#769: Beat Saber 1-Year Retrospective & the Future of Embodied Music

jaroslav_beckBeat Saber was launched on May 1, 2018, and has since sold over 1 million copies making it the most successful VR game ever. My first interview with the Beat Saber co-founders Jan Ilavsky and Jaroslav Beck was at GDC in March 2018, and I reached out to Beck ahead of the Oculus Quest launch in order to capture a bit of a retrospective for what’s happened over the first year of launch, to hear about the enthusiasm of their Beat Saber community, but also some of the downsides of music piracy within the modding community, how Beat Saber Expert+ tracks ended up being a benchmark for developing the tracking technology for the Quest, and we also talk a bit about the future of music licensing in gaming.

Beck is a musician himself having composed the early access launch tracks, and so he’s really interested in finding ways to help get musicians paid for using their music in their game. On June 10th, 2019, Beat Saber launched another expansion pack featuring an entire album from Imagine Dragons for $12.99, and they’re also showing off a 360 mode at E3 where the blocks are coming at you at different angles. Beat Saber will also likely end up being a lot of people’s first VR gaming experience as the Quest is very portable, and I’ve noticed that I’m hoping into VR a lot more quickly and easily and hear that tetherless VR is making a big impact on how people are using the Quest. Even Beck said that he’s now playing Beat Saber every morning for 10 minutes rather than drinking coffee.


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Music: Fatality

Rough Transcript

[00:00:05.452] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello, my name is Kent Bye, and welcome to The Voices of VR Podcast. There has been a lot that's going on for me for the last three or four weeks or so. On Tuesday, May 21st, 2019, the Oculus Quest launched. And before that, I ended up going to like six different conferences over the last two and a half weeks. Panel discussion that I helped moderate sponsored by UN women. They were doing a film festival Also went to this psychedelics and VR conference. It's called the awakened futures summit I did a number of different interviews there went to New York City for the Kennedy Institute for Advanced Research. They had this gathering of neuroscientists talking to different game developers and virtual reality creators looking at the cross-section between neuroscience and VR and Then I went to the open AR cloud summit that was before the augmented world Expo then I went to the augmented world Expo gave a keynote on the moral dilemmas of mixed reality and then took a red-eye and Flew to Toronto and they gave a keynote that very next morning on embodiment world building and future dreaming and did a number of different interviews All in all, I've done probably about 70 different interviews over the last two and a half weeks or so. But before I went on to this big epic trip and before the quest launched on that Thursday, May 16th, I ended up talking to Gerslof Beck. He's the co-founder and CEO of Beat Games. And I wanted to capture the moment before the launch of Beat Saber. Just because I think that Beat Saber has had a remarkable year. They launched on May 1st, 2018 and basically have revolutionized so many different aspects of what people think of when they think of VR gaming. Sold over a million copies and just a runaway success. And I wanted to talk to yourself back. who's one of the co-founders and CEO of Beat Games, but also the guy who created a lot of the original tracks. And he's been really going out and trying to figure out how to license music and create these new models for music distribution, for being able to bring in different types of music into Beat Saber. And just today, June 10th, 2019, they just released the Imagine Dragons music expansion pack, which is, I think, the biggest label they've had so far. It's like an entire album. I had a chance to just play around with that a little bit and it's interesting. It's interesting to see this direction that they're going in and starting to, for $12.99 or so, license out all this different music and to be able to have like a whole embodied experience with the music that you're playing. And we also talked a little bit about the modding community and how to sort of balance the innovation that comes from that, but also, you know, trying to be in alignment with working with these different music labels. We're covering all of that and more on today's episode of the Voices of VR podcast. So this interview with Jaroslav happened on Thursday, May 16th, 2019, when I was in Portland, Oregon, and he was in the Czech Republic. So with that, let's go ahead and dive right in.

[00:02:58.619] Jaroslav Beck: I'm Jaroslav Beck. I'm co-founder and CEO of Beat Games, the indie studio who created Beat Saber.

[00:03:06.787] Kent Bye: Great. So last time I talked to you was at GDC 2018. This was before the May 1st launch of Beat Saber, before it's had the explosion that it's had within the VR community. So what has happened for you over the last year?

