Facebook F8 Keynote – Oculus Rift Crescent Bay “Launching Soon”

Oculus Rift is coming! That’s something we’ve known for a long time. What started as a humble crowd funding, quickly become a huge change in the industry and the company was then bought by Facebook, turning it into something even bigger that anyone could have imagined. DK1 and DK2 have been doing the rounds for a while now and Crescent Bay (CB) the latest iteration of the headset is currently wowing audiences who’ve been fortunate to demo the hardware.

Some very important things happened today during the VR Keynote at Facebook F8. Facebook demoed a space game running in VR using their Crescent Bay hardware in real-time and quite simply, it looked amazing. They then followed this up by saying “you’ll be able to play it this year”. This can mean the game is available or the hardware will be available, perhaps even both.

Later in the Keynote, they posted an image saying that Oculus will be launching soon. Soon to me, implies this year. I long believed that Oculus would reveal a further headset beyond CB for the CV1 hardware release, however, it now seems like CB is the model that first finds its way into the hands of consumers, most likely to better compete with the growing list of competing devices.

Check out the rest of our F8 coverage here.

RISE Oculus Tech Demo Gets 4K Trailer and More!

RISE is one of the hottest topics for Oculus Rift owners or potentially anyone interested in VR experiences in general. Promising to be a fully immersive VR experience, telling the story of a robot uprising, albeit from the perspective of a captured sentient robot agitator, RISE certainly has a unique perspective on its story.

We’ve seen lots of cool things at GDC 2015, but RISE certainly stands out from the crowd thanks to its impressive use of Unreal Engine 4 technology. The technical demo that has been released features real-time VFX assets, dynamic physical camera simulation, which gives us accurate depth of field, with full 16-bit float scene for dynamic and very accurate exposure adjustment! If all that sounds like gibberish, it means we get virtual versions of real world camera adjustments, the likes you would typically find in a movie.

“All of this technical work and the immense level of detail that we’ve added to the scene and characters in particular, create this truly amazing look that will just blow people away. The RISE VR experience is just one of the ways we are experimenting with this exciting technology as we work to build experiences and software solutions that will shape the way we interact and consume media in the future.” said Philip Lunn, CEO of Nurulize.

Nurulize’s RISE tech demo shows off many new technologies from UE4, such as Graphine’s advanced textured streaming middleware ‘Granite SDK’. This helps them achieve 4K resolutions @ 90FPS, despite the high levels of fidelity.

Thank you DSO for providing us with this information.

VR Gaming: Building Your Own Oculus Rig

Introduction


I’ve had my Oculus Rift VR Headset, more specifically the DK2, for several months now, but one question keeps coming back time and time again, what kind of system do you need to run VR software? It’s a very tricky question to ask and one that’s typically a little more complicated than putting together a normal gaming rig, but let’s see if I can help.

The first thing that you need to be aware of is the absolute minimum recommended specifications from Oculus Rift for the DK2 headset. While these are easily attainable, keep in mind they’re for the minimum level of performance on basic applications and are likely to be worthless in a few months time, as I’m guessing DK3 will be upon us in mid 2015.

Q: What are the minimum requirements and recommended specifications for the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2?

A: Minimum requirements: A computer running a Windows 7 or Windows 8, Mac OS 10.8 or higher, or Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating system, 2 USB ports (at least one powered), and a DVI-D or HDMI graphics output.

Recommended specifications: A desktop computer running a dedicated graphics card with DVI-D or HDMI graphics output, with capability of running current generation 3D games at 1080p resolution at 75fps or higher.

Typically you’ll find that most of you are running Windows 7 or above, Mac OS 10.8 or a recent Linux distro, if you’re OS is not up to speed, then that’s the first thing you need to update. I’m running a fully updated Windows 7 Pro, so that’s that part covered.

