It is a fact that the HTC Vive has only grown in popularity since it first came out in 2016. This has lead to the creation of a huge amount of side accessories and covers that let you customize your virtual reality headset as you most like.
As for the covers, you can find sticker-like packages that decorate controllers, the headset, and even the base-stations; however, these don’t have any functionality other than to make your gadgets more visually appealing.
Similarly, silicon skins can also be found. Among these, the HyperkinGelShell skins are the most commonly bought as they come in different colors and are quite affordable. Here are some of the best and worst aspects of these HTC Vive Skins, as well as other tips you should keep in mind before buying them.
The HyperkinGelShell skins for the Vive can be bought to either cover and protect your controllers or the main VR headset. The controller package comes with 2 separate skins in the color you chose, which can be white, gray, red, green, or bright blue.
These HTC Vive controller skins will easily add durability to your gadgets while also making sure that the sensor is clear enough to connect and not interfere with the games. The skins are made of a thing yet high-quality silicon and they are specifically designed to keep your wands from breaking apart when they fall down.
Likewise, the material used for the construction of these skins offers a nice, secure grip, letting the user feel safe even when their hands are sweating from the excitement of playing. After all, Virtual Reality games are normally very active and will frequently end up in sweat.
These HTC Vive Skins are super affordable and cost a little over $20. The box brings 2 skins and they will not only make sure that your wands are not scratched but they also prevent dust from getting into the small, open places in the controllers.
They fit the Vive controllers perfectly. They are harder than you might expect and will definitely add a sleek and sci-fi vibe to your wands. Depending on the color you choose from, you can also buy the skin for the headset and make them match or mismatch on purpose.
Covering your wands with these HTC Vive Controller skins couldn’t be easier. There isn’t anything that you should know before simply doing it. They just need to be pushed over the controllers and the will immediately fit around it. Everything goes right in place and it feels like a secure skin that won’t fall off anytime soon.
Comfort and Grip
The skins are not thick enough to cause any discomfort. In fact, they are quite soft to the touch and will prevent sweat from making the controller slide down to the floor. These HTC Vive skins also cover the buttons on the wand safely while still letting you press them freely.
As for the grip, these might not be the perfect skins and they could still slip around the controller but it will never slide off the controller.
Affordable price to protect your wands from dust, scratches, and bumps
Several colors to choose from let you customize your HTV Vive controllers and headset however you want
The HTC GelShell skins fit nicely and prevent the controllers from falling down. Particularly good for those who play active games where sweating could happen
They have been designed to allow the sensor to read your controllers as they don’t interfere with the signal
The skins cover the buttons on the controller so if you are a beginner in the HTC Vive world, you will lose some time before remembering which button does what
Some might consider that the color range is too small yet
They won’t protect your controllers from the worst accidents, only from daily wear and tear
The HyperkinGelShell HTC Vive skins are a great addition to your Vive accessory collection. They are super soft, lightweight, and affordable enough to convince you to try them out, and with them, you can rest assured that you won’t see as many scratches on your controllers as you would if they weren’t covering them.
Sure, there might not be too many colors to choose from and not everyone will like the bright blue, but the white and gray will undoubtedly make your wands look better and feel better when playing, as the grip improves once they are on.
In conclusion, these are a great pair of Vive controller skins that you can buy if you are on a budget: they will do the work effortlessly and take care of your wands, too.
As we have covered in the previous article, PSVR with its 4.50 update has brought the possibility of enjoying a full-blown 3D experience from the comfort of your own home, without the need of buying a 3D TV.
The experience of watching 3D movies on PSVR is comparable to one where you possess a large 3D projector with you being the sole viewer in front of the screen in a cinema designed just for you.
As we have mentioned in our article, TV manufacturers have shifted their focus from 3D TVs to 4K and 8K resolution monitors. However, as every 3D enthusiast might know, there is no shortage of 3D movies, and the number of available movies is increasing each year.
Before we get onto our list of 9 titles which, in our humble opinion, might be the best choices for PSVR watching, we will use this opportunity to refresh our memory a bit regarding the necessary settings needed for maximum viewing pleasure.
