Facebook‘s Oculus Quest 2 standalone virtual reality headset will arrive October 13. And Facebook and its VR developer partners have made sure that a bunch of new games will arrive at the same time.
With the $80 Oculus Link cable, the Quest 2 can run games that would normally require a Rift headset with a PC. This means Respawn Entertainment’s upcoming Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond will work on the Quest 2. This strategy will enable Facebook to give players a wider library at launch. On top of that, there are already hundreds of titles available on the Oculus Quest, and Quest 2 will play those games as well.
Facebook also announced that Ubisoft is creating new VR titles in the Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell universes. Those efforts are being led by Ubisoft’s Red Storm, in collaboration with Ubisoft Reflections, Ubisoft Dusseldorf, and Ubisoft Mumbai. Facebook executive Mike Verdu said that so far, 35 games have generated revenue in the millions on the original Quest. Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted hit $1 million in just eight days, while Onward made $1 million in just four days.
One of the bigger titles in the works from ILMxLab is Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge, a collection of light-hearted experiences in VR where you can hang out on the planet Batuu or go to the Cantina on Tatooine. There are more games on the list from Japan because the Oculus Quest 2 will debut there at launch.
Among the new games coming for the Quest 2 are:
Beat Saber x TinyTan BTS Music Pack
The South Korean music superstar band BTS will add 12 of their songs to Beat Saber, the popular rhythm title from Beat Games (which Facebook now owns). And players will be able to learn dance moves and experience BTS’s music together in a new multiplayer mode.
This claims to be the first major battle royale for VR. Its vertical combat system gives players the freedom to attack from just about any direction. Holding the high ground is key in this title, which has unique perspectives compared to other battle royales like Fortnite or Call of Duty: Warzone. This is one of the eagerly awaited titles among hardcore gamers.
Kizuna AI: Touch the Beat
You can wave your glowsticks to the rhythm and cheer on Kizuna AI (a faux YouTuber) within a big concert hall. The more accurately you sync with the music, the closer you move to the stage and Kizuna AI’s performance. You can aim for a high combo for a chance to see her up close. Kizuna AI is a virtual being, with artificial intelligence. She was created to be a virtual influencer, and she has millions of subscribers on her YouTube channel.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
Saints & Sinners forces you to fight the undead, scavenge though the flooded ruins of New Orleans, and face choices for you and the other survivors. You’ll face off against hordes of Walkers and fight them off with guns, knives, axes, or fists.
Little Witch Academia VR
You can ride on a magical broom in the VR racing game based on the Little Witch Academia anime. Players can fly through more than a dozen missions on a customized broom, racing against other students and purifying the ghosts of Luna Nova Witchcraft Academy. You can also explore the grounds with your fellow students in the online multiplayer Free Flight mode.
Rez Infinite is a revved-up version of the psychedelic rail-shooter adventure Rez, originally released in 2001 by Sega. Now, nearly 20 years later, a VR-only version built for Oculus Quest is aimed at a new generation. You can experience “synesthesia” as you blast through waves of enemies and bosses, with colors and sounds that sync and blend to the beat of Rez’s techno soundtrack.
Space Channel 5
May the dance be with you, as this classic Sega game comes to VR. In this game, you use dance as your power to protect the earth against invading aliens. The main character, Ulala, will navigate you through the world of Space Channel 5, where your task is to master a series of life-saving dance poses while tuning into the cool beat. The more poses you strike, the higher your viewer ratings will rise.
Altdeus: Beyond Chronos
This is a sci-fi visual novel pairs robot battles and pop music. It has a big branching storyline, placing you in the shoes of Chloe, a pilot in humanity’s forces fighting hostile organisms known as the Meteora. You can converse with other characters and seek clues in the adventure section. The mecha battle section is where you enter the cockpit of Makhia, the towering humanoid anti-Meteora combat weapon.
Warhammer 40,000: Battle Sister
Battle Sister is a narrative-driven action shooter where the player dons the power armor and war gear of Sister Ophelia, a veteran Battle Sister. Ophelia searches for her lost twin sister.
