty big deal. Yet their GitHub still uses the same feature video for Alpha Release 20. And that video was done in one take; I know because they say so in the video.

So what do you think about McOsu? Is it useful, or just treading too closely to Osu! (which itself could be said to tread too closely to its predecessors)? Had you ever heard of Osu!? If not, are you now interested in these games now? Both games are free, so if you have an interest in playing them there's no reason to not try*. 

You can download Osu! from their official website.

While you can download McOsu from Steam or GitHub

*Please note we are in no way affiliated with either of these games. I am merely making it easier for our readers to find these niche games. 

]]>
Will VR Ever Make the Jump to eSports? https://www.gameskinny.com/9t211/will-vr-ever-make-the-jump-to-esports https://www.gameskinny.com/9t211/will-vr-ever-make-the-jump-to-esports Sun, 20 Nov 2016 08:00:01 -0500 Lydia M

Virtual reality has really blown up in the past year. Nowadays, with cell phone technology you can even create a cardboard headset, making it simpler than ever to immerse yourself into a VR experience. As quickly as the technology develops, the uses of virtual reality expand.

VR really stepped into gaming with the Oculus Rift around 2014, which was then bought by Facebook. After that, other major companies followed suit, developing their own VR rigs to adapt to gamers. With that, the potential of virtual reality eSports has started to stir. But can VR succeed in the rapidly evolving community of eSports?

It most certainly will try.

Virtuix has already created their own virtual reality system, known as ‘Omni’, going beyond just the headset and including an actual motion platform the player can walk on, which reflects the in-game environments.

They displayed their active VR experience at Consumer Electronics Show 2016 in Las Vegas and even held an FPS tournament.

The Omni is such a huge setup and while they’re available for pre-order, you would be lucky to snag one yourself.

This brings up one of the major conflicts with virtual reality and eSports: cost. As they are starting to become more and more popular, the price of the headsets or full setups are still a bit too steep for casual consumption

If VR rigs are going to be used in eSports, players need to be able to practice with them right? Dropping huge amounts of money for the VR rig alone is unlikely for a casual gamer to pick up and try competitively.

Right now, virtual reality headsets for gamers are more of a parlor trick, like the Kinect or PlayStation Eye. They’re cool to have for a few games, but not really in high demand for gamers. You’ll probably still start seeing them in every other living room (especially in the holiday season), but it’s doubtful that there will be enough buy-in by gamers that would consider VR in eSport tournaments.

While it’s not really practical that VR could be used for eSports players anytime soon, there is a good chance companies will focus more on using the technology to give fans an immersive experience during tournaments and events.

Back in the summer, Valve introduced the Dota VR Hub for users to watch live matches, replays and streams in their VR Theater from the comfort of their own home. This gave viewers a completely new experience for watching professional Dota 2. The feature is still available and can be used through your Steam account, as long as you already own a VR headset. 

This weekend, ESL and SLIVER.tv provided a similar feature at Intel Extreme Masters: Oakland for CS:GO and League of Legends. Fans were able to watch both competitions with a 360-degree view, as well as player and bird's eye perspectives. Viewers were even able to see in-game stats as they watched. The service was free and fans were able to watch it on their smartphone, SLIVER.tv or VR headset through SLIVER.tv’s platform.

This specific feature for IEM was good, in theory, but the execution was less than stellar. The quality was fairly low on the website version, and overlaying the first-person view over the bird’s eye view was less than appealing. Viewers were also unable to select anything other than your 360-view, as the map location changed based on where players were located.

Overall, it’s more likely virtual reality in eSports will excel further in relation to fans more than the players. There are already big companies behind the technology and as eSports grows, so will the technology with it. 

]]>
Neptune Flux: A Short Journey in the Depths of the Sea https://www.gameskinny.com/0anyg/neptune-flux-a-short-journey-in-the-depths-of-the-sea https://www.gameskinny.com/0anyg/neptune-flux-a-short-journey-in-the-depths-of-the-sea Thu, 17 Nov 2016 02:00:02 -0500 Justin Michael

In the world of games development, there are a handful of important factors to take into consideration when making a game. In my personal opinion, a good game is one with solid game mechanics, a good story, and a sense of fulfillment as I interact with the game world.

Neptune Flux, the first release of Zoxide Games, puts you at the helm of a submersible working to build a habitat for colonization after the surface of the world became uninhabitable.

Neptune Flux pirate shipwreck

The Good

Overall, this is a fun, story-driven game. The graphics for the game are fairly good quality on the PC so I can only imagine how much more immersive it would be on a VR headset. The voice acting is also well done, which is important for a game based around a story-driven narrative.

Additionally, the music for this game was spot on. It was the right levels of relaxing and not so intense that it took my focus away from the exploration aspect of the game.

The Improvements

Audio - Some of the sound effects are a bit on the loud side, like the sonar ping. After awhile, it becomes kind of a nuisance which isn't good for something you're going to be using for the majority of your play.

Controls - Using the controls was a bit of trial and error since there was no mapping for controls. They felt a bit on the clunky side and  the player's field of view makes the player feel like they are smaller than they actually are which leads to you bumping into your surroundings from time to time.

Gameplay - The game feels short, very short. Even after exploring all around I had finished the game in just under 1.5 hours. I feel like the story was really rushed and there could have been some more to it. Exploration felt very concentrated as you had limited battery power for your vessel so you couldn't stray too far from your base of operations.

Price - Coming in at a base price of $14.99 I can't recommend this game to other people. It simply doesn't have the substance to command that price point. Now, if there were to be additional content added to the game in the future then I may reconsider but a more appropriate price, in my opinion, would be no more than $7.99.

