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Immerse Virtual Reality Headset Review - Can VR work on phones?

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Immerse Virtual Reality Headset, Virtual Reality, VR, VR headsets

Immerse Virtual Reality Headset Review - Can VR work on phones?

It's taking the Oculus Rift so long to get to market, the knock off products are hitting the shelves before the number one contender for a Virtual Reality-led future even has a solid RRP. Given the buzz about VR though, we're eager to try kit we can.

To be fair, this isn't quite a competitor to the like of the Oculus Rift or Sony's Project Morpheus. Instead, the Immerse Virtual Reality headset is designed for your smart phone. So you won't need an expensive PC rig or console to use it. You may have heard of this tech before with Google Cardboard, which placed phone handsets into a box with some lenses to replicate 3D imagery via apps that show two images, much in the same way the Oculus works.

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At long last, Oculus Rift finally has a release window

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Oculus Rift, Virtual Reality, VR

At long last, Oculus Rift finally has a release window

After years of iterative development and the sensational Facebook buyout, VR pioneer Oculus Rift has finally been tied down to a release schedule. The consumer version is on the way and will receive a major publicity drive at this year's E3.

It's tremendously exciting news if you're excited about Virtual Reality's potential for gaming and entertainment... but don't expect to find one under your tree this Christmas.

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Beyond The Screen: Microsoft’s HoloLens is the game changer for video games

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
AR, Augmented Reality, Features, HoloLens, Microsoft, Unity, VR

Beyond The Screen: Microsoft’s HoloLens is the game changer for video games

VR headsets, or more specifically the Oculus Rift, have really kickstarted (pun intended) the imaginations of developers. All of a sudden, the VR dream that was laughed off as too geeky and incredibly 80’s is now seen as a real next step for immersion in not just games, but exploring virtual spaces. You only have to look at the reactions from our former editorial overlord Matt, and my fellow writers Jonathan and Brendan to see how impressive an experience it can be.

The thing is, while I think it is absolutely a step in the right direction I have always considered Augmented Reality to be the future, and it’s why Microsoft’s HoloLens has had me intrigued since its announcement. This is because, as gamers, we have been trapped behind those screens for so long, our TV’s and monitors being windows to virtual worlds that we can only peer through. VR headsets have changed that, but while it is absolutely impressive to have your view changed, in my mind it is like poking your head through a hole in the ceiling – you can look, but without a larger hole (or, more specifically, specialist equipment) you can’t do anything but look around.

With AR though, you’re bringing the virtual world to yours in a way you deem appropriate, and that’s why the HoloLens could change everything.

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Radial-G Interview | Military-Grade Arcade Racing On Oculus Rift & Project Morpheus

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Kickstarter, Oculus Rift, PC games, Project Morpheus, PS4 games, Racing Games, Tammeka Games, VR

Radial-G Interview | Military-Grade Arcade Racing On Oculus Rift & Project Morpheus

'Rip up the track with blistering visuals, without being sick'

Radial-G was one of the highlights of this year's Develop Conference Expo. Tammeka Games are currently Kickstarting an antigravity racer in the same basic vein as WipEout and F-Zero, seeking £50,000 to bring the fierce project to Oculus Rift and potentially Project Morpheus, and aren't afraid to let us try it out. Suffice to say that the hands-on prototype was intense... and yet somehow managed to throw me through twisting geometry-defying space tubes at breakneck speeds without even the slightest hint of simulation sickness.

You don't even have to take our word for it, because the demo is free to download and fully-playable on regular monitors.

Keen to know more, I grabbed Tammeka Games producer Sam Watts for an interview, who proceeded to explain how military precision, genre experience, years of preparation, careful planning and smart design have led to Radial-G becoming a very different kind of racer.

Radial-G Interview | Military-Grade Arcade Racing On Oculus Rift & Project Morpheus

Jonathan Lester (Dealspwn): Thanks for talking to us, Sam. First things first, can you give us the elevator pitch? In your own words, what is Radial-G?

Sam Watts (Tammeka Games): It's a high-octane futuristic arcade racer, filling the slot that's been woefully left open by a lack of F-Zero and WipEout, to bring a high-octane antigravity racing to the current and next generation!

Dealspwn: Not to mention Virtual Reality platforms such as the Oculus Rift and Morpheus. I was very impressed by your prototype – what opportunities and challenges did you face when developing a game for VR?

Sam Watts: I don't want to blow our own trumpet too much, but we are very experienced in creating VR experiences. We've done a lot of high-level military virtual reality simulations before with multi-channel output and a lot of back-end networking...

