The Persistence To Get A Free Update Next Week Adding Four New Game Modes

Developer Firesprite Games have revealed that their virtual reality (VR) title The Persistence will be getting a free update next week that will see a number of improvements and new features come to the title. These will address some of the feedback the team have gotten from players since launch, along with performance improvements, accessibility features and plenty more. All of it will also be releasing for free, which is even better.

The Persistence

To start, the update will bring four new game modes to the title that will expand on the campaign and survival mode that are already present. These four new modes will mix up the gameplay in interesting new ways such as the Glass Cannon mode, which sees the player needing to navigate 24 increasingly difficult rooms to reach an escape pod. They select a weapon at the start of each attempt which comes with infinite ammo. The catch is that the player only has one hit point and there are no health pickups to be found throughout the rooms. Every room holds a number of mutants that will attack as well and the whole mode is a race against the clock.

First Blood presents a stealth based challenge where the player must navigate through a large level with only a knife to fight off the enemies. The Campaign+ mode will see players start the campaign anew with all their gear and upgrades from their previous playthrough. This will be needed as enemies will be harder to beat and the player does not have their SuperSense ability and a Bloodhound pursues the player from the start. Finally, the new Permadeath mode challenges players to complete The Persistence with only one life.

The Persistence

Along with these new modes players will be able to enjoy a number of accessibility features which provide them with options to tailor the experience to fit their needs. This includes adjusting the game speed, damage, turning on infinite teleports and ammo, tagging enemies through walls and even an auto shield option. For those with hearing impairment the team are adding new on screen prompts to provide players with vital information to make the experience more enjoyable.

To celebrate the launch of the new update, which releases on October 18th, 2018 the team at Firesprite Games also revealed that The persistence will be going on sale during the Halloween period. This will see a 25% discount on the title with PlayStation Plus members getting an additional 10% off as well. Stay tuned for news one when the sale starts.

VRFocus’ Staff Writer Rebecca Hills-Duty reviewed The Persistence praising many elements of the title and saying: “Overall, The Persistence is a great sci-fi horror experience that cleverly uses VR to slowly ratchet up the tension and fear. While never entirely terrifying, it does still work well as horror, with just enough randomisation to keep you coming back for more.”

For more on The Persistence in the future, keep reading VRFocus for all the latest.

Allstate Launches AR Experience To Help Families Build A Fire Escape Plan

As part of National Fire Prevention Week, Allstate have released Escape Route, a new Allstate Mobile app feature that leverages augmented reality (AR) to help families create and practice fire escape plans. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments within the United States respond to a home fire every 90 seconds. Because of this, and the fact only one-third of American households have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan, action needed to be taken.

National Fire Protection Association

Allstate Mobile’s Escape Route is designed to help users create a plan to protect themselves and their families when a disaster strikes. By using the camera within a mobile device to add a virtual image to the real-world surroundings, users can get a sense of the danger without being in any real danger themselves. Users start by marking a starting point, trace a route and designate an exit point at least 50 feet away from their home. The app then overlays the route on users’ real-life surroundings and families can review and access this virtual plan at any given time.

“We constantly innovate and look at how new technologies can be applied to real-world problems,” said Allstate’s Director of Mobility Michael Antognoli, “Protecting our customers is our business, so we’re excited to share this new innovation using augmented reality to help families plan an emergency escape route using the Allstate Mobile app.”


The release of the new AR Escape Route features builds on Allstate’s commitment to customer safety and is the latest of the company’s fire safety initiatives. Families looking to learn more on how to keep their homes safe from fire can find plenty of useful information on the Allstate blog, which includes articles and videos on home safety, testing smoke detectors and choosing the right fire extinguishers.

Furthermore, Escape Route has been designed to be user-friendly, so kids and parents can create their virtual plan together and thanks to the included tips on fire safety and awareness, the experience is educational. The Escape Route feature within the Allstate Mobile app will be available to iOS device owners running iOS 11.3 and above. There is currently no word on an Android release as of yet.

For more on Allstate and all things AR in the future, keep reading VRFocus.

