Virtual reality

April 18, 2019

Facebook confirms it’s engaged on an AI voice assistant for Portal and Oculus merchandise

Facebook has confirmed a report from earlier today saying it’s working on an artificial intelligence-based digital voice assistant in the vein of Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. The news, first reported by CNBC, indicates Facebook isn’t giving up on a vision it first put out years ago, when it began developing an AI assistant for its Messenger platform simply called M.
April 18, 2019

Nintendo Labo director says VR was a part of the plan from the start

Nintendo Labo VR, the cardboard accessory kit for the Switch, is up against a lot of expectations as the company’s official foray into virtual reality. It’s the fourth installment of the Labo series, which first launched one year ago to mixed reviews. Parents and schools lauded its tactile building experience and programming features as creative educational tools for kids, while some critics dismissed it as a novelty item that lost its fun after the first few plays.
April 18, 2019

Google’s Tilt Brush is coming to the Oculus Quest

Tilt Brush, Google’s virtual reality painting tool, is coming to Oculus’ new standalone Quest headset. Thanks to the Quest’s two motion controllers, the app should work in a similar way to how it does on the Oculus Rift, although Google has said it’s had to make a number of tweaks to allow the software to run on the Quest’s mobile processor. Tilt Brush is already available on the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
April 17, 2019

A brand new Marvel recreation is likely to be coming to Disney and Lenovo’s augmented actuality headset

A new FCC filing suggests that Disney and Lenovo are making a Marvel-themed follow-up to their lightsaber-equipped augmented reality headset. The filing, publicized by Variety yesterday, refers to a “Lenovo Mirage 1.5 Marvel Controller.” The original Lenovo Mirage launched in 2017 with the game Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, which let players duel Darth Vader and several other Star Wars antagonists. Based on the name and other details, it now looks like a second major Mirage game is on its way.
April 12, 2019

Nintendo Labo VR Kit Review: Abundance of Content Makes It the Best Set So Far

Nintendo Labo is an innovative build-and-play concept using cardboard. And while that sounds ridiculous, the past three sets have delivered on the building aspect while leaving the gaming content somewhat lacking.
April 12, 2019

Falcon Age is a recreation about cute birds and preventing colonialism

Like many game designers, Chandana Ekanayake keeps a big document full of potential concepts, one that he keeps updating as ideas come to him. One that’s stuck around is the concept of being a falconer: having a bird that you could train and care for, while working together to solve problems. “I thought the whole idea of having a falcon as a mechanic might be interesting,” he says.
April 11, 2019

Nintendo Labo VR package evaluate: a playful, bite-sized digital actuality arcade

For the last few years, it’s seemed like every major tech and gaming company has experimented with virtual reality to some degree, including Sony, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, HTC, Valve, and plenty more. Nintendo, meanwhile, has been conspicuously absent. (And no, the ill-fated Virtual Boy from the mid-’90s doesn’t count.)
April 5, 2019

Nintendo’s Labo VR equipment will work with Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey

Nintendo has announced that two of its biggest Switch games will be updated to work with the cardboard Labo VR headset that’s releasing next week. Super Mario Odyssey will get a bonus mode with new “mini-missions” designed for VR, while The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild appears to be playable in its entirety except for the cutscenes.
April 5, 2019

Verizon’s 5G community is blazing quick, but it surely barely exists

I’ve spent the past 18 hours in Chicago not feasting on hot dogs or deep-dish pizza, but kicking the tires on Verizon’s just-launched 5G mobile network. Yesterday, the leading US carrier triumphantly declared that it had lit up its 5G service in “select areas of Chicago and Minneapolis,” and that “for the first time ever, customers can access a commercial 5G network with the world’s first commercially available 5G-enabled smartphone.” The launch came a week earlier than initially planned. Verizon hasn’t said why it abruptly moved things up, but carriers in South Korea also went live with 5G yesterday, so it’s possible the company didn’t want to get beat by its global peers.
April 4, 2019

Alienware Area-51m overview: transportable desktop

If you’ve been looking at the field of gaming laptops for the past couple of years, you’ve probably noticed that they are getting thinner, lighter, and less conspicuous. Today’s gaming laptops are not only capable of playing the latest games at high frame rates, but they can also pull double duty for productivity work just as easily.