‘The Last Clockwinder’ Review – So Much More Than Just Robots Picking Fruit

The Last Clockwinder is casual puzzle game that tasks you with building moving contraptions out of your own clones. While constructing complex factories essentially populated by just yourself is good fun, the game also excels in delivering a world that feels alive, which isn’t an easy task when you’re basically (ok, not exactly) in one room the entire game with a bunch of automatons picking fruit and pumping levers. Thanks to its seemingly Studio Ghibli-inspired setting and series of audio logs which tie it all together with a heartfelt story, The Last Clockwinder makes for a charming little adventure that may just pull a heartstring or two.

The Last Clockwinder Details:

Available On: Quest, SteamVR
Release Date: June 2nd, 2022
Price: $TBD
Developer: Pontoco
Publisher: Cyan Ventures
Reviewed On: Quest 2

Gameplay

Humans have become a multiplanetary species, but even with our space ships and fun steampunk-style gadgetry, someone has to watch over the ancient clocktower built into the trunk of a colossal tree growing on a watery planet. The massive water pump inside is broken, and if you don’t fix it the universe could lose an irreplaceable landmark from centuries past as the tree becomes increasingly waterlogged and the rare plant life inside could perish. The tree-bound clocktower and the fate of its caretaker is a mystery worth unraveling, so I won’t say anymore for the sake of spoilers.

Entering the tower from its balcony, you find a pair of gloves that let you record your actions and loop them so you can complete more complex tasks. Creating an automaton is pretty effortless: a button press on your left controller lets you start recording your movements for a set amount of time—a duration of one, two, or four cycles—and another button lets you delete any bot you deem unworthy. I found it best to mimic each action first and work through the chain of events before committing to recording and setting the bots in motion. That said, you’ll still find yourself spawning and killing a lot of bots as you inevitably biff a critical throw or mess up timing on a catch.

Image courtesy Pontoco

There’s likely an effective limit to how many robots you can spawn, but that’s not really the focus. If you’re like me, you’ll obsess over recording perfect automaton behavior, like slicing a fruit from its base, handing the fruit and knife simultaneously to two different robots, and letting them do their chain of events. There’s a lot of satisfaction there when you can get those complex bits to come together just in the nick of time.

Ultimately the aim is to feed machines with the auto-generating fruit you find hanging off plants discovered throughout the game, and all of them have their own unique characteristics. A bomb fruit explodes if you hold it in your hand for too long, making it a game of hot potato. A squash-thing (whatever it’s called) needs to be cut from its base to be released and—you guessed it—there’s only one knife to go around. A Luftapple floats into the air like a balloon, so you have to knock it about and guide it into its receptacle, or it will fly off with a mind of its own. Here’s a good visual of how you might juice the game’s starter fruit:

I call The Last Clockwinder a ‘casual’ puzzler because the speed of production is up to you. The assembly line can be simple and slow, or increasingly Rube Goldberg-ian to max out the amount of fruit you can process. As puzzles become more complex, you’ll certainly be tempted to keep it simple though since setting up an entire chain of events can help you increase production, or make you pull your hair out trying to get just the right arch as you pitch a fruit halfway across the room. Interspersed throughout the fruit-gathering sections, which make up a bulk of the game, are a few one-off puzzles that present what I’d consider a medium difficulty level.

Optimizing your ad hoc factory for the fastest possible processing speed is an optional part of the game, since you can get by with just waiting for your tally of each of the fruits to go up at a slower speed provided you don’t mind bebopping around. You’ll need each of those fruits in abundance to unlock areas on the globe-shaped map, which lets up call up and plug in room-sized platforms held within the tree itself.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s not too casual of a puzzler. Near the end, which took me around four hours to reach, there are some genuinely complex puzzles to navigate. Really reaching for max efficiency on each room puzzle will no doubt add extra value to your gameplay session, provided you like to get into the nitty gritty of streamlining systems. Eg. have a robot cut a squash, toss a knife, and deposit the squash from half court. But again, you can always get by with the bare minimum.

And while you could play the game ‘easy’, it doesn’t treat you like you can’t follow basic instructions. One of my pet peeves is being led by the hand to solutions and ‘helpful’ voices over your shoulder, but thankfully the game doesn’t over tutorialize or butt in when it isn’t wanted. Voice overs are almost purely focused on delivering narrative, leaving you to ask for hints when needed via a single mechanism that gives you push in the right direction. You can take it or leave it, and I like that.

I also never felt like there was a down moment in The Last Clockwinder. Most rooms (not all) present a different puzzle, fruit, or fruit product to navigate, so the variability of tasks is pretty high. And those tasks build upon each other naturally until you get to the most complex machine near the end of the game which requires you to put all of your knowledge together in a satisfying way, making you feel like you’ve learned something and effectively used that skill to good effect.

Immersion

There’s no arguing that the world of The Last Clockwinder is small; it’s a multi-purpose room in a tree that you never leave. But it’s also such a cozy and familiar environment that I don’t think I would want to even if I could. It’s like the cool treehouse hangout I always wanted as a kid, but way more sci-fi and steampunkish than I ever could have imagined. I definitely left with the feeling of wanting more: a broader outdoor vista, better object interaction, and more narrative byways to get lost in, like books and messages that help fill out the story, if only to soak in all of the game’s expertly-crafted atmosphere.

That’s a wishlist, I know, but if I could really have one thing it would be better object interaction, or at least a better expectation of object interaction. I see tomes in front of me I want to read, chairs I want to sit in, and things I wish I could (pretend to) eat, yet the only interactive elements are the fruit and the machines themselves, leaving all of those painstakingly built set pieces a little more transient and less solid than they ought to be. That’s not such a damning thing when a good game is behind it all, although it’s just a shame I can’t inhabit more of The Last Clockwinder. That’s how beautiful and inviting the game feels.

Image courtesy Pontoco

Outside of impeccable visual detail, the game also includes high quality voice acting which is delivered via balcony-based comm system and tape recorders littered throughout the many rooms. Those narrative bits are numerous and triggered at key points in the game, but well worth your time as the mystery of who you are (or were) unfolds.

Another high point is sound design. The game’s piano-heavy soundtrack is warm and rich, underlining the cozy and homey feel of it all. To top it off, the game even challenges you to play the main tune, if only to wring some more fun out of the game’s looping mechanic. I could play the piano (keys are actually large enough to use) and the harp for a good while.

In the end, it certainly feels like the game’s developers, Pontoco, have taken strong inspiration from the likes of Studio Ghibli. That’s an ambitious target to shoot for, but I think they’ve built something that recalls so much of that quiet and honest home-spun charm whilst being distinct enough on its own that it doesn’t make the same mistake that many games do when aping such an iconic visual style.

Comfort

This may come as a shock in this day and age, but this is a teleport-only game which consequently also makes it one of the most comfortable of VR games out there.

You spend a good amount of time moving about back and forth to the same places, so it does save you a bit of time moving from point A to point B, although this does come at the cost of immersion. You can also snap-turn if you like playing seated, although this sort of game begs for room-scale interactions. There’s no artificial locomotion to speak out outside of those methods, since you’re essentially staying in a single room the entire time.

The Last Clockwinder – June 2nd, 2022

Turning
Artificial turning ✔
Smooth-turn ✖
Snap-turn ✔
Adjustable increments ✖
Movement
Artificial movement ✔
Smooth-move ✖
Teleport-move ✔
Blinders ✖
Swappable movement hand ✔
Posture
Standing mode ✔
Seated mode ✔
Artificial crouch ✖
Real crouch ✔
Accessibility
Subtitles ✔
Languages English
Alternate audio ✖
Languages English
Adjustable difficulty ✖
Two hands required ✔
Real crouch required ✖
Hearing required ✖
Adjustable player height ✖

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Lynx Secures $4M in Series A Funding, Aims to Become “European Champion of Mixed Reality”

Lynx, the French XR hardware startup known for crowdfunding the Lynx R-1 mixed reality headset, today announced it’s secured $4 million in its Series A round, led by social VR platform Somnium Space.

Alongside Somnium Space, participants in the latest funding round also include what Lynx calls early supporters of the company and “other investors involved in the AR/VR field such as ex-Meta and Google engineers.”

This brings the company’s total outside funding to $6.8 million, according to Crunchbase data, following the R-1 headset’s $800,000 Kickstarter campaign back in late 2021 and a seed round of $2 million in early 2019.  As a part of the deal Artur Sychov, founder & CEO of Somnium Space, is joining the company’s board of directors.

