Alex Honnold: ‘My new film is almost too much for some people’

The star of Free Solo is back with a new series featuring terrifying climbs – this time using virtual reality

The great promise of virtual reality lies in its potential to replicate otherwise unattainable experiences. And few in the physical world can match the experiences of Alex Honnold, the American rock climber who has distinguished himself with ropeless ascents up some of the world’s most fearsome cliffs.

No one had ever completed a “free-solo” climb of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park before Honnold famously did so in 2017, a feat that was the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary.

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LES MILLS Bodycombat für Meta Quest 2 ausprobiert

Falls ihr auf der Suche nach einem neuen Fitness-Spiel für die Virtual Reality seid, dann solltet ihr einen Blick auf LES MILLS Bodycombat für Meta Quest werfen. Das Spiel erfindet zwar das Rad nicht neu, ist aber sehr motivierend und hochwertig produziert.

LES MILLS BODYCOMBAT für Meta Quest 2 ausprobiert

In LES MILLES Bodycombat für Meta Quest bringt euch ein VR-Workout, welches von Martial Arts inspiriert ist. Ihr zerschlagt Ziele mit den Fäusten, zerschmettert sie mit eurem Knie und weicht unterschiedlichen Hindernissen aus.

Was zunächst vielleicht unspektakulär klingt, macht wahnsinnig viel Spaß. Der Grund hierfür: Die Trainier motivieren und geben Tipps, als ständen sie tatsächlich neben euch. Hierdurch entsteht eine tolle Dynamik, die euch die Realität vergessen lässt. Hinzu kommt, dass die Workouts in einer Gruppe mit Punkteliste ausgetragen werden. Durch diese Rangliste entsteht ein spannendes Rennen um die Führung, da diese mit jedem Schlag aktualisiert wird und zusätzlich motiviert.

Aktuell bietet das Spiel insgesamt 30 unterschiedliche Workout und 5 unterschiedliche Spielwelten. Aufgerufen wird ein einmaliger Preis von 29,99 Euro. Ein Abo wie bei anderen Fitness-Apps ist nicht nötig. Weitere Inhalte sollen per kostenlose Updates folgen. Hier findet ihr das Spiel im Store von Meta für die Meta Quest. Falls ihr noch keine Meta Quest besitzt, findet ihr hier unseren Langzeittest zur VR-Brille.

Die Meta Quest 2 ist in Deutschland aktuell nicht verfügbar. Ihr könnt sie aber über Amazon Frankreich bestellen. Wie das geht, erfahrt ihr in unserer kurzen Anleitung.

Der Beitrag LES MILLS Bodycombat für Meta Quest 2 ausprobiert zuerst gesehen auf VR∙Nerds. VR·Nerds am Werk!

Terje Haakonsen’s Powder VR Early Access Review: A Fine Winter Sports VR Game

Terje Haakonsen’s Powder VR (THPVR) on Steam Early Access may be a mostly enjoyable VR winter sports outing, but it’s rather lacking right now. Read on for our full Powder VR review in progress!

Powder VR is quite a departure for developers RainSoft. Having previously brought us John Lazarus – Dead Man’s Origin to VR, they’ve now turned their attention to the snowy slopes, bringing us wingsuit flying, skiing, and snowboarding in one package. Revealed as Powder VR back in 2019, it underwent significant delays and rebranding before eventually launching last month, bringing in famous Norwegian snowboarder Terje Håkonsen for guidance to make this a more accurate simulator, a move which seems to have paid off.

Powder VR Early Access Review – The Facts

What is it?: A VR winter sports game featuring snowboarding, skiing, and wingsuit flying
Platforms: SteamVR [link]
Release Date: December 16th, 2020 (Early Access)
Price: $19.99

Currently, THPVR is a solo experience and begins with a comprehensive tutorial for the various sports. Skiers must face forward, bending your knees when turning and using the touch controllers as ski poles, building up speed and letting you change direction. Snowboarders must rotate their body 90° but have your head facing forward. Once you begin heading down the slope, turning is based around your hand movement, which feels unusual at first.

powder vr mountain

Across both options, you can quick turn via the joysticks and jump by pressing the triggers, giving you more airtime if you hold them down. Skiing is easier to get started with, but snowboarding offers much faster gameplay, though it’s more difficult to handle. That said, RainSoft have confirmed 3dRudder support is coming, which would certainly give snowboarding a more natural feel. For the most part however, both have otherwise been replicated well in VR. 