[00:03:21.392] Jaroslav Beck: Uh, this is the simplest question, but it's the hardest as well, because for me, it feels like it was forever because this year so many things happen. So basically, It happened so many things that it's really hard to put everything together because last year was probably the craziest ever. So we launched the game in Early Access on PC. We launched it to PlayStation. And now we will be finally leaving the Early Access and we will be bringing Beat Saber to Quest. And meanwhile, Beat Saber happened to be one of the most successful games in VR. we are lucky enough that we can discover what actually VR is capable of and that we can push it a little bit forward. So it's an awesome spot to be in, but kind of a lot of responsibility is coming with this spot, so we are trying not to screw this up. Pretty much this is all our task.

[00:04:25.819] Kent Bye: Well, you know, you've sold over a million copies, which I think, you know, is quite a feat. There's a lot of companies that had said that they had sold over a million dollars worth, but that's, you know, well over like $20 million worth of sales. So it's definitely the biggest VR title of all time. And I expect it to be a bit of a driver for Oculus Quest. I've just noticed in myself how much easier it is for me to hop in to a VR experience with the Quest in my living room and like play one Beat Saber song. And that's not something that I did before because it was such a commitment to come up to my VR room, to get it all set up, to do all the updates, you know, it's like a lot of friction to just hop into VR. So I feel like the Quest is actually going to change a lot of people's behaviors and Beat Saber, of all the different experiences that are out there, I think are really playing into the real affordances of VR, which is like having this embodied gameplay. And for me, what I mean by that is that I can track every day how much I'm getting better with Expert Plus. I stopped playing Beat Saber for a while because I had a little bit of a wrist injury for playing some of the mods that were really not designed to ever be completed. It was like too much of an extreme movement in my wrist that actually I got injured and I had to take a long break. And so I missed the point at which that you release the official Expert Plus onto Beat Saber. So I'm playing a lot of these expert plus levels, not ever played them before. So I kind of dropped off on my progress, but I've been playing it every day and seeing that I get better. And I think that's the magic about Beat Saber is that you can play something every day and you can see that slow progress over time.

[00:06:04.708] Jaroslav Beck: Yeah, I'm doing this actually as well. And I made the routine from this because now I'm traveling a lot because I had to be on a lot of conferences lately. So I'm actually taking Quest with me for already some time, and I'm playing every day for 10 minutes in the morning. I don't need to take a coffee, I will just play Beat Saber. And it works really well, and it's actually good for development as well. So yeah, and the Quest is only a device right now, what is capable, what I can use pretty much for this style, because There are other systems that have wires and need to be set up properly and stuff like this, but Quest have this all. So yeah, it's definitely a device that will bring, hopefully, VR to more people and I definitely believe in that.

[00:06:54.046] Kent Bye: Well, I've been super impressed with how good the tracking is. And I've watched some of the Beat Saber tournaments that happened, and I noticed that there was actually a rule that they had that if you lose tracking, then you can do like a redo, which to me speaks to like the degree to which Beat Saber as a game within itself is pushing the limits of both the Vive and the Oculus Rift with external trackers. So if you're already pushing the limits of the tracking technology of the best VR systems, then obviously you're going to be pushing the limits of the tracking of the quest. But I'd be curious if you could talk a bit about how Beat Saber actually became a little bit of a benchmark for the developers of the tracking technology for the quest. That is an amazing story for me.

[00:07:40.243] Jaroslav Beck: Yeah, that's pretty, that's pretty big one because we were working on Beat Saber on quest for some time already. and we had a really close connection to Oculus, so we were testing, and even Mr. Carmack himself, so he was testing it and trying to improve the tracking of quests, so Beat Saber will go smoothly, and just because there's such a fast movement, what you have to do, that Beat Saber pretty much is the application or the game, what is like a benchmark for that. So I'm actually really happy that we created the game with what is pushing the hardware forward. And yeah, that's awesome. But I have to say that I'm impressed that the quest is actually performing that well in terms of tracking. I think guys in Oculus worked super, super hard on that. And actually, when I tried it for the first time, I wasn't that sure. But what I see now or when I've seen the progress, it's absolutely mind blowing how well this works.

