Dance Central VR Comes to Oculus Rift and Quest
Harmonix’s dancing game Dance Central is coming back, this time as a new virtual reality experience. The dancing game, previously launched alongside Kinect on Xbox 360, will be launching alongside the release of the new Oculus Quest headset which hits the market this spring. The dancing game will also come to the Oculus Rift.
The new Dance Central VR dancing game will be similar to its predecessors released earlier on the Xbox. The players will be dancing to choreography to some of the current popular dance hits. However, the gaming company will be designing Dance Central VR’s virtual reality dance routines while taking into account the VR headsets. The virtual reality game will track the player’s head and hands and it will also limit the number of dance moves that will need more dramatic head movements. The VR game does not provide players the full body tracking of Kinect.
Scores in the game will be awarded based on the accuracy of the dancing routines. The scores will factor in the movement velocity, the hand position and gestures and the head height. The game is capable of detecting whether the dancing is matching the dips of your on-screen dancing partner and then awards the scores accordingly.
No matter the songs you play in Dance Central VR, you will find the transition to virtual reality fairly easy to grasp. There is a panel to the right of the screen that shows players the upcoming dance moves that you are expected to do. It’s fairly easy to mimic the dancing on standard difficulty mode where the same moves are repeated multiple times. There is also the “pro” difficulty option which you can try out if you want to take your dancing moves a notch higher.
Dancing in virtual reality is actually quite fun and feels good. This is made even easier thanks to the un-tethered and lightweight Oculus Quest virtual reality headset which is easier to put on and take off. The Oculus Touch controllers also simplify the performing of gestures such as the finger points and thumbs up which have been included in the game as part of the choreography.
From the Dance Central VR user interface sitting on your hip, you can do a lot of stuff including pulling up music tracks, hitting play and pausing the songs. You will even be able to go through the multiple dance zones in the game.
This is not the first time that Harmonix is venturing into music games in virtual reality. The gaming company has done similar projects in the past including one with Rock Band. In the multiplayer mode, players are able to join other dancers and compete or cooperate for scores. Players can also record “taunt videos” in virtual reality which they can subsequently send to other players for asynchronous challenges. The dance game also has lots of easy-to-control anti-harassment tools that you can activate if need be. These include an instant mute which is a double thumbs down that you can use on an offending player. Other anti-harassment tools include banning and reporting options. There are also emotes such as a heart hands pose in the music game that players can use to show love to other players. There are in-game mobile phones that players can use to take selfies in virtual reality.
The Dance Central VR has an extensive virtual wardrobe that players can use to customize their avatars. The game developer, Harmonix, has promised that there will be no gender restrictions on the outfits in the virtual reality music game so anyone in the game will be able to wear whatever they like.
If you are still shy about exhibiting your dance moves, there will soon be a practice mode for you called Studio. It is still under development and will enable players to practice dance moves by tracking of a series of orbs that will be laid out on the path of every move within a 3D space. The Studio even allows the player to slow down their dance moves to half of the normal speed to allow them get a grasp of how the music game is tracking their dance moves.
When the Dance Central VR launches, there will be 32 games on its soundtrack. The first six songs that have so far been confirmed include the following:-
- Bruno Mars featuring Cardi B “Finesse (Remix)
- The Chainsmokers featuring Daya “Don’t Let Me Down”
- DJ Snake and Lil Jon “Turn Down for What”
- Haddaway “What is Love”
- Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer “Give Me Everything”
- Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock “It Takes Two”