Google is ready to ramp up its VR efforts

Google is ready to ramp up its VR efforts
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It’s been pretty quiet in the world of VR and AR this week as smartwatches have dominated the wearable headlines (looking at you, Apple Watch).

But look a little closer: things have happened, events have occurred, developments have developed. Read on for the news you need to know and also check out a couple of recommendations of a couple of things you need to watch too.

Don’t worry, we’re sure things will be back to normal next week.

Read this: News hits

Google’s making a big push with VR & AR

Over at Google, it’s all felt a little quiet on the virtual reality front. But don’t be alarmed, things are happening, as proven by a recent job listing that suggests the company is ramping up its VR R&D. The company is on the search for a Diamond Turning Technician to produce “cutting edge optical components”.

The job is in Google’s Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality team and involves working on “new and novel designs”, suggesting we could see some interesting new custom lenses in the future that would enhance the VR experience. As Road to VR points out, the company has listed 59 new jobs related to VR/AR over the past 10 months.

Everybody’s Golf is coming to PS VR next year

The long-running PlayStation franchise Everybody’s Golf (or Hot Shots, as it’s known in North America) is getting the VR treatment. Announced ahead of the Tokyo Games Show, the game is coming exclusively to PS VR. Players will be able to use either a DualShock 4 or a PS Move controller on a variety of courses, Sony says.

“For the first time ever in the series, players will be able to see the uneven terrain, read wind direction, and experience the nature of the golf course all with their own eyes,” said Sony in a blog post.

VR boards a plane

In more cases than not, in-flight entertainment leaves a lot to be desired. IdeaNova, a company that specializes in this area, is toying with the idea of bringing VR to your next flight with its INPLAY VR system. This would support all manner of VR headset on the market – provided by the airline or the passenger – letting you plug in and escape to far-flung virtual worlds – worlds that will still pause for the captain’s announcements, that is.

IdeaNova will show off INPLAY VR at the APEX Expo in Boston. There’s no word on if/when this may actually come to airlines, but we love the idea.

Lenovo’s VR headset is going cheap

If you fancy getting in on Windows Mixed Reality, here’s something to think about. The Lenovo Explorer Mixed Reality headset is currently available for just $99 on B&H. That’s down from $189, so a considerable saving, however it doesn’t get you the motion controllers. Annoyingly you can’t buy those separately either, so you’ll have to pick up a pair off eBay or settle for using the gamepad.

Watch this: Ace Combat 7’s VR mode

Bandai Namco was also previewing ahead of the Tokyo Games Show, in this case for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. The arcade flight combat sim is coming to PS4 and Xbox One, and even better, if you have a PS VR you’ll be able to try out the VR mode, which will comprise of several hours of gameplay.

And watch this: Kingdom Hearts comes to VR

You’d better believe it. Square Enix’s beloved franchise is getting the VR love. While it’s set to only be a 10-minute experience, the trailer suggests a mixture of passive and interactive elements. It’ll arrive during the holidays.


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