[00:08:42.066] Kent Bye: Yeah, I wanted to ask, cause I would imagine that the hardware had to make any changes. I wanted to ask you if Beat Saber itself had to make changes to your code in order to budget a little bit, or at least change the logic for the collisions and everything. Did you have to change the software in order to like get that same level of performance or is it using the exact same algorithms on your side?

[00:09:02.248] Jaroslav Beck: Not really. And that's really interesting because. The way how it's done in our case is that we are trying to polish game as much as possible and Jan Elavsky is doing extremely good job in that. So I'm actually telling him mostly that I wouldn't be surprised that Beat Saber will be running on washing machine at some point because it's so polished already that it's super well tweaked. So there shouldn't be any frame drops and stuff like this. So they are still like completely refactoring the code and trying to like make it simpler and simpler so it will be running super smooth and we were lucky that this way of thinking was here from the very beginning and then the quest appeared so it actually wasn't changing anything at least what I know I don't know if Jan did something but I don't think we did only thing what was happening that the guys from Oculus was tweaking the tracking on the game and yeah this is really good

[00:09:57.733] Kent Bye: Well, I saw that Steam had pushed out an update saying that they were having to like update their frequency rate because of the what they considered to be the threshold of superhuman level of movements and that Beat Saber was exceeding their expectation for what that superhuman movement would be. So it actually had been driving the tracking technology for the Vive as well. But my phenomenological experience of actually playing Expert Plus levels on Beat Saber here for a couple of weeks is that feel like i've had to have like slight variations and changes the way that i've been playing the game there's some movements that i can't do anymore but that after i've kind of just been playing most of the beat saber on the quest i feel like over time you can adapt so i feel like there's going to be like a period of really adapting into the affordances of the tracking technologies but that it's still pretty good however i don't think it's quite as good as the vive or external tracking with the rift but that's something that i'm not at an elite level for me to have any sort of reliable statistics on that but i know there's certainly people out there in the beat saber community who are like absolutely off the charts in terms of their level of what they can do. And I feel like they're going to be the best test to be able to see what those metrics are. But I'm just curious from your own testing and developing this, like, how do you measure the accuracy of the tracking technology? Because there's a lot of times of, I really think that that should have been a hit. I don't know if that was the Beat Saber software or the tracking technology, but something went wrong where it was a miss. on the quest where I don't think it would have been a miss, but I don't have any sort of objective proof to be able to say that conclusively.

[00:11:40.335] Jaroslav Beck: Well, the way how we do it is pretty much in terms of testing and when you play it and you know that you should have cut the cube, but the cube wasn't cut. You know that something is wrong because we played it for a long time already. So we know how it should be. There's probably not like any. crazy deep involvement of like statistics or stuff like this. Maybe Jan has something hidden, but this is a question on him. But from our side, in the first place, we wanted to bring B-Taper on as many devices as possible. But we really need to be sure that the experience will be great. And that's the first thing. The Quest was the first thing what came into our mind that it makes all the sense when we've seen the performance. But of course, it has some disadvantages. It's still like optical tracking and this will be evolving during the time. But we are pretty much just like testing and trying to figure out how far we can come. We are also like inviting really good players of Beat Saber into our office so they can like try the craziest Expert Plus levels so we can see what the hardware is capable of. And yeah, that's pretty much how it's done. It's like sometimes it works and it we are trying to figure out if it's our mistake or if this is hardware mistake and we are trying to polish it as much as possible or like discussing with the manufacturer what is wrong.

[00:13:03.940] Kent Bye: Well a big huge part of the Beat Saber community I think has been the modding community to be able to take songs and to create their own tracks. In fact I think even a lot of people that were a part of that mod community of creating tracks were then hired by Beat Saber to then help create some of these more advanced expert plus tracks i would imagine that when you created beat saber that you did like the hardest levels that you could possibly think of and then you thought that that was it but then looking at the modding community the types of levels that they were creating were like on a completely different level for what you would probably even imagine what was humanly possible. But there seems to be a lot of issues in terms of like a lot of the success of Beat Saber has been coming from this whole realm of the modding community. But there's been, I guess, a bit of a shadow side or dark side to like the amount of music piracy and other sort of like issues that have been there. So maybe you could sort of track the evolution of the modding community and where you hope to see that goes in the future.