Sniper Elite VR
You can fight for the Italian Resistance in a daring mission to rid World War II Sicily of the Nazi U-boat menace. It has a first-person view, a campaign, and immersive motion controls that make you feel like a sniper. This is one of a number of shooters that have migrated to VR.
The Climb 2
Oculus and Crytek are partnering to bring The Climb 2 to Quest 2 with features like new maps, new difficulty settings, additional maps, and customizations. You’ll grab on to rocks with your controllers and pull yourself to the peak. The first one is a visceral experience that could give you vertigo.
Pistol Whip 2089
This is the first action pack for Pistol Whip, one of my favorite games on the Quest where you get exercise shooting characters that run across your screen at blazing speeds. You have to survive a plague of killer machines and unravel the mystery behind their uprising. It features new scenes, weapons, enemies, and mechanics. It has five chapters in a sci-fi setting in Cinematic Campaign Mode.
You can return to Myst, an island eerily tinged with mystery and a starkly beautiful landscape shrouded in intrigue and injustice. Only your wits and imagination hold the power to unlock the betrayal of ages past. Built anew for Oculus Quest, Myst is a reimagining from the original studio of the classic puzzle adventure game with modern art, sound, interactions, and optional puzzle randomization.
Jurassic World: Aftermath
This survival-VR adventure is set two years after the fall of Jurassic World. To survive and escape, you’ll need to explore, solve puzzles, and find ways to distract and hide from the ferocious velociraptors that stalk you.
Recommended Quest games
Oculus is also recommending the following games as playable on the Quest 2: Arizona Sunshine, Dance Central VR, Echo VR, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted, Pistol Whip, Tetris Effect, Netflix, The Room VR: A Dark Matter, Asgard’s Wrath (with Oculus Link), and Stormland (Oculus Link).
Republicans sue Texas governor over expanded early voting
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who has refused calls to expand mail-in voting in Texas during the coronavirus pandemic, was sued Wednesday by prominent members of his own party who now want to halt the biggest change he instead ordered for November’s election — extending early voting by a week.
The lawsuit escalates an extraordinary backlash Abbott is facing from the Texas GOP’s right wing that has criticized his handling of the pandemic as overbearing and unlawful. As Texas has now surpassed 15,000 deaths from COVID-19, anger among conservative activists has simmered for months over a statewide mask mandate and lockdown orders, including bars, which have been closed since June.
Previous challenges to Abbott’s orders were largely mounted by conservative activists, but the latest one filed straight to the Texas Supreme Court widens the list to seven GOP lawmakers as well as Allen West, a former Florida congressman who is the new chairman of the Texas Republican Party.
They argue Abbott did not have the power to put in place six additional days of early voting without input from the state Legislature, which is out of session this year and won’t meet again until January.
“Abbott’s Executive Orders are unprecedented and have had life and death implications, destroyed small businesses and family’s livelihoods, have had a crippling effect on every single community, and now have the ability to impact local, state and national elections,” the lawsuit stated.
An Abbott spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.
Early in-person voting in Texas begins Oct. 13. Those extra days have not satisfied voting rights groups or Democrats in Texas, which is one of just five states not offering widespread mail-in balloting amid the coronavirus pandemic. President Donald Trump has railed against expanding mail-in voting, claiming without evidence that doing so would lead to widespread fraud, and his allies in America’s biggest red state have held the line.
Earlier this week, West released a statement suggesting without evidence that expanding voting access in any form in Texas would also invite fraud. “The more we expand the time, place, and manner that people can vote, the more opportunity there is for corruption,” West said. Voter fraud is exceedingly rare in the United States, with one analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice finding it only occurs in between .0003 and .0025 percent of all votes cast.
Asked last week why Texas hasn’t joined the list of states expanding mail-in voting — which now includes South Carolina, another red state — Abbott said lawmakers have previously decided the current rules are sufficient. “Those voting standards are thoughtfully arrived at, and have proven to be effective,” he said.
Democrats, whose prospects in Texas this year are the brightest in decades, criticized the lawsuit.