Final Verdict

Overall this game was an enjoyable, albeit brief adventure. While not, in my opinion, worth the $15 asking price it is still a good game and has the potential to be a truly great adventure and exploration title with the addition of more content.

Pros

  • Quality voice acting
  • Immersive feeling
  • Interesting story concept

Cons

  • Very short play time
  • Feels rushed
  • Not a $15 title

If you're interested in playing you can find the game on the Steam marketplace and it will be coming to PlayStation 4 sometime early 2017.

]]>
Is VR a Reset of Gaming History? https://www.gameskinny.com/h7ahe/is-vr-a-reset-of-gaming-history https://www.gameskinny.com/h7ahe/is-vr-a-reset-of-gaming-history Wed, 26 Oct 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Unclepulky

For all the complaining that gamers seem to do about gimmicks getting in the way of quality games, they never seem to stop being won over by them during their early days. Motion controls? We originally loved them! All of Nintendo's silly peripherals? We loved them too! Virtual reality? Well, huh, I suppose no one really liked that back in the 90's. The hype surrounding new VR innovations is immense... but have we been down this road before?

The concept of virtual reality originated in the 1935 short story, "Pygmalion's Spectacles" by Stanley G. Weinbaum. This story contained a set of goggles which, when equipped, allowed people to experience fictional events.

Since then, different takes on virtual reality have appeared throughout an abundance of different books, movies, and essentially every other form of media. And with each appearance of it, our appetite just got more wet.

Come 1995, and Nintendo released their newest "portable" system, the Virtual Boy. Supposedly, this was the next big step for gaming, and we were going to be more immersed than ever.

This did not end up happening.

 

The Virtual Boy was a joke in 1995, and it's a joke now. With barely any games, hideous black and red visuals, a design which made it hard to use, and the ability to cause eye strain if used for more than about 20 minutes at a time, it's known in the gaming community as one of the worst systems of all time.

Now, while no one ended up liking the thing once it came out, people were super excited about it beforehand. And while comparing modern VR devices to the Virtual Boy is like comparing Theodore Roosevelt to Donald Trump, the possibility remains that we're setting ourselves up for another let down.

The Vive, the Oculus Rift, the Playstation VR, all incredibly well made devices. But soon, like with all gimmicks, the novelty will fade away, and the systems will need quality games to support them, especially given some of their radically high price tags. And so far, for the most part, it doesn't look like developers are focusing as much on the games, as much as what cool things they can do with their device. 

 

And if we don't end up getting these games, the industry will have spent several years treading ground it already had two decades ago.

Regarding the games, there's also a chance that what ends up being done with them will be reminiscent of things we've seen before. While the Virtual Boy was a complete flop, with games that barely utilized VR, we've had quality VR games in arcades for many years. In fact, a lot of what modern VR devices offer are just perfected features of certain arcade games, mainly rail shooters.

So what could be done to keep things fresh? Well, a VR game set in a 2D environment would be something different. Maybe it could even be a little more cartoonish than other games on the platform. There's no law that says that all VR games have to contain realism, especially since at their core, video games are, and always will be, a form of escapism.

How crazy would Cuphead be in VR?

Are you a fan of any VR devices? Which one is your favorite? And do you think that VR is just a reset of gaming history? Let me know in the comments!

]]>
Yore VR Launches in Steam Early Access https://www.gameskinny.com/byv51/yore-vr-launches-in-steam-early-access https://www.gameskinny.com/byv51/yore-vr-launches-in-steam-early-access Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:02:48 -0400 Caio Sampaio

The wait is over. Yore VR is now available in Steam Early Access. The game is the first production of Tectonic VR, a small indie team that has partnered with Ironbelly Studios -- an indie games service provider based in Montreal. Both teams will continue to develop the project, as they gather feedback from the community during the Early Access phase.

Yore VR allows players to craft their own towns and immerse themselves in a medieval setting through the HTC Vive. As players progress in the game, new features, weapons, and resources are unlocked, in order to perform more advanced Blacksmithing and crafting.

The early access version of the game features:

  • Open World Design: A 1kmx1km area for players to explore, as they encounter a dazzling scenery, including rivers, lakes and wildlife.
  • Blacksmithing: The system will allow players to create a variety of items and weapons. During early access, the player can only build swords. The specifications of the item will depend on the player’s skills during the process, that will feature a semi-realistic blacksmithing simulation.
  • Practice Forge: Players will find 44 different components, blades, hilts, crossguards and pommels with thousands of possible crafting combinations that can suit the style of each player. Items will vary from 4-5 different levels.
  • Player Progression and Town Building: Players unlock weapons and buildings after gathering enough resources and gold, in whichever order they wish. Once players reach the ability to develop buildings, those can be upgraded, adding new features and benefits to their town.

According to the developers' page on Steam, the plan is to keep the game in Early Access for 12-16 months, and the goal is to release its final version in late 2017. This version will include:

  • Hunting and fishing systems 
  • Dozens more medieval weapons, both ranged and melee 
  • Much more in depth crafting - small objects all the way up to base building 
  • Much more in depth resource gathering 
  • Expanded open world 
  • Dungeons to explore 
  • Combat with monsters and enemies 
  • PVP and Multiplayer 
  • New tavern mini-games 
  • Herbs and alchemy 
  • Gardening and farming

During the Early Access stage, Tectonic VR invites its fans to participate. On the game's Steam page, the team says:

"Our goal, first and foremost is to let the community drive our development process too. While it might not be possible to incorporate every piece of feedback we receive, we are excited to participate in larger conversations about open world VR games and what our players want."

For more information, footage and comments from the developers, visit the game's website.