Built on Qualcomm’s XR2 chipset, Lynx R-1 combines high quality cameras and virtual reality displays to achieve passthrough AR in addition to standard VR (aka, mixed reality), making it an early pioneer of the category. The headset also ditches the standard Fresnel lenses for a novel optic called a “four-fold catadioptric freeform prism,” which is said to slim down the size of Lynx R-1 seemingly beyond what current Fresnels can do.

“At Somnium Space we truly believe in the future of open and decentralized Metaverse which empowers its users. This includes, not only software, but also very importantly hardware,” says Artur Sychov, Founder & CEO of Somnium Space. “The Lynx team led by Stan has created an extraordinary AR / VR device (Lynx-r) with openness in mind which will change and revolutionize the way we all think and interact with this market category. I am very happy to support this company and believe that together we will push the boundaries and potential of the VR/AR industry forward.”

Founded in 2019, Lynx has high ambitions for its R-1 headset too. Priced at $600 for its consumer version, the company is looking to lead the way into the same product category that many established players are soon to enter, including Meta with Project Cambria and Apple with its rumored headset, reportedly code named N301.

“We have this opportunity right here to create the European Champion of Mixed Reality with our work at Lynx, supported by a vibrant community of users and developers desperate to see alternatives to Big Tech companies products and their closed ecosystems.” says Stan Larroque, founder and CEO of Lynx. “What’s the point of creating a European Metaverse if the underlying platform, the door we use to access it, remains in the hands of the same big players with their damaging business models?” he adds.

Since finalizing the design of Lynx R-1, the company has also completed an office expansion in Paris, now at more 200 square meters of R&D, and established a new office in Taiwan.

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Magic Leap is Selling Its First AR Headset for Just $550

It looks like Magic Leap is holding a barn burner of a sale on its first AR headset, Magic Leap 1, as the one-time $2,300 device can now be had for $550.

As first reported by GMW3, Magic Leap appears to be flushing excess stock of the 2018-era AR headset via the Amazon-owned online retailer Woot. 

The listing (find it here) is for a brand new Magic Leap 1, including the headset’s hip-worn compute unit and single controller. The sale is happening from now until June 1st, and features a three-unit limit per customer. Amazon US Prime members qualify for free shipping, which ought to arrive to those of you in the lower 48 in early June.

If you’re tempted, there’s a few things you should know before hitting the ‘buy now’ button. Users should be warned that since Magic Leap pivoted to service only enterprise users, that its Magic Leap World online app store isn’t likely to see any new apps outside of the handful that were released between 2018-2020.

Image courtesy Magic Leapgic leap

Still, there are a mix of apps such as Spotify or room-scale shooter Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders which might be better suited as tech demos, giving prospective augmented reality devs a sense of what you might create for a bona fide AR headset, ostensibly in preparation for what devices may come—we’re looking at Apple, Google, and Meta in the near future for mixed reality headsets capable of both VR and passthrough AR.

Launched in 2018, Magic Leap straddled an uneasy rift between enterprise and prosumers with ML 1 (known then as ‘ML One’). Reception by consumers for its $2,300 AR headset was lukewarm, and messaging didn’t seem focused enough to give either developers or consumers hope that a more accessible bit of ML hardware was yet to come. Then in mid 2020, company founder and CEO Rony Abovitz stepped down, giving way to former Microsoft exec Peggy Johnson to take the reigns, who has thus far positioned the company to solely target enterprise with its latest Magic Leap 2 headset.

Here’s the full spec sheet below:

CPU & GPU

NVIDIA® Parker SOC
CPU: 2 Denver 2.0 64-bit cores + 4 ARM Cortex A57 64-bit cores (2 A57’s and 1 Denver accessible to applications)
GPU: NVIDIA Pascal™, 256 CUDA cores
Graphic APIs: OpenGL 4.5, Vulkan, OpenGL ES 3.1+AEP

RAM: 8 GB

Storage Capacity: 128 GB (actual available storage capacity 95 GB)

Power
Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Up to 3.5 hours continuous use. Battery life can vary based on use cases. Power level will be sustained when connected to an AC outlet. 45-watt USB-C Power Delivery (PD) charger

Audio Input
Voice (speech to text) + real world audio (ambient)

Audio Output
Onboard speakers and 3.5mm jack with audio spatialization processing

Connectivity
Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi 802.11ac/b/g/n, USB-C

Haptics: LRA Haptic Device

Tracking: 6DoF (position and orientation)

Touchpad: Touch sensitive

LEDs: 12-LED (RGB) ring with diffuser

Power: Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Up to 7.5 hours continuous use. 15-watt USB-C charger

Other Inputs
8-bit resolution Trigger Button
Digital Bumper Button
Digital Home Button

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VR Roguelike ‘OUTLIER’ Cancelled Due to “overestimated demand”

Joy Way, the studio behind VR titles Stride and Against, announced it’s abandoning development on its most recent PC VR title, Outlier, which hit early access on Steam in March.