“We should be expanding early voting and vote by mail options, not cutting them,” Texas Democratic Party spokesman Abhi Rahman said. “We support voters having every opportunity to vote, and have been for those options the entirety of this pandemic — and the decades before that.”
AR Takes on More Functional Role in Consumer Experience
3 “Strong Buy” Stocks That Are Flirting With a Bottom
In the investing game, it’s not only about what you buy; it’s about when you buy it. One of the most common pieces of advice thrown around the Street, “buy low” is touted as a tried-and-true tactic.Sure, the strategy seems simple. Stock prices naturally fluctuate on the basis of several factors like earnings results and the macro environment, amongst others, with investors trying to time the market and determine when stocks have hit a bottom. In practice, however, executing on this strategy is no easy task.On top of this, given the volatility that has ruled the markets over the last few weeks, how are investors supposed to gauge when a name is flirting with a bottom? That’s where the Wall Street pros come in.These expert stock pickers have identified three compelling tickers whose current share prices land close to their 52-week lows. Noting that each is set to take back off on an upward trajectory, the analysts see an attractive entry point. Using TipRanks’ database, we found out that the analyst consensus has rated all three a Strong Buy, with major upside potential also on tap.Progenity (PROG)Offering clear and actionable genetic results, Progenity specializes in providing testing services. The company started trading on Nasdaq in June and saw its shares tumbling 44% since then. With shares changing hands for $8.11, several members of the Street recommend pulling the trigger before it heats up.Piper Sandler analyst Steven Mah points out that even against the backdrop of COVID-19, PROG managed to deliver with its Q2 2020 performance. “We are encouraged by the recovery in late Q2 2020 with 75,000 accessioned tests (~79,000 in Q1 2020), driven by noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) and carrier screening,” the analyst noted. Expounding on this, Mah stated, “Progenity did not provide guidance, but June test volumes of ~28,000 were strong (Q1 2020 monthly average was ~26,000) which we believe showcases the durability of its reproductive tests and the success that Progenity has in co-marketing and attaching carrier screening to the more essential NIPT. Of note, despite the pandemic disruptions, Progenity was able to maintain its leading pre-COVID test turnaround times.”Additionally, health insurer Aetna is temporarily extending coverage of average-risk NIPT until year-end as a result of the pandemic, with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also expected to endorse average-risk in the future given its clinical utility, in Mah’s opinion.Reflecting another positive, the fourth generation NIPT (single-molecule counting assay) test was able to measure fetal fraction, a key milestone according to Mah, and will continue to be developed into 2021. As the technology could potentially be applied to DNA, RNA, epigenetic markers and proteins for additional clinical applications such as oncology, the analyst is looking forward to the completion of the preeclampsia verification in Q4 2020 and a possible 2H21 launch. “We believe preeclampsia (~2.3 billion serviceable market) is a major differentiator for Progenity, allowing them to cross-sell across the full-continuum of reproductive testing,” the analyst added.If that wasn’t enough, PROG signed its first GI Precision Medicine partnership agreement with a top-20 Pharma company in August. The Oral Biotherapeutic Delivery System (OBDS), an ingestible drug and device combination designed to precisely deliver biologics systemically through a needle-free liquid jet injection into the submucosal tissues of the small intestine, is set to be utilized as part of the collaboration. Mah commented, “We believe Progenity can sign additional Pharma deals and look forward to the newsflow coming out on this front.”To sum it all up, Mah said, “We believe Progenity shares are undervalued given the robust recovery in the core testing business and multiple upcoming growth catalysts.”To this end, Mah rates PROG an Overweight (i.e. Buy) along with a $17 price target. Should his thesis play out, a twelve-month gain of 105% could potentially be in the cards. (To watch Mah’s track record, click here)Are other analysts in agreement? They are. Only Buy ratings, 4, in fact, have been issued in the last three months. Therefore, the message is clear: PROG is a Strong Buy. Given the $13.33 average price target, shares could climb 60% higher in the next year. (See PROG stock analysis on TipRanks)Tactile Systems Technology (TCMD)Developing at-home therapy devices, Tactile Systems Technology wants to provide new treatments for lymphedema, which occurs when the lymphatic system is impaired, disrupting normal transport of fluid within the body, and chronic venous insufficiency. Down 52% year-to-date, its $32.67 share price lands close to its $29.47 52-week low. Thus, with business trends improving, the Street is pounding the table.Writing for Canaccord, analyst Cecilia Furlong acknowledges that the pandemic has hampered the company, with COVID-19 weighing on both volumes and sales. In the second half of March, volumes were down 50% compared to the first half of the month, and TCMD’s patient volumes in April and May remained challenged. That being said, trends started to improve at the end of May.