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VentureBeat

SideQuest raises $650,000 for testing apps and games for Oculus Quest

Sideloading platform SideQuest is taking $650K in early investment from BoostVC, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, and The Fund. The relatively small preseed funding will help SideQuest’s Shane Harris and Orla Harris build a testing service and other tools for virtual reality developers. “I am investing in SideQuest because I believe in their vision for VR development and distribution,” Luckey said in a prepared statement. “No HMD manufacturer should have a stranglehold on the VR ecosystem or unilateral control over what people run on their VR headsets, and when I look at Sidequest, I see the spirit of Oculus Share.” When the initial wave of consumer VR interested began to crest in 2016, some developers used a startup called Fishbowl VR as a testing service. That startup, however, didn’t survive as the market transitioned toward Oculus Quest. SideQuest, meanwhile, sprang up after developer Shane Harris realized in 2019 there was need for an easy to use tool for uploading or downloading content from Facebook’s otherwise highly curated Oculus Quest standalone. Since its release, lots of Quest owners have turned to SideQuest to find cutting-edge experimental content while developers use it as an early access distribution system for testing and feedback. It sounds like the founders plan to lean into user testing with SideQuest’s next steps. The idea looks like something a little like TestFlight and a little like Fishbowl. “The platforms own the stores,” Harris explained in a video call. “They win that race every time.” Instead of competing as a sort…Continue readingSideQuest raises $650,000 for testing apps and games for Oculus Quest

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VentureBeat

Oculus Quest 2 getting Infinite Office with Logitech keyboard and adjustable passthrough

While presented as a new experience, what we see in the Infinite Office trailer is actually an evolution of the current Quest interface, introduced as an Experimental feature back in March and now the default. The Oculus Browser built-into Quests is Chromium-based, meaning it’s widely compatible with websites and web-based apps. It got multi-window support this year, which Facebook seems to now be pitching as a Chromebook alternative. Earlier previews of Infinite Office showed it displaying programs streamed from your Windows PC, but there’s no sign of that yet here. You can already set your Quest to show Passthrough+, the real world via the black & white cameras, instead of a virtual home environment. The trailer shows a new slider for passthrough letting you adjust how much of the real world shows through. Everyone knows typing in VR sucks. Facebook is partnering with Logitech to bring the K830 keyboard in VR. You should be able to pair it directly with Quest 2 and see it, and your hands typing on it, in VR. Oculus Browser will get support for its trackpad, letting you precisely manipulate content. We obviously haven’t tested this yet so we wouldn’t recommend going out and buying the keyboard just yet to have as an accessory for Quest 2. We’ll have updates as soon as we’re able to go hands-on with the new experience. But key to Infinite Office is for now announced only for Quest 2 — the capability to define persistent surface panels, like tables and couches. Just like…Continue readingOculus Quest 2 getting Infinite Office with Logitech keyboard and adjustable passthrough

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VentureBeat

Can Oculus Quest 2 overcome Facebook’s tarnished reputation?

Calling myself “deeply conflicted” about Facebook’s upcoming standalone VR headset Oculus Quest 2 would be an understatement. My long but not perfect memory can’t recall any device this compelling from such a seriously troubled company — one that’s hoping to win new customers even as employees keep jumping ship over crises of conscience. That polarized situation from a polarizing company makes the Quest 2 launch one of 2020’s biggest tech tragedies, despite the fact that I would normally be first in line to want one. Facebook’s corporate transgressions have been hard to ignore for years. Whether you believe it actively participated in historically massive misinformation, disinformation, and polarization campaigns, or was just a well-paid enabler that was all too willing to look the other way as bad things happened, the social media giant has been investigated, sued, and found guilty, at least in the court of public opinion. Despite Facebook’s promise to “bring the world closer together,” my own friend and family lists have been shattered by the insanity Facebook’s algorithms and business practices unleashed, so I’m proud — not happy — to have shut down my Facebook account and walked away from that network. On the other hand, there’s Oculus. Facebook acquired Oculus when its first product, the Rift VR headset, was still under development, and gave the startup access to cash, engineering, and manufacturing scale that unquestionably improved its prospects. Yes, some of that cash indirectly funded one Oculus founder’s “jail Clinton” campaign during the 2016 election season, provoking public outcry, but the…Continue readingCan Oculus Quest 2 overcome Facebook’s tarnished reputation?

