‘SportsBar VR’ Update Allows PC, PSVR Players To Party Together

Popcap Games and Perilous Orbit released a major update to SportsBar VR that offers improved bar games and new activities. The new version of the game also supports up to eight Rift, Vive, and PSVR players, so you can play with all your buddies, no matter which VR platform they own.

SportsBar VR has undergone a massive transformation in the year and a half since it debuted for the HTC Vive on Steam VR. Popcap Games and Perilous Orbit originally released the game under the title Pool Nation VR, which was a fitting name at the time, because the game’s primary function was a billiards simulation. At launch, Pool Nation VR offered 8-ball and 9-ball, which you could play against AI or another human in two-player VR. It also included a rudimentary darts game with no scoring system.

Not long after Pool Nation VR hit Steam, Popcap Games and Perilous Orbit started adding additional content that changed the focus of the game from a billiards simulation to a sports bar simulation. The first major update introduced air hockey, skeeball, and a refined darts games. Later, the developers added shuffleboard to the mix. In September 2016, Popcap Games and Perilous Orbit announced that the game would make its way to Sony’s PlayStation VR, but not as Pool Nation VR. The developers changed the name to SportsBar VR

Along with the debut of the SportsBar VR name, Popcap Games and Perilous Orbit increased the maximum number of players that could share the same virtual sports bar experience. The PSVR version of Sports Bar VR debuted shortly after the PSVR hit the market, and it offered 8-player multiplayer. The developers also added Checkers and Chess to the available activity list. The PC-VR version of the game received an update in December 2016 that increased the player cap for Vive and Rift players to six and changed the name to SportsBar VR.

SportsBar VR has always supported cross-play gaming between Rift and Vive players, but PSVR players were segregated from the PC players. With the SportsBar VR 2.0 update, it no longer matters which VR platform you use. Rift, Vive, and PSVR players can now party together in the same virtual sports bar.

With the cross-platform update, the player count for PC-VR players increased to eight to match the PSVR version. Popcap Games and Perilous Orbit said that the player audio is spatialized so you can have a conversation with someone next to you, but you won’t hear people from across the bar. 

To accommodate the increase in players, the developers have made all seven pool tables in the pool hall accessible. The previous version of the game had two accessible tables and five decorative tables. SportsBar VR offers four different billiards games (8-ball, 9-ball, 3-ball, and Killer), which you can play 1v1 or in doubles.

The SportsBar VR 2.0 update includes a handful of new activities, including a reflexes game called Chain Reaction and a new Puzzle Wall game. The update also includes improved versions of the existing activities, including adding AI players to the Darts and Shuffleboard games. It also introduces a “Ticket Economy,” which enables you to collect tickets for playing the bar games. You can use the tickets to purchase avatar upgrades, such as custom pool cues, hats, and skins for the pool tables.

SportsBar VR 2.0 is available now as a free update for existing SportsBar VR owners. If you don’t have the game yet, you can pick it up from the Steam store, Oculus Home, or the PlayStation Store. The Steam and Oculus versions are on sale, but the PSVR edition is currently full price.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

  • cryoburner
    20436538 said:
    Popcap Games
    Are you sure you don't mean Cherry Pop Games? Popcap makes those browser/smartphone style games like Plants vs Zombies and Bejeweled. Cherry Pop makes the Pool Nation games. Just thought I'd point that out, since you wrote it seven times in the article. : P