VR Awards Group Launching VR/AR Innovation Center In UK

AIXR, the group behind the annual VR Awards and other initiatives, this week announced the launch of a new Centre for Immersive Innovation in the UK.

Set to open in early 2024, the centre will be located in Colchester and will provide access to a range of tools and resources for VR and AR. Those include a mixed reality capture studio and what a press release describes as “dedicated haptic zones” as well as educational events and training.

AIXR Centre 2

There will also be co-working and office spaces along with a function space.

Currently AIXR is looking for early adopters for the space, and you can find out more by filling in a fact sheet at an official website here.

Elsewhere, nominations are still open for this year’s VR Awards, running until July 8. This year’s ceremony will return to an in-person event on November 3.

Meta Finally Adds Quest Video Record Settings (For Developers)

The Meta Quest (formerly Oculus Quest) finally has video record settings.

Well, it does for developers at least.

A new update to the Oculus Developer Hub, first spotted by Heartlands developer Robert Aldridge, enables a range of video recording settings. Perhaps most importantly, the settings let you change the resolution, frame rate and aspect ratio for your recording, letting you pick a 16:9 window recording at up to 4K at 60fps.

You can even change the recording to include stereoscopic capture or change the bitrate to tweak the quality of the capture based on your needs.

We gave the new features a try in-headset. Changing the aspect ratio gives you a permanent black border showcasing exactly what will be captured in your recording. It’s an incredibly useful feature for those trying to capture Quest gameplay for videos and trailers, though in our experiments with Mothergunship: Forge, performance took a hit with the game loading into new areas slower.

Given the recording options also cut out large sections of your view, the standard on-device recording is still the best option for capturing the entire world around you.

Of course, you have to have an Oculus Developer account to actually access the Developer Hub, so there’s no way to change these settings for usual Quest 2 users right now. We’ve asked Meta if it plans to bring these features to standard Quest accounts too. For now, you can change recording settings using features on SideQuest if you allow access from unknown sources to your device.

Would you like to see more recording options come to Quest 2? Let us know in the comments below!

Phantom: Covert Ops Sequel Isn’t In Development Right Now

nDreams currently isn’t working on a sequel to its popular stealth shooter, Phantom: Covert Ops.

The studio confirmed as much in a recent Reddit post celebrating the game’s second birthday. “We’re not currently working on a sequel, but we have a lot of games in active development,” the studio said in reply to one commenter.

Phantom: Covert Ops Sequel Not In Development

This perhaps isn’t a big surprise given that nDreams does indeed have a lot of other games in the works right now. Last year it launched another FPS, Fracked, on PSVR and that came to PC a few months back. Its next big project is a Ghostbusters VR game for Quest 2 and PSVR 2, and it also runs a publishing arm that’s behind Little Cities and the upcoming Sushi Ben, too.

Still, we do hope to see nDreams return to the series at some point in the future. Phantom featured smart VR design, placing users in a kayak and tasking them with paddling through an enemy base, taking down targets in silence. We thought it was a great example of how to keep VR action immersive.

With that said, nDreams does now have three studios working on internal projects. Alongside its base team there’s another also working on AAA VR titles and one more exploring the live service market. With all these resources, we remain hopeful that we’ll see a sequel to the game at some point.

Would you want to see a Phantom: Covert Ops sequel? What would it look like? Let us know in the comments below!

Pokemon Go Dev Is Now Making An NBA AR Game

The next project from Pokemon Go developer Niantic is an NBA AR game.

NBA All-World is currently in development for mobile AR and looks very similar to the studio’s past projects. You’ll head out into the real world to find basketball courts dotted on a virtual map (which, to be clear, are random locations, not real-world courts). From there you’ll meet players to engage in 1 v 1 matches. Check out a teaser trailer below.

NBA All-World AR Game Announced

Master the game and you can top local leaderboards, plus there are players to collect by beating them in matches. For now, the game’s expected to roll out on both iOS and Android in the coming NBA season.

There’s plenty more on the way from Niantic right now, including the company’s own IP, an AR pets game called Peridot. The company also recently launched a visual positioning system for ‘Global Scale’ AR experiences. Further down the line, though, the company’s teased possible AR hardware that could bring its apps to a new level.

The NBA, meanwhile, has been heavily involved with immersive technologies of late. Back in May, the company teamed up with Meta to launch a new experience within Horizon Worlds, too.

Are you interested in NBA All-World? Let us know in the comments below!

Kayak VR Reveals Stunning Beach Environment, Delayed To July

As you may have noticed the visually-stunning Kayak VR: Mirage didn’t make its projected release date yesterday.

But it should be here very soon.

The game is now due to arrive on July 12 and will cost $19.50 on Steam. To help with the wait, developer Better Than Life just revealed the fourth environment for the game, inspired by Costa Rica. Check out some gameplay in the clip below.

New Kayak VR Level Revealed

This environment looks to be an absolute paradise with golden beaches and lush jungles. You can spot new types of underwater life skirting around you, too. It joins other environments like a canyon area and arctic exploration.

We tried out Kayak VR a few months back. It’s certainly a visually arresting experience, but its focus on physical, realistic gameplay is a real highlight too, with races that require you to learn how a kayak really moves to master. There’s also an exploration mode for people that simply want to take in the views.

Will you be picking up Kayak VR: Mirage in a few weeks? Let us know in the comments below!

VR Music Maker PatchWorld Headed To Quest Next Week

Another VR music maker is headed to Quest. This time it’s PatchWorld from patchXR.

