As E3 2017 draws to a close, here’s our final roundup of news. Phil Spencer gives an enlightening interview with Giant Bomb, we go hands-on with Ubisoft’s new VR shooter Space Junkies, and try out the latest standalone VR headset from GameFace Labs.

Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, gives his thoughts on VR:

Following the reveal of Microsoft’s Xbox One X console, which contained no reference to VR support, we’ve been looking for clarification on the company’s current stance, which has clearly changed since the Project Scorpio announcement at last year’s E3. Phil Spencer sat down with Giant Bomb’s Jeff Gerstmann, speaking candidly about Microsoft’s VR stance, confirming that their focus is on Windows, indicating that VR was unlikely to feature on the Xbox One X in the short term. However, as he acknowledged the powerful new hardware is more than capable of VR, this stance is one that could easily change in the future.


Hands-on with Ubisoft’s VR shooter Space Junkies:

image courtesy Ubisoft

Although it missed Ubisoft’s main E3 presentation, the company announced a new multiplayer VR shooter this week, due for release in early 2018 for HTC Vive and Oculus Touch. We experienced a multiplayer demo using Oculus Touch, and came away impressed by the level of polish and the unique, futuristic weapons on show. This is Ubisoft’s first VR shooter, and is the result of over 3 years of development work.


GameFace shows SteamVR tracking on Android-based headset:

Photo by Road to VR

We tried the latest prototype standalone VR headset from GameFace Labs on show at E3, known as the EP1. The self-contained unit runs the latest version of Android and is fitted with custom SteamVR (AKA Lighthouse) hardware for positional tracking. The prototype, which performs SteamVR tracking calculations on the headset itself, is far from usable due to the lack of optimisations and the limited internal processor, and is simply a proof of concept. The aim is to also allow users to tether the headset to a PC in order to run high-end SteamVR games, and to upgrade the internals so that it operates smoothly as a standalone device, combined with support for Google’s Daydream platform. The development kit is due by the end of 2017.

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The trial version of Microsoft’s Monster Truck Madness probably had something to do with it. And certainly the original Super Mario Kart and Gran Turismo. A car nut from an early age, Dominic was always drawn to racing games above all other genres. Now a seasoned driving simulation enthusiast, and former editor of Sim Racer magazine, Dominic has followed virtual reality developments with keen interest, as cockpit-based simulation is a perfect match for the technology. Conditions could hardly be more ideal, a scientist once said. Writing about simulators lead him to Road to VR, whose broad coverage of the industry revealed the bigger picture and limitless potential of the medium. Passionate about technology and a lifelong PC gamer, Dominic suffers from the ‘tweak for days’ PC gaming condition, where he plays the same section over and over at every possible combination of visual settings to find the right balance between fidelity and performance. Based within The Fens of Lincolnshire (it’s very flat), Dominic can sometimes be found marvelling at the real world’s ‘draw distance’, wishing virtual technologies would catch up.