Once you’ve completed this tutorial, Powder VR offers three gameplay options. Players wanting to just dive in should check out Quick Race, letting you participate between five different modes. That includes Downhill Race, a standard race to the finish against 3 AI opponents. Freestyle ranks you based on tricks performed, such as grinding. Time Attack is your time trial mode and there’s also two checkpoint modes, where you must ride through set gates within a specified time limit.

Exploration Mode is available for those looking to free roam these mountain ranges without time constrains, also allowing you to undertake side quests which include Wingsuit gameplay and Boostpack missions within skiing. At this time, Powder VR offers three ranges in total, based around Courmayeur, Brevent-Flegere, and the Cascade Mountains, with a further three to be added later.

powder vr skiing

World Tour is essentially your campaign, offering set challenges based around these five modes before moving onto the next region. Each challenge comes with a target to earn you Bronze, Silver or Gold medals. They encourage replayability and unlock new areas to explore whilst doing so, requiring a set number. Gold counts as earning 3 medals, 2 for Silver and 1 for Bronze, so that doesn’t take too long. 

Additional skiing equipment/snowboards are also unlocked by earning medals and these aren’t just cosmetic, holding varied stats like higher acceleration or top speed. As a purely cosmetic option, your appearance can be customised, letting you change hairstyles, facial hair and moew, though this isn’t hugely in-depth.

For the most part, RainSoft have done well with Powder VR’s core premise and there’s a lot of potential here, as it’s quite satisfying to rack up those gold medals. Expectedly though, there just isn’t much available right now and racing against AI isn’t that exciting, even with four difficulty options to up the challenge. Out of the 60 playable areas planned, only 20 are available between the three mountain ranges. 

powder vr wingsuit

Powder VR Review – Comfort Settings

THPVR might prove uncomfortable for some due to its fast-paced gameplay, which accurately recreates the basic motions of each sport. At one point I had to stop and come back after taking a motion sickness tablet. Several options can help reduce nausea, such as turning off the camera shake and adjusting how far your quick turn changes your position.

Other options provide increased immersion but come with an increased risk of nausea, including raising your head to jump or an unlocked view of spins and flips. Clear nausea warnings are in place for these however and they aren’t default settings, which is pleasing. THPVR also accommodates for left and right-handed players during snowboarding.

Previously mentioned updates aside, there is significant content due to be added as Powder VR’s development progresses and most promisingly, that includes multiplayer support. An expanded campaign with side missions has also been promised, alongside new gameplay tricks like buttering and jibbing. Like any Early Access game though, just make sure you know what you’re getting in for at this stage of development. 

powder vr screenshot snowboarding

Terje Haakonsen’s Powder VR Early Access Review – Final Impressions

Despite the early launch issues, RainSoft has done well with Terje Haakonsen’s Powder VR and it brings us a fine recreation of snowboarding and skiing. There’s certainly promise within and winter sports fans would do well to take a look but at this development stage, caution is advisable. At the very least, I’d recommend trying out the demo first before making any purchases. With an eye-catching list of upcoming features, this is certainly one to keep an eye out for. 

Score: TBD

powder vr review pro con

This review was conducted on an Oculus Quest 2 via Virtual Desktop, using an Early Access Steam version of the game. As an Early Access release, a score is not provided at this time.

Terje Haakonsen’s Powder VR is available on Steam now for $19.99. A free demo is also available on the game’s Steam page.

FitXR DLC für Oculus Quest lässt euch boxen und tanzen

Tower Tag auf Steam

Im Laufe des Tages werden direkt zwei DLC für FitXR auf der Oculus Quest und Oculus Quest 2 veröffentlicht.

FitXR DLC für Oculus Quest

Mit Absolute Dance und Absolute Box werden heute zwei neue DLC für das Spiel FitXR für die Oculus Quest erscheinen. Beide Pakete werden mit jeweils 7,99 Euro zu Buche schlagen.

