Category Archives: Features

A collected archive of VRFocus’ feature articles.

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

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If you’ve had so much as a passing interest in virtual reality (VR) technology over the past few years, then it’s likely crossed your mind that head-mounted displays (HMD) are a perfect companion to the horror genre. The isolation and immersion provided by the likes of the Oculus Rift can create an atmosphere unlike anything achievable with a standard screen. As those more deeply invested in VR will no doubt know, many developers have already tried to capitalise on this. The Oculus VR Share platform, a portal for free VR software, is littered with scary experiences while some high-profile studios such as The Creative Assembly have been using the Oculus Rift with their projects such as Alien: Isolation. READ MORE

VR vs. Post-Samsung Developer Conference

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Back in September 2014 Oculus VR held its first ever developer conference in Oculus Connect. Shortly after the show, VRFocus reflected on how the company had shown a positive new side that suggested it would be able to present itself properly when the time came to directly address consumers about the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD). It was an organised, efficient event that raised the bar for the standard expected of Oculus VR announcements going forward. Sadly, the 2014 Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) didn’t quite meet that bar. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Rocksmith

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Earlier in the week Ubisoft San Francisco, the developer behind the Rocksmith videogames, dropped a tantalising hint that virtual reality (VR) technology support could play a big part in the series’ future. The developer suggested that using VR could allow players to look at the guitar they are using to learn as they are taught how to play it. Just the thought of this brings several ideas for how VR could enhance the process of learning an instrument. READ MORE

Hands-On with Sixense STEM on Gear VR

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User input in virtual reality (VR) is a widely discussed issue. Even at the point where we can see consumer devices looming on the horizon, there is no universal agreement on how videogames and experiences in VR should be controlled. Most currently rely on gamepad input, but there are a number of companies investing in the ideal of motion-control devices. Sixense are arguably one of the leaders in this field. READ MORE

VR vs. Samsung Developer Conference 2014

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2014 may be drawing to a close but there’s still at least one more virtual reality (VR) event that fans should keep an eye on. This week sees the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) take place from 11th – 13th November in San Francisco, California. The company will use the event to host a range of talks and sessions on creating for its wide range of products. Of course, this includes the much anticipated Gear VR, a smartphone-based head-mounted display (HMD) created in partnership with Oculus VR itself. Just what can VR fans expect from the event? READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: The Evil Within

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Last month saw Shinji Mikami, the celebrated creator of the Resident Evil series, return to the genre he helped shape with The Evil Within from Tango Gameworks. The title harkens back to different eras of Mikami’s career, from the scary beginnings of the original Resident Evil to the action landmark that is Resident Evil 4. It even goes a little further than that, revisiting themes seen in the overlooked Shadows of the Damned before eventually making a few marks of its own. The title was met with a mostly positive reaction from critics and consumers, suggesting that it could have a future ahead of it. Its terrifying blend of psychological horror and intense action also make it a unique candidate for a VR adaption. READ MORE

VR vs. Take-Two Interactive

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Take-Two Interactive admittedly hasn’t gotten off to the best start with virtual reality (VR) technology. Earlier in 2014 company CEO Strauss Zelnick labelled the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) as ‘anti-social’ and a strictly ‘core technology’. That’s not the most encouraging sign that the company, which owns both Rockstar Games and 2K Games, will be jumping on board with VR any time soon. But it’s also far from damning proof that either of its subsidiaries will ever make VR videogames. Anyone that’s familiar with either publisher’s work will know that they could make some major contributions to the scene. READ MORE

Hands-On with Interstellar Oculus Rift Experience

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A new movie launch from a huge influential director. The biggest IMAX rollout the industry has ever seen. All-star cast, enormous budget and a director who claimed fame with a very modern adaptation of a well-known superhero. All this is true of Interstellar, but arguably the most interesting part of this new franchise is the virtual reality (VR) tie-in developed to promote the movie. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Mario Kart

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The racing genre is something of a given for virtual reality (VR) experiences. With the player seated and hands firmly locked to a steering wheel, racing videogames avoid many of the issues and limitations that other VR titles currently face. That said, it’s not a match made in heaven; Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) Head of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida earlier this year admitted that Evolution Studios’ DriveClub had now fared well with experimental VR support. The sense of speed can indeed be disorientating. But not all racing titles are about fast cars and realistic visuals. In fact, the karting genre seems perfect for a VR adaption. READ MORE