2024 Spring VR Gaming News Review: Flat2VR, Laser Dance, Batman & Alien

VR’s biggest year in history is almost halfway over with freshly announced Batman and Alien games incoming just as developers start finding their footing with mixed reality in Laser Dance and Niantic’s Hello, Dot.

The biggest trend in VR gaming of 2024, though, is the blurrying line between flat content and VR.

Aided by the UEVR mod, the ceaseless work of Team Beef and the formal announcement of Flat2VR Studios, an assortment of high-selling Unreal Engine games are basically seeing robust VR support turned on inside the titles many people already own.

Flat2VR Studios Is Creating Licensed VR Ports Of Flatscreen Games
Flat2VR Studios is a new studio developing officially licensed VR ports of flatscreen games, and it’s partnering with Team Beef.

Meanwhile, the open source project Delta combined with changing Apple policy finally opened the floodgates to emulator support of classic game systems across Vision Pro and other Apple platforms.

Delta Emulator Brings Game Boy & More To Apple Vision Pro
Delta Emulator brings Nintendo’s Game Boy, DS, NES, SNES, and 64 to Apple Vision Pro.

Henry Stockdale and Don Hopper have been following the latest for UploadVR using their headsets at home, of course, but they also travelled to San Francisco earlier this year to meet with studio representatives, interview sources, and check out demos first-hand at the Game Developers Conference, with Don offering us a look at Angry Birds in mixed reality from the conference.

Angry Birds VR: Isle Of Pigs Gets MR Support
Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs receives a mixed reality mode today on Quest and Pico.

Before flying out to San Francisco, Don hopped in the Dune Ornithopter and flew over Arrakis trying to complete rescue missions in Microsoft Flight Simulator. Unfortunately, he failed to complete the grueling final mission and the desert takes the weak.

Flying The Dune Ornithopter In VR Via Flight Simulator
Flying the ornithopter from Dune in Microsoft Flight Simulator offers one of VR’s most thrilling moments.

New label Creature teamed with Cubism creator Thomas Van Bouwel for Laser Dance. Henry’s hands-on report highlighted the impressive laser-dodging game as mixed reality’s most impressive demo to date. Starship Home is on the way from Creature too as one of Quest 3’s first exclusives and, now, just a few months after Laser Dance showed us its cool ideas, Niantic’s Hello, Dot wows with even the most simplistic interactions paired with Meta’s latest dynamic occlusion.

Niantic’s Hello, Dot Gives You A Mixed Reality Pet On Quest 3
Niantic’s Hello, Dot on Quest 3 gives you a cute little mixed reality pet.

All these changes are set against one of Meta’s most significant foundational changes in years. Instead of a separate early access section with hard-to-find listings, Meta’s App Lab system is merging with the main Quest store as Horizon OS takes shape.

Meta Horizon OS Will Run On Headsets From ASUS & Lenovo
Meta is rebranding its Quest software platform to Meta Horizon OS and opening it up to third-party headset makers, including ASUS and Lenovo.

Major VR & Mixed Reality Games On The Way

Watch Don and I discuss all this and more in our hour-long live recap video embedded above with teaser trailers for some of the games included.

If you don’t have time, the takeaway here is that a drought in VR and mixed reality gaming looks to turn into a flood in coming months as developers start finding out what they can with the XR2 Gen 2 processor, hand tracking, dynamic occlusion, and new tools being made available to them with still-in-development operating systems likeHorizon OS and visionOS.

There are more big announcements and reveals planned for June, including at our own UploadVR Showcase late in the month, which is likely to be followed by a quiet period as many professionals take summer vacations. And during that period, we’ll start to get a sense of games are likely to anchor VR buying decisions through the end of 2024

For example, we’ve got one of VR’s most experienced studios Survios looking to follow in Alien: Isolation’s footsteps with a terrifying new xenomorph experience across most headsets – Alien: Rogue Incursion.

Alien: Rogue Incursion Coming To Quest 3, PSVR 2, And PC VR
Alien: Rogue Incursion was just announced for Meta Quest 3, PlayStation VR2, and PC VR. Survios calls it “the biggest, most ambitious VR game we have developed in our decade-long history”.

On top of that, Meta’s Camouflaj finally revealed the first look at Batman: Arkham Shadow. Expectations are extremely high for the title following outstanding work realizing the superhero fantasy of rocketing through the air as Iron Man.

Batman: Arkham Shadow Is The Biggest Quest 3 Exclusive Yet
Batman: Arkham Shadow is a brand new entry in the Arkham series, coming exclusively to Quest 3.

2024 isn’t even half over yet and these headlines tell a single story – VR headsets are about to have their biggest year in history as developers build faster than ever on TestFlight with Apple, App Lab with Meta, and, yes, even Early Access with Steam.

We’ll have more throughout the year and, as of this writing, we’re still receiving entries for the next UploadVR Showcase. More to come soon and be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube for our live discussions.

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