How to watch 3D movies on PSVR using LittlStar App
As we have covered in depth in the article linked above, to use the PSVR 3D capabilities, first you need to ensure that the system is up to date. To be more precise, you need to have your system upgraded to version 4.50, but since the process is automatic that shouldn’t be an issue.
Next, you will need a USB device and a Littlstar application installed. You will need to transfer your video files on to a USB stick. You will then plug the stick into your PS4, but there are some extra steps that need to be taken as well. Here are some tips on how to achieve just that. A quick tip to being with – be mindful of the file names.
First, make sure that you format your stick as either FAT32 or ExFAT. FAT32 has a max file size of 2GB so ExFAT is better. But it is possible you may need to try both. Be mindful that not all USB sticks are PS4 compatible, so don’t despair if your USB isn’t working, try another one.
The process of formatting a USB stick for Windows is pretty straightforward, but it’s somewhat complicated on a Mac. You need to explicitly choose the “Master Boot Record” scheme when formatting. In order for this option to show up, you need to have clicked on the top-level USB device on the lefthand device list and NOT on the volume name indented/nested underneath the device name. Otherwise, the Erase option will be greyed out and unselectable.
Once you have the USB formatted correctly, make a folder on it called “littlstar” (note there is no E in littlstar). Put all of your video files in this folder. For video files to be supported by Littlstar app, they need to be properly named, since the PS4 uses side-by-side 3D, your file name should be „*movie_name*_3dff_sbs“. For any additional issues be sure to check the official Littlestar documentation as well as our article.
Next thing to do is Adjust the cinematic viewing settings on PSVR to your preference. We recommend going with the Medium setting.
After you have done all the necessary steps, just open the Littlstar app and go to the Library option where all of your files shall be visible. Then make sure you are seated comfortably, lay back and enjoy any (or all) of these 9 gems, chosen for your viewing pleasure.
1. Pacific Rim – 3D
For those wanting to witness the mayhem and destruction of epic proportions, there is no better viewing experience than Pacific Rim. This giant robot vs giant monsters blockbuster has everything you could hope for. Although not originally filmed in 3D, the director Guillermo Del Toro spent almost twice the time than the norm on the conversion, and the result is the best possible 3D experience.
The extra layer of depth given by 3D boosts the movie performance in numerous ways. The war-torn, ravaged cityscapes are brought to life in front of your eyes. Towering mechas are given presence, while the thundering monsters are given a deadly punch. The remarkably natural-looking 3D brings waves crashing down in front of you, as well as skyscrapers, bridges and almost anything else you can think off. Definitely one of the best 3D movies made, on par with the rest of the 3D titans.
How could we not include Avatar on our list? Revolutionary director James Cameron brought the 3D trend upon us with his tale of planet Pandora and its tree-hugging inhabitants, brought in conflict with Earth’s attempts to bleed the planet dry. The Cameron’s world is truly a breathtaking triumph of technology.
With his painstaking perfectionism, the landscape of Pandora is brought alive in front of your eyes, given depth and life and its pacifist inhabitants have to strike a chord with anyone who has watched the movie. How could anyone forget Jake’s flight scene at the back of a mountain Banshee, huh? His fulfilment of a lifelong dream of flying translated into one of the most thrilling 3D sequences in existence.
Alfonso Cuaron’s blockbuster with Sandra Bullock as an astronaut desperately floating in the vacuum of space required almost all of the combined rendering power of UK’s CGI industry to make, but the result is a pure 3D masterpiece rewarded with seven Oscars.
The movie absolutely must be viewed in 3D, you will feel the panic and misery of Sandra Bullock as she tries to survive the harsh and unforgivable conditions of space. One of the most memorable scenes in the movie, where the debris is hurled towards the heroes, will leave you gasping for air.
4. The Walk 3D
Director Robert Zemeckis has turned out to be the best choice for translation of one of the most amazing human achievements into a 3D experience. The Walk is a story of Philippe Petit’s stroll and a tightrope between the Twin Towers in 1973.
As our hero steps on the wire, determined to make the walk, the camera sends our eyes on the plunging 1300 feet abyss of fatality, making us feel a vertigo-like moment of shock and awe for the achievement pulled by Philippe.
