Recapping the top stories covered on the VRScout Report, a weekly live video show and podcast discussing the best in VR, hosted by Malia Probst. You can join us LIVE every Thursday @ 7PM PST/10 PM EST.
1. E3 + VR = <3
Major gaming industry players brought the noise to this year’s E3 conference. PlayStation VR’s release date is October 13, and it will be priced at a very accessible $399. The PSVR unit will work with the PlayStation 4 and Sony says they’ll have 50 games ready to go at launch. Want to do a demo? Starting on June 24th, PlayStation will offer PSVR demos at about 300 Best Buy and GameStop locations across the US and Canada.
Not to be outdone, Microsoft finally confirmed that the not-so-secret Project Scorpio (an excellent codename decision) is bringing high fidelity VR to Xbox. Starting price is $299 and it will launch in holiday season 2017.
Other huge gaming names like Capcom, Rocksteady Studios, Square Enix, and Bethesda are throwing big brands into virtual reality – Resident Evil, Batman Arkham, Final Fantasy, Fallout, and Doom all had moments of glory at the packed Los Angeles conference.
2. Real Work to be Done: Aecom and Hololens Team Up
Aecom, the American multinational engineering firm, is implementing augmented reality into their business with a pilot project using the Hololens in engineering and construction projects in London, Hong Kong, and Denver. The AR technology will enable engineers and architects to simultaneously share holographic models and collaborate together, as well as allow clients to explore their 3D projects in greater depth. This continues the interest in Microsoft’s Hololens from the enterprise space… and astronauts dig it, too.
3. Exclusivity Drama!
According to at least one developer, Oculus is throwing money at secret exclusivity deals to ensure that developing content will launch on Oculus before becoming available on the HTC Vive’s SteamVR store. Some flagship VR titles currently in development were initially announced to be compatible with both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive but have since pushed back the release date for only Vive. Adding fuel to the fire, Gabe Newell, the co-founder of Valve and current HTC Vive darling, made sure to clarify their position on the topic: “We don’t think exclusives are a good idea for customers or developer.” Vive vs. Rift now feels like an good, old-fashioned console war.
4. $12.56M in Funding and a Shiny New Name
VRSE, one of the most well-known companies in the VR space, has raised another round of funding with almost $13M and decided they need a new name. VRSE is behind some of the most famous VR content like The Displaced, Clouds Over Sidra, and Waves of Grace (which was produced with the United Nations, NBD). CEO Chris Milk explains that they want to avoid buzz words: “Tying our brand to [the words] virtual reality, a phrase we may not even use in ten years, seems inadvisable.” While “VRSE” seemed to be a challenge for some to pronounce, “Within” could be a challenge to Google.
5. Hollywood and Virtual Reality, Sitting in a Tree…
The mysterious augmented reality startup Magic Leap is teaming up with Disney’s Lucasfilm to create a Star Wars experience, and bring holograms from the galaxy far, far away into your home. Not to be outdone, Star Trek also just got the immersive treatment with a multiplayer experience called Star Trek: Bridge Crew. Another big Hollywood name is taking the virtual leap of faith as well: Michael Bay. Sophomoric storylines aside, the explosion aficionado is no doubt going to bring spectacular scenes for the senses.