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PREVIEW | Radial-G: Kickstarting the Virtual Reality WipEout we've been waiting for

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Kickstarter, Oculus Rift, PC games, Project Morpheus, PS4 games, Racing Games, Tammeka Games, VR

Radial-G is intense. As an alumni of the WipeOut and F-Zero school of racing, it throws us into antigravity sleds and shoots us down insane twisting tracks, glued to the exterior of wildly crooked tubes that grant us a full range of motion. We'll dodge through fan blades, hurtle over speed boosters and ultimately jostle for position against 31 opponents. The sheer sense of unadulterated velocity is astonishing, even mindblowing.

However, perhaps the most impressive thing about this in-progress indie racer is that it also fully supports the Oculus Rift, allowing you to leap right into the cockpit and immerse yourself in its ridiculously hectic action... without throwing up all over the keyboard.

This is because Radial-G's development team has real pedigree, or in other words: they know what they're doing. They've worked on military-grade simulators before, clearly experienced in mitigating the effects of simulation sickness. Several staffers hail from Acclaim and Black Rock Studios, having previously developed many a racer. Producer Sam Watts even put in a long shift at NCSoft, contributing to Wildstar and other MMOs.

Most importantly, Tammeka Games are only asking for £50,000 to get the ball rolling on Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight - and you can try the free demo right now whether you have an Oculus Rift or not. PS4 owners should pay attention, because a certain Mr. Yoshida has also given it both thumbs up with Morpheus in mind.

If you're tired of waiting for Nintendo and Sony to get their act together, Radial-G is shaping up nicely.

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Valve VR Guru predicts a grim money-grubbing future

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
VR

Valve VR Guru predicts a grim money-grubbing future

VR specialist Fabian Giesen resigned from Valve back in 2012, having contributed to their Virtual Reality programme and prototypes. His reasons for doing so have now been made clear: a genuine concern that unscrupulous companies will use the tech to monetise your every waking moment.

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OPINION | VR Has No Place In The Living Room

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus, Virtual Reality, VR

OPINION | VR Has No Place In The Living Room

Virtual Reality is already one of the hottest technologies and topics in videogames, with both the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus promising to revolutionise the way we experience our favourite hobby. The ability to enter our videogames, to be immersed and surrounded by them, is intoxicating - and we've been excited about VR's potential despite a fair few hurdles facing the fledgling venture.

Now that I've finally got to grips with Oculus Rift courtesy of Private Eye (the psychological thriller, not Ian Hislop's mag), both my greatest hopes and most worrying concerns about the resurgent technology have been set in stone.

VR is absolutely incredible, a huge leap forward for videogames and revolutionary new forms of interactive entertainment... but the very things that make it so amazing are likely to keep virtual reality out of the living room.

Project Morpheus may have a bit of a fight on its hands.

OPINION | VR Has No Place In The Living Room

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Private Eye: The Oculus Rift Thriller Preview | VR Voyeur

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Games previews, Jake Slack, Oculus Rift, PC, PC games, Virtual Reality, VR

Private Eye: The Oculus Rift Thriller Preview | VR Voyeur

Virtual Reality is all about immersion. You've doubtlessly watched us hacks overuse this somewhat nebulous term to within an inch of its life over the last few years, but being able to get into our games, to be absorbed by them and enter a new reality for a while, is what many of us strive for. Considering that Oculus Rift is designed to effectively create a new reality around us, it's absolutely perfect for atmospheric games.

Private Eye is all about harnessing that power for a psychological thriller set in 1950s New York, wherein players become a wheelchair-bound gumshoe forced to relive the events that led up to his disablement, all while cracking a new case. It surrounds you with the videogame equivalent of Rear Window, letting you look around the environments in 360 degrees and spy on your neighbours from an intimate new perspective, all while building a sinister and tense atmosphere around us. Considering that the pitch was created as part of a VR Jam by single developer Jake Slack, Private Eye is already rather impressive.

It also has the privilege of being my first hands-on with Oculus Rift -- should that be eyes on? -- so naturally I was nearly violently ill all over the fine folks at EGX Rezzed 2014. At least we managed to interview Slack afterwards.

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Private Eye - Oculus Rift Thriller Interview | Jake Slack talks origins, development & Faceboculus

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Adventure Games, Interviews, Oculus Rift, PC, PC games, Rezzed 2014, Videos, VR

Virtual Reality has the power to immerse us in brave new worlds, to make our gaming experiences infinitely more powerful and personal. As such, a new wave of VR adventures are currently in development for Oculus Rift and other platforms, designed to take advantage of its intimate and overwhelming new perspective.

