🥽 Apple's HUGE Release

Spatial Personas for Telepresence, Top April Fool Pranks, Meta's Age Verification and more

Good morning, folks!

Apple has released the highly anticipated Spatial Personas feature, and it’s mind-blowing! You can invite other users into your room as avatars, and you can play together with the same 3D elements and apps. This opens up a new frontier for telepresence.

Plus, a list of the best April Fool’s pranks compiled by Road To VR. Let’s dive straight in.

 Joel Johnson, Founder & Chief Editor

Headlines for people in a hurry:

  • 🙋 Apple Launches Public Beta Of Spatial Personas

  • 💰 Swedish VR Studio Crosses 1 Million Games Sold

  • 🔞 Meta Quest Will Now Start Asking For Your Age

  • 🫂 Flat2VR Studios Lands Partner For Porting PC Games To VR

Read time: 3 minutes



Spatial Personas Released For Improving Immersive Collaborations & Telepresence

Vision Pro users trying out Spatial Personas feature

Apple Vision Pro has launched its highly anticipated 'Spatial Personas' feature, marking a significant advancement in virtual avatars and hangouts. Unlike the ridiculed earlier avatars which are 2D versions on a floating window, Spatial Personas allow users to share the same environment, say your room, and interact with virtual objects like in real life. (See video)

The details:

  • Utilizing the Vision Pro's eye, face, and hand tracking sensors, Spatial Personas are rendered in 3D, offering a more immersive and realistic representation of users in virtual spaces.

  • Spatial Personas integrate seamlessly with visionOS apps like Apple TV+, Disney+, and the Freeform collaboration app, allowing for shared experiences such as watching movies, screen sharing, and interactive app usage.

  • The feature is designed to simplify the synchronization of app states between users, encouraging developers to incorporate Spatial Personas into their visionOS apps.

How People Are Using It: This video shows 2 Vision Pro users viewing and playing with 3D objects together. Another video shows two friends trying to draw on a board together and watching a movie. Youtuber Bradley Lynch is seen here playing a PC game together with Flat2VR Studios CEO Eric Masher. Lastly, we have CNET reporter Scott Stein playing AR chess with a friend.


Fast Travel Games Hits Milestone with Over 1 Million VR Games Sold

Swedish VR studio Fast Travel Games has achieved a significant milestone, surpassing 1 million VR game sales. This accomplishment underscores the studio's growing influence in the virtual reality gaming sector and its potential for future growth.

The details:

  • Impressive Sales: Based in Stockholm, Fast Travel Games has successfully sold over 1 million VR games, with its largest market being the USA. The studio boasts a diverse portfolio of twelve titles. Its most successful game to date, "Vampire: The Masquerade — Justice," sold over 100,000 copies in just November and December of last year.

  • Financial Performance: In 2023, the company reported revenues of 83 million Swedish kronor (approximately $7.7 million) but faced an EBITDA loss of 12 million kronor (around $1.1 million). Despite this, it experienced a 46 percent growth over the previous year.

  • Strategic Investments: Anticipating strong industry growth due to increased platform competition, lower hardware prices, and a rising number of VR players, Fast Travel Games secured $4.3 million through a new share issue in October 2023. These funds are earmarked for studio investments and the development of future games.

  • Future Prospects: The studio is optimistic about the VR industry's growth and is preparing for expansion by focusing on creating compelling games that attract more users to VR. Among its upcoming titles is "Mannequin," a VR multiplayer game set to release later this year.

Why It Matters: Fast Travel Games' success in selling over 1 million VR games highlights the studio's potential and the growing appetite for VR content among consumers. Their success can encourage more game developers to focus on creating games for the VR ecosystem.


The Best/Worst April Fool’s Jokes Of 2024 (Compiled By Road To VR)

April Fool's Day in the XR community was filled with imaginative pranks and announcements that had fans both amused and bewildered. From fictional product launches to hilarious game updates, here's a roundup of some of the most memorable jokes that were compiled by Scott Hayden.

The details:

  • Virtual Boy Pro MR Headset: Nintendo, in collaboration with IGN, teased the 'Virtual Boy Pro,' a mixed reality headset that promised to bring iconic Nintendo characters into the real world. Despite its improved ergonomics over the 1995 Virtual Boy, the device humorously claimed to support AR versions of beloved games like Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda, along with a unique feature that turns vacuum cleaners into Luigi's ghost-catching Poltergust 3000.

  • Walkabout Mini Golf Legs Update: The popular VR game Walkabout Mini Golf joked about a much-needed update: legs. The game, known for its immersive putt-putt golf experience, playfully suggested that it might finally include the player's lower limbs, a feature fans didn't know they were missing.

  • Virtual Desktop Developer Joins Meta: Guy Godin, known for his work on Virtual Desktop and also for his love-hate relationship with Meta, announced that he was joining Meta Reality Labs. “I’ll also release features and updates at a much slower cadence, without really testing stuff before it goes live,” he said on Twitter.