The next issue will be graphics card/s, these need to have a DVI-D or HDMI display output, preferably both or one of each, a single output will cause you a world of problems that I’ll get to later. Since you’re likely looking at gaming via the Oculus Rift, you’re going to have to tackle on of the most important issues with 3D gaming and VR; graphics processing power. You need a fast card to enjoy many of the latest VR games and you can easily benchmark the performance of your current hardware to see how it may hold up. I recommend you download something like Unigine Heaven, if you can get that running at medium to high settings with a frame rate around or above 100fps, you’re going to be just fine and if you can hit 150fps with these settings, you’re on easy street. While Oculus Rift only needs a steady 75FPS for optimal performance, this is rendered in 3D and is reflective of rendering everything twice; hence the 100fps+ 2D benchmark.

I scored 168fps and I could see the average was well above 100fps while running the benchmark. How does your rig compare?

What if your system cannot meet that level of graphics performance? Plain and simple, you’re going to have to upgrade your rig, or only use DK2 demos that have less demanding requirements, which doesn’t leave you with a lot of options. I was running the Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti prior to getting Oculus Rift, which would have skimmed by on a minimum level with graphics turned right down, but I decided to go one, no wait, two better than that; I bought a pair of Sapphire R9 280X Tri-X Vapor-X 3GB graphics cards.

Oculus Rift DK2 VR Covers Review

Introduction


While I love reviewing all the latest and greatest hardware, such as the Oculus Rift DK2, every now and then I like to stop and appreciate the smaller accessories that can improve my day-to-day desktop usage. The Oculus Rift is a fantastic bit of kit, but it does suffer from one seriously profound problem; it gets really dirty after a few hours of use!

When you strap on the Oculus Rift you have a thick foam padding pressed up against your face, this means that skin flakes, hairs and general dirt and sweat get worked into the material and to make matters worse, you can’t take the material off and clean it. Think about the exhibitions and gaming events where many people try on the headset all day, by the end of the day you’re pressing hundreds of people’s sweat into your face… no thank you!

VR Covers does exactly what they sound like, they provide you with a cover that will help keep your Oculus Rift nice and clean, but it has a few extra perks to it too. The covers are removable, washable and also aim to improve the overall comfort levels of wearing the headset. It may not sound like the coolest thing ever, but this is a big win for those who have, or plan to invest in a VR headset.


http://player.vimeo.com/video/107940800/
VR covers come in a neat little protective bag which has a velcro strap around the neck to keep them tucked away neat and tidy; perfect for traveling.

In the bag you’ll find three sets of VR Covers, which are all the same, it’s just handy to have a few spares when the others gets dirty.

They’re fairly simple things, a sort of banana shape when folded out. They’re made from two layers of 100% cotton that is nicely stitched together.

There is a small VR Cover logo stitched onto one side.

VR Master Race Competition Winners!

VR is a big deal and to celebrate, I decided to give away some nifty prizes to members of our community who own an Oculus Rift headset.

I’ve have a set of VR Covers, any Oculus Rift owner will know how mucky that foam padding can get, and it’s not something you want to press into your face after someone else has been sweating in it, yuck! VR Covers are easily installed, but can be removed and washed! A much more hygienic VR experience. I’m also throwing in a few premium accounts for Star Conflict, a DK2 compatible game.

If you would like to show your support, you can like the VR Covers Facebook page, and the Star Conflict Facebook pages and thank them for providing us with these awesome prizes.

Did I Win?

The Best Oculus Rift Experiences You Can Enjoy Right Now

Introduction


Oculus Rift is easily one of the coolest pieces of technology that I’ve ever owned. I personally own their DK2 headset, which is certainly not ready for general consumer consumption, but that doesn’t mean to say it can’t still be a lot of fun. I’m not the only early adopter out there and I’m sure I won’t be the last, especially given that the consumer model could be another year away from release.

Oculus demos, games and other types of software are steadily streaming onto the internet, many of them completely free of charge. Most developers haven’t even had their DK2 headset any longer than I have, but many of them have already produced some truly stunning experiences.

This article is obviously best suited for those who already own an Oculus Rift, or at least those who have ordered one and are eagerly awaiting its delivery. If you would love to know more about the technology, then you can check out our featured review here, or our game review/DK2 setup guide here.

