🥽 Sony's Does NOT Care About PSVR2

PLUS: VisionOS 2 Beta 2 Out, 90% Discounts for VR games and more...

Good morning, folks!

The Auggie Awards 2024 just wrapped up, and it seems the future of XR might involve a lot more lounging around. Who knew? The Pillow XR app snagged "Best Consumer App" for bringing mixed reality to the horizontal masses. Finally, a tech innovation that supports my lifestyle of trying to work from bed!

But the main story is that Meta Quest 3 grabbed the award for the Best Head-Worn Device. From AI-powered manufacturing assistants to holographic meetings, this year's winners are pushing the boundaries of what's possible in XR. However, as you’ll read further, some bad news still lurks within the industry.

 Joel Johnson, Founder & Chief Editor

Headlines for people in a hurry:

  • 🥽 visionOS 2 Beta 2 Drops With New Gestures & 3D Photos

  • 🎮 PSVR 2 Future in Doubt as Sony Reportedly Cuts VR Funding

  • 💸 VR Devs Slash Quest Game Prices by 90% in Bid for Visibility

  • 👓 XRAI Launches 'AR One' Smart Glasses with Real-Time Subtitles

Read time: 3 minutes



Apple's visionOS 2 Beta 2 Is Here: 3D Photos are Amazing!

Apple just released Beta 2 of visionOS 2 for Vision Pro developers. While we're still piecing together what's new in this latest beta, let's refresh our memories on the exciting features coming to Vision Pro this fall:

  • New hand gestures are coming! Open your palm to summon the app launcher, or face it down for a quick info bar.

  • Regular photos are getting a 3D makeover. visionOS 2 will use "advanced machine learning" to transform your flat pics into spatial photos. (You should definitely check this review.)

  • Mac users, rejoice! The virtual display is expanding to ultrawide proportions, equivalent to two 4K monitors. Your productivity might actually go through the roof…literally.

  • Fancy a getaway? A new "Bora Bora" environment lets you work from a tropical paradise. Just don't let your boss catch you sipping virtual piña coladas and think something’s wrong with you.

Why It Matters: visionOS 2 is shaping up to be a significant upgrade, addressing early user feedback and expanding Vision Pro's capabilities. These enhancements could make Apple's pricey headset more appealing to both consumers and businesses. However, as with any beta software, proceed with caution – unless you enjoy the thrill of potential bugs and app crashes. For the rest of us, the stable release this fall can't come soon enough!


Does Sony Not Care About the PSVR2 Anymore?

(Image credit: Android Central / Peacock)

Looks like Sony might be ghosting its own VR platform, and it's got the PSVR 2 community feeling jilted. Here's the scoop on what appears to be a seriously concerning situation:

  • Sources close to Android Central claim Sony is making deep cuts to VR game funding, with only two PSVR 2 games currently in development at the company. Yikes.

  • Remember Astro Bot, the beloved PSVR mascot? Its upcoming sequel doesn't even support VR. That's like Mario ditching his mushrooms.

  • Sony's first-party VR game output has slowed to a trickle, with zero official announcements for 2024 or beyond. The tumbleweeds are rolling.

  • Adding insult to injury, the recently announced PC adapter for PSVR 2 won't support key features like eye tracking or adaptive triggers. Talk about a watered-down experience.

Why It Matters: The PSVR 2 launched with some serious potential, boasting impressive specs and a handful of standout titles. But without ongoing support from Sony, its future looks bleaker than a post-apocalyptic VR wasteland. This apparent shift in strategy raises questions about the broader VR gaming market and whether console manufacturers see it as a viable long-term investment.


VR Game Studios Slash Prices by 90% on Quest Store: Genius Marketing or Desperate Move?

Looks like some VR developers are pulling out all the stops to get noticed, offering eye-popping discounts that have bargain hunters doing double-takes. Here's what's going down in the virtual marketplace:

  • Several VR studios are offering limited-time discount codes for up to 90% off their Quest Store games. We're talking $30 games going for just $3!

  • Even critically acclaimed recent releases like "Max Mustard" are joining the discount party. It's less 'sale' and more 'here, take our game, please!'

  • The goal? Boosting visibility and ratings on the crowded Quest Store. More purchases mean more reviews, which can snowball into coveted spots on the top sellers list.

  • This trend highlights the increasingly competitive nature of the Quest Store. With more games than ever vying for attention, some devs are willing to sacrifice short-term profits for long-term visibility.

Why It Matters: As Mikaël Dufresne (Director of Consumer Relations for ‘Ghost of Tabor’) put it, “Users looking at the top 10 will be very surprised that it's not actually the top 10 most sold apps in a fair way and actually just a top 10 of the greater discounts through codes.”


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New Glasses With Real-Time Captions: A Blessing For The Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Community

  • 🕶️ XRAI unveils AR One smart glasses for real-time subtitles, enhancing accessibility.

  • 🔄 Meta now lets users manually update Quest system software, improving control over device updates.

  • 🪟 Meta Quest introduces a new window layout with the v67 PTC update, enhancing multitasking.

  • 👁️ Inseye Lumi offers a $160 eye-tracking addon for Quest 2 and 3, using a cameraless approach.

  • 🗃️ VRdirect unveils VRXF, a new file format aimed at simplifying VR content creation and sharing.

  •  WowMouse enhances AR interactions on Magic Leap 2 with wrist-based gesture control, offering more intuitive controls.


Immersive Articles From The Web

  • Why Your iPhone Won't Power An Apple Vision Headset, But Could Power Glasses

  • Apple Vision Pro Sets Its Fan Speed Based On How Much Noise The Microphones Hear

  • ‘RIVEN’ Review – An Okay VR Port of an Awesome Game Still Worth Playing



Shoot ‘Em Up

  • 🔫 Dead Second: A Time Crisis-inspired FPS, Dead Second is coming to the Meta Quest main store with new levels and features.

  • 👻 The Exorcist: Legion VR: This horror VR game gets a free upgrade for Quest 3, enhancing the fear factor.

  • 🏨 Death Game Hotel: A new VR horror game set in a creepy hotel, launching soon.

  • 🧽 PowerWash Simulator VR: Clean up in Wonderland with the Alice Adventures special pack DLC.

  • 🧩 Dumblab: Enjoy tricky puzzles and wacky VR worlds in this fun and challenging game.

  • ⚔️ Blade and Sorcery: Enter to win this popular VR combat game, known for its realistic physics and immersive gameplay.



Gracia AI Secures $1.2M for Volumetric Video Tools

Gracia AI, a startup specializing in volumetric video capture and playback for spatial computing, has announced a $1.2 million investment led by Boost VC. The funding round also saw participation from Outlier Ventures and several angel investors.

The company's technology allows users to easily capture and share volumetric videos using just a smartphone. These 3D recordings can then be viewed on various spatial computing devices, including VR headsets, AR glasses, and even 2D screens. Gracia AI's tools work with existing smartphone cameras, making volumetric capture accessible to a wide audience.

The startup plans to use the funding to expand its team and further develop its technology. Gracia AI sees potential applications in social media, e-commerce, and enterprise training. This investment highlights the growing interest in user-generated 3D content for mixed reality experiences. As spatial computing devices become more prevalent, tools that simplify the creation and sharing of immersive content are likely to play a crucial role in the ecosystem's growth.



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Have a great week folks.

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