Desert Bus VR in the works from Penn Jillette and Borderlands studio

desert bus vr in the works from gearbox desertbusvr header
A VR remake of the infamously tedious driving sim Desert Bus is in the works at Borderlands studio Gearbox Software, co-creator Penn Jillette confirmed this week.

The upcoming remake will be available to charities during fundraiser events. The original Desert Bus has raised more than $3 million for charity as part of comedy troupe LoadingReadyRun’s annual Desert Bus for Hope marathon.

“I’m working on a game with [Gearbox CEO] Randy Pitchford […] and we are going to do – this is a big, big deal – we’re going to do a new Desert Bus,” Jillette confirmed during the latest episode of his Penn’s Sunday School podcast (via Stevivor). “And it’s going to be just for charities, so charities can use it to raise money.”

Jillette and comedy partner Teller previously produced Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors, an unreleased Sega CD game featuring a lineup of playable pranks that poked fun at gaming tropes. Smoke and Mirrors marked the debut appearance of Desert Bus, a first-person driving game that simulated an eight-hour trip across the featureless desert expanse between Tuscon, Arizona and Las Vegas in real time.

A canceled contest promoting Smoke and Mirrors would have challenged players to earn as many points as possible by traveling between Tuscon and Las Vegas repeatedly, with the game awarding one point for each successful trip. After the finished but unreleased Smoke and Mirrors was leaked online, LoadingReadyRun took inspiration from the in-game contest for a series of multi-day charity events in which a rotating series of participants play Desert Bus for dozens of consecutive hours.

Jillette hopes to have Desert Bus VR up and running on a variety of VR devices, including the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR. Recalling its Sega CD roots, Desert Bus VR will be available as part of a bundle of similar games developed in a partnership between Jillette and Gearbox.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Home Theater

Leave the charger behind: Wireless headphones will get epic battery life in 2019

From wireless in-ears to noise-canceling over-ears, virtually every headphone manufacturer has seriously improved wireless headphone battery capacity, making fears about charging up for long listening sessions a thing of the past.

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.

HTC brings two new headsets, a VR browser, and ‘Netflix for VR’ to CES 2019

HTC Vive made several new announcements to CES 2019, including two new headsets, a new subscription service, and a new user interface that completely transforms how applications are launched.

Camera records real-life scenes to design virtual worlds using a single device

Creating virtual reality worlds may get a bit easier in 2019 -- the Axis is a camera module that records a 180-degree depth map, allowing designers to reconstruct the scene for virtual or augmented reality.
Product Review

HTC puts eye-tracking tech in Vive Pro Eye to make next-gen VR hands-free

With the announcement of integrated eye tracking for the Vive Pro Eye, hands-free VR, less demanding high-quality experiences, and intuitive software, are all on the table.

The Vive Pro Eye uses Tobii eye-tracking technology to make VR more lifelike

HTC revealed the Vive Pro Eye with eye-tracking support at its CES 2019 press conference on January 7. We now know that Tobii will be the company responsible for integrating the technology.

Oculus’ Quest is the headset that will make me (and you) a VR believer

Without excessive wires or complicated setup, and a price point that makes sense for tech that just isn't there yet, Oculus' upcoming standalone headset, the Quest, could bring VR mainstream.

Dive headfirst into the best experiences available now on the Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift brought back virtual reality and put a modern twist to it. Grab your Touch Controllers, put on your VR headset, and jump into the fun with some of the best Oculus Rift games available now.

The best VR headsets at CES 2019 could bring the technology to the mainstream

While there weren't a ton of new VR headset on display at CES 2019, the ones we saw led us to believe that VR could have a real moment soon, both from a gaming and business standpoint.

These are the coolest virtual and augmented reality gadgets from CES 2019

CES 2019 had plenty of VR and AR gadgets on display, including headsets that completely change how you experience virtual reality, and some that don't even require a PC or a phone to run.

These shoes let me stroll through ‘Skyrim,’ and I desperately want to go back

After being funded in just two hours on Kickstarter back in October 2018, Cybershoes has earned itself a place among the coolest VR walking and running tech. At CES 2019, we got to try them out and they live up to the hype.

The Teslasuit could turn Black Mirror’s terrifying ‘Playtest’ into a reality

We spoke with Teslasuit co-founder Dimitri Mikhalchuk about VR gaming at CES 2019. With all its features, the future of the Teslasuit and virtual reality look bright. And it also sounds a bit like a Black Mirror episode.