Private Eye is one such project, currently being developed by Jake Slack. This investigative thriller casts players as a wheelchair-bound detective who has to recall pivotal events from his past and scrutinise clues from a first-person perspective, exploring a gritty 1950s setting in full 360 degrees. Originally developed during a Game Jam, it's now vying for mainstream exposure on Steam Greenlight.

Having tried it out at EGX Rezzed (and being thoroughly mindblown in the process), naturally we grabbed Slack for a in-depth interview. Discover how Private Eye plans to shake up the adventure genre, what Oculus Rift can do for the genre and what real developers think about the controversial takeover in the video above. Subscribe to Dealspwn for more gaming videos.

New Loading Human trailer showcases VR and motion control gameplay

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Loading Human, Motion Control, Oculus Rift, Razer Hydra, Sixense STEM, Untold Games, VR

New Loading Human trailer showcases VR and motion control gameplay

I called Loading Human the "future of the adventure game" back in my hands-on preview earlier this year, thanks to its implementation of both virtual reality tech in the form of the Oculus Rift, combined with motion control provided by the Razer Hydra or, when the game eventually emerges, the far more accurate Sixense STEM.

Untold Games are pointing the way forwards for adventure games with Loading Human; this is a tantalising possible future for the genre and for interactive storytelling in general. But whether or not it takes off sooner rather than later will all come down to execution. We're on the cusp of having the most immersive interactive narrative experiences any of us have ever seen; fingers crossed that the tech holds up.

It's that last line which is key: will the tech hold up? Well, my demo was one of the first conducted by any member of the press or public outside of Untold Games' internal testing, and it was a very, very early build that was clearly unfinished -- more a proof of concept than anything else. It had its fair share of problems -- Hydra tech is several years old at this point -- but the immersive qualities were key. It can be quite difficult to convey that through ambitious prose, though, and so Untold have released a new trailer for the game, showing off some gameplay and illustrating how the 1-to-1 mocon feeds into the experience.

Watch it after the jump >>

Watch the entire Project Morpheus reveal right here

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Project Morpheus, Sony, Virtual Reality, VR

Watch the entire Project Morpheus reveal right here

Want to know more about Sony's plan to bring Virtual Reality to the living room? Have a spare hour on your hands, sweet Alt-Tab skills or a very hands-off boss? If so, you might be interested to know that Sony have posted their entire Project Morpheus reveal presentation online including the full Q&A session.

It's clear that Morpheus is a serious contender when it comes to VR, and is currently receiving extra attention after Oculus Rift's controversial buyout. Are you ready for the Virtual Reality revolution, or will you take some serious convincing first?

Click here to read more...

Forget the kneejerk reactions, Facebook's acquisition of Oculus gives VR another shot at the mainstream

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Facebook, Oculus, Oculus Rift, Tech, Virtual Reality, VR, VR headsets

Forget the kneejerk reactions, Facebook's acquisition of Oculus gives VR another shot at the mainstream

Yesterday, a cash-rich Silicon Valley leviathan paved the way for the acquisition of a plucky startup. As surprising as Facebook's pending purchase of Oculus might have seemed last night, that's all that really happened. As announced last night, is set to be bought by Facebook for approximately $2 billion USD, with the transaction due to take place sometime later this year in Q2 2014.

First up, the official quotes. Here's what Mark Zuckerberg and Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe had to say about the coming acquisition:

“Mobile is the platform of today," said Zuckerberg, "and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow. Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”

“We are excited to work with Mark and the Facebook team to deliver the very best virtual reality platform in the world,” said Iribe. “We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences that connect people in magical, new ways. It is a transformative and disruptive technology, that enables the world to experience the impossible, and it’s only just the beginning.”

And the internet went crazy.

Forget the kneejerk reactions, Facebook's acquisition of Oculus gives VR another shot at the mainstream

The Oculus Rift as a gaming device has enormous potential, and I've waxed lyrical about how awesomely immersive an experience the device can offer. But for VR to be a mainstream success, it needs to look beyond games and that is hardly a new concept. Look at the media hubs that our consoles have become, the connected experiences offered by the tiny computers each of us carries in our pockets. There are reactions to this news declaring the gaming applications for the Rift dead in the water as a result of this news, but they rather sound like nonsensical tantrums fuelled by anti-Facebook hate. The key to all of this is independence -- how much leeway will Oculus be given to continue as they have done, albeit with greater financial security, resources, and opportunities?