]]>
Caution! VR Is Going Viral: Cases of Ocular Herpes are Spreading from "Try VR" Booths at Conventions https://www.gameskinny.com/if5lv/caution-vr-is-going-viral-cases-of-ocular-herpes-are-spreading-from-try-vr-booths-at-conventions https://www.gameskinny.com/if5lv/caution-vr-is-going-viral-cases-of-ocular-herpes-are-spreading-from-try-vr-booths-at-conventions Mon, 24 Oct 2016 17:36:43 -0400 Kris Cornelisse (Delfeir)

Virtual Reality headsets are becoming increasingly available, and the prospective applications for video games have certainly seen some interesting developments. However, those wishing to test the new technology at public conventions may be doing so at their own risk -- stories are starting to surface of ocular herpes being spread through the headsets.

The news comes from a series of Twitter DMs that passed between a few devs. The following conversation was posted by YouTuber Drift0r on his Twitter account, who made the devs involved anonymous to protect their privacy.

The messages above speak for themselves. Someone's already contracted it, it's spreading, and it's gross.

Given the anonymous nature of the post, we can't 100% verify that this is legit until someone comes forward with more evidence. But we have to admit...it's not that far-fetched.

Almost all major gaming conventions nowadays have Try VR booths with all three major devices (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR) frequently on display. With thousands of people passing through the booths on a daily basis and trying on the headsets, it's little surprise that such infections can spread.

We caution anyone traveling to these conventions to utilize these devices at their own risk. If you believe you have a transmissible condition, please consider avoiding these booths for the benefit of others. Further information on ocular herpes including warning signs and symptoms is readily available.

With luck, it'll be this news that spreads rather than the infections -- and VR booths will start taking further precautions for disinfecting headsets soon. Because it's all fun and games...until someone gets herpes. 

]]>
Albino Lullaby Celebrates One Year on Steam with a Sale https://www.gameskinny.com/2uzp6/albino-lullaby-celebrates-one-year-on-steam-with-a-sale https://www.gameskinny.com/2uzp6/albino-lullaby-celebrates-one-year-on-steam-with-a-sale Sun, 09 Oct 2016 07:02:27 -0400 Alex Anderson_0905

The psychological horror game, Albino Lullaby, has been on Steam for one year, and Ape Law is celebrating with a Pre-Halloween Sale. The will be on sale from October 7th through the 14th on Steam for PC and Vive.

Albino Lullaby, a 2D, VR horror game has no gore and no jump scares. The game has been praised as the smartest horror game of 2015 by Adam Smith from Rock, Paper, Shotgun, and Polygon’s Collin Campbell stated that the game combines the best parts of Stanley Parable and Alfred Hitchcock to bring players’ a truly frightening experience.

Ape Law is giving players the perfect opportunity to catch up on the series while they continue work on Episode 2, as well as offering those who are still unsure about purchasing the full game the chance to play the first 40 minutes of Albino Lullaby for free.

The demo can be downloaded here and the game can be purchased here for 40% off until October 14th.

]]>
Nvidia Releases Source Code for VR Funhouse https://www.gameskinny.com/aorgq/nvidia-releases-source-code-for-vr-funhouse https://www.gameskinny.com/aorgq/nvidia-releases-source-code-for-vr-funhouse Mon, 05 Sep 2016 00:38:52 -0400 Jeremy "Digit" Brown

As one of the premiere tech demos of the HTC Vive, Nvidia released a free game on Steam called the Nvidia VR Funhouse. From the start, Nvidia has stated that they would release the source code for the project allowing the modding community to make some impressive ideas for themselves. Now, it's finally here.

Nvidia is also releasing five of their own mods to get the ball rolling. Their creations are mostly for visual purposes, but are imaginative in their own respective ways. Big Top covers your carnival with one big circus tent. Great Moles of Fire engulfs the rodent boxers in flames, and Super Whack-A-Mole allows players to essentially play Whack-a-Mole but in 360 degree movement. 

According to the GeForce blog, Nvidia has always intended to make this software open source.

"NVIDIA VR Funhouse will be open sourced, so developers, artists and enthusiasts can learn from our work to make their own, compelling experiences even better.”

Nvidia VR Funhouse is free and available now on Steam, and the VR Funhouse Mod Kit can be reached via the Epic Games launcher in the Modding tab.

]]>
Wireless VR is coming to the HTC Vive https://www.gameskinny.com/kjk99/wireless-vr-is-coming-to-the-htc-vive https://www.gameskinny.com/kjk99/wireless-vr-is-coming-to-the-htc-vive Sat, 03 Sep 2016 17:03:19 -0400 Jeremy "Digit" Brown

One complaint for many reviewers of the HTC Vive was the excessive amount of cables that come with the package. It detracts from the immersion to have cords all over while in the middle of a game.

Luckily, there is good news for those who want a less cluttered headset (or desk, for that matter). Quark VR is reported to be unveiling a new, wireless version of the HTC Vive this fall. 

The headset uses a transmitter that can be put in the user's pocket, rather than connecting cables to the PC. The attachment works over wifi, sending information back and forth from the PC to the Vive. The creators said that minimizing the delay   was one of the biggest challenges, but they're proud to say that they're "getting extremely close to being able to show it in action."

Quark VR's new wireless device has not been named yet, but will make a public debut sometime this fall. 

 

]]>
Ubisoft unveils three games in VR lineup https://www.gameskinny.com/j5yls/ubisoft-unveils-three-games-in-vr-lineup https://www.gameskinny.com/j5yls/ubisoft-unveils-three-games-in-vr-lineup Wed, 24 Aug 2016 14:19:04 -0400 LoganKrum

The next few months will be packed with virtual reality from Ubisoft. The developing company revealed its upcoming VR lineup at Gamescom last week, showcasing titles like Eagle Flight, Star Trek: Bridge Crew, and Werewolves Within.