“Going forward, given the vast majority of TCMD’s clinician customers practice in outpatient or office-based settings, we remain positive on TCMD’s ability to demonstrate better insulation against COVID impacts and likely experience a greater bounce-back relative to overall med-tech volume trends, with TCMD further benefitting from its expanding using of technology to remotely engage with clinicians and support patients,” Furlong explained.The analyst added, “Furthermore, recent trends among some providers to prescribe Flexitouch (an advanced intermittent pneumatic compression device to self-manage lymphedema and nonhealing venous leg ulcers) earlier along the therapy process, as a means to reduce in-person contact, could provide upside near term, as well as potentially transition to a longer-term tailwind.”On top of this, Furlong is also optimistic about new CEO Dan Reuvers and the reprioritization of the company’s investment and market development efforts. TCMD will shift focus away from its acquired Airwear product line, with it redirecting investments toward its Flexitouch and Entre (a pneumatic compression device used to assist in the home management of chronic swelling and venous ulcers associated with lymphedema and chronic venous insufficiency) products.“Given significant under-penetration in the lymphedema/phlebolymphedema market targeted by Flexitouch alongside the large patient population with limited treatment options today targeted by the firm’s Head & Neck platform, we view the combination of education and clinical data as key to further developing and penetrating these markets… Going forward, we expect management to continue to compile a broad base of clinical data to support reimbursement and drive broad adoption,” Furlong commented.All of this prompted Furlong to keep a Buy rating and $62 price target on the stock. This target conveys her confidence in TCMD’s ability to soar 90% in the next year. (To watch Furlong’s track record, click here)In general, other analysts are on the same page. With 3 Buy ratings and 1 Hold, the word on the Street is that TCMD is a Strong Buy. The $62.33 average price target brings the upside potential to 91%. (See TCMD stock analysis on TipRanks)uniQure N.V. (QURE)Last but not least we have uniQure, which delivers curative gene therapies that could potentially transform the lives of patients. Even though shares have fallen 44% year-to-date to $40, not much higher than its 52-week low of $36.20, multiple analysts still have high hopes.Representing SVB Leerink, 5-star analyst Joseph Schwartz acknowledges that shares struggled after news broke of its collaboration and licensing agreement with CSL Behring for AMT-061, QURE’s gene therapy for Hemophilia B, he argues the “shareholder base turnover is likely now complete as investors and QURE shift focus to next-in-line AMT-130, its AAV5 gene therapy for Huntington’s Disease (HD).”Schwartz further added, “With the M&A premium now out of the stock, we see the QURE’s current level as an attractive buying opportunity for those investors interested in the company’s up and coming CNS gene therapies, internal manufacturing, and robust intellectual property and knowhow.”Looking more closely at the agreement with CSL Behring, QURE will be tasked with the completion of the pivotal Phase 3 HOPE-B trial as well as the manufacturing process validation and manufacturing supply of AMT-061.According to management, 26-week Factor IX (FIX) data from all 54 patients enrolled in the trial remains on track, and topline data from the pivotal trial is still slated to read out by YE20. It should be mentioned that in a Phase 2b dose-confirmation study, QURE reported 41% FIX activity out to one year. Additionally, Schwartz points out that with HOPE-B progressing as planned, QURE has continued its manufacturing process validation work ahead of the anticipated BLA/MAA submissions in the U.S. and EU in 2021.On top of this, as part of the deal, QURE is eligible to receive more than $2 billion including a $450 million upfront cash payment, $1.6 billion in regulatory and commercial milestones and double-digit royalties ranging up to the low-twenties percentage of net product sales.“With a strengthened cash position, QURE is well funded to rapidly advance CNS assets including AMT-130 (AAV5 gene therapy for Huntington’s Disease (HD)) and AMT-150 (AAV gene therapy for Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3/SCA3)…We continue to believe that as QURE’s CNS pipeline assets mature, the company could once again be an attractive partner to larger biopharma companies that have recently acquired many publicly traded gene therapy platforms with substantial manufacturing capabilities,” Schwartz noted.Everything that QURE has going for it convinced Schwartz to reiterate an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating. Along with the call, he attached a $67 price target, suggesting 68% upside potential from current levels. (To watch Schwartz’s track record, click here)What does the rest of the Street have to say? 9 Buys and 3 Holds have been issued in the last three months, so the consensus rating is a Strong Buy. In addition, the $69.89 average price target indicates 75% upside potential. (See QURE stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for beaten-down stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
Two Republicans resign from North Carolina election board
(Reuters) – Two Republicans resigned from the North Carolina State Board of Elections late on Wednesday, the panel said, citing concerns about a plan to settle a lawsuit over counting of absentee ballots in the Nov. 3 presidential election, among other issues.