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The Verge

The PS5 is priced, the Oculus Quest 2 launched, and the GoPro Hero 9 reviewed

Processor is a digest for what’s happening in the world of consumer technology, with incisive analysis (or maybe just jokes) from Dieter Bohn. Sign up for the newsletter here and check out the Processor video series on YouTube. It is a remarkably good time to be into video games. It’s not just that we’ve got new console launches from Microsoft and Sony. It’s also that Nvidia is invigorating PC gaming with new possibilities as it brings 4K performance into a more achievable price range. And it’s that Oculus has released a new, less expensive VR headset. On top of all that, we see game companies beginning to experiment with new pricing models and methods of distribution. Microsoft has bundled its hardware into a subsidy plan with its game streaming service. Apple seems to want to avoid doing that with its own bundle, but it is still making a go of Apple Arcade. Nvidia and Google are providing competition in cloud streaming for games. Sony is putting more top tier games (or at least games that were more recently top tier than usual) into its PlayStation Plus bundle. Oh, and AAA console titles are probably going to start costing $70 now, there’s another experiment for ya. All of which (even that last one) opens up more competition and more possibilities for video games. And as I’ve discussed before, this round of new consoles, new PC hardware, and new delivery mechanisms is just groundwork. We don’t yet fully know what these tech…Continue readingThe PS5 is priced, the Oculus Quest 2 launched, and the GoPro Hero 9 reviewed

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Mashable

The future of VR is here with the Oculus Quest 2

We got our hands on the Oculus Quest 2 and it packs a punch. The headset is available for preorder now and will be officially released to retail on October 15th. Read more… More about Facebook, Mashable Video, Review, Oculus, and Oculus Quest 2 Source linkContinue readingThe future of VR is here with the Oculus Quest 2

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The Next Web

Facebook announces the Oculus Quest 2, starting at $299

Facebook announced at today’s Connect AR/VR event that it’s releasing a new VR headset: specifically, an updated version of its Oculus Quest headset called the Quest 2. The Oculus Quest 2 is, like its predecessor, a standalone headset that can be connected with a PC via the Oculus link cable. It’s smaller and lighter, with redesigned, more ergonomic controllers. The internals are also getting an upgrade with a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2, 6GB of RAM, and 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye, and the headset will support a 90Hz refresh rate. It also has a host of accessories, including custom earbuds and a stronger headstrap that comes with a battery pack. It’ll cost $299, much less than the original Quest, though that’s only for the 64GB model. The 256GB model will set you back $399. Read: Apple pisses off devs by launching iOS 14 with just a day’s notice Facebook appears, with this new headset, to be throwing every single resource it possesses at the notion that VR is inaccessible and prohibitively expensive. The fact that this headset is $100 cheaper than the Quest 1 is definitely a plus. Since Facebook intends to retire the Rift S and the original Quest, it appears it’s going all-in with the Quest as a more accessible, useful VR platform. That said, it’s also fully integrating it into Facebook — remember Oculus and Facebook accounts are now one and the same. As for what you can play on it, Facebook revealed it’s bringing new games to the Quest…Continue readingFacebook announces the Oculus Quest 2, starting at $299

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VentureBeat

Ubisoft announces Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed for Oculus VR

Splinter Cell is coming back! Although it’s not in the way you probably expected. Elizabeth Loverso, the vice president of product development at Ubisoft’s Red Storm Entertainment, joined today’s Facebook Connect event to reveal that the publisher is bringing two major franchises to VR: Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed. They will be exclusive to Oculus platforms. For Splinter Cell, this will be a revival of the stealth-action series that many fans have clamored for … although probably not as they had hoped. The franchise hasn’t had a proper installment since 2013’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Of course, to play this new game, you’re going to need to own an Oculus VR device. Assassin’s Creed, meanwhile, is a healthy franchise that still receives regular installments. It’s next game, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, debuts November 10. Details on both games are sparse at the moment. Red Storm is leading development on both games with support from other Ubisoft studios. Ubisoft is investing heavily into VR. Last week, it announced Far Cry VR: Dive Into Insanity, which is bringing one of its biggest franchises to the location-based virtual reality realm. Ubisoft’s earlier VR efforts include Eagle Flight and and Star Trek: Bridge Crew. Source linkContinue readingUbisoft announces Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed for Oculus VR