Oculus Rift Configuration Guide – Simulation Gaming

Introduction


The Oculus Rift is one of the hottest gadgets on the tech market right now. Sure the hardware isn’t ready for consumers just yet, but we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on the Oculus Rift DK2 (Development Kit 2). We already reviewed the basic hardware and features of the Oculus Rift, but also I want to take a more in-depth look into some of the experiences available on the rift; starting with Simulation style games.

Many of you will have an image of plug and play features that allow you to strap an Oculus Rift to your face then start gaming, unfortunately that’s currently not the reality. Setting up games for the Oculus Rift can be a hit and miss experience, hopefully I can help smooth out a few of these issues for you. This article is as much a review for those thinking about investing in the technology, as it is an Oculus Rift configuration guide for those who already own it.

Simulation-style games are a big market for PC gaming, so I’ve picked out a few of my favourites (that also have VR support). Of course, Star Conflict isn’t exactly a common sim-game, but there aren’t exactly rules excluding it.

  • Star Conflict
  • Assetto Corsa
  • Life for Speed (LFS)
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2

Helping me in my gaming adventures, I will be using the follow extra hardware.

Essential Oculus Rift Setup Advice

If you experience judder or low fps, drop your games graphics settings down to low. If the game runs smoothly at this point, you know it’s your graphics settings and not the DK2 hardware. If you have judder at low settings you know the problem is with a different part of your setup. It’s often also good to start games with AA and AF disabled, enable them later if the game is running smooth. I can’t stress enough how much easier it is to just get the basics working first then build from there.

Go into your GPU configuration software, this will typically be Catalyst Control Centre or Nvidia Control Panel. Set all major graphics options to “let the application decide”. This is especially important for AA and AF settings. For most games you will need V-SYNC as “let the application decide”, but some games don’t detect this properly. If your game is experiencing judder, force VSYNC on and try again, else force off and try again. Some games have their own ways of handing VSYNC and conflicts can and will occur.

If your game is still not running smoothly, go to the GPU control panel, switch your desktop display to 75Hz (if it supports it). If you can’t do this at your current resolution, this will likely drop your monitors resolution lower to one that will support 75Hz (my monitor drops to 1280 x 1024). This will prevent VSYNC from confusing the DK2 as both the DK2 and your desktop will now be running at the same refresh rate (75Hz).

Multi GPU configurations have also been known to cause stutter, albeit in very rare circumstances. If nothing else works, try running the game on a single GPU.

Be sure to adjust your IPD, lens distance and lens type accordingly prior to use. These can make a vast improvement to the overall visual quality, but they will not have any effect on the frame rate of your game, just the overall visual quality.

I find that it is worth disabling GeForce Experience and AMD Gaming Evolved software. These programs are tailored to adjust your graphics settings to get the best performance and quality, which may overwrite the settings you’ve used to configure your games for the DK2.

All testing was done with the Oculus 0.4.3 SDK. Please make sure you have the latest graphics drivers and all updates installed for your games prior to trying to replicate any settings in this article.

Oculus Rift DK2 VR Headset Review

Introduction


Oculus VR is one of the hottest technology companies of a generation, promising huge innovations in the way we consume content such as computer games and movies. While their consumer ready CV1 (Consumer Version 1) Oculus Rift technology is still not ready, we have been fortunate enough to get our hands on their DK2 development kit hardware. The DK2 hardware is a pre-release model for testing of the general hardware and software components, allowing developers to create games that are Oculus-ready for when CV1 launches in around 12 months (estimate).

The DK2 brings some very important hardware updates when compared to the DK1 Oculus Rift headset. The resolution is higher, now offering 960 x 1080 resolution per eye @ 75Hz with low persistence; this promises smoother performance, less motion blur and a reduction in the screen-door effect that plagued the DK1 headset.

Another major update for the DK2 is the near Infrared CMOS Sensor. This is a webcam style device that detects a range of infrared lights inside the headset to allow positional tracking; more explanation on that part shortly.

The packaging on the DK2 is pretty straight forward, a rather plain brown box.

