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The E3 is over, and it’s been a wild ride. From Skyrim for Alexa to long-anticipated titles and exclusives, the yearly gaming event did not disappoint. This also goes for news on the VR-front. Despite being relatively new and an unexplored niche, video game developers and makers had plenty to say about VR at the E3.

From new games that were announced, some of which look like they could end up changing the field entirely, to news on the hardware-front, there is plenty to talk about. Let’s start with an announcement that didn’t come – fans were very disappointed when Microsoft failed to announce anything at all in the way of VR at their panels.

No good news for Xbox

The event itself was undoubtedly impressive, but Microsoft didn’t keep its promise from 2016. Back then, they promised VR support for the Xbox One X, however now Xbox VP Mike Ybarra is singing a different tune: Apparently, Microsoft has decided to keep focusing its VR efforts on Windows PC “for now.”

While this was a disappointment to many, the E3 wasn’t all bad news. Since the debut of the first VR-headset, one new piece of technology has been eagerly awaited: The wireless headset. The need for cables with headsets like the Oculus Rift is one of its biggest detriments, after all, nobody wants to trip over a wire while playing. Now these wireless headsets are becoming a reality. The Lenovo Mirage Solo, a headset built on Google’s Daydream VR platform, is a self-contained system able to run on internal processors and storage.

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Oculus has released a wireless version too, the Oculus Go. Both headsets are far more convenient than the standard version, but they also suffer from a few issues, including their lack of ‘oomph.’ They are less potent than for example the Oculus Rift, and run on the sort of processor one might expect to find in a smartphone. Hold off on buying one, for now, they aren’t quite there yet.

Dedicated spin-offs being developed

As for one of the other issues that are plaguing VR-gaming right now, namely the lack of available games and things to do, there may finally be an end in sight. At this year’s E3, several spectacular-looking new titles were announced.

Oculus’ Stormland is one of these – a sci-fi game that dares to go where others fear to tread: It’s open-world. Few if any VR games are taking that risk at the moment, so the Oculus-exclusive is really setting the bar higher for other VR-games. Of course, Stormland wasn’t the only interesting title to be revealed.

Bethesda, for example, is creating two new VR titles – a Wolfenstein spin-off and one for the game Prey, namely Prey Typhon Hunter and Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot. Sony too has announced something interesting: With a library of over 100 VR games already, their new title Deracine is making headlines already. Set in a boarding school, the user plays as a ghost summoned by a young girl. Sony is definitely amping up their VR efforts, and as this year’s E3 has shown, so are many other companies.


YouTube: Wolfenstein Cyberpilot E3 Trailer PEGI

Photo credit: The feature image “Prey key art” is owned by Bethesda. The photo “little boy with VR headset” was done by Jan Michalko for re:publica.
Source: Jeremy Horwitz (VentureBeat) / Mike Murphy (Quartz) / Kirk Hamilton (Kotaku) / Ryan Gilliam (Polygon)

Melanie Hawthorne

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