  • Pillow's New Toilet Mode: Pillow is an mixed reality app made for relaxation which is best viewed while lying down on bed. Its creator Lucas Rizzotto introduced a 'toilet mode' for the app, suggesting that the bathroom might be the next frontier for VR relaxation.

  • Doki Doki Leahs: MINTROCKET, the developers behind Dave the Diver, announced a fake DLC for a VR love simulator featuring the game's anime idol, Leahs. The humorous update promised voice lines in multiple languages, catering to fans worldwide.



Say Your Age Or Get Blocked In 30 Days

  • 🧒 Meta Quest introduces age-appropriate accounts, offering tailored safety and privacy settings for different age groups. Anyone who fails to provide their age after 30 days will temporarily lose access to their Meta account.

  • 🆙 Quest 3's next system update (v64) is set to improve passthrough quality, enhancing visibility in various lighting conditions.

  • 🚀 A significant move in military training technology, Red 6 and AERALIS sign an MOU to integrate AR pilot training into modular defense aircraft.

  • 🚫 Ninja Theory confirms no VR port for Hellblade 2, focusing its release on Windows and Xbox Series X/S without VR capabilities.

  • 🛠️ Through a partnership with iFixit, HTC Vive enables DIY repairs of VR headsets, offering official parts and guides for Vive CE and Vive Pro.

  • 🎥 Spatialify unlocks spatial video capture in 4K and HDR, elevating the quality of content creation with high-definition visuals.

  • 📚 Augmented World Expo announces an exclusive Apple Vision Pro developer workshop, sponsored by Unity, featuring industry experts to share visionOS application development insights.


Immersive Articles From The Web

  • Apple Vision Pro Spatial Personas Hands-On: A Step-Change For Telepresence

  • Meta Quest+ in April 2024: These VR Games Are Included This Month

  • Vision Pro is Hands-down the Best Movie Experience You Can Have on a Plane

  • Quest 3 Accessory review: Kiwi's Vertical Charging Stand Does Almost Everything Right

  • This Clever Immersion Hack Makes VR Feel More Real: Inside XR Design

  • What's Behind Snap's New Sponsored Filters Play?

  • Big Tech's Silent War Over Spatial Computing



Silent Vampire Hunter

  • 🧛‍♂️ Silent Slayer is a VR game from Schell Games that puts you in the shoes of a vampire hunter, emphasizing stealth and tension in its gameplay.

  • 🧗‍♂️ Sky Climb, inspired by Fall Guys, is a VR platforming adventure on the Quest Store with 65 levels, power-ups, and a level builder mode.

  • 🕷️ Swarm 2 is a Spiderman-inspired game that enhances the grapple-shot action and aerial combat introduced in its predecessor, promising fluid and dynamic gameplay.

  • 🌌 Astra offers an exploration and survival adventure in VR, promising to take players on an immersive journey through space.

  • 🔫 Contractors Showdown introduces a new dimension to competitive VR gameplay, focusing on strategy and skill in a virtual battlefield.

  • 🏎️ EA Sports WRC VR aims to offer a thrilling rally racing experience in virtual reality.

  • 🌳 The Park VR Tournament provides a team-building adventure in VR, offering a mix of exploration and puzzles in a park setting.

  • 🏴‍☠️ The Pirate Queen VR is set to immerse players in a swashbuckling adventure led by a fierce female protagonist.

  • 🏃‍♀️ Runaways for Apple Vision Pro explores an escape adventure in VR, promising a unique experience for Apple's upcoming headset.



It’s Happening: Flat2VR Studios Gets A Partner

Flat2VR Studios, the company that’s trying to bring all your favorite PC games to VR, has successfully partnered with Hartmann Capital, securing an investment that promises to propel the studio's ambitious VR port projects forward.

The details:

  • Strategic Partnership: Jasmine Uniza, CEO of Flat2VR Studios, announced the partnership with Hartmann Capital, a US-based investment firm with a keen interest in digital assets, VR/AR, AI, space, and transhumanism. Hartmann Capital previously launched a $30 million Metaverse Fund, investing in various XR platforms and applications.

  • Industry Impact: Hartmann Capital's Metaverse analyst, JP Minetos, highlighted the success of PC VR ports like the Half-Life 2: VR Mod and the standalone VR port of Resident Evil 4, underscoring the potential market demand for high-quality VR adaptations.

  • Expert Team: Flat2VR Studios boasts a team of seasoned VR experts with deep industry knowledge and experience in creating native-feeling VR experiences, positioning the studio as a leader in the VR porting domain.

  • Vision and Goals: Originating from the modding scene, Flat2VR Studios aims to professionalize the VR porting process by developing licensed VR ports for major storefronts, including Steam, the Quest Store, and the Playstation Store. The studio's foundation was supported by VR publisher Impact Reality, incorporating leading developers from the Flat2VR community.



“What about VR device inflation? From $499 to $3499 devices?”

Have a great week folks.

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