On the interior you’ll find some egg-carton style packing material around a smaller inner box.

The DK2 packaging is designed to act as a carry case; not the best, but better than just throwing it in a drawer under your desk.

There’s custom cut protective foam throughout the interior of the packaging.

Each component is split into its own section and wrapped in protective plastic.

There are even more components tucked away under the top layer.

And even more in the very bottom.

In the box you will find the DK2 headset, two sets on lenses, the camera, a cleaning cloth, some cables and a user setup guide.

VR Master Race Competition [Oculus Rift Owners Only]

Bit of an odd competition this week, as we look to kick off our eTeknix VR Week. While I understand that many of you will not be able to enter this competition, it’s just a little bit of fun for a smaller part of our community and we’re very grateful of the developers and manufacturers who provided the prizes for this.

I’ve got a few premium accounts for Star Conflict, a game with easily usable Oculus Rift DK2 support. The game is free to play, but the premium account lets you enjoy a lot more of what the game has to offer.

I’ve also got a set of VR Covers, any Oculus Rift owner will know how mucky that foam padding can get, and it’s not something you want to press into your face after someone else has been sweating in it, yuck! VR Covers are easily installed, but can be removed and washed! A much more hygienic VR experience.

To enter, just post up a picture of your VR setup with your Oculus Rift, be sure to include a small piece of paper with your forum user name and the date on it so we can validate your entry. It’s that simple. There are no other terms for this competition, global entries welcome.

If you would like to show your support, you can like the VR Covers Facebook page, and the Star Conflict Facebook pages.

It is recommended that you upload the image to IMGUR.com and keep the resolution under 1000 x 1000 px.

Good luck!

ENTER HERE

Oculus VR Worried About The True Cost of VR Gaming

The Oculus Rift headset is already making big waves in the technology industry, the DK2 development kit is a strong seller, and developers around the world have been working hard to integrate the hardware into their games. The hardware is incredible, but it does have some draw backs even in its early development kit form.

The hardware needed to run VR games can be a tough problem for some people, you need to render a game in 1920 x 1080 @ 75 Hz in 3D, so effectively you’re rendering the game output twice and putting even more strain on your CPU and GPU. The hardware needed for AAA games can be expensive, but throw high frame rates and 3D into the mix and you’re going to be saving up for a GTX 980 or a 290X as soon as possible.

This hardware barrier worries Oculus VR’s VP of Product Nate Mitchell. In a recent interview with Metro, Nate said “I think the truth is though, with the Rift at least, even though you’re spending $350 on the devkit you do need a high-end computer to be able to power it, right?” Mitchell reasoned. “Because of the displays and everything else. And that really becomes the gating factor. Because if everyone can afford the $350 headset but then you need a $2,000, or a $1,000, computer that’s a huge cost. So that is one of the biggest challenges we have, moving into the consumer market. And something we’re worried about.”

When the CV1 (consumer model) of the Oculus Rift is launched, it will feature a 2K display, this will require some staggering gaming hardware to take full advantage of. Now Oculus have to create the problem and wait for GPU manufacturers to solve it, mostly by producing more powerful hardware at a lower cost over the next couple of years. The enthusiast market won’t have too much trouble, but your average consumer doesn’t have a GTX 780 Ti, or a Radeon R9 295X2 to hand.

Thank you VRFocus for providing us with this information.

Test Drive a New Car With Oculus Rift

Not a day goes by when I don’t hear of some new and potentially industry changing innovation from the world of VR; today is no different. The Oculus may still be about a year away from releasing the consumer model of the Rift, but the current development kit (DK2) is already proving a smash hit with early adaptors and developers who are eager to push the limits of the hardware.

Car manufacturer Lexus are the latest to the Oculus scene and you can now test drive their high-performance 2015 RC F sports Coupé in virtual reality. The company have built a racing rig which features the real steering column and foot pedals of their new car, but then you simply strap on the Oculus Rift DK2 headset and enjoy what they’re calling the Lexus RC F Rift.

