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AR/VR Weekly | Nov. 20 2019

Half-Life fans have been waiting ... 12 years to get some resolution from Half-Life 2: Episode Two's
AR/VR Weekly
Half-Life fans have been waiting … 12 years to get some resolution from Half-Life 2: Episode Two’s cliffhanger. And it might be coming with Valve Software’s tease of Half-Life: Alyx, which sure looks like Valve’s flagship VR game for its high-end Index headset.
Valve will make the announcement at 10 a.m. Pacific Thursday (that’s tomorrow). 
The big question for me: Is this Valve finally showing it’s ready to be a bigger player in VR, or is this just about selling Index headsets?
Fans have been thirsting for Half-Life for more than a decade. Heck, folks keep making jokes and memes about it. I’ve always figured Valve was holding back Half-Life until it was ready to make a big play in some field, so announcing Half-Life: Alyx shows the Steam company is ready to do that.
But for what? It makes sense to have a killer exclusive app for your VR headset, but at $1,000 (or $750 if you’re upgrading from the HTC Vive), how many people are going to shell out for an Index? 
Now, if it is indeed a game that works on HTC headsets (or even Oculus), does this show that Valve plans to use Half-Life as a way to become a major player in VR content? I could easily see Half-Life: Alyx racking up sales that rival what we’ve seen from Beat Saber and Job Simulator. 
But will sales come from folks already in the VR ecosystem … or from the sales of new headsets? 
You know what could start goosing VR game sales as well? The Oculus Link, which enables the Oculus Quest standalone headsets to run Rift games from a PC with a cable. It’s now in beta. It’s funny that we’re excited about a cordless headset getting a cord, but giving it the capability to run both Quest and Rift games makes it an attractive option. I’m looking forward to playing Asgard’s Wrath soon on the Quest.
But even I know this isn’t as exciting as Half-Life VR. 
For AR/VR coverage, send news tips to Dean Takahashi and Jeremy Horwitz. Please send guest post submissions to Rowan Kaiser. Please be sure to visit our AR/VR Channel.
–Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor

From VentureBeat
Valve will reveal Half-Life: Alyx on November 21
Oculus releases Link USB cable specs and PC VR beta software for Quest
Virtual Beings Summit LA to highlight Hollywood's view of artificial people
Facebook's DeepFovea AI promises power-efficient VR foveated rendering
Ubiquity6 launches app to capture, edit, and share augmented reality spaces
Lenovo plans sleek AR glasses that let PC users see multiple workspaces
Video of the Week
Our friends at UploadVR show how Oculus Link works on the Quest.
Our friends at UploadVR show how Oculus Link works on the Quest.
Beyond VB
Why Apple could finally make virtual reality mainstream | Yahoo
How doctors used virtual reality and 3D printing to save a 2-year-old with a brain tumor | NBC News
How Virtual Reality Can Help People Better Understand Climate Change | NPR
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Jason Wilson

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