Microsoft Making VR Moves, Resident Evil Remakes on Switch?

TODAY: Splash Damage is making a Stadia exclusive — Half-Life: Alyx is finally here, and it looks like VR has a killer app — S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is still in development and GSC Game World just revealed the first screenshot

Microsoft's VR Move

Next-gen VR headset from HP with support from Microsoft and Valve

HP just revealed a next-generation VR headset made in collaboration with Valve and Microsoft. The headset is meant to set a new standard for VR, delivering the most “immersive, comfortable and compatible experience” in the market.

While there’s not a lot of details yet, it appears to be the second generation of the HP Reverb headset, so this might be the HP Reverb G2, which is based on Microsoft’s Mixed Reality platform, which is compatible with SteamVR.

  • Phil Spencer has denied that the Xbox Series X will feature VR support, so don’t expect any VR on Xbox
  • It remains unclear how Microsoft and Valve have contributed to the project aside from providing APIs

Who is this headset for? The price range for VR headsets is pretty broad. The Valve Index costs £900, while the Oculus Rift S is less than half that at £400. HP’s new headset is rumoured to launch at the same price point as the HP Reverb – around £600.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

What was the name of the first game in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series?

  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Get Out of Here
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today’s issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.

Daily Fact

Making a splash: From mods to Stadia

These days, Splash Damage are working on a Stadia exclusive for Google, but they actually started out as a mod team.

The studio was formed by the developers responsible for Quake 3 Fortress, released in June 2001. They also worked on over 150 TV shows about Quake 3’s popular capture the flag mode.

The team then went on to work on several big projects including Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and the multiplayer maps for Doom 3, before taking on the Battlefield series with Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.

Their first major IP was Brink, published by Bethesda in 2011, which unfortunately sank like a stone. Since then, the team has made games for PC, consoles and mobile, as well as delivering multiplayer features for a range of major games.

The team still has a knack for crafting unique multiplayer games, so we’re excited to see what they’re cooking up for Google.

Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today’s fact.

Half-Life Alyx Verdict

Half-Life: Alyx Review Roundup

It’s been thirteen long years since Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and since then the Half-Life series has not showed any sign of concluding or for that matter even continuing – until now!

It’s not Episode 3, but Valve’s biggest bet on VR yet and judging by its Metacritic rating of 92, it just might be the killer app we’ve all been waiting for!

Upload VR (Score 100/100) – “Half-Life: Alyx makes good on its second chance, it is as essential a VR game as you’ll find in 2020, but perhaps the most exciting thing about it is the message is that the best is yet to come.”

IGN (Score 100/100) – “Back when VR first became a real thing and we all started spitballing which game worlds we’d most like to be fully immersed in, Half-Life topped my list (tied with BioShock). It took a few years, but Half-Life: Alyx has more than realized that potential. With it, Valve has set a new bar for VR in interactivity, detail, and level design, showing what can happen when a world-class developer goes all-in on the new frontier of technology. In a lot of ways, it feels like a game from the future, and one that the rest of VR gaming will likely take a good long while to match, much less surpass.”

VGC (Score 100/100) – “A stunning return for Half-Life and an essential VR purchase – if you have the required equipment and space.”

Game Informer (Score 90/100) – “Half Life: Alyx is a must-play game worthy of the series’ legacy. Despite some puzzles and encounters that feel like filler, the overall experience is strong. The stunning setpieces, beautiful world, and smart writing stand out no matter the medium, and mark a return to form for Valve. If you were waiting for a killer app before you made the investment into virtual reality, this is it.”

VentureBeat (Score 80/100) – “It’s an incredibly immersive experience. It’s just one I didn’t really want to be immersed in right now.”

Resi on Switch

Data miners discover Switch code in Resident Evil 3

Capcom launched the Resident Evil 3 Remake demo for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last week, prompting data miners to scour through the game files hunting for whatever secrets they might hold. And it looks like they might have found reference to an unannounced Switch port!

Popular Resident Evil 2 modder FluffyQuack discovered two major clues: Files referencing autosaving on Switch, and a reference to the Nintendo eShop.

  • According to Digital Foundry’s analysis, the Resident Evil 3 Remake is more demanding than Resident Evil 2 Remake
  • Resident Evil 2 Remake was never launched on Switch, so the game file references are hardly conclusive evidence

Does that mean a Switch port is coming? Probably not. None of Capcom’s recent multiplatform AAA games have launched on Switch, suggesting the RE Engine is not particularly Switch-friendly. Resident Evil 7 was launched for Switch in Japan in 2018, but it was not actually running on the Switch, but streamed from Capcom’s own servers!

What Else Happened Today?

  • Splash Damage is doing a Stadia exclusive for Google’s troubled service. No details have been revealed yet
  • First STALKER 2 screenshot revealed by developer GSC Game World. The studio has promised to reveal more soon
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons is still under development according to the game’s director, and there will be updates in the future, although COVID-19 has made the time frame a bit uncertain
  • Khandor Hideout added to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare today, alongside a bunch of new weapons for Warzone including: MK2 Carbine, EBR-14 marksman rifle, Desert eagle, and the 725 shotgun
  • Half-Life: Alyx designer Robin Walker wants to see mods for Half-Life: Alyx, and wants someone to make a non-VR version so people can really see why Valve decided to make it a VR exclusive

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Brotherhood United Switch Code

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Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

What was the name of the first game in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series?

Answer: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl!

Few games capture the post-Soviet spirit like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Taking place in an alternate history where a second incident took place at Chernobyl, further contaminating the exclusion zone, Shadow of Chernobyl puts you in the steel-toed boots of an amnesiac mercenary hunting a mysterious man named Strelok.

Famous for its open world, ambitious AI, brutal difficulty and crippling bugs, S.T.A.L.K.E.R was praised for its oppressive atmosphere and unique approach to FPS and open-world design.

If you have a taste for dark, Eastern-European games you will probably enjoy the more accessible but still odd survival-horror FPS Metro 2033, or the weirdest of the weird: The Pathologic series, two narrative-driven first-person games set in the middle of a plague.

Today’s issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Christian Vaz and Jamie Davey.