Games like 'Augmented Empire' are why Gear VR needs a controller

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Games like 'Augmented Empire' are why Gear VR needs a controller

If you've ever used a Samsung Gear VR before, you've probably found yourself awkwardly tapping the side of the headset to issue a command, or fumbling with its four-way touchpad to make a selection in a menu. This inelegant, embedded touch control is a necessary evil -- a compromise that allows the headset to be a self-contained VR experience free of the complicated peripherals and set-up required of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. I struggled with its faults at Oculus GDC demo day, as I uncomfortably tapped my way through a battle in Augmented Empire.

'From Other Suns' lets players move in VR however they want

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'From Other Suns' lets players move in VR however they want

When I boot up a new VR game for the first time, the same question always hangs in my mind. "So," I think, "how do you teleport in this game." It's become a standard in virtual reality, the go-to movement system that lets players explore the digital realm without contracting simulator sickness. It works, but not perfectly. Warping from place to place avoids the disparity between vision and physical movement that causes nausea, but teleporting across a tiny, walkable distance feels a little weird. From Other Suns doesn't change the basic function of the teleport mechanic, but adds a nice twist -- it lets you see your character actually walk to the teleport location.

Oculus shows off upcoming VR titles at GDC 2017

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Oculus shows off upcoming VR titles at GDC 2017

It's the start of the 2017 Game Developers Conference and, as you might expect, it's an event where VR is likely to take center stage. Kicking it all off is Oculus, which not only announced a new Gear VR plus a new controller this weekend, it also showed off a slew of new games at a special pre-GDC event. From rocking out on a virtual stage to pitting armies against each other in a tabletop strategy game, there's no shortage of variety in Oculus' upcoming library. Check out some of these titles in our video above.

'Brass Tactics' is a VR RTS that puts you in a clockwork battlefield

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'Brass Tactics' is a VR RTS that puts you in a clockwork battlefield

Real-time strategy and VR don't seem like they would go together. After all, the key attraction to virtual reality is feeling like you're in someone else's shoes in a faraway land of make believe. The top-down view of typical RTS games doesn't quite lend itself to that level of immersion. Or does it? After a few minutes playing with Hidden Path Entertainment's Brass Tactics at an Oculus demo event, I found myself so engrossed in a cutthroat tabletop battle that I almost forgot I had a headset on at all.

Xbox Games Pass lets you play 100 titles for $10 a month

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Xbox Games Pass lets you play 100 titles for $10 a month

Microsoft received a good amount of deserved praise for adding backwards compatibility to the Xbox One. Today, the company is adding another way to play older titles on its flagship console. The new Xbox Games Pass is another take on the "Netflix for games" concept, and it's not dissimilar to what Sony has been offering for a few years with its PlayStation Now service. For $10 a month, Xbox Games Pass lets you access a library of about 100 games, both from the Xbox 360 library as well as newer titles for the Xbox One.

EA's Peter Moore makes a big money transfer to Liverpool FC

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EA's Peter Moore makes a big money transfer to Liverpool FC

Yesterday's Premier League match between Leicester City and Liverpool was notable for two reasons. First was the result: managerless Leicester, the current champions of England, pulled off a surprise 3-1 win against an in-form Liverpool team after a terrible run of losses. Then, shortly after the final whistle had blown, Liverpool made the surprise announcement that it had appointed EA's Peter Moore as it's new chief executive. Moore, known for leading Electronic Arts' EA Sports game division, will swap digital sports for the top job at one of Europe's biggest football clubs in June.

The Morning After: Tuesday, February 28 2017

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The Morning After: Tuesday, February 28 2017

It's Tuesday. That means Boston Dynamics has unveiled a new robot harbinger of death, there are more new smartphones and we have an idea who screwed up at the Oscars. In more encouraging news, we checked in with some very charitable gamers, and mobile carriers keep making their data plans better. Keep an eye on the site today for more dispatches from MWC, as well as our reports from the Game Developers Conference.

Non-profit aims to preserve the hidden history of video games

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Non-profit aims to preserve the hidden history of video games

It's relatively easy for developers to preserve classic video games through emulators, museums, remasters and retro consoles. But what about the culture that surrounded it, such as ads, boxes, magazines and gamers' own experiences? That's where the newly established Video Game History Foundation wants to help. The non-profit hopes to collect and digitize as many video game artifacts as possible to understand the full context of a game or console. For instance, it's building an NES USA Launch Collection that covers the atmosphere surrounding Nintendo's American debut, including the company's sales pitch as it reassured retailers burned by the video game industry crash.