Insomniac Games Reveal Seedling For The Magic Leap One

Earlier this week at the Magic L.E.A.P conference developer Insomniac Games revealed a new mixed reality (MR) experience that is being created for the Magic Leap One. Going by the name of Seedling, players take on the role of Scout who must nurture, grow and customize an alien lifeforms – one that exists on your kitchen table or any flat surface you have available. As players grow and evolve these lifeforms they will be rewarded with for being diligent caretakers with plenty of surprises.


Seedling is described as being more of an experience than a traditional videogame and it represents the team at Insomniac Games thinking differently about their design approach. The title is the result of Insomniac Games asking, “How can we use MR to bring a bit of sparkle, a bit of wonder into the world around us.” and if the released images are anything to go by it really shows.

Magic Leap invited some of the team at Insomniac Games to visit their headquarters and see early prototypes of the Magic Leap One. Because of this the team witnessed an approach that would change how people interact with reality and the team saw this as an opportunity to design experience that they couldn’t of done before. To help make Seedling possible Magic Leap actively involved the team at Insomniac Games in the hardware development phase which allowed them to have an early understanding of what it was capable of and begin work early on.


“LEAP conference attendees were able to play a Seedling demo today, and their response to it was gratifying. Several folks were mystified and intrigued by our mini biome, taking great pleasure in helping the alien life flourish.” explains Seedling Creative Director, Nathaniel Bell.

The team also reveal that Seedling is not the only project they have in the works for the Magic Leap One, with the company looking forward to showing these other projects off in due course. In the coming weeks the team will also share more on Seedling and the experience that it will provide players with. VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on the title in the future, so stay tuned for more as it becomes available.

This Week In VR Sport: Ice Hockey, eSports Socials Spaces And Extreme Sports

Every weekend VRFocus brings you a number of sports and eSports related virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) stories as part of This Week In VR Sport. This week, Sense Arena is hoping to improve ice hockey training with a new VR solution, Sansar and Fnatic partner to bring eSports fans a VR hangout space, and extreme sports title Rush VR is making it’s way to PlayStation VR. 

Sense Arena
Image courtesy of Sense Arena

Sense Arena Brings VR To Ice Hockey Training

A new VR technology that aims to revolutionize ice hockey training has launched following a test earlier this year with the Boston Bruins and is being boosted by a minor investment from Burins’ right winger David Pastrňák.

As reported by sporttechie, The Czech Republic-based company, called Sense Arena, launched the earlier this week and has official partnerships with a number of organizations in its home country, including the Czech Ice Hockey Association, the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport of Charles University in Prague, and the professional hockey club White Tigers Liberec.

The platform provides users with access to more than 70 training drills which are all designed to help players improve their hockey skills, reaction times, cognitive ability, and many more by allowing them to quickly complete and redo the training thousands of times even when off the ice. The solution is using a HTC Vive headset along with specially-engineered hockey sticks with small sensors on them, a mobile computer kiosk, and four other sensors that are placed in the corners of a room to help the platform track all the action.

Sense Arena is hoping to not only provide current players and teams with a new training solution but also provide new players with an engaging way to speed up their learning. Thanks to the analytics and review side of things, it makes it easier for players to see what they are doing wrong and improve on those mistakes in no time. The end goal is to have the technology involved in some of the biggest hockey markets in the world, including the NHL.

As the technology continues to roll out and get adopted by more teams, VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest.

Fnatic's Meta Bunkr

Sansar And Fnatic Partner To Provide eSports Fans A Way To Meet Cyberathletes In VR

Esports organization Fnatic have announced that they will be collaborating with social VR firm Linden Lab’s Sansar so that fans can meet Fnatic eSport athletes in VR.

As reported by venturebeat earlier this week, Sansar is creating the social VR site Fnatic Meta Bunkr which will be a virtual fan hangout designed to enable deeper community engagement. The platform is free-to-access on both PC and VR and the space will provide Fnatic fans with a place to gather together and connect, host events and meetups, meet popular players and personalities, and earn rewards and prizes. Since founding in 2004, the eSports company has won thousands of tournaments across 20-plus games, the most of any organization, and its fan base numbers are in the tends of millions, according to the company, which need a place to connect.

“As a professional esports organisation, Fnatic continues to break the mould from a playing and fan perspective,” said Benoit Pagotto, marketing director at Fnatic: “Just last weekend we claimed our seventh European League Championship Series title in League of Legends, whilst this collaboration with Sansar is a sign of how we’re always looking to enhance the viewing experience we deliver to our growing community of fans worldwide. There’s no doubt that virtual reality within the world of esports is the future of the sport, so we’re incredibly excited to deliver an enhanced more engaging experience to our fans.”