[00:14:03.557] Jaroslav Beck: Well, in the first place, It's absolutely amazing when you create the game and in such early stages there's so many people who cares about it and who tries like to improve it and this is amazing. I think for every developer this is great and prove that the work what they do is good. But also it have the dark side and this is when you have game in early access which means that the game is not finished and then there appeared to be a lot of people who starting to like get into the game and creating their own things to the game and those people are like hundreds of thousands. It means that they are definitely faster than you are and actually that they will create things what you wanted to create but they will create it in first week after release and it will take us months to do it right. So this is this is like a battle little bit for us because we wanted to create something and make it right but we've seen that it already is there and then like if you want to bring something new you probably can't because everybody already tried and seen it so this is this is this is actually really tough for us because yeah we don't want to let down those people who care about our game yet for developers this is really complicated and also with the music this is really like sensitive because of course on those modded version of the game there are tracks which are not licensed and we can't officially support that at all because this is not right and I'm musician myself so that's the reason why it's really hard to like do something special with the modding community because there are dark sides and we simply can't accept that and our job right now is to find the ways how to make this right how to bring as much content as possible and what is licensed So we are working on that day and night. But I have to say, when we looked, it's awesome to see the ideas. And some of those ideas are inspiration for us. A lot of them we already thought about. So it's actually great to see that people enjoy some way. And it's like the proof of the concept where we thought that it will work. So it will help us to make those decisions. But yeah, it's tough. It's really tough.

[00:16:17.485] Kent Bye: Well, I would imagine that looking at the music industry over time, they've just historically been terrible at looking at opportunities with emerging technologies and that a lot of ways they have to be forced to jump into a new platform, whether it's from Napster or eventually with Apple and iTunes. YouTube is probably another realm, but eventually they kind of figure out that it's smart to embrace these new platforms, but I feel like that because you're a musician, you're coming from a very specific perspective of you want to be able to survive as an artist. And so I feel like the dream and the goal would be to have enough of an open ecosystem where if somebody wanted to become a musician or to even create these levels of these tracks because a lot of these tracks that people create, you know, they're really good at creating them and that they could potentially even make that their full-time job to just focus all of their time and energy of creating the best Beat Saber tracks. And so I think about like what does it take to kind of really empower and cultivate an entire ecosystem and that there's existing like music licensing paradigms that are out there, but I also think that they may not be as robust to be able to really foster the type of innovation that we've seen from the Beat Saber community, but still be able to have this open exchange where everybody can still get paid at the end of the day. So what are the plans in terms of like, is there going to be like an official way for people to create their own tracks or to just play their own music locally? Or what are the sort of plans as you move towards going out of the early release into like the full release of Beat Saber?

[00:17:48.138] Jaroslav Beck: Well, we will be releasing soon. As we will be leaving Early Access, you will be able to create your own map for your own track. So this will be doable because we will be bringing Level Editor. But if people would like to monetize their own music in Beat Saber, this will be really, really complicated because it sounds really simple. It sounds simple also the way that a lot of people are telling us that we should implement Spotify into Beat Saber and it will work. But it's simply not possible because Spotify does not own the rights. labels are owner of the music so if you want to bring some music in the game you have to get license from the label and if you want to get license for 20 000 tracks it will take probably 20 000 years with the way how all thing works so we are trying to figure out i don't want to speak about this right now because so we are in the middle of negotiating some crazy new stuff But yeah, definitely music industry needs to change and I will be working as much as I can to change it because games are the future and music industry needs to move in that way as well.

[00:18:57.856] Kent Bye: Oh, I'm curious to just hear a little bit more of your origin story of like how this all started for you for Beat Saber.