The studio released a statement on Friday detailing the decision to remove Outlier from sale on Steam.

Joy Way advises users to either refund the game or keep it in their library with the knowledge that there will be no new development going on. Here’s the full statement below:

Dear players,

In the spirit of transparency, we wanted to share that we’ve made the difficult decision to stop our new development work on OUTLIER.

Our plans for this project were ambitious, but unfortunately we overestimated the demand for this game. And underestimated the complexity of the roguelike genre. After the launch, we realized that the effort to implement our initial vision of this game would be too big compared to the relatively small audience we were targeting.

According to our calculations, we would have to involve a significant part of the developement team to work on this project over the next 8-12 months with a low probability that the project will ever achieve at least financial self-sufficiency.

The lesson has been learned, and we will reallocate human and financial resources to our other projects – STRIDE and AGAINST, in order to release updates for these games more often.

The title will shortly be removed from sale on Steam. Given that OUTLIER will no longer receive any updates, feel free to refund it. You can also contact Steam support if you need help with this. If you enjoyed the game, you can still play it, OUTLIER will remain in your library.

If you need any help from our side, please email us at community@joyway.games.

We treasure the help of dedicated players who helped us playtest the game and left detailed feedback, your impact was really valuable during the course of development. Your efforts and more than a year of hard work by our developers: all best practices from OUTLIER will find their application in our other existing games.

Thank you for giving the game a chance, and we hope you had some fun :)

Best,
Joy Way Team

Outlier was a bit of a mixed bag when it launched on Steam Early Access. The single-player game borrows a good amount of locomotion mechanics from Stride, the studio’s 2020 “parkour-shooter” game that has users executing highflying jumps and dodges whilst blasting away with various guns. On top of its battle-rested VR mechanics, Outlier also promised five VR-centric weapons, elemental powers, and 50+ upgrades and modifiers to keep players coming back for more of its procedurally-generated levels set on an alien world.

Joy Way intended to use its time on PC VR to work out issues before eventually releasing a version for Quest, which was initially planned to release sometime in 2022. Since its Early Access launch, the game has received ‘Mixed’ user ratings, with around 60 percent of overall users rating the game as ‘Positive’, which seems to have dampened a favorable outlook for its jump to Quest.

To date, all of the studio’s VR games on Steam are still in Early Access, including Time HackerStride, and its latest rhythm-combat title AgainstStride is however the studio’s first (and only) to make it to the official Quest Store.

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Sense Arena Secures $3M to Expand Ice Hockey VR Training Tools, Add New Sports

VR ice hockey training company Sense Arena announced that it’s closed a $3 million investment round, something the startup says will be used to support continued development on its ice hockey training platform as well as expand to new sports.

The funding round was led by J&T Ventures, and includes previous backers Miton and SYNER. According to Crunchbase, this brings the company’s overall outside investment to just over $5 million.

Founded in 2017, the Prague-based company has already become the official VR training provider for a number of NHL teams, including the Arizona Coyotes, Las Vegas Golden Knights, Los Angeles Kings, and New Jersey Devils. Sense Arena counts 30 professional hockey teams, and nine NCAA programs (including Harvard, Northeastern, and Quinnipiac) and 40 individual NHL players and youth hockey organizations from around the world.

The company says its platform, which launched in 2018, is engineered to “enhance read-and-react skills and cognitive performance for both skaters and goalies” in combination with Meta Quest and standard hockey equipment. Sense Arena says it provides performance feedback and recommendations, allowing athletes to make adjustments and advancements in real time.

Check out a short explanation of what a coaching session looks like with some in-app footage, presented by Brian Daccord, Sense Arena’s Director of Goaltending Development and former NHL goaltending coach and scout.