In Absolute Box müsst ihr im Takt Bälle zerschlagen und in Absolute Dance müsst ihr versuchen, Choreografien zu erlenen und umzusetzen. Beide DLC sollen einen Umfang von ca. vier Stunden bieten.

FitXR ist auch auf andren Plattformen erhältlich. Auf dem PC und auf der PSVR wird der Titel jedoch als Box VR geführt. Die Umbenennung in FitXR ist bisher nur auf der Oculus Quest umgesetzt. Für Box VR werden jedoch auch die neuen DLC nicht erscheinen und es ist fraglich, ob das Team noch Energie in diese Versionen stecken wird.

Hier findet ihr FitXR für die Oculus Quest und Oculus Quest 2 und hier findet ihr unseren Langzeittest zur Oculus Quest 2. Die Oculus Quest 2 ist derzeit in Deutschland nicht verfügbar. Ihr könnt sie jedoch bei Amazon Frankreich bestellen.

Der Beitrag FitXR DLC für Oculus Quest lässt euch boxen und tanzen zuerst gesehen auf VR∙Nerds. VR·Nerds am Werk!

Life In 360°: Last Lap

So, here we are at the end of what can only be described as an ‘interesting’ week here on VRFocus. There’s not much I can say at this poing other than this is the penultimate Life In 360°. Unless something changes rather drastically.  Which, frankly, would be nice right about now.

Life In 360° / 360 Degree VideoNext Monday is the last Li360 but that’s been in the bag for a little while since it was something I’d actually written long in advance for the Christmas period. That leaves this last slot. Now, a while back we went through the Formula E archive of 360 degree videos as a way of, well…  delaying us before we caught back up with everything that Formula 1 had put out. But since our time is up on this series let’s do just that today and fulfil my vow from a couple of months back.

Since the last time we checked in was at the beginning of July we actually need to go through everything that has happened since the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix.

Onboard With Bottas At Paul Ricard (360 Video) | French Grand Prix

“Not familiar with Circuit Paul Ricard? Join Valtteri Bottas for a few onboard laps from a 2017 Pirelli tyre test and get acquainted with the venue in good time!”

Hamilton’s Pole Lap at Paul Ricard (360 Video) | 2018 French Grand Prix

“Lewis Hamilton became the first man to take pole at a French Grand Prix in ten years on Saturday – jump onboard for a 360 view of the lap that got him there.”

2018 Austrian Grand Prix | Valtteri Bottas’s Pole Lap (360 Video)

“After a glorious qualifying battle, ride onboard with Valtteri Bottas for a glorious lap – a new Spielberg record, and good enough to edge out Lewis Hamilton by just 0.019s…”

Sainz and Grosjean’s Wipeout at Silverstone (360 Video) | 2018 British Grand Prix

“There are two sides to the story – and now 360 angles from which to see it! Take a fresh look at the dramatic collision that brought out the Safety Car at Silverstone.”

Lewis Hamilton Hits Trouble In Qualifying (360 video) | 2018 German Grand Prix

“Get a unique, all-angles view of Lewis Hamilton as he battles with his Mercedes car during qualifying at the Hockenheimring.”

F1 Miami Festival: Renault Live Car Run! (360 video)

“Miami hosted the final F1 Festival of 2018 over the weekend of the US Grand Prix. Jump onboard with Renault as they tear up Biscayne Boulevard!”

And that’s us all up to date! Look out for update throughout today and the weekend and Life In 360° will be back for the final time on Monday.


Life In 360°: The Process Of Courting Fashion

Hello one and all, and a hello again from myself, as I’ve been away for a little while resulting in other folks taking over for a few days.  Welcome back to another edition of Life In 360° here on VRFocus where we begin Friday’s coverage of all things immersive by checking back in with the folks at Koncept VR. As you no doubt know, Koncept VR are one of those immersive technology companies that are always busy. New partners. New projects. New things to see. In fact, I’m hoping we’ll be hosting a guest piece of theirs somewhere down the line about just how they do it all, but that’s hopefully one for the future.