The setup will be at a number of auto shows around the country over the next few months and while it’s unclear if it’s a realistic simulator in terms of the cars handing and other features, it’s a nice technical demonstration of where the automotive industry is heading. Driving tests, test drives, performance testing and more could all be done in VR!

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBNWbp6rzKs[/youtube]

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Endgadget.

The VR Game You’ve All Been Waiting For – A Night at the Roculus

As a proud owner of an Oculus Rift DK2 I seek out the best and most unique VR experiences I can, but today I was simply blown away by the madness and genius of “A Night at the Roculus”, a game which aims to simulate the 90’s like never before!

The game is a meme fanatics dream come true, combining one of the cheesiest songs of the 90’s with the video / gameplay style of the legendary Garry’s Mod video. It’s easily one of the silliest things I’ve seen on Oculus Rift, but it’s great to see people are still pushing to create unique games that simply wouldn’t be the same on any other format. Check out the video below for some glorious 90’s inspired gameplay action.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/Sx4BGwc0LVY[/youtube]

For added hilarity, check out the official website nightattheroculus.com, it has also been heavily inspired by the 90’s with remarkable attention to detail.

Thank you Roculus for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Roculus.

Oculus Announces New Rift Prototype “Crescent Bay”

Prepare your eyeballs and senses ladies and gentlemen – the men and women leading the charge on VR technology have just publicly announced a new Oculus Rift prototype unit, codenamed “Crescent Bay”. The new prototype features improved 360-degree tracking and integrated audio, and even though the finalised consumer build still isn’t here yet – there’s a lot to like about the new prototype build. CEO Brendan Iribe said that the company is licensing 3-D audio technology from RealSense VR – which provides the wearer with a virtual world of audio. Iribe explained that integrated audio technology helps to create a more true-to-life surround sound experience. “This is still very, very early hardware and software, but it’s in a state that we’re ready to show you today.”

As part of the announcement, Oculus said that they had shipped over 100,000 units of its previous developer kits of the Rift VR headset. Iribe seems very impressed with the technological jump to “Crescent Bay” over the previous “DK2” prototype, quoting “Crescent Bay is a massive leap” that is “sprinting towards a consumer version.” The company – since been acquired by Facebook – is said to have doubled in staffing size, so hopefully we’ll be seeing the Oculus Rift consumer version on the horizon in the near future.

As of the time of writing, no pricing or release date for the Crescent Bay Rift prototype is available.

Leap Motion Launch Oculus Mount for Hand Tracking

Oculus Rift is nothing short of awesome, but it lacks just one thing; when you’re looking around your 3D environment of choice, you reach out for things and naturally expect to see your hands in front of you, but you don’t. Of course you need to control your digital self with a peripheral of some kind, be that a Kinect, keyboard and mouse, steering wheel or similar device, but Leap Motion have retooled their technology with incredible results.

By creating a simple VR headset mount and tweaking their software to deal with the shifted perspective (vs the standard desktop mount of the Leap Motion device), they can now track your hands with incredible accuracy. The device has virtually unnoticeable lag, ultra high accuracy and while it’s an external device now, Leap Motion hope that VR companies will integrate their technology in future models and once you see the demo video, you will too.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/3ATQG9mnm34[/youtube]

The mounting kit sets you back $20, but you’ll still need the $80 controller, but if developers take advantage of this technology, which I’m betting they will, it’ll be worth every single penny.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechCrunch.

Developer Takes Oculus DK2 to NYC Salon for Public Demos

Oculus DK2 is now dropping into the hands of developers around the world and while a lot of people have tried it out at gaming events and trade shows, these are people who are usually of a gaming mindset, or already know about the technology to some extent. What if you were to take it into a NYC salon and try it out on the unsuspecting public to see what they think of it? Well that’s exactly what this guy has done.

Equipped with a DK2 and a high end gaming laptop that features the 3940XM ,680 SLI and a three demos; Sightline: The Chair, UE4 Coaster and Chilling Space.