This is not the first partnership that Sansar have set up for their social VR platform as in the past they have introduced it to the Overwatch eSports scene and Greenwall VR.

Rush VR

Experience The Ultimate Thrill As Rush VR Comes To PlayStation VR

Originally released onto the Oculus Rift earlier this year the team at The Binary Mill have revealed that their extreme sports title Rush VR is coming to PlayStation VR later this year. The title sees players put on a wing suit and take flight across snowy terrain in high speed races that see them descending down mountains avoiding cliff faces and trees while hitting the checkpoints.

It isn’t just snow that players will be flying pass as they will be traveling the world and experiencing the thrill of base jumping in rocky canyons, green forest and many more locations complete with a dynamic weather system and day/night cycles. With 90 tracks to master and a number of different game modes including Time Attack and Score Challenge players will need to get use to flying fast if they want to earn the biggest score and take home first place. If that wasn’t enough there are also online leaderboards that mean you can compete with your friends or go head-to-head in 12 player multiplayer matches.

There is no release date just yet for the PlayStation VR release of Rush VR but it is planned to be before the year is out. You can see the announcement trailer below and VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on the release in he future.

That is all for This Week In VR Sport. For more on immersive sport news keep reading VRFocus and remember to check back next week for another This Week In VR Sport.

Oculus Medium Announces Annual Pumpkin Sculpting Contest

As the month of October continues and we get closer to Halloween, the Oculus Medium team have announced that they are holding their annual pumpkin sculpting contest once again. This is a chance for users of the virtual reality (VR) sculpting application, Oculus Medium, to get creative and create their own pumpkin for a chance to win some prizes.

Oculus Medium Pumpkin

Revealed on the Oculus forum, the annual pumpkin sculpting contest is inviting people to create a pumpkin for one of the two categories. This can be a simple Jack-o-lantern carving or an advanced pumpkin object or scene, which must be made from using the base pumpkin sculpt which can be downloaded from the Medium Newsfeed here. The final submission must be three photos of the finished sculpt and/or a 20-second video that showcases off your creation.

There are a number of rules for the contest that must be followed in order to take part. This includes using the base pumpkin sculpt as a starting point for the finished product. All screenshots and videos must be taken within Oculus medium using the internal photo and video tools and submissions must be shared to a users Oculus Medium web gallery. There can only be one entry per participant and they must be 18 years of age or older and from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada (excluding Quebec), France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland or Japan. Of course, all submissions must be original designs.

Oculus Medium header

Once you have finished and submitted your entry it will be put up against the judges who will review entities and award points for a number of different reasons. 30 points will be awarded for the following criteria: Design creativity and uniqueness, interpretation and clarity of theme to the judges/viewers, and built as a standing object (can be 3D printed and imported into Oculus Home). 10 points will be awarded for presentation and the choice of using pictures or a video will not be counted against the submission or awarded points.

The deadline for submissions is October 15th, 2018 at 11:59pm PT and more information on the full contest rules and submission process can be found here. The winner of the contest will get to win a 3D printed prize from the Oculus Medium team but details on this have not been revealed yet. VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on Oculus Medium in the future so stay tuned for more.

TravelNevada’s 360-Degree Video Advert Campaign Has Been A Success

The Nevada state tourism board has announced that their TravelNevada’s 360-degree video advert campaign has scored high on engagement metrics. The campaign mantra of “Don’t Fence Me In”, which emphasizes the Nevada state of mind around adventure and exciting stories fits perfectly with the success of the campaign. The campaign gives users a complete 360-degree view of friends kayaking, hiking, and enjoying the adventure to be had in Nevada.


Compared to the standard media adverts in the travel sector, which typically have ~0.15% CTRs according to Google’s Rich Media Gallery benchmarks, the 360-degree video campaign saw a 1% CTR. Additionally, users spent on average 60 seconds with the content which shows that users were interested in the advert compared to other media.

