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    Tested: Oculus Quest 2 Review!

    We've been testing the new Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset for about two weeks, and dive deep into its differences from the first Quest, Rift S, and other VR headsets. Here's how it plays existing Quest games with its new processor and display, how it feels with the new Elite headstrap accessory, and what Quest 2 means for the Oculus mobile and PC VR ecosystems.

    Hands-On with Tactical Haptics' SaberGrip VR Controller

    We visit the labs of Tactical Haptics, where the company has been prototyping new versions of their haptic feedback VR controller during the COVID lockdown. Their controller's use of sheer forces to simulate weight and object interaction is one of the most compelling haptics implementations we've tried. Chatting with founder and CEO Will Provancher, we learn how they've been refining the controller design, creating new demo experiences, and their plans for their awesome multi-pose magnet sockets accessory!

    Tested: Droplabs Haptic Feedback Shoes Review!

    We test and review the Droplabs EP 01, a pair of sneakers with a built-in tactile transducer for haptic feedback while listening to music, watching movies, and playing games. It's an interesting example of technology designed to the constraints of footwear, giving a tactile sensation we didn't know we wanted from home entertainment. And one of the more interesting use cases: adding a new level of haptic feedback in virtual reality games.

    PROJECTIONS: HP Reverb G2 Hands-On Test and Impressions

    We get our hands on a near-final prototype of HP's upcoming Reverb G2 Windows Mixed Reality VR headset and put it to the test! Here's how it compares with the Valve Index and Oculus Rift S, as well as its improvements over the original Reverb G1. From improved optics and tracking to Valve's audio design and new controllers, there's a lot to be excited about for desktop virtual reality gamers!

    Adam Savage's One Day Builds: Custom Pistol Whip Controller!

    Adam can't get enough of the VR game Pistol Whip (aka leg day for working out in VR) and builds a custom machined aluminum mount for his Oculus Quest controller to add some heft to the gameplay. It's also a chance for Adam to apply acid etching to metal, and Adam enlists Jen Schacter's help in cutting out the vinyl mask for that process.

    VR Immersive Theater in The Under Presents: Tempest!

    We review The Under Presents: Tempest, a new interactive theater experience for Oculus Quest and Rift that pairs real actors with small groups of participants for a VR reimagning of Shakespeare's The Tempest. We chat with Tender Claws founder Samantha Gorman about the creation of this 45-minute multiplayer theatrical story and discuss the challenges and opportunities VR brings to stage performance.

    ButtKicker Gamer 2 Review: Amazing Audio Haptics in VR!

    Sound is a big part of immersion in VR, and adding a bass shaker to seated VR rigs is something we've always wanted to test. We're impressed by the performance of the ButtKicker Gamer 2 tactile transducer and amplifier kit, which works seamlessly with cockpit games from racing to mech piloting to space combat games, and adds a tremendous amount of fun to VR experiences. It's a highly-recommended upgrade to your VR setup!

    PROJECTIONS: Cyberpunk VR Game LOW-FI + QuestDraw AR!

    We go hands-on with the latest alpha build of LOW-FI, the cyberpunk open-world VR game from the makers of Technolust. Plus we chat with the game's creator Blair Renaud about the scope of the game, cinema influences, and plans for further updates to the Alpha as well as PSVR support. It's the closest we've felt to being in Blade Runner in virtual reality. Plus, we test QuestDraw AR, a painting tool for the Oculus Quest that works with an AR iOS viewer.

    3D-Printed VR Blaster Grip and Adventure Lab Escape Room!

    We review two VR games that attempt to bring location-based experiences into the home. First is Adventure Lab, a unique cooperative multiplayer game that's part escape room and part immersive theater, played with a live performer hosting every session. We also test Tower Tag, a VR arcade game with a free 3D print file to turn the Oculus Touch controllers into the exact sci-fi blaster you see in headset!

    Phantom: Covert Ops Preview and Spaceteam VR Review!

    This week, we take a look at two VR games: the upcoming Phantom: Covert Ops and the just-released Spaceteam VR. Here's how Phantom: Covert Ops works as a stealth action game where you move around the world in a virtual kayak. We paddle through the first part of the game to get a sense of its unique gameplay and comfort level. Plus, Spaceteam VR may be just what we need in a VR party game while we're all stuck at home!

    No $80 Cable Needed: Oculus Quest Link Works Out of the Box!

    Is the $80 Oculus Link cable obsolete? A stealth update in the Oculus Beta channel has enabled Link support for USB 2.0 cables, including the 3 meter charging cable bundled with the Oculus Quest! Performance is the same as with the fiber optic cable, and USB 2.0 extension cables work as well. Just opt in to the PTC (Public Test Channel) in Oculus software, restart, and you can start playing desktop VR games like Half-Life: Alyx on the Quest!

    Half-Life: Alyx In-Depth Review

    We've played through Half-Life: Alyx, and here's our in-depth and spoiler-free review of Valve's return to the Half-Life universe. We show you how the game takes advantage of VR for exploration, combat, and puzzle design, and discuss how it runs on different virtual reality headsets. No story spoilers or dialogue details here, but you can watch the first hour of gameplay here.

    Configuring a Gaming Laptop for VR and Content Creation

    With a shelter-in-place policy in effect in California, the Tested team is working from home sharing their current projects. Norm checks in with his recent testing and research into gaming laptops powerful enough for VR headsets and video editing, using HP's Omen 15 as an example of a system that uses Intel's Coffee Lake H processor and Nvidia's mobile RTX graphics card.

    Hands-on with The Room VR: A Dark Matter

    We play through the first two levels of the upcoming VR puzzle game The Room: A Dark Matter. Based on the popular series of mobile puzzle games, this atmospheric take on virtual reality escape room is full of intricately-designed puzzles and a-ha moments. Here's a spoiler-free look at how it plays and why we're excited for its release!

    PROJECTIONS: Making Half-Life: Alyx for Virtual Reality

    Half-Life: Alyx is almost here, the culmination of years of development and experimentation with VR gaming. Back in December, we sat down with Valve's Robin Walker and Greg Coomer for an in-depth conversation about designing the game to showcase the potential of virtual reality and lessons learned during development. Don't worry, no game spoilers here!

    Inside ILMxLAB: Making Star Wars Vader Immortal!

    We go behind-the-scenes at Lucasfilm's ILMxLAB to dive into the development of Star Wars: Vader Immortal. Chatting with the director and developers of this VR experience, we see how iconic environments were crafted, how new ships were modeled, and how lightsaber combat and force powers were designed to work with the potential and limitations of virtual reality hardware.

    The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners VR Impressions

    Released this week, this full-length survival horror game is one of the most engrossing VR experiences we've played. After playing several hours of the campaign, we share our favorite parts of the game's combat, crafting, and survival systems and which elements make the best use of virtual reality.

    Half-Life: Alyx Hands-On! Tested on 8 VR Headsets

    We've played some Half-Life: Alyx! Tested spent a day playing Valve's upcoming full-length VR game across 8 different headsets to evaluate how the game looks and plays on devices ranging from the original HTC Vive to Oculus Quest. We show how the game's various mechanics work with different motion controllers and explain the trade-offs between different VR systems.

    Google Stadia Cloud Gaming Review!

    We spend a week testing and playing games on Google Stadia, the newly launched cloud gaming service that streams games to Pixel phones, Chrome browsers, and the Chromecast Ultra. Here's how the service performs at launch, from image quality to latency, as well as which of the promised features are ready today. (Update: after we filmed our review, Google announced that Stadia would launch with 22 games, not 12. )