Vader Immortal world premiere: Star Wars comes to VR with story, humor, stakes

Vader Immortal world premiere: Star Wars comes to VR with story, humor, stakes

Enlarge / This dramatic staredown moment from Vader Immortal, as captured from live Oculus Quest hardware. While this captured image is a bit fuzzy, Vader’s animation and presentation within the VR experience is quite satisfying. (credit: Lucasfilm)

I could start my review of Vader Immortal: Episode One, the first lengthy Star Wars experience for consumer-grade VR headsets, in a number of ways. Controls? Comfort? Visuals? Story? Droids?

But after I finished my first run of the 45-minute experience, premiering exclusively on Oculus Quest on May 21 for $9.99, I knew where to begin: the moment Darth Vader became my life-sized lightsaber combat ally.

There I was, my eyes locked onto the tall Star Wars icon’s mask as it loomed above me. He ordered me to turn a key. (I wasn’t in a position to argue.) Doing so loosed a mystic energy, along with a slew of mysterious, sword-wielding

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Oculus Quest review: 2019’s best new gaming system is wireless, affordable VR

Oculus Quest review: 2019’s best new gaming system is wireless, affordable VR

Enlarge / The Oculus Quest, as enjoyed by an invisible model. (credit: Oculus)

I can take the Oculus Quest with me practically anywhere, pull it over my eyes, map out a VR space with my hands, and quickly start playing some of the best VR games currently on the market. That “anywhere” includes, for instance, the bathroom in the food court beneath Valve Software’s headquarters.

Today is a big news day for Oculus, the Facebook-owned virtual reality headset manufacturer. The company’s two recently announced VR headsets, the $400 Oculus Quest and the $400 Oculus Rift S, now have release dates (May 21), pre-order announcements (right meowright here), and a review embargo lifted after nearly two weeks of hands-on time.

But as you may have seen, there’s other VR news today: preview embargoes for the Valve Index, which you can also read about on Ars today,

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Valve Index reveal: The best of VR’s first generation—but is it worth $999?

Valve Index reveal: The best of VR’s first generation—but is it worth $999?

Enlarge / Say hello to the Valve Index, developed and manufactured by game studio Valve. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

BELLEVUE, Washington—The Valve Index, a new virtual reality system from the creators of beloved video game series like Half-Life and Portal and the mega-popular Steam game store, is an aspirational product. Its sales pitch, as explained by various Valve staffers, revolves around the VR experience of tomorrow.

Headset specs
Valve Index HTC Vive Pro
Display 2880×1600 (1440×1600 per eye) “fast-switching” LCD panels 2880×1600 (1440×1600 per eye) AMOLED panel
Refresh rate 90Hz, 120Hz, or 144Hz 90Hz
Field of view 130 degrees with integrated FOV “eye relief” knob 110 degrees
Audio Near-field off-ear speakers with 3D directional audio support; built-in microphone Integrated adjustable earcups with 3D directional audio support; built-in microphone
PC connection Custom single-piece cable Custom single-piece cable with PC junction box
Optional Bundled Accessories Two wireless motion-tracked controllers with rechargeable batteries, two
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