Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe held a pre-E3 keynote today to unveil the final version of the Oculus Rift, which is due to start shipping next. It's a lighter, sleeker new design that improves on the Crescent Bay headset last year, and it certainly looks ready for primetime. But with the official debut comes news of a Microsoft partnership and the ability to stream Xbox One games, and an official look at Oculus Touch, the company's latest VR input solution. Here's everything you need to know about the event.
Jun 12, 2015
Oculus' pre-E3 gaming showcase was a bigger deal than any of us expected. Oculus didn't just show us the final Rift virtual reality headset for the first time. It revealed that it had partnered with Microsoft to ship every Rift with an Xbox One gamepad. And that if you already own an Xbox One, you can stream its games to the Rift through your PC (they'll appear on a virtual big screen inside it). And that it's also making a new motion controller called the Oculus Touch, which will be selling alongside the Rift.Read Article >
We'll probably be hearing a lot more about Oculus (and seeing some of the games it just announced) at E3 next week. For now, though, we've put together all the best parts of yesterday's event.
The very first thing I did in the Oculus Rift — the first thing most of us at The Verge, did, actually — was walk around a spaceship with a gamepad. It was a simpler time, when all most people expected out of VR was a cool way to play games. Now, more than two years after that first trip into virtual reality, Oculus has announced its final product... and we're back to where we started, with games. But that's a good thing.Read Article >
During the very first wave of real Oculus hype in 2013, everyone had something they wanted to play (or were scared to play) on the Rift, whether it was an MMO or a horror game or a first-person shooter. Very few people had spent more than a few minutes in the headset, and we were still blissfully ignorant of problems like motion sickness or poor weight distribution. Soon enough, though, the doubts crept in. Valve started to hack in support for Team Fortress 2 and quickly realized that this raised all sorts of problems. First-person shooter characters move incredibly quickly. The heads-up display conventions we were used to looked strange in VR. Head tracking duplicated a kind of motion we were used to doing with mice or gamepads.
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When Oculus Rift invited the media to a special event ahead of E3, it promised a handful of updates to prepare the world for what it expected to show off. Instead, it gave us an unexpected glimpse of not one but two pieces of hardware: the final design for the Oculus Rift consumer version, which will ship in the first quarter of next year, and a prototype of Oculus Touch, a next-generation input method that will enable future experiences inside virtual reality. Here's a look at the hardware up close.
Alongside its consumer Rift, Oculus has announced a user interface for virtual reality. Oculus Home is quite a lot like the Gear VR interface of the same name that launched last year, but while you have to put on the Gear VR to do anything, this does double duty as a VR and a 2D interface. Without the Rift, it's a place where you can see what friends are doing and look at a catalog. If you do put it on, Oculus is offering game demos in VR. You'll be able to preview a game without downloading or buying it. The whole thing seems a little like a VR version of Steam.Read Article >
This is all part of Oculus' attempt to create a user-friendly version of its sometimes forbidding development kit. It's also going to be the company's first attempt at an independent store — the Gear VR is built in conjunction with Samsung, and it had a rough start, as developers had to wait several months to offer more than free demos. We don't know much about the Rift version of Home yet, but we'll apparently be finding out more soon.
Taking virtual reality to the next level won't happen with the included Xbox One controller, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey said at an event today in San Francisco. That's why Oculus is building a next-generation input system that understands all of your gestures. The result is Oculus Touch, a forthcoming input device that understands the presence of your hands and can understand gestures such as a thumbs up.Read Article >
Jun 11, 2015
The Oculus Rift is coming, and now we finally know some of the very first virtual reality games we'll be able to play on it. At a press conference today, Oculus unveiled the final consumer version of its VR headset, as well as some of the initial games that will be playable when it finally launches. Some we already knew about, some are new, but all look potentially very exciting. The list includes games like sci-fi flight sim Eve Valkyrie, atmospheric RPG Chronos, and Edge of Nowhere, an arctic survival game from Insomniac Games, the studio behind Ratchet & Clank and Resistance.Read Article >
Other notable developers, like Rock Band studio Harmonix, are also making games for the platform, though no specifics were revealed. Oculus also announced that it will be investing $10 million in indie games in order to bring more VR experiences to the Rift, and revealed a partnership with Microsoft that will let you stream Xbox One games to the headset. You'll even be able to play them with a bundled Xbox One controller. You can check out an overview of the new games in the video above, as well as some lengthier trailers below. Expect to see more VR games at E3 next week.
You'll be able to play Xbox One games on the Oculus Rift, the companies said today. At an event in San Francisco, Xbox head Phil Spencer said you will be able to stream your Xbox One games to the Rift and play them using your Xbox One gamepad. (A gamepad will ship with the Rift.) No specific games were mentioned, and it wasn't yet clear how many games would be compatible with the Rift when it ships.Read Article >
Oculus' first consumer model is expected to ship early next year. The company hasn't set a price yet, but the total cost to use the Rift is expected to be around $1,500 including the cost of the PC. By partnering with Oculus, Microsoft has essentially turned the Rift into its answer to Project Morpheus — Sony's forthcoming virtual-reality headset that will be compatible with the PlayStation 4 and Vita.
We got a couple of press shots of the finished Oculus Rift earlier this year, and some leaked images earlier this week. But now, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe is showing off a real, physical version. This is the version of the Rift that will ship next year, which will work with an external camera that sits on your desk. "The same tracking system can be used for other real-world objects," Iribe said somewhat enigmatically — actually, it's probably a reference to Touch, Oculus' prototype motion controller. Some early leaks showed a camera (possibly for hand tracking) at the bottom of the headset, but that's now confirmed to be absent. Instead, the Rift will ship with an Xbox One gamepad as part of a partnership with Microsoft. Oculus has released a video with some more visual detail, seen below.Read Article >
Oculus has previously confirmed several elements of the Rift. This version is a lot like the Crescent Bay headset that was unveiled last year and tweaked at CES. This means it has two separate screens, one for each eye, and built-in headphones that can be swapped out for the wearer's own. We're promised a "wide" field of view, although we don't know whether it's wider than earlier prototypes. We also don't know the resolution, but it's supposed to be crisp, although Iribe admits it's "maybe not quite as high-resolution as you one day want."