“Some of the top hockey players currently training with Sense Arena include Philipp Grubauer of the Seattle Kraken, Dawson Mercer of the New Jersey Devils, and Northeastern University’s Devon Levi, who earned the 2022 Mike Richter Award given to the top goaltender in NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey,” the company says in a press statement.

“Sense Arena has developed cutting-edge virtual reality training to help athletes maximize their potential and we feel supremely confident in Bob’s vision for the future of sports training,” said Martin Kešner, co-founder of J&T Ventures. “We believe that Sense Arena has only scratched the surface of its potential. We are excited to help them elevate their technology and increase its application around the sports world.”

To date, the company has shipped over 2,500 installations of Sense Arena across 40 countries. You can check out the range of gear and requirements over at the Sense Arena Store for more.

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Team-based Combat Game ‘World of Mechs’ Coming Exclusively to Quest 2 May 26th

A new squad-based online battle game called World of Mechs is coming exclusively to Meta Quest 2 on May 26th, and it’s promising a bevy of mechs to pilot.

Developed by Studio 369 and funded by Meta’s Grant Program, World of Mechs lets you choose from 32 different mechs for online team battles that pits you against teams of four. The game is also said to include five maps, four multiplayer modes, and a 20-mission single player campaign.

The developers say the game will include missiles, jump jets, radar jammers, landmines, and the ability to physically ram other players. Check out a quick peek at some of the gameplay below:

World of Mechs delivers the feeling of thrashing across city blocks in a 10-ton robotic steel gladiator while launching a salvo of barrage missiles on the opposition,” says Studio 369. “Feel the adrenaline rush of leading a flanking charge with weapons ablaze and jump-jets engaged. Blast off into the single-player campaign to take down menacing bosses, walk away with their mechs, and become the world’s most-feared ace pilot.”

Studio 369 is made up of industry veterans previously from Activision, Epic Games, Paramount Pictures, Skybound, and Sony. Prior to founding the studio its members worked on a host of games including Fortnite, H1Z1, The Walking Dead, Star Trek, and Gears of War 3.

Besides World of Mechs, the studio is also currently developing a blockchain-based play-to-earn MMO for flatscreen PC and mobile called MetalCore, and a unnamed “AAA” game for PS5, Xbox and PC.

World of Mechs is set to launch on Meta Quest 2 on May 26th, priced at $20. You can wishlist the game here on the Oculus Store. And in case you missed it, here’s the reveal trailer which was published late last year:

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Report Details Apple MR Headset Design Challenges & Internal Hurdles

Apple is a notorious black box when it comes to internal projects, although sometimes details based on supply chain rumors shed a sliver of light on what might be happening with the company’s AR/VR headset behind closed doors. Much less common coming from Apple are direct internal leaks, however a report from The Information alleges that 10 people on Apple’s mixed reality headset project team have detailed some of the past design challenges and possible direction the headset may take moving forward.

The report (via 9to5Mac) details some anecdotes reaching back as far as 2016, when the company allegedly first showed off a number of AR and VR prototypes to industry leaders and Apple elite.

Former Vice President Al Gore, then–Disney CEO Bob Iger and other Apple board members walked from room to room, trying out prototype augmented and virtual reality devices and software. One of the gadgets made a tiny digital rhinoceros appear on a table in the room. The creature then grew into a life-size version of itself, according to two people familiar with the meeting. In the same demo, the drab surroundings of the room transformed into a lush forest, showing how users could seamlessly transition from AR, in which they can still view the physical world around them, to the more immersive experience of VR—a combination known as mixed reality.

It was more of a conceptual showcase at the time, the report maintains, as some prototypes ran on Windows while others were based on the original HTC Vive. Like the ‘The Sword of Damocles’ built by Ivan Sutherland in the late 60s—the founding father of virtual reality—one such prototype was also supposedly so heavy it was “suspended by a small crane so the Apple board members could wear it without straining their necks.”

None of that’s particularly uncommon practice when it comes to hardware development—just ask Magic Leap insiders from the early days—however the report notes the company’s MR headset hasn’t gained the same support from Apple’s current CEO, Tim Cook, that Steve Jobs had for iPhone’s development. The report says Cook “rarely visits the group at its offices away from the main Apple campus.”

There’s also allegedly been some political infighting that has stymied development, which we’ve heard in a previous report from 2019 when it was alleged Apple was pumping the breaks on the headset due to discord between then-Apple hardware designer Jony Ive and project lead Mike Rockwell. Ive has since departed the company in 2019 to pursue his own design company, LoveFrom.