The story of pure determination, conviction, and willpower, the Walk 3D will leave you with a feeling of amazement at the power of a human spirit.
5. Dredd 3D
In the aftermath of a civilization collapse, humanity is concentrated into few mega cities where the resemblance of order is achieved by Judges, serving as judge, jury, and executioners. Marvellously crafted 3D gem of a movie, it puts its 1995 Sylvester Stallone adaptation to shame in all aspects.
Bloody, violent and claustrophobic, the 3D effects intensify and illustrate the psychotropic effects of the Slo-Mo drug used by future criminals. The movie is sprinkled by beautiful moments of carnage that will make you try to dodge the blood splashing out of the screen.
6. Hugo (2011)
Hugo is Martin Scorsese’s playful mixture of stories and ideas. It is a story of a young boy trying to make his mark in the world without the help of his departed parents. The movie is director’s ode to the magic of the cinema and sense of wonder and awe that the medium inspires. The movie is easily one of Scorsese’s greatest achievements.
Emotionally charged, set in Paris train station in the 1930s, the 3D brings life to the crowds and trains rushing into the station. Everything in Hugo is delicately crafted, from the costumes to the emotional finale, and 3D is no exception.
7. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The continuation of a saga that has captured the imaginations of past, present and quite probably future generations, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a love letter to fans, invitation to newbies as well as a visual marvel in its own right.
Its 3D effects only boost its spectacular and thrilling visual narrative that has given fresh life to the space epic. The 3D effects have struck a good balance and give a lot of dimensionality to a lot of scenes, be it deserts of Jakku or the cockpit of iconic Millennium Falcon. The movie is a visual treat and a must-view experience for anyone.
8. Ghostbusters 3D
Fans of the original movies might have a thing or two to say about its new reboot. However, no one can deny the masterful 3D effects that make the movie a fun and immersive experience.
The movie seems like a journey through a haunted house, where ghosts can pop up at any moment. The 3D technology gives these moments an even bigger punch. Director Paul Feig smartly made sure not to overdo it, using these tricks only for specific scenes while making sure that the pesky ghouls never get in the way of comedic exchanges.
The director really went the extra mile. At certain moments in the movie, objects even break the frame and go into the black area and letterboxing, thus extending the 3D view of the spectator giving it that „Coming at you!“ moment. Simple, but works like magic and is quite possible done uniquely in this manner. Truly a guilty pleasure.
9. Ghost in the Shell 3D
There is a distinct possibility that you have already heard of the name Ghost in the Shell. It stands as one of the best „man and machine“ stories ever told, the original anime has served as an inspiration to innumerable modern day films, not to mention Wachowski brother’s 2000 hit The Matrix. Its 2017 adaptation is even more relevant in today’s hyper-tech world and serves as a warning how our love of technology can go wrong.
The movie does the story justice, since the pressure in face of the original material was quite high, and unfolds the futuristic Tokyo in front of our eyes. In the world where the line between a man and a machine is quite blurry, you will definitely struggle to find it. The 3D effects are amazing, giant holograms hovering over the city are given life and you may feel their influence over you, especially with the violent, intimidating robots and their menacing appendages. Director Rupert Sanders had plenty of material to work with and he has done quite a good job.
Given the plethora of cinematic treats, we hope that we have planted an itch in the back of your head which can only be cured by experiencing these movie gems by yourself. Don’t take our word for it, strap on your PSVR headset and plunge into the marvellous world of 3D cinema!
Transferring the real-time strategy genre to the virtual reality seems like a logical step, given the capabilities of VR headsets which allow for a more fluid gameplay. You could argue that strategy games only become better in VR space. In RTS games there is usually a lot going on at the same time. This requires quick thinking and micromanaging multiple areas at once. Together with tedious zooming and panning, it can easily aggravate those new to the genre.
VR lets you manage the battlefield with ease. Imagine – just turn your head right and take a look at your front line. Then, turn left to check on your headquarters and hunch down if you want to check your units up close. Soon, you will feel like a towering overlord watching over your minions whilst holding their fate in your hands.
