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‘Beat Saber’ Could Be Oculus Quest's Killer App

‘Beat Saber’ Could Be Oculus Quest's Killer App

No VR game so far has quite captured public attention as much as Beat Saber – the musical experience where the player slashes incoming blocks to the beat of a song using lightsaber-like energy blades.

Since its initial release in May, Beat Saber has become one of the most popular VR games with over 6000 Steam reviews, as well as being an audience favorite among VR streamers and YouTubers. In fact, the game has become so popular that Beat Saber arcades are now emerging, automated VR arcade machines where it is the only game available.

Any PC VR owner who frequently demos their setup to friends and visitors will know just how much of a hit Beat Saber is. The game’s easy to learn but hard to master mechanics combined with catchy music make it fun for gamers and non-gamers alike, and great for parties.

Because the game relies on the unique gameplay mechanics enabled by a 6DoF VR headset with 6DoF controllers and uses simplistic undemanding graphics, Beat Saber could be the perfect game for Oculus’ upcoming all-in-one room scale VR gaming system, Oculus Quest, which offers this level of tracking but with a mobile chipset with limited performance.

So will Beat Saber actually be coming to Quest? When asked on Twitter, the developers simply replied “???”. This seems to be a good sign although not a confirmation. Representatives from Beat Games, the company behind Beat Saber, declined to comment further on the possibility.  Developers are currently working on PSVR support for Beat Saber and say that it will be out before Christmas. That should leave plenty of time to port to Quest in time for the Spring launch.

But a question remains about custom song support. Many owners of Beat Saber on PC have modded the game to allow for custom tracks ranging from a-ha ‘Take on Me’ to Toto’s ‘Africa’, or even the Super Mario Bros theme song. But it remains to be seen whether this will be feasible with the PSVR (or Quest) version of the game, either officially through a mod manager or unofficially through modifying the game’s files.

Oculus is positioning Quest as a gaming console, and CTO John Carmack said that he expects it to compete with Nintendo’s Switch. If this is true, the most important aspect of Quest will not be its specifications, but the games available to play on it. Beat Saber could therefore be an essential title for Quest’s market success — a true “killer” app for a  standalone VR product.

It is worth noting also that Quest may not be the only all-in-one headset to get Beat Saber. Google recently showed off experimental 6DoF controllers for the Lenovo Mirage Solo (which runs their Daydream VR platform). If these new controllers make their way into a product next year, that product could also have access to the game.

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