Life In 360° / 360 Degree VideoTheir most recent partnership with GQ took them onto the basketball court to film some 360 degree action with Philadelphia 76ers No. 21 Joel Embiid as part of a new campaign. The Cameroonian Centre has been making waves in Philadelphia since he was drafted there as the third pick overall in the 2014 NBA Draft – even making the 2018 NBA All-Stars.

I’ll leave it to Koncept themselves to give you the rundown on what you’re about to see: “In conjunction with GQ’s first ever digital cover, Koncept VR went behind-the-scenes of the Philly photo shoot to capture NBA star Joel Embiid in 360° action. The resulting video allows the viewer to get up close and personal with ‘The Process’ as he shoots, scores, and hangs loose with his selfie-snapping fans.”

You can see the video below, but you can also read the article on the GQ website where Embiid goes into his childhood, hopes, aspirations and talks about life on the court. You can do that here. Li360 is back on Monday at the usual time with a video about Greenland. I’ll see you then.


Life In 360°: An Electric Archive (Part Three)

It’s time to continue once again with our trek through the archives of the ABB Formula E Championship for all their 360 degree videos. Of you read Life In 360° on Monday or Friday last week you’ll know two things: 1) that we’re currently going backwards in time through all of Formula E’s 360 degree content and 2) that’s a lot of content.

Life In 360° / 360 Degree VideoBut, unlike Formula One they seem to have stopped producing 360 degree videos so the amount does seem to be finite.

We ended last time with a pit stop at the Paris ePrix and the next one along is one that we’ve already featured on Life In 360° once before. So if you want to see that, click here.

Highlights – Formula E (Long Beach ePrix)

“Experience Formula E’s race highlights from Long Beach, presented to you in 360 degrees! On a mobile device just tilt or use your finger to swipe around. On a desktop or laptop, click and drag! You can watch overtakes and spins, go onboard as they take to the historic shoreline track.”


Mexico City Onboard Race Start – Formula E

“Experience Jean-Éric Vergne’s first lap of the inaugural Mexico ePrix, as the racers gets to grips with the unique Formula E configuration at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez track.”


Highlights – Formula E (Mexico City ePrix)

“Highlights from Mexico City, presented to you in 360 degrees! You can watch overtakes and spins, go onboard with Jean Eric Vergne, Salvador Duran and Antonio Da Costa.”


World’s First 360° Sports Highlights – Formula E (Buenos Aires ePrix)

“Experience the DS Virgin garage as Sam Bird wins the race, and see the podium celebrations from the press pit as Sam, Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi spray the champers.”


HUGE Nelson Piquet Crash in Punta del Este

“Towards the end of the 2015 Punta del Este ePrix, DS Virgin Racing’s Jean-Eric Vergne made a lunge up the side of NEXTEV TCR’s Nelson Piquet, and from that point the action really hotted up.”


Incredible Beijing Race Start Onboard

“Ride onboard with Stephane Sarrazin in this 360° video on the first lap of the Beijing ePrix!”


Putrajaya Race Start & Crash Onboard

“Ride onboard with Oliver Turvey in this 360° video on the first lap of the Putrajaya ePrix! You can choose to look forward, back or sideways!”

Life In 360°: An Electric Archive (Part Two)

We’re continuing our look at Formula E’s archive of 360 degree content today with another selection of videos as we look to add more to the ones we featured on Monday, not to mention those that we have featured previously on Li360. Most notably the video where someone somersaulted over a Formula E car as it drove at them.  We ended part one with Sam Bird driving (well, being escorted is probably the right words) down The Strip in Las Vegas.

This time around we’ve got some beginnings and ends of races as well as some behind the scenes event footage.

Onboard Demo Of the New Formula E Car In 360º

Sit onboard the Formula E car with driver Michael Benyahia at the Marrakesh street demo.”


Formula E 360° Moments: Marrakesh Race Start

“We give you an unique insight into the world of Formula E with our 360 Moments. This week we take a look at the start of the first Formula E race held in Africa!”


Formula E 360° Moments: Marrakesh ePrix Podium

“Stand on the podium and watch the drivers celebrate the results of the Marrakesh ePrix!”


