This week, Paramount released the first trailer for its Sonic the Hedgehog feature film to resoundingly negative fanfare. Epic Games acquired Psyonix, the developer behind Rocket League. Additionally, Oculus and Valve both released details for new VR devices.
Paramount releases Sonic the Hedgehog trailer
This week, Paramount released the first trailer for its film Sonic the Hedgehog, which is set to hit theaters in November of this year. The trailer was met with an outcry of negativity, with outlets such as Kotaku, Engadget, and The Verge expressing disappointment in the film’s portrayal of the titular character. Two days after the trailer’s release, the film’s director released a statement saying that Sonic’s design would be changed before the movie’s launch date. Forbes was not convinced, stating, “I have…questions. They all stem from the fact that this movie comes out in November, and November is not that far away from now. I will confess: I am not an animator that works on major theatrical releases. And yet I am a human being in the world, and from that perspective, it just seems like it might be somewhat difficult to totally change the design of your titular character just a little more than a month out from release.”
Epic Games acquires Psyonix
This week, Epic Games announced its acquisition of Psyonix, the developer behind Rocket League. The game will stay available for purchase on Steam and other platforms, but as of late 2019, the PC version will be an Epic Games Store exclusive, which has been the source of consumer controversy. In an official statement, Psyonix claimed that Rocket League will continue to have new updates, features, and content moving forward. TechCrunch was optimistic about the news, stating, “Epic owning two of the biggest cross-platform gaming titles is obviously a major boon to the company, and a sign that they’re committed to ensuring that the studio’s success continues long after Fortnite downloads diminish.” The news was reported by VentureBeat, Polygon, Variety, and more.
Oculus and Valve announce latest VR devices
This week, Oculus released details pertaining to its latest VR devices, the Oculus Quest and the Oculus Rift S. The Oculus Quest is a standalone device that does not require the use of a PC and comes with its own rechargeable battery. The Oculus Rift S, on the other hand, is an upgraded version of the Oculus Rift with improvements to resolution and motion tracking. PC Magazine commented separately on both Oculus device saying of The Oculus Quest, “The Oculus Quest is the ideal introduction to VR headsets, offering everything you need for an immersive virtual reality experience, and earns our Editors’ Choice,” and of The Oculus Rift S, “The Oculus Rift S is a worthwhile follow-up to the original Oculus Rift.” Both devices have a base price of $399, though the Quest has a larger gigabyte option for $499. Each is available for pre-order and will enter the market on May 21. Outlets such as The Verge, GameSpot, ExtremeTech, and more reported the news.
Valve also revealed their own VR device this week, called the Valve Index. The Index offers a higher resolution, a faster refresh rate, and a larger field of view from its predecessors. The full VR kit includes the headset, controllers, and base stations for the price of $999. The Index is compatible with other SteamVR hardware, meaning each piece can be purchased individually, with the headset priced at $500, the pair of controllers at $280, and the base stations for $150 each. Kotaku speculated, “(The) price tag makes the package seem like it’s not an entry-level VR setup, but more for people who’ve tasted what virtual reality has to offer at lower levels and want to take the next step.” The device is currently available for pre-order and will enter the market on July 1. IGN, TechSpot, TechCrunch, and more weight in on the news.