Eagle Flight allows players to soar through the skies of a post-apocalyptic Paris from the perspective of the titular bird. The game was developed by FunHouse and is playable in single and multiplayer modes, the latter of which allows players to defend territory in aerial combat.

The game will be released to Oculus Rift October 18, PlayStationVR November 8 and HTC Vive December 20

Players will command the U.S.S. Aegis starship in Star Trek: Bridge Crew. The game was designed specifically for VR to allow players to immerse themselves in the unique Star Trek universe. The player is sent to explore an unexplored area of space known as The Trench, where all of the player’s choices will have an impact.

The game will be released to all three VR stations November 29.

Protect the village and discover the true werewolf with Werewolf Within. The multiplayer games assigns each of the 5-8 players a special role as they vote who to kill in their quest to eliminate werewolves from the medieval village. Similar to the card game One Night Ultimate Werewolf, the game will submerge players in the virtual village as they try to survive the vote, and the night.

Werewolf Within will be released to all major VR stations December 6.

]]>
Everspace: Redefining the Roguelike Genre https://www.gameskinny.com/5zvlv/everspace-redefining-the-roguelike-genre https://www.gameskinny.com/5zvlv/everspace-redefining-the-roguelike-genre Mon, 08 Aug 2016 13:03:33 -0400 Justin Michael

I have played my fair share of space titles, with many hours poured into games like Eve Online, Freelancer, X3: Terran Conflict, and Elite: Dangerous to name a few but there is a new contender on the battlefield that’s looking to redefine the space shooter / roguelike genre and that is Everspace. Everspace is a new breed of space game brought to us by the newly formed Rockfish Games Studio but don’t be fooled, these guys are far from rookies. Formerly Fishlabs Entertainment, they are responsible for the popular Galaxy on Fire series which boasts over 30+ million mobile downloads.

After roughly 10 hours of gameplay, and a number of spectacular deaths here is my opinion about the game so far (which is still in its early beta build).

1. The graphics are breathtaking

Sometimes we are disappointed that the screenshots are not what we can expect from a game in terms of graphical quality, this in not one of those games. I am running the game on a Nvidia GTX 760 OC with the settings maxed out and the visuals are much more than I'd expect from an early beta build. The asteroid fields of some of the levels are very detailed, with chunks breaking off of mineable asteroids and beautiful particle effects from the various beam-based weapons. Even the level of detail to the varying degrees of damage to your ship has been meticulously thought out.

A Screenshot of damage taken in-game

2. Adapt and overcome with crafting on the fly

Gathering resources, aside from fulfilling that urge to collect everything that's not bolted down, is the cornerstone for a successful run as it allows you to craft upgrades and items that can tip situations in your favor. Items can be crafted by finding blueprints, which carry over from run to run. For example, a cloaking module could help you slip through an enemy-dense asteroid field undetected or you can craft more scanning probes on the fly, allowing you to scout the same field for valuable resources. A shield booster can help you survive a few more hits or an energy booster could give you that extra reserve to stay in the fight. It all comes down to having the right tools for the situation at hand.

3. Danger lurks around every asteroid

As if space itself wasn't inherently dangerous enough with the whole lack of oxygen, black holes, and treacherous asteroid fields, there are plenty of unsavory characters that want nothing more than to kill you and take your loot. We have your run of the mill pirate who shoots first and asks questions never, outlaws who live on the fringe of space, aliens who seem less than friendly, and drones that pursue with the cold calculation of a machine. If that wasn't enough, there are even creatures that live within the asteroid fields themselves, waiting for the opportune moment to strike out from their hiding place to defend their territory.

4. You will die, and you'll be okay with that

Similar to games like Rogue Legacy, when you die you go back to the hangar screen where you can spend your hard-earned credits from the previous run to upgrade your ship. Want to try to avoid zones that might be more combat heavy? Invest in upgrading your ship sensors. Feel like being a speed demon, put some points into tuning up your engines. Or maybe you just want to slug it out sector to sector, in that case, upgrade your weapons, shields, and hull armor. You can really customize the game to fit your play style and with the full release, you'll have access to 2 other ship types for even more customization.

At this point in the development, I am excited to see the direction that Everspace is going in. I look forward to keeping you updated on the progress as the game moves along in development and am excited to see what else Rockfish Games has in store for us. If my review wasn't enough for you, here's a clip of gameplay from my last broadcast on Twitch.tv. Be advised though that some of my language is NSFW, just a warning.

]]>
HTC Reveals Virtual App Store Viveport https://www.gameskinny.com/i33ad/htc-reveals-virtual-app-store-viveport https://www.gameskinny.com/i33ad/htc-reveals-virtual-app-store-viveport Mon, 08 Aug 2016 04:13:37 -0400 LoganKrum

Why walk to the store when you can just put on a pair of goggles? HTC has revealed Viveport, its new virtual store that will feature social media, news, 360 degree video, and much more -- all accessible in virtual reality.

Announced at VRLA on August 5, the store will be available on Vive headsets, web browsers, and a mobile app. While offering its own content, HTC also encourages content developers to market their own content through the store.

HTC hopes to sell content in education, design, art, music, sports, health, fashion, travel, creativity tools, and more through the store.

According to the official announcement:

"With Viveport, we hope to further our missions of unleashing the human imagination from the limitations of reality by offering the most immersive and diverse selection of VR experiences possible"."

A developer beta will be released within a few weeks. The full store will be available across 30 different countries this fall, in conjunction with an update to Vive Home, the company’s pre-existing virtual space.

]]>
Tips for building a VR-ready PC without going insane or over budget https://www.gameskinny.com/j6178/tips-for-building-a-vr-ready-pc-without-going-insane-or-over-budget https://www.gameskinny.com/j6178/tips-for-building-a-vr-ready-pc-without-going-insane-or-over-budget Sat, 30 Jul 2016 15:25:41 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

It's the future. Virtual reality is finally, thankfully, here. Both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive have launched, and each has (so far) delivered on their promises to create immersive, amazing experiences. But you wouldn't know anything about that, because you, like most people today, don't have a PC beefy enough to support VR technology.