Rockwell, Meier and Rothkopf soon encountered pushback from Ive’s team. The three men had initially wanted to build a VR headset, but Ive’s group had concerns about the technology, said three people who worked on the project. They believed VR alienated users from other people by cutting them off from the outside world, made users look unfashionable and lacked practical uses. Apple’s industrial designers were unconvinced that consumers would be willing to wear headsets for long periods of time, two of the people said.

While the teams proposed adding passthrough cameras to the front of the headset, codenamed N301, Apple industrial designers were decidedly more intrigued with a concept for what sources tell The Information was an “outward-facing screen on the headset. The screen could display video images of the eyes and facial expressions of the person wearing the headset to other people in the room.”

The report doesn’t go any further than 2019, however The Information’s Wayne Ma is supposedly publishing a piece soon that covers “pivotal moment for the Apple headset.”

Like we said, Apple is a black box, which means it doesn’t comment on on-going projects or respond meaningfully to media requests for clarity. Looking back at previously reports however may provide a rough picture of what to expect. The information below is based on reports, so please take it with a grain of salt.

What We (think we) Know About N301 Mixed Reality Headset

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Latest Quest 2 Update Brings Encrypted Messenger, Parental App Locks & More

Meta rolled out a new Quest update that brings to the headset some previously revealed stuff, such as app-based locks and tracking support for more keyboards, but also some new features too which the company hopes will instill more confidence in user privacy, including encryption for text and voice chats through Messenger and in-headset 3D Secure payments.

In the Quest v40 update, Meta is testing end-to-end encryption for Messenger’s one-on-one messages and calls in VR, which is now offered as an opt-in feature. The company initially rolled out encryption for Messenger on non-VR devices as far back as 2016, however this is the first time it’s offered on Quest headsets.

“Keeping your information secure is one of our top priorities, not just in VR but across Meta apps and technologies. When people trust that their conversations are truly private, they feel safe to express themselves and build stronger online connections,” the company says in a blog post.

Image courtesy Meta

Meta says you can check the privacy of your communication by comparing keys with someone. “If the keys match, messages and calls are secured with end-to-end encryption,” says a description of the feature.

Quest v40 also includes the app-based lock feature which was previously announced as a part of the company’s growing suite of parental controls. This lets parents restrict access to certain apps, requiring them to input a pattern to unlock content that might otherwise be unsuitable for their kid’s age. Meta calls it a “starting point for parents as we begin rolling out our parental supervision tools in the coming months.”

The update brings a new spin on how users enter 3D Secure info when using a credit card too. Before the update, users would have to input 3D Secure directly on the Oculus mobile app, however now you can manage the extra authorization layer whilst in VR.

And keeping users in VR seems to be the major theme with v40, as the update also now includes keyboard tracking support for the Apple Magic Keyboard with numeric keypad, and both the Logitech K375s and Logitech MX Keys.

First introduced last year, keyboard tracking lets you see a virtual version of a keyboard inside your headset to make typing easier. Until now, the only two supported keyboards were Logitech K830 and Apple Magic Keyboard (sans keypad).

Lastly, Meta has added two new options to its Accessibility menu which it aims to make Quest more comfortable for people who are hard of hearing: Mono Audio option, which disables spatial audio by projecting the same audio from both the left and right speakers, and the ability to adjust balance of the left and right audio channels.


To see if you already have v40, simply pop on your Quest 2, go to Quick Settings> Settings –> System –> Software Update. There you can see the software version running on your headset and whether an update is available or not.

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‘Resident Evil 7’ & ‘Village’ Are Getting Near Perfect PC VR Support with This Unofficial Mod

If you’re looking to jump into either Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017) or Resident Evil Village (2021) on a PC VR headset, you’ll need a mod to get your kicks. Now modder ‘Praydog’, who has developed a number of unofficial RE mods, says a new controller update is coming to both games soon which will bring full 6DOF support, which means you’ll soon be able to take on the universe’s myriad of wicked creatures mano a mano.

Praydog has released unofficial VR support for RE2, RE3, RE7 and RE Village (aka RE8), however neither of Capcom’s latest feature full motion controls.

