Flying an X-Wing in virtual reality is absurdly cool

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Is the Rogue One-inspired X-Wing mission in Star Wars: Battlefront the best reason to own a PlayStation VR right now?

Yes. Yes it is.

The free virtual reality minigame feels like a dumbed down version of the classic PC game X-Wing, reborn. You hop into the iconic rebel fighter’s cockpit, blast a few TIE Fighters into oblivion and run circles around an Imperial Star Destroyer.

Oh yeah, you also get to watch the stars melt away right in front of you as your attack fighter leaps into hyperspace. OMG.

The Battlefront virtual reality mission is the best kind of fan service. Criterion Games, the studio that built it, had the right idea. Before the mission even starts, you’re deposited in an empty space with a parked X-Wing in front of you. Read more…

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Experience the day Pearl Harbor was attacked in virtual reality

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The day of Dec. 7, the moment in history when the U.S. was attacked by Japan’s forces on American soil at Pearl Harbor in 1941, continues to be a special day of remembrance for citizens of both countries, as it led to a turning point in World War II

Now, at the 75th anniversary of the attack at Pearl Harbor, we can take a trip back into history thanks to Time’s new “Remembering Pearl Harbor” virtual reality experience on Viveport for the HTC Vive and in the LIFE VR app. 

Told primarily through the accounts of 103-year-old WWII veteran Lt. James Downing, the experience uses information and artifacts from the National WWII Museum and the Library of Congress, as well as gripping visuals and sound design, to transport you back to that fateful day.  Read more…

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See all of New York’s extravagantly designed holiday windows using Google VR

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New York’s annual tradition of rolling out incredibly elaborate holiday-themed store window displays in December is as much a part of the city’s seasonal tourism as the Thanksgiving Day parade or New Years in Times Square. 

But if you don’t have the time or resources to make the trip, you can now get a taste of the city’s art-meets-holiday spirit via immersive experiences offered by Google. 

The company teamed up with 18 of the best known New York retail stores with holiday displays and produced an online and mobile interactive tour of the most stunning store windows this season.  Read more…

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Oculus Touch finally makes the Rift a complete VR experience

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Imagine trying to climb a mountain without using your hands. That’s what it’s been like using an Oculus Rift since the category-defining virtual reality headset landed in March. 

The Touch controllers, available Dec. 6, change all of that.

Oculus Touch at last gives Rift users a way to interact with VR environments using their hands. Until now, Rift experiences have been limited to experiences that rely on a standard video game controller or the headset’s included remote control.

The moon-shaped controllers arrive as a pair, one for each hand. They’re not nearly as bulky as the wands for the HTC Vive, and their natural contours guide you to a comfortable, button-accessible grip every time you pick them up. Read more…

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Virtual reality aims to transport lonely patients out of the hospital bed

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Virtual reality may be struggling to crossover into the gaming mainstream, but doctors are excited about the role it could play in medical treatment and therapy.

In 2016, VR let clinicians step into a cancer cell, and now an immersive experience named Joy is being tested for its ability to alleviate loneliness among long-stay hospital patients.

Built by Australian VR company Liminal and commissioned by the health insurer Medibank, it aims to provide a comforting experience for those who are unable to leave their hospital bed. Read more…

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Assassin’s Creed VR experience uses Oculus Rift to preview the future of movies

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We still haven’t reached a stage where full-length virtual reality films are the norm. However the studio behind the live-action version of Assassin’s Creed is hoping to give us a taste of cinema to come.

“Assassin’s Creed VR Experience,” from 20th Century Fox, combines the Oculus Rift and an AMD Radeon graphics card-powered Alienware computer to take fans inside a short, VR version of the forthcoming film starring Michael Fassbender. 

Using the same time traveling dynamic as the game and the film, you first meet a scientist who sends you back into the world of parkour-loving assassins, giving you a first-person VR view that was filmed on the same set used in the cinematic version.   Read more…

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