So how come we haven’t seen more of RTS games in VR’s early days? The main reason is the complexity of the genre, and VR only lays another layer on top of it. Fortunately, recently there have been more releases in the real-time strategy genre which will satisfy even the veteran players. So, sit back and take a look at our list where we present those which are, in our opinion, the best.
1. Cosmic Trip
With a fresh take on an old style formula, beautifully crafted from ground up for VR, the Cosmic Trip is a must-buy game for any RTS lover. The game will let you experience real-time strategy like never before, on an unknown planet trying to survive with the help of your robotic buddies.
The graphics are rather cartoony and trippy, which presumably served as an inspiration for the game title while the game mechanics don’t differ much from the usual resource building, base management and battle usual for any strategy game.
The game presents you with intuitive VR-native controls, so you can forget about sitting and clicking, you are placed in the centre of action where you have to manually build necessary equipment and learn how to send you robotic minions to collect resource, and later to defend your control nodes from the army of hostile, rather colorful aliens.
Although the Cosmic Trip is a room-escape experience, you won’t find yourself running back and forth, instead, the movement is limited to platforms scattered across the map which are connected by teleportation nodes which slide out from the ground. Stepping through thee devices transports you the next platform in that direction.
The game teaches you rather quickly how to progress and learning curve is quite easy to master. All in all, Comic Trip absolutely nails everything that is has promised to do, the age-old tried RTs formula is successfully ported to a new platform. It manages to fuse together the stunning VR visuals and tactile controllers with strategic thinking and planning necessary in any RTS title.
Another well-polished game on our list is an Oculus exclusive tabletop RTS game that provides players with 6 hours worth of single-player campaign, together with the co-op and multiplayer option that provide unlimited hours of gameplay.
As an all-seeing commander in a medieval battle skirmish, your objective is to manage troops and economy while trying to wipe the other commander and his castle off the map. The setup is simple enough, but it is hard to master, so the game serves as a bridge for those just getting into the RTS genre and those time-tested veterans.
You and your opponent each control a castle on the opposite sides of the map and you have to collect resources by taking points on a map and use those resources to upgrade your castle and build huge armies with which you take out enemies positions.
The game gets more complex when you take into account between choosing the right units for the job when to push forward, when to hold or when to upgrade your castle or when to push forward.
The battle mechanics seem more like a game of rock-paper-scissors, meaning its very important to know which units counter others.Be sure to take into account nonexistence of fog of war, so check frequently what units your opponent is making so you can more easily take them down.
The game is more interesting as it progresses. When you start to build more advanced units, such as tanks, huge titans or even dragons. The game lets you experience the thrill and ease of controlling the units with the seep of the hand and movement across the map is quite simple, you grab the map below you and fling yourself in the desired direction. The possibility of micromanagement is there, although it can get quite tiring on your wrists after a while.
Brass Tactics is a big step forward for RTS genres in VR, the tactile feeling of controlling your units and moving across the map truly utilizes the capabilities of VR in general, and serves to add another layer of complexity. Although the game lacks certain depth and complexity it is very well polished and the added options of co-op and multiplayer play can prolong the thrill and enjoyment of this title.
AirMech Command is an amazing mix of classic RTS games like Starcraft with popular MOBA titles such as DotA/Clash Royale that you can play for hours without end. Stripped of pesky micromanaging of resources and units, the game allows you to focus more on the feel of the battlefield with its two modes, you can zoom out and watch the entire map as a living diorama of chaos or you can choose to zoom in on individual units and watch the mayhem unfold.
Although the game is a port of an older title, rest assured that the job was done beautifully and truly utilizes the possibilities of VR environment. The game mechanics are simple enough. each player controls something akin to a „hero“ unit, an AirMEch, that the can manually control at any time. It can fly around the map, pick up and drop of units, as well as heal them via a beam. The mech can also transform into a very powerful land unit, giving you more firepower if the need arises.
The VR gives a certain depth of the landscape, and the intuitive twin-stick shooter control schemes provide you with ease of play and control. Simplification of mechanics removed the unnecessary UI clutter, to build units you simply look up the toolbar which you navigate with your controller and choose the unit you want to build, which will spawn at the nearest point. This tweak alone further intensifies the immersion and gives you the feeling of a commanding officer in a huge battle for survival.
