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Hang with Baby Yoda in a galactic game lounge as Star Wars Pinball bounces to virtual reality

By Benjamin Bullard

With Baby Yoda and Din Djarin as ringside spectators, you might think there’d be galactic levels of pressure not to foul up a task — even if it’s something as casual as a game of Star Wars Pinball. But in Oculus’ big quest (pun intended) to bring the galaxy far, far away and other big-name game franchises to its family of VR platforms, it all actually ends up feeling pretty fun.

A VR adaptation of Star Wars Pinball was just one among a lineup of star attractions as the Facebook-owned headset giant staged its first-ever online gaming showcase on Wednesday, with new details on the upcoming VR remake of Resident Evil 4 and a next chapter in The Walking Dead’s VR series also getting prime screen time. Star Wars’ table-tilting crossover into virtual reality had us hooked from the start, though, thanks to a new virtual Star Wars hangout den that lets you chill in a spaced-out gaming pad when you’re not actually flipping for galactic credits.

Check out how the arcade and home-based classic levels up to create a far more immersive experience in the Star Wars Pinball trailer below:

For its VR upgrade, Star Wars Pinball isn’t just replaying the classics, it’s also roping in newcomers to Lucasfilm’s ever-expanding galaxy. In addition to familiar tables based on the original films, watch for a pair of new themes created specifically for VR, as well as franchise newcomers straight out of The Mandalorian. While Oculus unveiled the new look, its Quest platforms aren’t the only place you’ll be able to hone your virtual skills; in addition to Oculus Quest 1 & 2, Star Wars Pinball is also headed to Steam VR and PlayStation VR on April 29.

Capcom made big waves last week when it revealed that the 2005 GameCube classic Resident Evil 4 was getting a thorough VR remake as an Oculus exclusive. During Tuesday’s showcase, Oculus shared a terrifying trove of news about Ethan Winters’ zombie-stalking foray into virtual reality with a new first-person trailer, as well as details on how the 16-year-old game is changing some features — while leaving others in the iconic franchise alone — for an immersive headset experience that honors the original.

While it’s not changing any of RE4’s story content, Oculus says the new version is bringing tons of quality-of-life improvements that make surviving VR zombies its own new adventure. The dated GameCube graphics are getting a complete modern overhaul as Ethan switches from an over-the-shoulder 3rd-person view into the Quest 2’s 1st-person perspective. Spatial audio will add a new sensory cue that tips players off to where the next infected threat is coming from, while all the things that VR can do — like on-the-fly weapons switching (instead of entering an item-selecting pause menu) — will become a part of the RE4 experience for the first time ever.

Oculus didn’t reveal a firm release date, but pledged that Resident Evil 4 will be an Oculus Quest 2 VR exclusive when it arrives later this year.

Staying on the zombie front, Oculus in partnership with Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment also revealed a new chapter in their ongoing VR experience The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners. A new playable chapter titled Aftershocks is coming to Oculus platforms next month, and best of all, it’ll be free for anyone who already owns a copy of the base game.

Aftershocks brings hours of fresh zombie-squashing content to players’ intrepid first-person jaunt through New Orleans, featuring “new missions, collectibles to find, and new survival tools to use” for those who’ve already honed their stealth skills after completing the game’s main campaign, according to Oculus. The new chapter will be available for both Rift and Quest platforms, and it’s coming May 20 as a free add-on for everyone who owns The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners.