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Field of View: Sundance 2018 is going big on VR and AR

Your weekly roundup of all the VR & AR news, games and recommendations

You know that time it is. Welcome once again to Field of View, where we catch you up on what's been happening in the wonderful worlds of VR and AR.

It's been a week where we've seen Oculus give the Rift a big overhaul, US editor Hugh argued why Valve needs to up its VR game and we visited the latest Vive Arts tie-up at the Royal Academy of Arts in London (more on that next week).

Read this: Top VR games to play in 2017

And we're not done. We've picked out the best of the rest of the news as well as a game you need to play and a vid that'll get you grabbing for your headset. Now get to reading.

Read this: News blips and tidbits

Sundance goes big on VR and AR

The independent film festival has been a big supporter for VR storytelling in recent years, and for 2018 it's going to go big on it again. At Sundance 2018, we'll see the introduction of a New Frontier section that'll include films and works using VR, AR, Artificial Intelligence and more. It's also building The Box, a 40-seat mobile VR cinema, where you'll be able to enjoy all of the new immersive experiences on show. Rest assured, Team Wareable will be there to check it all out.

Niantic is revamping its first AR game

Believe it or not, the developer best known for Pokémon Godid make an augmented reality game before everyone went crazy for Go and now it's decided to go back to its first title and give it a refresh.

Ingress launched back in 2012 and influenced a lot of what was included in the developer's Pokémon AR game. Niantic Labs has announced that it's going to give it a major update in 2018 and it's getting a new name in the process. Ingress Prime doesn't have a specific release date, but if it's going to be anything as big as Go, it's definitely going to be one to keep an eye out for.

BT Sports is bringing the 360-degree highlights

After showing the Champions League live in VR last season, BT Sport is continuing the immersive love-in by offering 360-degree highlights and instant replays. 20 sporting events broadcast by BT Sport will get the viewing extra, including the FA Cup and the Premier League. Tottenham's upcoming fixture against title favourites Manchester City is next in line and the footage can be viewed with or without a VR headset.

HTC Vive Focus lands in China in early 2018

The standalone VR headset is being prepped for its China-only release with details on the Vive website confirming that pre-orders start this month ahead of a January 2018 shipping date. The Focus will be available in 'Almond White' and 'Electric Blue' editions and features a 3K AMOLED display, 110-degree field of view and 75Hz refresh rate. Most importantly, it will be able to deliver VR all without needing to be hooked up to a PC. Fingers crossed the Focus makes it out to the rest of the world before the end of 2018.

Start VR's next big project is...

Field of view december 8

Awake, an interactive cinematic VR experience, which stars Jake McDorman (Shameless and American Sniper) and Analeigh Tipton (Crazy Stupid Love and Lucy). The VR series is being financed by Screen Australia and HTC Vive with Microsoft Mixed Reality Capture Studios among the creative collaborators. The character-driven series that blurs the lines between dreams and reality is expected to arrive in early 2018 and will be viewable through the Vive and Microsoft's Mixed Reality Headsets.

Play this: Rise of the Tomb Raider "Blood Ties"

The DLC expansion to Rise of the Tomb Raider actually launched last year with VR support for the PlayStation VR. A year later, it's now adding support for Oculus Rift and the Vive so more of you'll will be able to revisit Croft Manor from a PC-powered headset. The hour-long, single player episode is available now on SteamVR as a free update if you've already picked up the Tomb Raider 20 Year Celebration edition, DLC pack or the season pass.

Watch this: Otherwordly

If you're a Star Wars fan, then this is essential viewing. Fáílte Ireland has commissioned this 360-degree video of Skellig Michael, the location of that scene at the end The Force Awakens and features in the trailer for the Last Jedi. In the short video you'll take a boat ride towards the World Heritage site before scaling the Rock George Bernard Shaw. Beautiful, it is.


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