In launching the campaign, TravelNevada and its agency Fahlgren Mortine were looking for a way to visually wow and excite travelers about all the outdoors activities and hidden gems Nevada has to offer while doing so in an engaging way. TravelNevada had to overcome steep competition from other outdoor and adventure travel destinations and was keen to find a way to differentiate itself and tell a uniquely Nevada story. This is what the board turned to 360-degree and virtual reality (VR) content.


The video provides users with the chance to actively explore the friends’ adventures like hiking, kayaking, and even enjoying a few drinks at popular local bars. By using the 360-degree format TravelNevada was able to put viewers right into the heart of the moment and immerse them within the emotions and fun while virtually transporting them into plenty of fun activities.

To create this content TravelNevada turned to OmniVirt, a VR and augmented reality (AR) advertising platform founded by former Google and YouTube employees. By taking the 360-degree content and then distributing across relevant properties including Expedia, Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Times, and more, OmniVirt was able to get the campaign into the hands of many.

Following the success of the current 360-degree campaign, TravelNevada plans to continue the campaign and add more proof to the power of 360-degree adverts. As this happens, VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest so stay tuned for more.

Magic Leap Announce Avatar Chat And Two-Controller Support At L.E.A.P Conference

During the recent Magic Leap developer conference entitled L.E.A.P, the company provided a look at the software roadmap of their mixed reality (MR) headset for the next half of the year. Within were a number of small announcements that will see a number of interest and helpful additions coming to the Magic Leap One. This includes a new avatar chat application along with improved controller options to name a few.

Magic Leap One Reveal

As reported by venturebeat, the new Avatar Chat application allows multiple users the chance to talk and interest with each other within a shared 3D space. It looks like it will be launching in three stages with the first being Remote Casting, where one user will be able to sit in a shared environment with another use. Both users will be represented with cartoon style avatars and they will be able to talk, move around the virtual space and share emojis. This experience will offer a more compelling way to communicate over a standard audio or video chat.

Sometime in the future following the initial release, Avatar Chat will allow up to three participants the chance to share the 3D space followed by the option to allow users to customize their avatar for a more personal experience. Having a chat application built directly into the software will be a big benefit to a number of users and allow them to interact with each other with ease and in a more human way.

Magic Leap One Lightwear 2

To help support this and in response to feedback, Magic Leap are planning to make a number of improvements over the next six months to their controls. In the first quarter of 2019, Magic Leap will add two-controller support to LuminOS along with support for six degree-of-freedom (6DoF) controller tracking coming to the platform in the future as well. These will improve the options users have to control their experiences with developers able to leverage the new features to build bigger and better projects.

Both the Avatar Chat application and the new improvements to the controls are part of Magic Leap’s plan to continue to support and develop their software to ensure users have the best experience possible. For all the latest on Magic Leap in the future, keep reading VRFocus.

New Study From Intel Finds 5G Networks Will Drive $1.3 Trillion In Revenues By 2028

According to a newly release report commissioned by Intel and conducted by Ovum, it is forecast that over the next decade media and entertainment companies will be competing to win a share of a near $3 trillion (USD) cumulative wireless revenue opportunity. Those experiences that leverage 5G wireless networks will account for nearly half of this revenue opportunity as the future for the technology seem bright.

Intel 5G Study

The report, titled “5G Economics of Entertainment Report”, says that by the year 2025 that 57 percent of global wireless media revenues will be generated by using the super-high-bandwidth capabilities of 5G networks and the devices that use it. Thanks to the low latency of these networks, users will not have to worry about videos stopping or stalling during playback with livestreaming and larger downloads happening more effective and in the blink of an eye.

“5G will inevitably shake up the media and entertainment landscape. It will be a major competitive asset if companies adapt. If not, they risk failure or even extinction.” Explains Jonathan Wood, general manager of Business Development & Partnerships, 5G Next Generation and Standards at Intel. “This wave of 5G transformation will not be the purview of any singular industry, and now is certainly the time for all business decision-makers to ask: Is your business 5G-ready?”

One of the main focus points for the report is the revenue that will be generated as 5G networks overtake 3G and 4G networks by offering new capabilities. According to the report, by the year 202 nearly 20 percent of total revenues will be from 5G, which is around $47 billion of $253 billion. By the year 2028 it will be an impressive 80 percent of total revenues making it $335 billion of $420 billion.