Having had a few goes on the DK2 and having one of my own already on its way to me, I know what it is like to run through these demos, but it’s still great fun to watch other peoples reactions to this kind of experience.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/3oRfSSBzQpw[/youtube]

Are you looking forward to Oculus Rift yet? Just imagine what the consumer model will be like with a 2K resolution and even better hardware!

Thank you MadCow199 for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of MadCow199.

Oculus Rift Creator Discusses Consumer Model (CV1) Development

At this years Gamescom event, Oculus Rift founder Palmer Luckey sat down with Heise to discuss their upcoming VR headset. The technology is currently in a development stage, I should know, I’ve ordered their Dev Kit 2 (DK2) model already! But the question we’ve all be wanting answered is “when will the consumer model be ready?”

“A lot of software companies, especially game companies, say it’s done when it’s done,” Luckey explained. “In the hardware industry what that actually translates into is it’s done when it was done a year ago, because you can’t just be done and now it’s ready to ship. When it’s done, when you know what you’re doing, it’s still many more months of getting components made, getting manufacturers lined up, building up stock. It takes a long time to go from there. So we’re at the point where we know what we’re shipping, I guess you could almost say it’s done. We’re not just waiting around to see how much better it gets. But it takes time to get it actually made.”

Palmer went on to clarify that they have the specification nailed down now, they just need to sign off on manufacturing and final design phases, which sounds like “woohoo it’s coming soon”, I doubt it, I still put my money on late 2015 for a consumer release as this kind of development still takes time and they’re of course still holding for content, as 3D demos in Unity and a few source games simply aren’t enough just yet for a consumer release, but lots of content is coming over the next 12 months and you can bet that Oculus VR will be ready for it as it sounds like development is right on track.

CV1 will be the technological leap that VR needs, bringing the screen resolution up to a whopping 2k, which is said to negate the screen-door effect that is present on their DK2 dev kit and very present on their DK1 dev kit.

Thank you VRFocus for providing us with this information.

Oculus Rift DK2 Support Now Available in Half Life 2

Good news Oculus Fans, as Valve classic Half Life 2 has finally gotten the update you’ve been waiting for. The game will now support the recently released and much updated Oculus Rift DK2 headset thanks to a recent update and while I know many of you are still waiting for your DK2 (myself included) it’s is great to see the big AAA titles getting these updates.

If you already have your Oculus and you’re wondering how to get it working in the game, you need to go to Steam > Library > Tools, from there you need Steam VR > Properties > Beta and to make sure you’re opted into the beta. Once updated you’ll need to restart steam and will then find a VR setting in Half Life 2. You’ll also need to leave your Oculus Utility on and put the device in extended mode.

Also thank you Reddit for pointing out that the command line “-freq 75” will remove the blurriness from the game for those using DK2.

VR Half Life, should be enough to keep us entertained until Half Life 3… right?

Thank you /r/Oculus for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of RoadtoVR.

3D Video Streaming & Social VR Prototype Revealed for Oculus Rift

Convrge Team have created their first prototype for Oculus Rift and while it is incredibly rough around the edges, it does show some interesting features that can be squeezed out of off-the-shelf components such as the Oculus Rift headset and a Microsoft Kinect (old model).

The technology is very rough around the edges, but it shows how one person could view a real time 3D video or avatar of another user, which could offer some unique interactions for long distance communications.

The team said they’re working hard to really bring their demo up to a higher standard, this is just their teaser which was running on Oculus DK2, an old Kinect V1, two laptops and little else. The demo ran in real-time and is obviously very buggy, but if this is what they can do with a now dated 3D camera technology, there is certainly some promise here.

The team will be running another demo in the near future using better cameras, improved software and dedicated desktop rigs, where we can expect improved functionality. Of course this only works one way at the moment as the other user isn’t wearing a DK2 headset. This could off a unique way of watching someone given a presentation or demonstration, long distance communications and more.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/SpdP7Wyp438[/youtube]

Thank you Convrge for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Convrge.

