The Oculus Rift is almost here; after years of development, hardware teases and brief hints at how it’s going to change the way we interact with games and movies forever.
Yesterday, the company finally revealed its official hardware including new controllers, receivers and the incredible headset itself. There was also news of an interesting new partnership – read on to find out more.
The new headset takes elements from the development kits we’ve seen before but is a much slicker and more finished looking device. It’s covered in a cloth material for comfort and features more ways than ever before to adjust the fit to each individual user.
It now comes with two bright and detailed OLED screens which will deliver the 3D effect straight to your eyeballs with low latency and high fidelity. The headphones are a better fit now too and, crucially, you can remove them to use your own with ease.
Previously the control scheme for the Oculus Rift remained a mystery but it has also finally been revealed. And it looks like you’re going to have a couple of options.
First up was a big surprise – there’ll be an Xbox One controller bundled with each headset. This gives gamers an easy way to transition to the Rift with a familiar gamepad, and one of the better ones around. And it’s also a confirmation of the major relationship which has been forged between Microsoft and Oculus Rift, more on that later.
The other control scheme will be via the Oculus Touch. You’ll get two handheld controllers here, which curve partly around your hand and have joysticks and buttons. The design means you’ll be able to use them to feel the presence of your hands in games and experiences, something which we’ll see more of as virtual reality really takes off.
The presence of the Microsoft Xbox One controller means big things are on the horizon, and that includes integration with the console and Oculus. That means using Windows 10 you’ll be able to stream popular Xbox One games from your console to the headset, greatly expanding the range of titles available to users.
It seems these games won’t be full on 3D experiences; instead you’ll step into a space that makes it look and feel like you’re playing the game on a massive projector which only you can see. That’s also how you’re going to be able to watch movies on the Rift – you can even choose to sit in your own massive cinema, without having any battles over the cupholder.
Additionally there will of course be dedicated games just for the Oculus Rift which will make the most of the 3D technology and controllers. A couple of games have been announced so far, including a new third person survival horror from Insomniac called Edge of Nowhere and EVE: Valkyrie. We’re wondering how a third person game will feel in the Rift and can’t wait to find out.
It’s likely that there will be more information all things Oculus Rift related during the E3 tradeshow in Los Angeles and over the next few months as we get closer to release. For the moment, there’s no detail on pricing and remember you will need a pretty fast PC in order to access this virtual reality future.
The Oculus Rift is coming in early 2016.