According to Eurogamer’s Ian Higton, who went hands-on with the mod on both Resident Evil Village, the new motion control support lets you shoot, manage a shoulder holster-style inventory, block by holding your hands in front of your face, and heal yourself by pouring medicine on your hands—many of the things you’d consider smart features for even VR-native games.

Some scripted movements, like falling through a floor or placing a baby in a cradle, are decidedly less immersive, although they’re likely impossible to avoid since the game relies heavily on forced camera changes during specific action sequences. Check out some gameplay from Higton’s video below:

Higton says along with 6DOF support, the addition of the full body inverse kinematics (IK) models “ups the immersion dramatically and it makes some of the more hectic battles in Village feel nail-bitingly realistic.”

Village also looks absolutely incredible in VR. The highly detailed environments were a joy to explore and some of the distant views across the village at the mountain ranges beyond it legitimately took my breath away. One of the most impressive things about playing Resident Evil Village in VR though, is finally being able to understand the true scale of some of the enemies. Lady Dimitrescu in particular feels way more imposing in VR compared to in flat and it turns out I had completely underestimated how much she towered over her daughters.

The motion controller updates are slated to arrive at some point this month. You’ll find them over at Github for free, however Praydog also runs a Patreon for users who want to support their work.

Of course, there are some official VR versions out there if you want to get your bio-mutant-slaying fix. On Quest 2 you can play Resident Evil 4which was reworked from the ground-up by Armature Studio and Oculus to offer higher-res textures and VR-native touches of immersion. There’s also Resident Evil 7 on PSVR, although it admittedly doesn’t feature full body IK that Praydog’s PC VR mod does.

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Meta CEO Teases Project Cambria’s Color Passthrough in New Video

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked a bit about the company’s upcoming high-end VR headset Project Cambria today and what it can do. The headset is still basically under wraps, however Zuckerberg showed off a bit of the experience of using the device, giving us a good look at Cambria’s color passthrough function, which allows it do some pretty convincing augmented reality tasks.

Zuckerberg released a video on his Facebook profile today where he sat down with Jesse Schell, founder and CEO of pioneering VR studio Schell Games.

Schell Games is currently developing what Zuckerberg described as a “hypothetical follow-up to I Expect You to Die” using Project Cambria, which is due to launch sometime this year. Instead of being sealed off from the physical world, like a typical VR headset might, Cambria’s color passthrough allows for augmented reality interactions using your own living room as the backdrop.

In a separate video (seen below), the Meta CEO tries on Project Cambria, tightens a back-mounted ratcheting knob, and plays an experience called The World Beyond, which focuses on mixing both virtual and physical spaces and using hand tracking for input. The full-color version will only be available on Cambria, Zuckerberg says, however Quest 2 users will be able to try it soon on App Lab, the experimental app library.

Schell Games is developing its I Expect You to Die-style AR experience on Meta’s Presence Platform, a suite of SDKs that, starting today, will allow any interested developer to build more advanced mixed reality applications.

Speaking to Schell, Zuckerberg talked a bit about the headset’s various sensors. It includes “a bunch of new sensors,” Zuckerberg says, including high resolution, outward-facing cameras that allow for color passthrough experiences as well as depth sensors which will no doubt help with room-tracking fidelity and establishing spatial anchors.

Schell also spoke a bit about the studio’s experience working with Cambria’s color passthrough:

“I’m really excited about the color passthrough, because the black and white passthrough […] gives you sense of where you’re going, but when you have things actually in color, it’s a lot more exciting. It seems much more real, particularly when objects are blending. They key is, when you get the lighting right on the virtual objects so that they match up with the ones that are in your scene, you have these [magic moments] when you’re not sure what’s real and what’s real and what’s not, and you kind of have to take the headset off and check for a second for what is there and what isn’t there.”

In the chat with Schell, Zuckerberg describes Project Cambria as having a “somewhat tighter formfactor than Quest 2.” Although gaming and fitness is likely to be an early focus, Zuckerberg says the headset is also targeting work, which he says will be better for productivity, co-creating things with other headset users, and having meetings virtually.

There’s still no precise launch information yet. As confirmed by Meta, Project Cambria is said to be priced “significantly higher” than $800, which likely positions it more for developers and prosumers. Recent reports however contend that Meta will be releasing Cambria in September, and three more VR headsets by 2024.

You can catch the full 27-minute chat between Zuckerberg and Schell below:

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