Well, never fear. GameSkinny is here to help teach you how to build a VR ready PC on a budget, even if you've never built your own desktop before. Believe it or not, it's pretty simple.

Get familiar with the process

Before diving in and investing in components, it is helpful to scan over a few general PC-building videos and articles to get comfortable with the process if you have never done this before. 

This video by Easypcbuilder is very helpful, as is this article by PCWorld. It's important to remember that the process of building a virtual reality-ready PC is identical to the process of building any other PC, you'll just be working with more powerful (and expensive) components. 

Of course, you aren't putting this into action just yet, but it's nice to see firsthand that putting together a computer really isn't that hard. It's pretty much just Lego for adults.

Budget

We said a VR PC could be cheap. Well, that's only half true. Yes, you don't need to spend $1000 to build a PC fit to play virtual reality games, but you will be spending a not-insignificant-amount of money to put together a computer with the necessary horsepower. It's important to remember that playing a game in VR requires your computer to render the game twice, at relatively high graphical settings. It's a tough task.

Most entry-level VR builds cost between 700 and 900 dollars (not including the VR hardware itself) depending on whether or not certain components are on sale. This may not sound key, but it is. Building a computer is always a relatively expensive project, but money can be saved by shopping around. Amazon and Newegg both have regular sales on PC components, so make sure you're getting the lowest price by looking around. We also recommend using a browser extension like Honey to ensure that you get the full benefit of any active promo codes or discounts.

Once that's done, it's time to be realistic. What can you afford? What can't you afford? Set down a realistic budget for your build at the beginning, and it will make building your virtual reality-ready PC a lot easier in the long run. Just know that you'll probably go over budget in the end.

Know What You Need

If you've built a PC before, you've likely heard of Logical Increments. If you haven't, allow us to introduce you. The site features example builds for everything from budget PCs to monstrous rigs that cost thousands of dollars, and they check each build to make sure that all the components are compatible with each other, which can save first-time PC builders from costly mistakes. It is a near-essential resource for people wondering how to build a PC, and they even have a buying guide for folks wanting to know how to build a VR-ready PC.

Having said that, before you go adding everything Logical Increments lists on their site into your shopping cart, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Buy a static wristband

We'll say it again: buy a static wristband. We'll be dealing with expensive components, and a single static discharge can irreparably ruin them. If your floor is carpeted, or if there is any fabric around you as you are building the PC, there's a pretty high risk that static will build up. We don't want that charge to find the computer.

Personally, when I built my PC, I used this band, made by Belkin. It was cheap, and if nothing else, it gave me piece of mind. All you have to do is clip the clamp to something metal-- usually the case of the computer, and it will dispel any static charge that might build up on your body.

Do not skimp on your CPU

There are certainly areas of any VR-ready PC build in which you can skimp a bit. The CPU is not one of them. You're going to need something with at least a quad-core processor here to keep up with these games, so resign yourself to spending a bit more money. If you are going with a motherboard and build that supports Intel chips, the new Intel i5-6500 isn't super expensive, and is widely recommended. If you're planning an AMD build, anything at or above the level of the FX-6350 processor should work, but we'd recommend spending a bit more to get an 8-core processor like the FX-9370 to future-proof the build somewhat.

Do not skimp on your video card either

Like the CPU, your video card is an integral part of this build, since, as we have said above, it'll pretty much have to render a game twice in order to display it in VR. You'll be spending a bit of money here as well, so be prepared. For a budget build, the RX 480 will handle most VR apps and games at an attractive price point, but we'd also recommend you consider the R9 390x, which is able to run most VR games at high or very high settings while maintaining a constant frame rate.

Other necessities

For any VR build, you'll need 8GB RAM at the very least, so a motherboard that can accommodate that is necessary as well. You'll also need to make sure that your motherboard has plentiful USB ports (2.0, 3.0, and 3.1) so that you can plug your headset in. 

Areas to save money

There are a lot of necessities for a VR build, but there are definitely places where you can save some cash here and there. Storage is a biggie, as a solid-state drive is not absolutely necessary for this build, although the added reliability and piece of mind might make springing for one worth it. In addition, if you're focusing mostly on VR, a nice monitor isn't really that necessary either. 

Plan for the headset you want

You might think that this VR build will be compatible with all the headsets currently on the market, and to be honest, you'd probably be more or less right, but there are definitely a few differences between them that you'll need to be aware of. You can find the full breakdown here, but in general, you should know that if you plan to buy the Oculus Rift, you'll need more open USB ports than you will if you're planning on buying the Vive, while prospective Vive buyers will likely need to ensure that they have the required space to set up the sensors wherever they choose to put their computer.

Ensure that all your parts are compatible

If you do choose to go a bit off-script with your VR build, be sure to visit PCPartPicker. This is another invaluable resource for both novice and experienced PC builders, as it allows you not only to keep track of the components you have picked for your PC, but also to ensure that each component is compatible with every other one. There's nothing worse than starting a build only to realize that your components don't fit.

Once you have all of your parts picked out, add each to PC Part Picker to ensure compatibility. Screenshot the page, and file it away for the next step.

Buy smart

Yup. I know you were dreading this step, but depending on how patient you are, you can save hundreds of dollars. Striking at the right moment is key for people looking to truly build a VR rig on the cheap. If you can, try to spread out the time at which you buy your components, waiting for deep sales and discounts across sites instead of buying everything all at once.

