Category Archives: Features

A collected archive of VRFocus’ feature articles.

VR vs. PlayStation VR’s Possible New Input – Are New Controllers on the Way?


Both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMDs) have controllers made specifically for them in the SteamVR controllers and Oculus Touch respectively. Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), on the other hand, hasn’t had to create its own controller for the PlayStation VR HMD, as it sort of already has one.  For both better and worse, the company is pushing its PlayStation Move motion controller, a position-tracked device that actually played a big role in the creation of PlayStation VR itself, as its own VR control solution. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Iron Fish


Many of us want virtual reality (VR) to go deeper. We of course mean that figuratively, expanding on the tech’s current limits and appeal, but we also mean it very literally. VR opens up one of the most fascinating, picturesque and yet deadly areas of our planet, the ocean. With the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) and more we don’t need to strap on diving gear and head out into the unknown to experience the thrill of uncharted waters, we can do it from our own armchairs. Developers are already exploring this to some degree; World of Diving from Vertigo Games allows for multiplayer exploration while Minority Media’s Time Machine VR offers an educational experience. READ MORE

VR vs. Oculus Rift’s Price and Release Date: When Will We See Them?


“So, we have a huge year ahead.” Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe told an audience of developers and press as well as online enthusiasts at the Loews Hotel 2 weeks back. “Gear VR is going to bring virtual reality to millions, Rift is going to enable true presence, and Touch is going to redefine the way we interact in VR. All the games, apps and experiences that you’re working on have the potential to change the world. And this is just the beginning. Everyone in this room is helping to define the next platform. The next leap forward. I can’t wait to see what we achieve together. READ MORE

Gear VR: The VR Taste-Tester

Gear VR header

Samung and Oculus VR’s partnership on the Gear VR head-mounted display (HMD) was announced at Samsung Unpacked, Berlin, to considerable fanfare. Warmly received by both technology and virtual reality (VR) enthusiasts, the device has since gone on to become one of the key players in the VR scene. But what’s next for Gear VR? Now that a consumer release is almost upon us, there’s a much clearer picture of what the Gear VR means to gaming, movies and general VR entertainment. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5


This week marks the return of the Tony Hawk videogame franchise with a resurrection of the original series, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. Sadly, it doesn’t look like the latest entry in this once beloved line is living up to expectations, boasting a dismal 27 rating on Metacritic at the time of writing, with widespread reports of often amusing bugs and breaks. No doubt the series will once again be going back to the drawing board after what’s shaping up to be another unsuccessful outing, leaving publisher Activision to work out its next move (if it even gets to make one).  Perhaps the answer lies in virtual reality (VR). READ MORE

Building Epic VR: It Takes Time

Epic Games logo

No one studio has done as much for virtual reality (VR) while seemingly doing so little. A smattering of technical demos and a handful of updates to the popular Unreal Engine 4 development suite may appear to be a lack lustre approach to the new medium, especially when Epic Games are yet to confirm any real interest in producing a commercial VR product of their own. But in truth it goes much deeper than that. VR is flowing thickly through the veins of Epic Games. READ MORE

Playing Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes with a Stranger Proves the Power of Social VR


As young as the technology may be, some virtual reality (VR) developers are already looking at it from completely different angles. The team behind Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, for example, doesn’t see VR as an opportunity to immerse players so much as a new box of tricks to provide new types of gameplay mechanics. In this case, the team embraces what many VR sceptics raise concerns about: isolation. Here’s a videogame that takes advantage of the fact only one player can see what’s going on (provided the other isn’t looking at a monitor). Played with a complete stranger at PAX Prime this year, the end result powerfully proves that VR isn’t cutting people off from the real world and humans, but can in fact bring them a bit closer to them. READ MORE

VR vs. Trailers: Sony Shows How It’s Done, Samsung Doesn’t


The big takeaway from Sony Computer Entertainment’s (SCE’s) Tokyo Game Show (TGS) press conference last month was that Project Morpheus, the company’s upcoming virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) for PlayStation 4, is now known as PlayStation VR. But, within the VR community, SCE also gained some positive attention for the trailer that accompanied the announcement. Seen below, the trailer admirably tackles the resounding issue that VR faces in trying to communicate its effects to a general audience on a 2D screen. READ MORE

Oculus Connect 2015: Lack of Rift Price & Date Doesn’t Stop VR Flag Waver’s Momentum

Oculus Connect 2 Banner

If it weren’t for Palmer Luckey, it might have been easy to walk away from Oculus Connect 2 pretty disappointed this year. Days ahead of the company’s majorly anticipated developer conference, the Oculus Rift creator took to Reddit to temper expectations, confirming that Oculus VR would not be launching pre-orders for the long awaited virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD). This cast doubt over if the VR specialist would even reveal the price and date for the device and, sure enough, yesterday’s keynote talk came and went without so much as a hint of these specifics. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Blood Bowl II


A videogame adaptation of a highly praised Games Workshop production, the original Blood Bowl videogame surprised many with its accurate recreation of the turn-based ruleset and persistent team levelling system, as well as the addition of a somewhat misguided real-time gameplay mode. The newly released Blood Bowl II does away with the latter and concentrates on what videogame adaptations of board games do best: make the original ruleset available to all in a variety of gameplay modes. READ MORE