[00:19:05.582] Jaroslav Beck: Yeah. Well, it was kind of story. Well, I was a composer for trailers and cinematic music before. I was doing a lot of cinematic music for Blizzard, like StarCraft, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, those like short cinematic movies where you can see in the game a lot of trailers for Battlefield and Call of Duty and those kind of things. So I like the electronic music and more powerful themes and stuff like this. And then I lived in L.A. for a couple of years and then I've seen I think it was mid 2017. I've seen some very, very early teaser for Beat Saber. You know, that teaser where the girl in the white silhouette is there and playing. And I immediately knew that this is something what will change VR. It's really hard to describe. I think this is like one in a lifetime thing that you just know that something is happening. Because before I wasn't convinced that VR can be the future. because I thought that it will be something like 3D TV. You know, there was like huge hype about it and then it disappeared. But I did before Beat Saber soundtrack for one VR game and I was really into it and it felt really interesting to me. But somehow I felt that it's not there yet. But then when I've seen the teaser of Beat Saber, I immediately like knew that this is it. And I knew that finally there is a content what actually can make you stay in VR because most of the games before it was like showcase of the technology so you will show it to your friends and say yeah that's super cool but you wouldn't be able to play it next day or you just don't want to play next day but Beat Saber is something that I wanted to play like every day since I've seen the first teaser and this was the first time and proof of this pretty much that this platform can work for everybody hopefully so I contacted Jan, because I actually, I didn't know that behind the game is an indie studio. I thought that there's like some AAA studio behind it. So I tried to like Google it, who is doing it. And I find that Jan is doing this with Vladimir and that they are actually based in Czech Republic and I'm from Czech Republic. So it was a huge coincidence. So I texted him immediately. I flew back to Czech Republic and I told him that I want to do a soundtrack for the game. Yeah. And then I started work on the soundtrack. and as I've seen that there could be like huge potential behind it so we released the first teaser which went crazy viral with the new music and then I told guys that we should probably make a company because this is not about the releasing just like game with 10 songs soundtrack that there will be a lot of more work involved and that we actually can push it pretty far and guys From the first, they didn't want it to do it, but, and they agreed. So we created a company and then we released beat Sabre on 1st of May, 2018. And you know, the rest of the story.

[00:22:13.649] Kent Bye: Well, the thing that I think is really fascinating about beat Sabre is that you're able to take music and put it into space. So you see the rhythms coming at you and that you're putting your body into the experience. And you know, the type of music that Beat Saber has launched with, it's not something that I typically listen to, but yet after playing it so much, I have this deep love for the music, even though it's not something that I would normally listen to, but it's because I think I've had all these embodied experiences with it on top of the haptics. And I feel like there's something magic about that, being able to translate music into space. I'm just curious to hear what your thoughts on that are, because as a musician, now all of a sudden you're giving people this embodied experience of the rhythms that you're creating.

[00:22:54.554] Jaroslav Beck: Yeah, that's that's really good point. And for me personally, the whole Beat Saber experience was too good to be true, because I've seen that this can push the whole industry forward. And I've seen that this can push the whole music industry forward because the experience, as you mentioned, you are physically experiencing the music. And what I thought before, because I was working on the soundtracks and stuff like this, that I've seen that what is used in like movie soundtracks or game soundtracks is really popular because people can connected with the experience. For example, if you are in theater, you hear the music and next day you hear this music in the radio, you immediately remember that music because you have like some connection to it with the story and with the experience who was next to you and stuff like this. But in Beat Saber, you have this because it's not just like music what is playing from Spotify, but you are also physically experiencing the music and you are memorizing the movements so you are experiencing the music with your whole body and that's something on top of this and for me this is extremely interesting and for most of the artists what we are talking right now and what we are like discussing new music they love it and they find out that this is something everybody should experience because in my opinion this is the most powerful way how we can experience music today. Even though it sounds pretty crazy, but yeah, I really think so.

[00:24:20.257] Kent Bye: So for you, what are some of the either biggest open questions you're trying to answer or open problems you're trying to solve?