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Engadget

Facebook leaks its Oculus Quest 2 standalone VR headset

Facebook The controllers are also new, with updated ergonomics “for an even more comfortable experience,” the company said. What’s more, you can “ditch the controllers” entirely for some games, as the Quest 2 also supports hand-tracking. Finally, the Quest 2 will offer 3D audio capability to help you identify where objects are coming from while gaming. While it was originally released as a standalone headset, the original Quest was eventually updated to support Oculus Rift PC content via the Oculus Link cable. The Quest 2 will have that feature from the get-go, letting you play advanced PC-oriented games like Stormland. The Quest 2 should also work a lot better in standalone mode thanks to the stronger specs, as the original model tended to chug along for certain titles. While Oculus seems to have addressed our comfort complaint, we still don’t know if it addressed our other main gripe about the original’s steep $499 price. The biggest buzzkill might be that you now need a Facebook account to use any new Oculus products — something that the Oculus community was not thrilled about. Source linkContinue readingFacebook leaks its Oculus Quest 2 standalone VR headset

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The Verge

Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 leaks in full via official promo videos

The Oculus Quest 2 VR headset has leaked in full via a pair of promotional videos uploaded to a marketing hub run by parent company Facebook, The videos outline the specs of the standalone headset, which is a successor to 2019’s Oculus Quest. Also listed on the site is a pair of live demos of the headset, scheduled for September 16th and 17th. That lines up neatly with a previously-rumored launch date for the Quest 2 of September 15th. According to the videos, the new headset is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 platform, which is specifically designed for AR and VR hardware (unlike the general purpose Snapdragon 835 that powered the original Quest). One video boasts that the Quest 2 has an “almost 4K display,” which it says translates to “nearly 2K per eye,” which a second video says is 50 percent more pixels than the original Quest. The headset also has 6GB of RAM (up from 4GB) and up to 256GB of storage (up from a maximum of 128GB), as well as 3D positional audio, and the return of controller-free hand tracking. Although the videos provide plenty of new details about the Oculus Quest 2, there are a couple of lingering questions. It’s not clear, for a start, what the display’s refresh rate will be, which previous reports indicated could increase from 72Hz to 90Hz or even 120Hz to display smoother motion. There’s also no mention of the headset’s size or weight. Previous reports suggested that the Quest 2…Continue readingFacebook’s Oculus Quest 2 leaks in full via official promo videos

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VentureBeat

Facebook adds new requirement for Oculus Quest sideloading

Facebook is requiring a new step to sideload content on the Oculus Quest standalone headset. The option to use “unknown sources” on Oculus Quest is gated behind “Developer Mode.” Currently, enabling developer mode for your account requires agreeing to the Oculus Developer Terms of Service. Beginning October 8, Facebook will also add a verification step requiring you to provide either your phone number or payment details. If your account already has developer mode, you have until February 1. The policy shouldn’t change anything for sideloaders who already have that information tied to their account. It’s possible, though, that some Quest users who signed up as developers just to sideload content might’ve preferred a more anonymous relationship with Facebook, and they may now need to add more information to their account. Facebook confirmed in an email that “developer verification will apply to all individual developer accounts, new and existing” and “nothing is changing with Developer Mode at this time.” Earlier this year Facebook promised to open up new options for non-store app distribution on Oculus Quest in early 2021. Until then, as outlined in our guide to sideloading on Quest, signing up as a VR developer and using software like SideQuest can make it easy to do the following: Install prerelease builds released by a developer, before the game is finished and/or released. Install apps that are not available on the Oculus Store (either as they were rejected, have not yet applied for a store listing, or otherwise). Use an alternate build of an…Continue readingFacebook adds new requirement for Oculus Quest sideloading