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AR/VR Weekly: Apple’s incremental approach

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For anyone waiting for groundbreaking augmented reality or virtual reality news from Apple yesterday, sorry, you’re still going to wait. But the announcements that came from the mothership (pun intended, since this presentation came from the new starship-like Cupertino campus) show the sort of incremental support that AR needs as it prepares to grow.

Tuesday, Apple’s announcements for its ARKit augmented reality tech included The Machines, a new game from Directive Games and support of several existing apps. We didn’t see anything groundbreaking, but that Apple was willing to give precious stage time to not just two games but small updates that add AR capability to existing apps (MLB At Bat and Warhammer 40K: Freeblade).

I found this encouraging. MLB At Bat is popular, but Freeblade hasn’t found the critical mass of other mobile games yet, ranking 330 in action games and 139 in RPGs (according to tracking firm App Annie). Considering the huge number of options in the iOS store, Freeblade has made a solid showing. But it’s no Pokémon Go or Clash of Clans.

Yet Apple still felt Freeblade merited a presence on the stage thanks to AR. It singled out a game from a smaller studio, Pixel Toys, and gave it a presence at one of its major events. That’s invaluable exposure (it’s got me interested in downloading this game, to see what Apple finds so exciting about it).

All because Pixel Toys is ready to tinker with ARKit — as I’m sure dozens (likely hundreds) of other studios are ready, and eager, to also do.

For AR/VR coverage, send news tips to Dean Takahashi and Jeff Grubb (for those that cross over into PC gaming). Please send guest post submissions to Rowan Kaiser. Please be sure to visit our AR/VR Channel.

—Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor

P.S. Are you ready for some football … in virtual reality?

From GamesBeat

Apple shows off the first ARKit apps and games

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The Machines is Directive Games’ augmented reality game for iOS

Directive Games showed off its new augmented reality game, The Machines, as an exclusive for iOS today. Directive Games CEO Atli Mar showed off the tank battle game at Apple’s big iPhone 8 introduction event at its headquarters in Cupertino, California. As he spoke, another man held an iPad as if it were a camera. […]

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Virtuix launches suite of Omniverse VR games for arcades

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Android’s fragmentation will give Google’s ARCore problems

Google recently launched an augmented reality platform, ARCore, in a direct challenge to Apple’s announcement of ARKit. A familiar narrative is playing out, one in which Apple and Google will battle for platform dominance, like they’ve done with iOS and Android over the past decade. However, Google probably won’t dominate the smartphone AR ecosystem in the same way […]

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Beyond GamesBeat

Learn A New Language With MondlyVR, Now On Daydream

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Kids Bike Through Their Own Artwork In This VR Workshop

Remember when arts and crafts meant some glue sticks and a handful of dry macaroni? Ah yes, it was a simpler time that the children of today will unfortunately never fully understand. Especially when you have digital technology groups such as Play Lab dedicated to bringing technology into younger and younger classrooms. Since its initial creation January of this year the company has been developing all types of projects focused on VR & AR learning. However their newest program may be their most ambitious yet. (via VR Scout)

Nintendo Still Not Ready For VR, Not Enough “Truly Fun” Experiences

Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s President and COO, took the stage Thursday at Variety’s Entertainment and Tech Summit to discuss the company’s immediate future, including the likely (and entirely predictable) shortage of Nintendo Switch this holiday season. According to Fils-Aime, who spoke briefly about the company’s plans for VR, there still isn’t any reason for Nintendo to go head-first into the medium. (via Road to VR)

CAA Signs First Fully Virtual Reality Director In Kevin Cornish

CAA has signed its first fully Virtual Reality director. Kevin Cornish, who has established himself as a leader in directing high-end, cinematic VR, putting together content for brands ranging from IBM, Google, Oculus, Discovery, MTV, AT&T, Ram Truck and AMD and has worked with such talent including Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss, has signed with the agency. It will also rep his company Moth + Flame, a full-service virtual reality agency. (via Deadline)

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