A store listing for the app appeared this week, confirming it will launch on July 7. Check out a trailer for the game below.

PatchWorld Coming To Quest

PatchWorld offers up a library of tools and instruments to make music with. You’ll design your own avatar and then use unique interfaces to create your own sounds.

patchXR says you’ll be able to share creations online via a PatchWorld platform. In fact you can already view some experiences made in the app over on an official website. Later down the line, multiplayer support too. The platform is also expected to release on PC VR headsets.

The concept looks very similar to other VR apps like Electronauts and Virtuoso, both of which are also available on Quest. Will you be checking out PatchWorld on Quest and/or PC? Let us know in the comments below!

Ruinsmagus Release Date Confirmed: VR Dungeon Crawler Coming In July

Upcoming VR dungeon crawler, Ruinsmagus, finally has a release date.

The gorgeous RPG experience launches on Quest on July 7 and is now listed in the Coming Soon section of the Quest store. The game is also coming to PC on the same day even if Steam listing for the game doesn’t hold a release date just yet. You can, however, download a free demo of the game on the platform. Check out a trailer for the game below.

Ruinsmagus Release Date Confirmed

Ruinsmagus casts players as a member of the titular guild and sends them out into the ancient ruins that reside next to a small settlement. Across a full campaign you use magical abilities to battle your way through the dungeons, earning rewards and upgrading your character. Along the way, you’ll make friends with people in the camp and visit new areas to unlock more exploration options, too.

We got an early look at the game in May and were surprised to see just how much depth the experience offered. Alongside the gorgeous anime visuals, the game serves up a great control scheme and smart combat encounters that take the mechanics of VR into consideration. With developer CharacterBank promising over 25 missions in the full game, we’ll be interested to see how the campaign progresses over time.

Currently there’s no word on a possible PSVR or PSVR 2 release for the title, but we’ll keep you up to date on that. For now, you can follow updates on the game at the developer’s Discord. Will you be picking up Ruinsmagus next week? Let us know in the comments below!

PSVR 2’s Horizon Call Of The Mountain Features ‘Multiple Paths’

Upcoming PSVR 2 exclusive Horizon Call of the Mountain will feature “multiple paths” for players to pursue.

An updated webpage for the game — as mentioned by PSVR Without Parole — confirms as much. The description for the game notes that players will “Explore a diverse landscape – embark on a journey with multiple paths to take where you’ll have to look all around you to uncover the secrets of the mountains.”

New Horizon Call of the Mountain Details Revealed

This suggests that Call of the Mountain won’t feature a huge open-world like the flatscreen games it’s based on. That said, we were never really expecting for this new game to be on the same scale as its siblings, and this page does at least confirm the game won’t be fully linear.

A GIF for the game also shows protagonist Ryas defending himself from one enemy with another in the background. There had been speculation from past trailers that you might only take on one machine at a time but this suggests otherwise.

Call of the Mountain is also expected to feature an introductory boat ride experience for new players. Currently, the game doesn’t have a release date but, then again, we don’t even know when PSVR 2 itself is going to launch right now.

VR Dungeon Crawler Legendary Tales Getting Massive New World Soon

Co-op VR dungeon crawler, Legendary Tales, is getting a huge new world as part of an early access update soon.

The New World update was announced this week and intends to swap out the current starting hub for an area roughly 70 times larger. You’ll still be able to meet up with friends and visit various NPCs, but you’ll also have separate starting points for different dungeons and find much more to explore out in the world itself. Check out a trailer for the update below.

On a different note, the developer says that it’s looking into different dungeon themes to add to the game soon. Plus it hopes to launch randomized dungeons but can’t commit to that just yet.

We’ll also see full quests introduced in the future. These include mainline story missions and side objectives that help unlock new rewards. Weapon crafting is also coming to the game.

Smaller updates, meanwhile, include a new quick slot, changes to the skill tree, titles and new monster types.

There’s no final release date for this update yet, but Urban Wolf does say it’ll be out later this year. We already think Legendary Tales offers a lot of fun in co-op with its physics-driven action, so we’ll be excited to see if these new additions bring a lot to the game.

For now, Legendary Tales remains on Steam. No word on a possible Quest version yet.

Thief Simulator VR Headed To Quest Soon

VR stealth game Thief Simulator VR is coming to Meta Quest (formerly Oculus Quest) soon.

A port of the game has appeared in the Coming Soon section of the Quest store and is named Thief Simulator VR – Greenview Street. Check out a trailer for the experience at this link.

Thief Simulator VR Confirmed For Quest

Thief Simulator is focused on non-violent stealth. You break into buildings using a variety of skills like lockpicking or just straight up smashing in doors and windows. You’ll be able to bag items and make a hasty escape, but the game doesn’t feature any form of combat; get spotted by the cops and it’s game over.

To help you on your way you’ll have character progression with a skill tree and new equipment to unlock. Levels are intended to be wide and open so that you can take multiple paths to your objective, too.

Over on developer 3R Games’ website the studio explains that Greenview Street will feature a lot of optimizations to bring the game to Quest, including foveated rendering and changes to car AI and weather. What’s not clear, however, is if the new title means the game will differ in actual content. We have seen titles like Blade & Sorcery: Nomad or Green Hell VR offer streamlined versions of the PC VR original in the past, for example.

Currently, there’s no release date for this version of the game. Would you want to experience Thief Simulator VR on Quest? Let us know in the comments below!