[00:24:27.059] Jaroslav Beck: Uh, well, of course this it's the, the music content. So this is like the biggest task, what we are solving right now, how to make it the right, because, you know, to solve this, you have to change the way how music industry and licensing works. And this is not the easy task, but it's certainly not impossible. So this is my personal project and it's kind of a big one. So we'll see how this ends up. And yeah, the biggest thing also was to leave the early access. But I have to say that if we leave the early access, it doesn't change anything because we feel that the game is already done in terms of polishing and everything is working, everything is stable. But there will be a lot of new features coming. And we are solving a lot of problems in those features. But unfortunately, I can't mention them right now. But we will be doing frequent updates and bringing new features, even though we will leave early access. So it just doesn't mean that we are not in early access anymore. It doesn't mean that we are done with the game.

[00:25:30.852] Kent Bye: Is early access coming out with the Quest, or is it after that?

[00:25:34.013] Jaroslav Beck: It will be coming with the Quest, yeah. It will be 21st.

[00:25:38.369] Kent Bye: And finally, just to wrap things up here, what do you think the ultimate potential of virtual reality is and when it might be able to enable?

[00:25:47.912] Jaroslav Beck: In my opinion, and this could be just in my head, but I really think it will happen. For me, VR is transition from 2D flat screens to 3D and with everything, what it brings with it, it needs to happen and it will probably happen. because people will be more productive. They can customize their own workspace. And also, right now, most of the apps for VR are allowing you to consume the content. But in the future, there will be definitely more content that will help you to create things. And this will be super important. So when this happens, I think VR will be unstoppable because it will be simply a more productive environment to work in. And yeah, it's simple next steps in the evolution.

[00:26:36.857] Kent Bye: Nice. And is there anything else that's left unsaid that you'd like to say to the immersive community?

[00:26:41.781] Jaroslav Beck: Yeah, that I love them and I would marry everybody in the community that they allow to grow VR and that their excitement is like real because what we see in every day, it's just amazing. It feels again, too good to be true to be in the spot where You know, you see that one whole industry is like borning pretty much, even though VR is here for some time. So right now it's finally like speeding up. And that's really interesting. And we are really lucky to be in the moment when this is happening. So, so yeah, I'm actually every day I wake up and first of all, I freak out that we will screw up something. And second, that I'm super excited that this is actually happening. So it's, It's crazy and I hope I will survive like next 10 years but yeah I really hope that we will make this right.

