The Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3 has notoriously been the mecca of new games and console technology and, arguably, an annual holiday for gamers.
With the game worlds, virtual worlds, and real world colliding more and more, our Co-Founder and Lead VR engineer packed their bags for sunny Los Angeles to scout the best new technology, games and talent at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect for us was the overall presence that Virtual Reality commanded at the show. Nearly half of the booths at the convention center boasted VR or some VR integration. Every major player (with the exception of Nintendo) talked about VR support within the next year. Our favorite franchises (think Star Wars, Final Fantasy, and Batman) are coming to a headset near you soon.
Here are a few of our favorites from the conference.
1. PSVR Aim Controller
Sony just announced their PSVR Aim controller which represents a gun to be used in FPS VR games. With it, they announced their VR FPS game Farpoint to be played in conjunction with the Aim. It is really unique because it brings a new level of immersive VR experiences, and we couldn't be more excited. The controller has standalone Move device with integrated buttons, two thumbsticks, and tracking via the glowing ball on the front and an inbuilt IMU, and will come in a bundle with the PSVR. The one to one tracking allows for amazingly precise interaction and real sense of presence within the game.
We loved the demo we tried in the Playstation area, and Road to VR wrote a robust recap on the new device. If your interested in finding out more, check it out here: http://www.roadtovr.com/farpoint-psvr-aim-controller-playstation-vr-aim-e3-2016-hands-on/
Farpoint, developed by Impulse Gear, is the new FPS experience from Playstation that utilizes the Aim controller puts you within a foreign planet where you are attacked by aliens. In the game, the direction of the gun determines your direction you move forward in the game.
3. Batman Arkham VR
Surprise announcement during the E3 keynote, Rocksteady Games brought out our favorite Bruce Wayne; or rather let's you experience the thrill of the life of Batman. The full experience will launch in October exclusively on the PSVR. The demo, however, started in Wayne Manor, had you interact with Alfred, descend into the Bat cave surrounded by waterfalls, and put on the bat suit as you start to unfurl the layers to a murder by Gotham's most crooked, and all the way to witnessing an all out brawl on the street. Needless to say, we can't wait to get the 2-3 full experience when it launches this Fall.
4. Project Scorpio
Long awaited, Microsoft revealed the next member to the Xbox family: Project Scorpio (still a codename). Like the Xbox One, but capable of running 4k native games, and support for VR experiences (obviously our favorite feature). In an interview with the Verge, Phil Spencer, Xbox Chief said this, "The important thing for Scorpio is that it's a dramatic step up for us in terms of hardware capability, because as we saw 4K gaming and really high-end VR taking off in the PC space, we wanted to be able to bring that to console. Project Scorpio is actually an Xbox One that can natively run games in 4K and is built with the hardware capabilities to support the high-end VR that you see happening in the PC space today... when it ships it will be the most powerful console ever built." That last sentence is quite the statement considering the players pushing their way into the space and the rapid rate of iteration on both the hardware and software side. The exact release date is not set, but it scheduled to launch sometime next Fall. It seems really early to announce a piece of hardware, but it has us excited and holding our breath.