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It might be time to reconnect in Fortnite. Starting today, players will be able to engage in video chat while playing Fortnite thanks to an integration with Epic’s Houseparty app.
It appears to be part of Epic’s ongoing plan to equip Fortnite with features that will keep players in the game longer, as the company tries to make Fortnite into the metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One.
Houseparty video chat is currently available to Fortnite players on PC, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4. Players will also need an iOS or Android mobile device with the Houseparty app installed. Players can connect their Houseparty accounts to their Epic Games accounts to get started. The fact that you can’t do it on Xbox devices yet shows that Sony gained a few things when it invested $250 million into Epic and began what Epic CEO Tim Sweeney called a “special relationship.”
With accounts linked, a player can start Fortnite on PC or PlayStation and make sure to position a mobile device to fully frame themselves in the picture. Then they can talk to their friends while playing Fortnite.
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For safety, Houseparty video chat in Fortnite is cropped to focus on player faces. You will be given a Fortnite-themed virtual background so only your face is shown to other players.
Parents can turn off Houseparty video chat within Fortnite’s parental controls. Houseparty video chat on Fortnite is designed for ages 13 and older since you must be at least 13 years old to create a Houseparty account.
Speaking of the metaverse, earlier this week Epic Games said it is acquiring the technology of Hyprsense, a developer of real-time facial animation technology.
The tech helps animate digital cartoon characters so they look and move in a believable way. The idea is to help people express themselves using avatars, or virtual characters, that they create.
With this acquisition, Epic said it can make content production more accessible. Epic also acquired 3Lateral and Cubic Motion as part of its effort to create digital humans.
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