This truly can make a huge difference. You'll be buying many components -- cases, cables, hard drives, enclosures, etc. -- and saving 10 to 20 dollars on each really adds up in the end. So be patient and you might even end up under budget!

Before you build...

At this point, you're almost done. Believe it or not, the hard part is over and soon you'll be part of the VR community. There are just a few things to keep in mind before you actually start piecing these components together.

First, watch that video up there one more time, and read through any how-to-guides in preparation. Building a computer isn't really that hard, but mistakes can be costly.

The first thing you should do is put on that goofy looking static bracelet and clamp it to something metal to ground yourself. Then, clear out a space to assemble your computer. Again, to avoid static, you really shouldn't be working on carpet-- hardwood is best. Then, just follow the directions in your favorite PC building guide, and you should be all set to experience the wild world of virtual reality. 

Well, that is, assuming you still have some money left to buy the headset!

Do you have any suggestions for building a virtual reality-ready PC? Let us know in the comments!

]]>
HTC Vive Incompatible With GeForce GTX 1080's DisplayPort https://www.gameskinny.com/kx3m3/htc-vive-incompatible-with-geforce-gtx-1080s-displayport https://www.gameskinny.com/kx3m3/htc-vive-incompatible-with-geforce-gtx-1080s-displayport Sat, 09 Jul 2016 16:25:12 -0400 Noor Sami

If you’re looking to connect your GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card with the HTC Vive, you might be out of luck. Users have reported issues with plugging the VR device into the 1080’s DisplayPort wherein the display is not recognized. As a result of this issue, until a solution is found it is recommended that users connect the Vive to the HDMI port of the 1080 rather than the DisplayPort. However, this is a problem for many people who use the 1080’s HDMI port to plug into their TV instead.

Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 were marketed as vastly improving virtual reality graphics, but this problem seems to have put a damper on that. As of now, neither HTC nor Nvidia have made any conclusive comments about the issue. A thread discussing the problem has a number of responses on the GeForce forums, to which a representative from Nvidia responded and said simply, “We are still investigating this issue.”

]]>
VR is the Future of Gaming: A First Impression of the HTC Vive https://www.gameskinny.com/ct413/vr-is-the-future-of-gaming-a-first-impression-of-the-htc-vive https://www.gameskinny.com/ct413/vr-is-the-future-of-gaming-a-first-impression-of-the-htc-vive Mon, 20 Jun 2016 15:50:13 -0400 Clayton Reisbeck

A few weeks ago, an old friend came back into town and let a group of friends and me have a go on his HTC Vive. Folks, the future is here. I know that sounds like I'm being overdramatic, but I really mean it. I have never had an experience like this in my entire time playing games. The immersiveness (that's a word right?) was absolutely stunning. Every experience I had in the Vive really put me into the shoes of the character I was playing. When you're actually moving in real life like you expect the character would move, it's truly a unique experience.

The hardware itself was also impressive to me. The headset feels sturdy and the controllers are very intuitive. The two controllers that you have use the touchpad technology that is in the Steam Controller and those work very well. That and there are buttons for everything you need without being overbearing. There are two buttons on top of the controller with the touch pad (one button above and one below the touch pad), two side buttons on the handle of the controller, and one trigger on the back of the controller. You do have to have a set of headphones to get the real immersion experience so that could be a downside for some people. If you want a really immersive experience, I recommend getting a decent set of over-the-ear headphones that sit snugly on your head. 

As for general in-game experiences, I had no problems. I experienced no hiccups or any lag of any form while playing. The head-tracking had no problems for me and at no time did I get motion sickness. The only time we ran into issues was when someone was standing between one of the base stations and the headset I was wearing, but once they moved, things went back to normal. You do have to be mindful of the cord attached to the headset leading back to the computer, but I really didn't have much of an issue with that.

I tried out two games (There were a lot of people there to try it so I wasn't able to play any more, sadly) and I will detail my experience with both here.

Budget Cuts (Neat Corporation)

Have you ever wanted to be a spy? Like stealthing through a room, rolling from cover to cover, license to kill kind of spy? Then Budget Cuts is the game for you. You play as someone who put an application for a job into a company and you decide that you want to sneak into the company and approve your application for the job. Simple right? Here's the catch; robots trained to kill on sight are guarding the way to getting to your application. So you must sneak past all the robots in the building to get to your application and approve yourself for the job. Armed with only a portal gun (no not that portal gun) and a collection of throwing knives, you set out on your mission.

The primary movement mechanic for the game is the portal gun. The portal gun shoots a ball out in a projected arc and lands on the ground. Upon landing on the ground, a window opens up on the in-game controller that allows you to see the area that the portal landed on and gives you an opportunity to scope out your new vantage point before actually teleporting to it. This allows for planning your move and testing different strategies for progression through the level. Now in an intense combat moment, this may not be an option. There isn't any lag to wait on for shooting portals and teleporting to the new location. The only hindrance that you could run into is if the portal lands in a location that doesn't work for the in game character you play. For example, shoot a portal too close to a wall and if you were to teleport to that location, you would be stuck in a wall. But with some nifty portal maneuvering and some spot on knife throwing, you will be unstoppable. 

Very early in the game you find a stash of throwing knives that you can take with you to defend yourself. These throwing knives are the primary combat item for the game (later on you get a crossbow but I didn't get to mess with it much in my short time with the game). These throwing knives are a bit tricky to master but you are able to get back the knives that you throw; and you really are throwing these knives. I found this mechanic to be a bit difficult to get down. My knives usually ended up being thrown a bit short but, land a good knife throw on a robot, the robot goes down spurting inky, black oil.

I think the strongest point of this game was the whole immersion factor. You really feel like you're sneaking through the building. Those moments where you are hiding behind a counter with two robots on the opposite side of it, and you have to devise a way to get around them without getting caught or find a way to kill them both quickly. This really gets you into character. All around this game was stellar.