Ken Raymond and David Black stepped down over a lawsuit filed by the North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans against the five-member election board, it said in a statement that attached their letters of resignation.
“It is impossible to have true bipartisanship when both sides of the political aisle do not have the important and vital information needed to make the right decisions,” Raymond said in his letter.
Black referred to concerns over the witness requirement for absentee ballots.
“It was not my understanding that the cure would simply mean a affidavit, or cure document, would be sent to the voter for a confirmation that this ballot was their own,” he said.
The election officials had struck a tentative agreement on Tuesday to count any absentee ballots that arrive up to nine days after the Nov. 3 election, so long as they are postmarked by election day.
“The unanimous agreement of the five-member State Board regarding the proposed settlement came after counsel to all board members from agency attorneys and litigation counsel before and during last week’s closed session meeting,” the board said in its statement.
Raymond and Black are both former chairmen of county election boards in North Carolina, where President Donald Trump this month urged residents to try to vote twice in the election, once by mail and once in person.
Trump won North Carolina and its 15 electoral votes by 3.6 percentage points over Clinton in 2016. The Southern state has gone consistently Republican in presidential elections since 1980, with the exception of Obama’s victory there in 2008.
That makes Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s slight lead in recent polls in the state a significant worry for the president.
(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
- TV schedule, key stats, Goodyear tires and more
- Republicans sue Texas governor over expanded early voting
- AR Takes on More Functional Role in Consumer Experience
- Former Warriors Star Hails Top NBA Draft Prospect LaMelo Ball
- PSG preparing to pull out of negotiations to sign Dele Alli on season-long loan
- Two Republicans resign from North Carolina election board
- MSNBC’s Chris Hayes warns of a coup after Trump says he wants to ‘Get rid of ballots’ [Video]
- AstraZeneca still waiting for FDA decision to resume U.S. trial
- Rumors Suggest a Remake of Metal Gear Solid is in Development
- Pat Riley not going anywhere, and I’m not replacing him with Heat if he does
Entertainment4 days ago
Danish TV show ‘Ultra Strips Down’ records kids eyeing naked adults
Sports News3 weeks ago
Fantasy Football Auction Draft strategy: Tips, advice for spending your 2020 player budget wisely
Sports News3 weeks ago
NBA 2K21 Cover Star Damian Lillard Reveals His Issues With the Game
Sports News3 days ago
Fantasy Football Buy-Low, Sell-High Stock Watch: Leonard Fournette, Stefon Diggs among movers heading into Week 3
Sports News3 weeks ago
NBA playoff bracket 2020: Updated standings, seeds & results from each round
Sports News2 weeks ago
NFL Analyst Takes a Cheeky Dig on Browns Stars Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield
Tech2 days ago
iOS 14 basics: how to add widgets to your iPhone’s home screen
Sports4 days ago
What just happened? Danny Lee six-putts 18th green, withdraws from U.S. Open