Formula E 360° Moments: Hong Kong ePrix Race Start

 Watch the cars race off up at the gantry where the race lights are controlled!”


Formula E 360° Moments: Hong Kong ePrix First Corner

 Watch the cars race into the first corner at the Hong Kong ePrix, some drivers making contact and others jumping up the field!”


Formula E 360° Moments: HKT Hong Kong Podium

 We give you an unique insight into the world of Formula E with our 360 Moments. This week we experience the joy of the season opener podium celebration at the sold-out Hong Kong ePrix.”


DS Virgin Garage Tour With Sam Bird And Nicki Shields

Nicki Shields shows you round the DS Virgin Racing garage with the help of Sam Bird, in our first 360° video tour!”


ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport Pit Stop

The pit stop changeover can be the difference between winning and losing. With Lucas Di Grassi leading the Paris ePrix, experience the pressure and tension in a unique 360 video as we step inside the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport garage.”

That’s all for today’s Li360 on VRFocus, but there’ll be more, of course, very soon.

Life In 360°: An Electric Archive (Part One)

There’s a number of 360 degree videos in the fire for Life In 360° and one of them is our next visit to the world of Formula One. There’s a good few races worth of official offerings to get through, especially after last Sunday’s race at Suzuka, Japan. However, before we get to that I thought it best we have a look at another sport we’ve touched on at least once: Formula E.

Life In 360° / 360 Degree VideoFor those of you not familiar with Formula E (or the ABB FIA Formula E Championship to use its full name), it’s an electric-powered racing series that is arguably one of Formula One’s most legitimate long-term rivals. With the fifth season beginning in December in Saudi Arabia, it’s already had more incidents, action and even controversy than arguably a decade’s worth of F1 in that time – and features some names you may well be familiar with if you’re a long-time F1 fan.

Names like Di Grassi, Vergne, Nelson Piquet Jr, Nick Heidfeld, Buemi and Felipe Massa are all a part of the grid, of which the 2018-19 season sees 11 teams take part. Including ones from Audi, Nissan, BMW and Jaguar.

While F1 has embraced the use of 360 degree technology as part of their coverage, Formula E has gone off it a bit and haven’t released an official video in a couple of years. So, that being said it seems like a good idea to just go through their archive of videos for a week and get the whole kit and kaboodle (or caboodle) covered.

Let’s begin shall we?

Monaco Tour & Onboard Hot Lap With Bruno Senna

Ride onboard in 360 degrees with Bruno Senna as he gives us a quick rundown of the tech specs of a season 1 Formula E car, before hitting the track for a quick lap of Monaco. Explore the iconic Monaco circuit in 360.”


Race Star At Julius Baer Mexico ePrix 2017

Watch from the pit wall as Oliver Turvey leads the field at the beginning of the Julius Baer Mexico City ePrix 2017. Jack Nicholls runs through the driver positions on the grid, before the drivers move from the dummy positions into their grid boxes. Then watch in 360 as the lights go out and the cars scream down towards a very tricky turn one…”


Explore Formula E’s TV Gallery In 360°

“Today we’re in the Formula E live TV gallery during qualifying for the Buenos Aires ePrix. This is where Formula E broadcasts the race to hundreds of countries across the world. Watch to see what goes on during a race session in this behind the scenes 360 video.”

Buenos Aires ePrix First Lap In 360°

“We give you a unique insight into the world of Formula E with our 360 Moments. This week we take a look at the first lap of the Beunos Aires ePrix from the start line, Turn 1 and Turn 4!”

Overtakes Compilation In 360° (Turn 4 – Buenos Aires ePrix)

Jack Nicholls guides us through every Turn 4 overtake from the 2017 Buenos Aires ePrix, including many overtakes that weren’t seen on the TV broadcast!”


360° BMW i8 EV Dream Drive: António Félix da Costa

Ride onboard across the Nevada desert as Andretti’s António Félix da Costa gives us a unique insight into the mind of a racing driver.”


Formula E Hits The Strip In Las Vegas! (360° Behind The Scenes)

Ride onboard with Sam Bird driving down Las Vegas Boulevard whilst filming our promo for the Visa Vegas eRace.”

We’ll have another six or so videos later this week on VRFocus