The Gallery - Episode 1: Call of the Starseed (Cloudhead Games)

The Gallery is probably one of the longer experiences I was able to be a part of while using the Vive. You play as Alex. You're looking for your sister, Elise, who you were supposed to meet to look for a strange device. Upon getting to the beach, you find a cassette tape left by your sister giving you instructions on how to find her. On your journey to finding her, you meet a crazy mad scientist and enter his lab devoted to understanding some unknown, cosmic element.

Now, due to the length of this game, we split the different sections of the game between different people that were there to play. I was chosen to do one of the late game puzzles, so this is only an impression based on that puzzle.

The game itself is the most gorgeous game that I got to mess around in. The detail is absolutely astounding. As with the other larger scale games I played, you have a play area that is outlined in light on your headset screen that you can walk around. There is a teleporting mechanic that you use to move that play area around the game space. In this game, you have an icon that appears when you want to teleport to a new location that also tells you which direction you will face upon teleporting. This really does help with keeping you oriented in the way you need to move in the game. I found no issues with it.

The puzzle I had to solve was finding fuses to plug into a circuit board to unlock a box holding the cosmic element you were looking for. You had to plug different colored fuses into the board to change the number values at the top of the board to unlock the box. Now on the picture above, you will notice that there are wires that connect between all the plug-ins on the board. So placing a fuse in one spot can affect multiple number values on the board. On top of this there were different fuses you could plug into the board that would change values in a different way. Some fuses increase the values by 5, and the others will increase the value by 10. Hidden around the room are the values you need to get on the board.

This puzzle was quite the challenge because on top of learning how to manipulate the values to get the number you need, you have to hunt down all the different fuses to plug into the board. Luckily, you are given an electromagnet that will pick up lots of fuses that are floating around the room. But, it doesn't pick up all of them. That and the number of 5-volt fuses compared to 10-volt fuses is huge. For every ten 5-volt fuses, there would be like one 10-volt fuse. So I spent a lot of time wandering around that room searching for one more 10-volt fuse. The fuses also look very similar. The only identifiers (that I saw) was that all the 5-volt fuses were blue, green or yellow while the 10-volt fuses were silver. The colors were also a very soft hue of those colors so you spend a bit trying to find out which fuse is which. On top of this you have to find out which order those values you found align on the board. It took me a solid hour and a half to figure out this puzzle. This just may be me exemplifying my stupidity, but it was challenging nonetheless.

As a whole, this game was absolutely gorgeous and I think had I experienced the entire thing by myself, it would have been much better. But, I got very frustrated with that puzzle and the pay off of completing it was given to the next person to play. So if you're going to play this game by yourself, it will probably be a much better experience. I'm not upset for playing it (it really is gorgeous and the gameplay is solid) but I wish I could have played it by myself.

I truly enjoyed my time in the Vive but I think the thing that sold me on the whole thing was one of the most basic things that comes with it. In between games you are dumped into a waiting room of sorts where you can pull up the Steam menu to pull up a new game to play. You are able to customize this room with different wallpapers that actually make it a completely different room. You can get wallpapers of things like the Holodeck from Star Trek or even Rick's Garage from Rick and Morty. My friend had the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon as his wallpaper (get it here Millennium Falcon wallpaper). For those who don't know me, I am a huge Star Wars fan and play a lot of the table-top RPGs that are in that universe. I usually play the pilot for all of those games, so when I was dumped into that waiting room, I was giddy. I was really in the cockpit of the fastest ship in the galaxy. And that right there is why I think VR is the future. The ability to be in your living room and then put the headset on to be transported to worlds beyond our imagination, or even worlds we never dreamed of being able to actually experience on a personal level is truly amazing. I hope VR is here to stay.

]]>
Virtually here: The best of E3 VR and what it means for the future of gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/huzqk/virtually-here-the-best-of-e3-vr-and-what-it-means-for-the-future-of-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/huzqk/virtually-here-the-best-of-e3-vr-and-what-it-means-for-the-future-of-gaming Mon, 20 Jun 2016 08:49:47 -0400 Seth Zulinski

In case you missed E3, haven't read anything about it, haven't talked to anyone that's heard anything about it, or have lived in a damp cave for the past few weeks, here's the main message of this year's showcase: 

The future is here. 

Buried deep in the dusty pages of old paperback sci-fi novels was an era we all knew was coming some day. From Star Trek to Sword Art Online, in countless movies and TV shows, for decades we've been presented with an evolution of technology (and gaming) that was made inevitable by how badly we wanted it more than anything else. Huge headsets and glowing visors, tactile controllers and motion controls. A deeper sense of being in the games we play.

True immersion

Well, that bus has come to a complete and total stop here, ladies and gentlemen. We've arrived.  

E3 2016 has marked this as the Year of Virtual Reality. 

Pictured: The future of gaming. Or Daft Punk. It's hard to tell.

While it's certainly true VR projects have been around for a while, this year's E3 marks the first year major players in the industry seem to have fully adopted the Virtual Reality revolution. Household names from Sony to Bethesda have come out in full force to let their game developers and the fans at home know that they plan to support the budding platform.

Let's take a look at a few of the virtually limitless games and tech unveiled at this year's conference:

PlayStation/Sony

While two of the first giants in the ring were PC oriented with the Oculus Rift, and Valve/HTC's lovechild the Vive, veteran of the console wars Sony sent a clear message that they weren't scared to step into the VR ring. The producer of the PlayStation promised 50 playable VR titles by the 2017 release of the Virtual Reality platform (creatively titled "PlayStation VR"), and we couldn't be more excited for: 

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard VR

One of the biggest things happening in non-VR related gaming right now, Resident Evil 7's "PT"-esque survival horror demo Beginning Hour has been making its rounds -- drumming up support for the creepier, more horror-bent installment that's a marked departure from the series' more recent action-oriented entries. 

