E56: The next generation of VR gaming.
Good morning gamers. We hope that your 2022 is going well so far.
We’re considering January to be the “calm before the storm” because 2022 will surely be filled with incredible gaming moments and releases. Last week we saw Sony announce the PlayStation VR2 and Ubisoft teased bringing their Ubisoft+ service to Xbox Game Pass. A lot happened so this is an edition you don’t want to miss.
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PSVR2 - The Next Generation of VR Gaming
Virtual Reality gaming is still in its infancy but Sony might be about to change the game with their announcement of the new Playstation VR2 and the VR Sense controller (with haptic feedback and adaptive triggers) for the PlayStation 5. According to the official blog post and their CES 2022 presentation, the PlayStation VR2 builds off of next-gen technology to add a true next-gen experience with “high-fidelity visuals, new sensory features, and enhanced tracking”. This PSVR2 has a simple “plug-and-play” setup with a single cable that connects directly to the PlayStation 5.
PlayStation VR2 Specs
Technical specs can get a little confusing to list so if you’re interested in seeing a side-by-side comparison with other VR gaming options, check this post out by IGN. Here’s the important TLDR,
Visual Fidelity: Native 4K HDR resolution with 110-degree field of view. It has an OLED display with 2000x2040 (per eye) panel resolution and 120Hz frame rate.
Headset-based Controller Tracking: Includes inside-out tracking which tracks movements using cameras embedded inside the headset (no external cameras needed).
Sensory Features: New Sense technology, headset feedback, 3D audio and the VR2 Sense controller creates a fully immersed experience created by a single built-in motor with vibrations. This means you can feel your characters pulse, the sensation of velocity and the rush of objects passing close to your head.
Eye Tracking: Improved eye tracking acts as an additional input for the game character allowing the player to more intuitively interact with the character and its environment.
Alongside the PSVR2 announcement, PlayStation also revealed that a spinoff of Guerrilla Games’ Horizon series will be getting a VR release called “Horizon Call of the Mountain” (developed by Firesprite). We don’t have many details yet but it will be a standalone game and Aloy won’t be the main protagonist (but will make an appearance).
There’s also a few rumours floating around that suggest Half Life: Alyx will be coming to PSVR2 at some point after release. This news comes from industry insider and XboxEra podcast host Nick Baker.
Ubisoft+ is coming to Xbox
Ubisoft announced last week that their Ubisoft+ subscription service will be coming to Xbox. The service originally launched on PC and it allows subscribers to access more than 100 Ubisoft titles, game DLCs, cosmetics and more. Unfortunately, Ubisoft+ will not be included with an Xbox Game Pass subscription and the pricing hasn’t been revealed yet.
Rainbow Six Extraction will be available on day one with the Xbox Game Pass on console, PC and the cloud. The game releases on January 20th and it will offer players a thrilling PvE co-op experience. For players interested in trying the game you will be able to play alone or in a squad of up to three players. Rainbow Six Siege will also be available with PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate starting January 20th.
Chris Early, Ubisoft’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development says “Rainbow Six Extraction for Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass members is just the beginning”. Early also said that he believes the Xbox Game Pass offers players significant value.
The announcement was well received by the gaming community, contrary to Ubisoft’s last announcement of Ubisoft Quartz, the first playable NFTs in Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
Team Vitality Secures the Bag!
European esports organization Team Vitality has received a monstrous €50 million investment from esports venture fund Rewired.gg. This talent focused partnership will help develop “European super teams” by helping secure international talent to boost team performance. The french esports organization has already revamped their CS:GO and League of Legends rosters by bringing new top ranked players from across the world. Team Vitality’s co-founder and esports director Fabien Davide said “This scale of talent investment has never been seen in esports before”.
Last Minute Changes in the CDL
The Call of Duty League is two weeks away from the start of the season and Activision Blizzard have already started to back-track on their season format. All major tournaments throughout the 2022 season will now feature all 12 teams rather than just 8 as they originally announced. Most of the franchise teams voiced their concerns with the original format (where 7 teams + the tournament host qualify) and the season has now been changed so that all 12 teams can participate in each event. The 2022 season will start with a Kickoff Classic event at the end of January and then the first major event will be hosted by OpTic Texas in early February.
Shopify Joins Halo Esports
The Shopify Rebellion have officially announced their entrance into the Halo Infinite esports scene. The e-commerce giant built a roster consisting of long time esport veterans from different games, all of which are making the transition to Halo this year. The inaugural roster includes Brian “Solurs” Valenzuela (Gears of War), Chance “Maux” Moncivaez (Call of Duty), Gilbert “Xplosive” Rojo (Gears of War) and Billy “MentaL” Putnam (Gears of War).
According to Tom Henderson, The Last of Us remake for the PS5 is almost done and could be released towards the end of 2022. Henderson states that the Last of Us 2 multiplayer and Director’s Cut will most likely be released in 2023.
Jeff Grubb (GrubbSnax) has reported that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 will likely be revealed sometime in the first half of 2022. He specifically said “expect to hear about the game in a significant way before E3”.
According to the Wall Street Journal, GameStop has hired 20 employees to build an online marketplace to buy, sell and trade NFTs. According to Reuters, their stock increased 27% because of the news, however, it is still down 59% from January 2021.
Jonathan Nolan, the co-creator and executive of Westworld will be directing the pilot of Amazon’s Fallout TV series. Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Tomb Raider) and Graham Wagner (Silicon Valley, The Office) will both serve as show-runners.
According to Days Gone director Jeff Ross, the pitch for a sequel was rejected by Sony. Ross has now left the company and Bend Studio is working on a new IP based on the “deep open-world systems that they developed with Days Gone”.
According to Dr. Serkan Toto, Mario Kart 9 (with a new twist) is in active development despite the success of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. He also states that in 2022, he expects an established IP to arrive on mobile devices.
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