The game has a huge number of available units, which you unlock as you play the game via an in-game currency and you bring them together to the next battle. You should choose a good mix of healing, defensive and offensive units as you have limited number of unit slots, thus providing players with their own preferred playing style.
In addition to skirmish and campaign missions, which lack a true story, there is an online mode where you can play co-op or against other players. Playing online you see the player’s avatar tracked movement, giving you a greater feel of commenting battle and a bigger sense of accomplishment in the case of victory.
In conclusion, the AirMech Command is an excellent mix of classic RTS and MOBA genres which provides players with immersive playing style and gives him a wide array of possible tactics he wishes to utilize. The only bigger downside is lack of visual fidelity in some areas since there are many units on a map at any given time, there had to be a compromise to achieve a steady frame rate, but other than the game is a true RTS gem.
With a plethora of different genres still waiting to be explored in the realm of VR, Castle must be mine provides tower defence lovers wy to indulge their passion in a new environment thus giving a fresh breeze to a time-tried recipe.
The game itself is quite straightforward, like any other tower defence game, enemies move along a path trying to take down your castle while you stop their foul intent with strategically placed towers and with the help of a hero unit.
There are three basic tower types: arrow, magic and cannot towers which can and must be upgraded as the game progresses. The knight mentioned before is a unit of utmost strategic importance, you can pick him up and place in a position which can create choke points since he can slow down enemies and deal a significant amount of damage. As he levels up he becomes even more powerful, but be careful not to let him die at a critical moment.
In case things go south, you have special abilities at your disposal. Depending on the type of the map, you will wield a spell that can seriously damage enemies. For example, in first levels, you can pick up and toss fireballs which do area effect damage and can be replenished after some time. Finally, there are last-ditch castle defences, rocks that can be picked up and thrown onto enemies or cannons that you light using a torch.
The game offers 12 levels with three terrain types, 5 grasslands, 4 desert and 3 ice, which are populated with different enemy types that generally fall into a light, medium and heavy category. Although the number of levels doesn’t seem large, the game offers more then 10 hours of gameplay and given its rating system for completion of a map allows for a replayability if you weren’t satisfied with your score.
Regarding the strategy, it mostly boils down to choosing the right tower types placed at right positions as well as micromanaging your knight which is a crucial part of the gameplay, and constantly bombarding the enemies with any spell at your disposal.
Although the game doesn’t introduce any groundbreaking mechanics to the genre, its faced-paced and interactive gameplay has successfully ported the tower defence type of game in a VR world, thus giving a new layer of interactivity to the otherwise bland desktop experience.
The last RTS game on our list is another tower defence game made for VR, but with an interesting spin. You see, the aliens bend on galactic domination have discovered humanities weakness for cute kittens and thus have disguised themselves in an effort to conquer Earth. They have succeeded and are now hunting the last remnants of our civilization, but their foul trickery works no more. It is time to strike back!
Other then an interesting premise, in which you are forced to shoot hordes of cute little kittens, the game is everything you supposed it would be for a tower defence game. But don’t think it’s gon be a stroll in the park since there are a huge variety of kittens which have to be countered with carefully placed machine guns of various abilities.
For example, machine turrets are good against unarmored waves of enemies, and laser guns are good at taking down armoured ones. All towers are upgradable, the upgrades have to be chosen with the end goal in mind, and have to place on designated spots on the map.
The visuals are quite beautiful, you can choose between more than a dozen floating islands which will serve as a battlefield against furry invaders, and can zoom in or out of the field as you so desire, choosing the best camera angle and position from which you can have a better command of the map.
The cartoony aesthetic, bright colour palette and stunning visuals make sure that the kitty massacre is stunning to watch, but hopefully, you’re more of a dog person since you may find yourself struggling to attack those cute little furballs.
We have thus given you a variety of games to choose from in the RTS genre which is still in its buds in VR world but is slowly gaining ground with the advent of new games. Hopefully, there will be even more of these VR gems in the near future, as developers find new ways to breathe life into a genre which we all know and love.
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