And as anyone who attended or watched E3 knows, this demo (as well as Resident Evil 7 itself) is going to be a fully playable title on the PlayStation VR, running on its very own RE Engine. 

Resident Evil 7 promises to be a return to the series' horror roots, so be sure to check out this gruesome reality next January when it's released.

100ft. Robot Golf

I'm not sure that we even have to explain why this is awesome, but here it goes:

Coming in 2016 to a PlayStation VR system near you, 100ft Robot Golf is a game where you completely destroy a city as you pilot a 100 foot tall robot through a game of golf. 

Customizable playstyles and abilities? Sure. The capacity to tweak and remodel your paramilitary putt-putter? Absolutely. The ability to play as five dogs in a suit? You be-- wait what? You can do that? Yes. Apparently playing as five dogs in a suit is a thing you can do.

And if the ability to play in Virtual Reality as a team of corgis piloting a giant war robot through a Par 6 metropolis isn't your idea of the future, then yours is a future I don't want to live in. 

Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission

If there's any VR game that deserves a live orchestra playing its soundtrack at the reveal, it has to be a Star Wars title -- specifically, Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission. 

With the Virtual Reality revolution fully underway in 2016, pilots will finally be able to don their VR helmet-visors and get the full experience of "actually there piloting an X-Wing" Red (or in this case Blue) Squadron and exploding Tie Fighters for the first time.

The (Virtual) Reality of Sony's Lineup

While these are certainly some of the top-of-the-pile VR offerings, Sony's dedication to Virtual Reality doesn't stop there. The console/gaming/tech mainstay has also teased at or revealed a ton of other high profile VR releases, ranging from Batman Arkham to VR segments of Final Fantasy XV. From storybook flight game How We Soar to horror-noir title Here they Lie. They even showcased Tether, an adorable little base-building game where you order adorable creatures to do adorable daily tasks, adorably build a tiny adorable base, and adorably club monsters to a presumably adorable death. 

With such a powerful presence pledging support for the fledgling VR platform, it seems the threat of Virtual Reality being a flash in the pan is more smoke than fire. 

Microsoft

In what might have been the most surprising turn of events given the rather VR-centric nature of 2016's E3 conference, Microsoft was surprisingly quiet on the VR front. While nothing too overt came from their segment, Project Scorpio (frontrunner for "potential Microsoft VR system") was finally teased.

And the footage for Scorpio was a goldmine promising "Premiere VR experiences", not the least of which comes from...

Bethesda

If Sony brought out the big guns with the likes of Star Wars and Final Fantasy, other platforms are renting out whole battleships with two of Bethesda's hottest releases coming to VR systems. The most notable of the two, of course, are...

Fallout 4 VR

With a player base as loyal as any Dogmeat and a world known for both vastness and depth, Fallout 4 is the perfect title for the young VR platform (specifically the HTC Vive) to really let players stretch their virtual legs in the new gaming landscape. Complete with Pip-Boy functionality by raising your in-game left arm, players will soon be able to help settlements like never before -- totally immersed in and surrounded by a post-apocalyptic Wasteland.

So it's a lot like visiting New Jersey, except from the comfort of your own home once this title hits the HTC Vive mid-2017.

DOOM VR

While initial reports vary wildly and leave readers and watchers with a very "hit and miss" verdict when it comes to Bethesda's DOOM VR demo at this E3, a lot of the "misses" are tell-tale signs that Bethesda is aware of the limitations and and differences Virtual Reality titles have when stacked against more traditional gaming systems. 

This is a good thing

By release (currently date and platform are unspecified), fans of the series, Bethesda, and Virtual Reality will all assuredly have a rock solid entry into the Virtual Reality Demon-Fragging genre, giving players a little more pace than plot in a VR title. 

What it all means

"I have absolutely no idea what most of this says."

While many of the titles shown off at this year's E3 are certainly familiar franchises, the results of this year's concerted effort to make VR a talking point by major players in the game mean more than just "a new way to play Fallout" or "another weird thing that isn't a Summon in Final Fantasy". 

This is the year where titans in the industry stepped up to a worldwide audience, showed their hand when it came to the Virtual Reality platform, and told us "Yeah, absolutely. This is happening. This is here."

It's a new, powerful way to play everything. It's a whole new avenue to explore that's both compatible with existing technology and the start of a whole new front of advancement -- and it's being embraced by people and companies with the power to make lasting impacts in the area. 

Now, sure, similar things have happened with, say, movement controls like the Wii and PlayStation Move -- but those were more alternative controllers than "entire new frontiers for immersion". A little more gimmick than "totally different ways to play games that literally puts the player in the middle of the action" -- and even then, at least one of those was a pretty heavy success. 

What it means, as fans of Virtual Reality, fans of science fiction, fans of gaming, or even just people that know fans of any of those things, is that Virtual Reality -- the awesome thing we've seen or read about for decades -- is being held onto tightly by people with the power to make or break what gaming and technology have to offer us. Virtual Reality gaming -- Virtual Reality period -- is going to happen. It's already happening.

This isn't a guy with frazzled hair standing on the corner ranting that one day we're all going to be plugged into machines with cool goggles. This isn't the plot of a Wachowskis movie, and it isn't a Star Trek episode (though Ubisoft did reveal Star Trek: Bridge Crew VR).

This is the year where titans in the industry stepped up to a worldwide audience, showed their hand when it came to the Virtual Reality platform, and told us "Yeah, absolutely. This is happening. This is here."

"The future is now."

Seriously though. Are these like alternate Oculus Rift models, or...?

]]>