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The worst kept secret in gaming is out - Sony unveil VR plans at GDC

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
GDC 2014, Project Morpheus, PS4, Sony, VR

The worst kept secret in gaming is out - Sony unveil VR plans at GDC

The cat's out of the bag.

To be fair, the cat in question had been leaving all sorts of signs for the past year, and the Forbes sort of let it out for a bit before Sony could properly... (where the hell are you going with this metaphor Matt?).

Yes, Sony have VR plans. They have a prototype headset. They have a cool name for the whole shebang, and it's called Project Morpheus.

“At SCE we view innovation as an opportunity to build on our mission to push the boundaries of play,” said Shuhei Yoshida. “Project Morpheus is the latest example of innovation from SCE, and we’re looking forward to its continued development and the games that will be created as development kits get into the hands of content creators.”

So what is Project Morpheus?

Well, it's a work-in-progress VR headset that combines sensory immersion -- such as we've seen with the Oculus Rift (to whom Sony paid thanks for setting a fire under the industry in the form of accessible VR) -- with the potential for more expansive motion control, designed to work in conjunction with the PlayStation Move, PS Eye and PS4.

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"I Live For This!" - Untold Games on breaking new ground with VR adventure game Loading Human

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Games previews, Interviews, Loading Human, Motion Control, Oculus Rift, Razer Hydra, Sixense STEM, Untold Games, Videos, VR

"I Live For This!" - Untold Games on breaking new ground with VR adventure game Loading Human

I've been on a bit of a VR trip of late. Ever since THAT mind-blowing EVE: Valkyrie Gamescom demo, in fact. So when I had an opportunity earlier this week to check out the upcoming sci-fi adventure game Loading Human, from developers Untold Games, I absolutely jumped at the chance.

You can read my account of the 30-45 minutes hands-on session in my preview here, but here's a TL:DR brief summary anyway:

Untold Games are pointing the way forwards for adventure games with Loading Human; this is a tantalising possible future for the genre and for interactive storytelling in general. But whether or not it takes off sooner rather than later will all come down to execution. We're on the cusp of having the most immersive interactive narrative experiences any of us have ever seen; fingers crossed that the tech holds up.

"I Live For This!" - Untold Games on breaking new ground with VR adventure game Loading Human

Afterwards, I had the opportunity to sit down for a chat with Flavio Parenti and Elisa Di Lorenzo -- the creative and technical heads respectively at Untold Games for this project -- and our discussion ranged from the origins of Loading Human to how the team are pressing forward in rather pioneering fashion, to point the way forwards for the adventure genre.

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Loading Human and the Oculus Rift: The Future of the Adventure Game

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Games previews, Loading Human, Motion Control, Oculus Rift, Razer Hydra, Sixense STEM, Untold Games, VR

Loading Human and the Oculus Rift: The Future of the Adventure Game

I'm stood in line at Boots, patiently waiting for the pharmacist to pop some antibiotics in a bag, feeling utterly loathsome and wondering if the workmen who've been noisily drilling in the recesses of my mind will permit me some respite from this godawful migraine, when my phone buzzes. It turns out that a space has opened up at noon for a chance to go hands-on with Loading Human -- the deliciously ambitious sci-fi adventure game that was revealed only a few days ago, and makes use of the Oculus Rift and the Hydra motion controller. I have an hour and a half to rush back home, grab my stuff, and then race across town. I slap myself in the face, grab the bag of prescription drugs, and run my arse off... for about 100 metres before collapsing in a coughing fit.

I made it in the end, though.

How could I not, in truth. When I made my predictions for 2014, I stated confidently that this year would herald a great shift as VR would become a consumer reality, and spoke about how the recent wave of experiential titles -- games such as Dear Esther and Gone Home -- would be most gloriously served by the the increased prospects for immersive gaming presented by devices such as the Oculus Rift. Step forward, then, Loading Human -- described by developers Untold Games as "an old-school adventure game" that certainly fits the mould, but is inspired by sci-fi pillars such as The Matrix and Strange Days as much as it is by Monkey Island.

The concept behind Loading Human is deliciously meta in nature. You play Andre -- a man dying of Alzheimer's diseased -- who finds himself placed into a virtual world by his Nobel Prize-winning genius wife Michelle, so that he might relive his memories and recover himself. The Oculus Rift will immerse you in the virtual world within the virtual world of the game itself (INCEPTION GAMING!), and motion controls such as the Razer Hydra or Sixense STEM will be the tools by which you interact with the world around you. Just as Andre is rediscovering himself, so too will we be rediscovering a means of interacting with virtual worlds.