[00:27:37.631] Kent Bye: Awesome. Well, I just wanted to congratulate you for all the success that you've had with Beat Saber. It's an amazing accomplishment. It's a game that I surely love, and there's tons of people that it's completely changed their lives, losing weight and just getting back into shape and to really push the limit of what's possible in virtual reality. So thanks for all the hard work that you've done to create it. And you're five days out from your launch on the Oculus Quest, and I expect to be hopefully having Beat Saber help take VR to the next level of what's even possible to VR. So yeah, just thanks for all that you've been doing. And thanks again for joining me here on the podcast. So thank you. Thank you very much. So that was Joris Lofbeck. He's the co-founder and CEO of Beed Games. So I have a number of different takeaways about this interview is that first of all, Well, I could really hear that he was torn in terms of being really grateful that the whole modding community and the fans were just so enthusiastically to adopt the game and to innovate and create all these different mods. And, you know, they've done quite a bit of innovation when it comes to creating a platform for people to explore all sorts of different ranges of music. There's a part of me that thinks that there's a huge part of the core of the Beat Saber community that has been able to sustain and grow because of this whole ability to have like the mod music and people have been able to explore all sorts of different music with it. And I think over time they're going to try to have more and more of these official music labels sign on and get different diversity of music in there. And, you know, they just released the official first release, version 1.0, came out with the release of the Oculus Quest, which had a level editor for you to start to create your own tracks and to be able to listen to that as well. I'm pretty sure that the level editor hasn't been launched for the Quest, and I'm not even sure if it's possible to get your customized music on the Quest yet. But overall, I have to say that I'm super impressed with where Beat Saber has been able to take not only their game and their experience, but just VR gaming in general. I think it's really the best in class in terms of showing out what's really compelling and interesting about embodied gameplay within the Oculus Quest. And again, from my own experience, when I play Beat Saber, your body's being put through these different puzzles that you have to solve with your body, but you have to be able to look at the things that are coming at you, have this certain amount of situational awareness where you're able to see the patterns, and then from that, you have to translate that into your movement, and then be able to actually hit the rhythm and the beats. And the overall experience, as Yaroslav said, is that you're having this experience with the music, with your entire body. You're having the haptic feedback and the rhythm and I think it's giving this whole other experience and what yours office saying is that it really hopes that this is just the first step of really revolutionizing what it means to be able to experience music and That he's got a lot of ambitious Initiatives to be able to change the way that the music industry works and how licensing works and that he really sees that games of the future he didn't share obviously any details in terms of what would be different and what type of deals that he's struck and The fact that they just have today the first release of Imagine Dragons I think is a huge step. And actually E3 is happening right now as well and they're gonna be showing this new 360 degree mode. I don't know if it's 360 or 180. When I saw the trailer it looked like it was maybe stuff that's coming at you from in front of you but maybe it'll be a true 360 mode where they're starting to get things that are coming at you from all different directions. So I think it would be pretty amazing to see where you can take that gameplay now that you don't have the tether on the quest, you can start to spin around a lot more and so it'll be interesting to see how they start to play with that. But that's something that was just announced today, this new 360 mode for Beat Saber. And so there's been this whole issue of the shadow side of the success of Beat Saber, which is this whole modding community that has been essentially like the days of Napster where you could get whatever you wanted for free and you didn't pay for anything and that the artists and the creators that were making the music weren't being paid in any way. And so my sense is that his first priority as a musician is to try to make it right and work within the system, but yet as much as he can start to change the system in ways that makes it a little bit more flexible or easy to get a diversity of different music in there. And that at the end of the day, it's a musician who owns the right to be able to decide whether or not their music is used within a game or not. And that's something like Spotify. I'm not necessarily even sure that's a sustainable solution for musicians already. And so I think that would just complicate things if you just were able to plug it into something like Spotify, but you know, who knows where this is all going to go. It feels like this is a whole new era and realm, you know, something like with cryptocurrencies and being able to do microtransactions, maybe we'll move to something like that. Who knows where that's going to end up. And I think the other thing that's worth pointing out is that the tracking is super impressive. And it was super cool to see at the F8 to hear a little bit more of like seeing video of John Carmack in Bait Saber and how much this game was a bit of a benchmark for their tracking technologies. If they could keep up with the Expert Plus levels, then they could know that they were really able to be on parity with what you could be able to do on the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. And so just the fact that they were able to have all the tuning of the tracking to get to that point, I think is absolutely amazing that they were able to reach that. I was actually skeptical that they were gonna be able to pull that off, but they did it and it's amazing. And I think that starting with games was to really stretch the system to be able to play Beat Saber. Because if you look at like the HoloLens or Magic Leap, I don't think that their tracking systems would be able to keep up with doing something like Beat Saber at all. But what would it mean to be able to have six off controllers that were tracked as good with an augmented reality experience? And so I'm excited to see where that eventually goes we didn't talk about that much at all just because you know There isn't really any systems that could keep up and you know The way that you're soft was saying that they want to be able to run beat saber on a washing machine Just the way that they've got it so optimized. And so from all my experiences, it's super performant not dropping any frames and so Yeah, I'm excited to see where they take this and where it ends up going in the next number of years. I don't think it's an experience that's going to be going away anytime soon. And I think that's also an experience where it's going to be a lot of people's first time VR experience, especially because it's so easy to carry around a Noxious Quest. And I think it's going to be very portal for people to be able to try out some of these experiences a lot more. So, that's all that I have for today, and I just wanted to thank you for listening to the Voices of VR podcast, and if you enjoy the podcast, then please do spread the word, tell your friends, and consider becoming a member of the Patreon. This is a listener-supported podcast, and so I do rely upon your donations in order to continue to bring you this coverage. So, you can become a member and donate today at patreon.com slash voicesofvr. Thanks for listening.

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