5G Smartphone Devices

The report also forecasts that 5G networks wil accelerate content consumption, including mobile media, mobile advertising, home broadband and TV, along with improving experiences across a broad range of new immersive and interactive technologies. This will mean that the full potential of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and new media will be unlocked thanks to the capabilities of 5G networks along with the possibility of wireless experiences.

“The big question is: What will not be impacted or disrupted by 5G? The next generation wireless network will power diverse digital innovation – everything from the computerization of physical objects to artificial intelligence, ushering in an exciting new world that business leaders and indeed nations need to prepare for,” said Ed Barton, chief analyst of the Entertainment Practice, Ovum.

For more on 5G networks and how they will benefit all things AR and VR in the future, keep reading VRFocus.

Astro Bot Rescue Mission Is The Highest Rated VR Videogame Of All Time

One of the most highly anticipated virtual reality (VR) titles to come to the PlayStation VR was none other than Astro Bot Rescue Mission. Developed by Sony Japan Studio the title has been on many peoples radars for sometime and now following its release it seems that it has been somewhat of a success, as it now stands as the highest rated VR videogame of all time.

Astro Bot: Rescue Mission

As reported by gamingboltAstro Bot Rescue Mission is doing surprisingly well on a number of different aggregator websites. This includes Opencritic where the title has a rating of 89 and is one of the highest rated titles of the year. On top of that the aggregator VR Game Critic has the score for the title at 91 making it the highest rated VR videogame on their record. If that was not enough than Metacritic, one of the more popular aggregator sites, sees the title again standing as the highest rated VR videogame of all time with a score of 90 and a user score of 9.0 from over 200 ratings.

These numbers go to show just how magical the title is and how much of a success the launch as been. Though there is no information available at this time regarding sale numbers, it is clear that it has done well with those playing it regardless of how many that might be.

Astro Bot Rescue Mission - Screenshot (E3 2018)

VRFocus’ Staff Writer Rebecca Hills-Duty reviewed Astro Bot Rescue Mission giving it plenty of praise and saying: “While Astro Bot Rescue Mission isn’t quite as charming as Moss, or as superbly crafted as Mario Odyssey, it is a great old-school platformer for the VR era, bringing some of the best features of both 2D and 3D platformers of old and incorporating VR in a way that doesn’t feel awkward. This is a fun, lighthearted way to spend some time in VR, and worth checking out.”

If that was not enough, the title has also been confirmed to have a demo coming soon as well which will give players who have yet to try it out a chance to experience the adventure for themselves. Though only a small taste of the full journey, starting on October 16th PlayStation VR owners can download the free demo and joy the fun.

VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on Astro Bot Rescue Mission in the future so make sure to stay tuned for more.

See The Hacker And Thief Action Of Covert In New Hands-On Gameplay

During the recent Oculus Connect 5 event indie developer White Elk Studios announced a new virtual reality (VR) videogame that offers asymmetrical gameplay by the name of Covert. This title sees two players have to work together to pull off heist with one of the team being a thief in VR with the other playing the role of the hacker who assists their team member via a smartphone or tablet. During the event VRFocus’ own Nina Salomons and Kevin Joyce were able to get hands-on with the title and see how the asymmetrical gameplay held up.

The video footage showcases the gameplay of the hacker player which takes place on the mobile device. The players in VR is shown on the map with the camera following them ensuring that the hacker is always able to keep track of their movements. Because each player has different information available to them, they need to work together and communicate carefully in order to successful complete a heist.

As shown in the below video, the hacker is able to disable elements such as lasers and lights in the environment which allow the thief player to move on. When it comes to get around guards however, a bit of team work is needed. The hacker can point out objects and areas that are of help to the thief who can then interest with them to distract the guards. Likewise, the hacker can see a guards field-of-view where as the thief cannot. By double tapping on the screen the hacker can place a marker within the environment to help product additional information and situational awareness.

Other gameplay elements, which can be seen later on in the video, see the thief player needing to interact with a keypad to read off some information to the hacker who is then able to cross check the information and provide the correct code to allow them to get in. The same can be seen when they are breaking into the vault in which the two players need to work together in order to crack the code and score the loot.

Covert is set to launch on Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR later this year along with the mobile device counterpart releasing at the same time. You can see the full hands-on video below and for all the latest on all things VR in the future, keep reading VRFocus.