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Rift-powered adventure game Loading Human points towards VR dream

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Adventure Games, Loading Human, Oculus Rift, PC games, VR

Rift-powered adventure game Loading Human points towards VR dream

Back at the start of the year, when I was gushing about virtual reality and how the Oculus Rift is going to change all of our lives, a good chunk of that was wishful thinking. It all depends how the industry and the consumer audience gets behind such technology; after all, that's what will really determine whether or not VR genuinely becomes a game-changer or remains a niche concern.

But it's happening already, and this announcement trailer for Loading Human is just one example of where we might be headed. It's an Oculus Rift-powered adventure game that uses motion controllers such as the Razer Hydra to immerse you in what sounds like a cracking piece dramatic sci-fi awesomeness.

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VR Changes Everything, Microsoft Strikes Back, Nintendo is a Magikarp: Predictions for 2014

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Microsoft, Nintendo, Oculus, PS4, Sony, Steam Machines, Valve, VR, Wii U, Xbox One

VR Changes Everything, Microsoft Strikes Back, Nintendo is a Magikarp: Predictions for 2014

After the drama of 2013 -- and you can read all about it in my Year in Review piece from last week -- we enter 2014 with two new consoles and healthy optimism. This time of year, when the fields of expectation stretch out before us towards the horizons of possibility, is the perfect time to use what we have learned over the past twelve months to try and determine what might happen over the next. So without further ado, let's gaze into the crystal ball and try to predict some of the happenings we reckon might come to pass in 2014.

The Xbone Strikes Back

VR Changes Everything, Microsoft Strikes Back, Nintendo is a Magikarp: Predictions for 2014

Microsoft are at a clear disadvantage in many ways from our position here at the top of 2014. They have a console that lacks the raw power of its direct competitor, they have an image still suffering from the dramatic own goals and devastating gaffes of 2013, their offering is pricey and bulky and the OS is riddled with issues that need fixing.

But they have a slate of already-announced exclusives set for this year that seem enormously impressive. We always say that it's all about the games, and if that tenet proves true this year, Microsoft are well placed to have a bit of a blinder. It's going to be a much closer next-gen race that we all thought back in June.

Titanfall will be huge for the Xbox One. Yes, it's out on PC and Xbox 360, but the speed of it, the traversal systems and pick-up-and-play beauty of it, make it feel like a game designed for a gamepad and for a console audience, particularly when you factor in video sharing for those highlight moments. Halo returns too in 2014, and it's impossible to overstate the importance of that franchise to Microsoft's console efforts. But we're also looking towards Project Spark to deliver something that's always been a facet of Sony's arsenal -- the mentality of Play Create Share -- combined with something Microsoft should have been capitalising upon for years: crossover between PC and console.

That brings us on nicely to the next trend...

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VR Mocap Kit Hits Kickstarter, 8x Faster Than Kinect

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Kickstarter, Motion Capture, PrioVR, VR, Yei Technology

Back in my EVE: Valkyrie hands-on preview, I mentioned the disconnect that can occur with the Oculus Rift and ambulation or other limb movement, given that once youre outside of a cockpit or driving seat, the interaction is no longer really 1-to-1.
We've seen a few Kickstarter projects attempt to take on this problem (such as the Omni), and now Yei Technology have thrown their hat into the ring with a mocap body harness that they're calling the PrioVR.

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How To Be Luke Skywalker | EVE: Valkyrie Interview With Ian Shiels

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
CCP Games, EVE: Valkyrie, Games previews, Gamescom 2013, Ian Shiels, Interviews, Oculus Rift, PC games, Space sims, Video interviews, VR

How To Be Luke Skywalker | EVE: Valkyrie Interview With Ian Shiels

In my EVE: Valkyrie hands-on preview, I called my brief time with the game The Most Immersive Gaming Experience OF My Life. Given that I had a chunk of free time, not to mention the fact that I was bubbling over with excitement like a simmering cauldron of joy, I tracked down Ian Shiels, the game's user experience designer, to have a chat about Valkyrie's beginnings and where the team are planning on taking it.

Hilariously, this was the day when all of our audio equipment went tits up and we also happened to be in the largest noisiest booth ever, so apologies for the background noise on this one.

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Report: Sony To Unveil PS4 Virtual Reality Headset

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
PS4, Report, Sony, Virtual Reality, VR

Report: Sony To Unveil PS4 Virtual Reality Headset

Sony plans to showcase a PS4-compatible virtual reality headset soon, at least according to the latest buzz.

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