 

Exploration and Stunning Visuals Ahead in Oculus Ready ‘Pollen’

DK1 was impressive, but its technical limitations have been a tough challenge for games developers, who will have needed to see the potential for the technology beyond the hardware they were developing for. Now DK2 is here and while many developers are still awaiting their new hardware, some have been hard at work creating absolutely stunning, heavily detailed and atmospheric experiences for gamers. Sure these experiences aren’t going to be fully enjoyed as they’re intended until Consumer Rift is here, but it’s enough to get us even more excited about the hardware (if that is at all possible).

Pollen from Finnish developer Mindfield Games is a first person exploration adventure, which the developers say has been designed and optimised with virtual reality headsets in mind, allowing the game to take full advantage of the unique gameplay properties VR adds.

The game is set on Titan, Saturns largest moon and while you explore the gorgeous environments you unravel and make your own conclusions of the events that unfold around you in this Sci-Fi exploration epic.

“Having grown up with classic science fiction like Solaris and Space Odyssey, we have always dreamt of roaming desolate spaceships and discovering alien worlds.”, says Mindfield Co-Founder Olli Sinerma. “This dream settled us on a path to develop a first-person adventure where you wear a pressurized suit and explore a mysterious space station. Thanks to the Oculus Rift we have been able to create an environment that feels every bit as real as the world around us.”

Could Pollen be the game that brings the point and click style exploration adventure game back into the world of gaming? I certainly hope so, perhaps we may even see a Rift enabled Myst in coming years.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/X_1x_y15Pdw[/youtube]

Pollen is due for release on Pc in 2015 and will be on show at this months Gamescom even in Cologne.

Thank you RoadtoVR for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of RoadtoVR.

Check Out This Awesome Oculus Rift DK2 Racing Setup

I’m still eagerly awaiting delivery of my Oculus Rift DK2, and while I can’t wait to test the limits of the hardware, there are some gamers and developers out there with a bigger bank balance than myself, who can afford even more gadgets and hardware to play around with.

Equipped with a high-end racing wheel, dash switches and H-shift gear changer, four large LG monitors which the user likely owned before they had an Oculus Rift, a copy of Live For Speed and most importantly a hydraulic racing simulator seat… this guy takes his virtual racing pretty seriously, I’m actually certain it would be cheaper to buy a cheeky track day car and get out on a real race track on the weekend, but who the hell cares, this is an awesome setup!

Check out the video below and let us know what you think. IF this doesn’t get you excited for Oculus Rift then nothing well, although a moderate size lottery win may be required to enjoy it on the same level as this guy.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/OvIItXJC35w[/youtube]

Thank you TheFaro06 for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TheFaro06.

 

First Batch of Oculus Rift DK2 Delayed!

My daily routine today consists of getting out of bed, putting the kettle on, making a coffee and starting work, but I don’t type a single word until I’ve check my email to see if my Oculus Rift development kit has shipped, but it hasn’t. Now it seems I’m not the only one left disappointed by a “pending” message on the Oculus order page.

Shipments of DK2 were supposed to be making their way to developers around the world, but now it seems that Oculus VR have put a short hold on the stock. Oculus have “decided to hold the initial shipment of DK2s until the middle of next week so that [they] have an additional week to polish and QA the new Oculus SDK.” Oculus want their software and everything else to be 100% ready to rock when developers get the hardware, and I can’t blame them, there are still a lot of hurdles for Oculus to cross and it needs to be perfect.

“We’ve been working on this update for over a year, with a focus on making the Rift easier to use and develop for. There are multiple major improvements including overhauled device and display handling, and we want to make sure the new SDK ready for integration by thousands of developers when DK2s start arriving at doorsteps. Sorry to make everyone wait another week. We wouldn’t delay if it wasn’t important.” said Oculus.

Keep in mind that while there has been a delay, there is nothing wrong with the hardware, they’re ready to ship and the hold up should only last another week before the first batch of DK2 hardware is shipped.

Thank you Segment for providing us with this information.

 

Oculus Rift Dev Kit Sales Suspended in China

Looks like China is going to miss out on the Oculus Rift Dev Kit for a while after scalpers tried buying up massive amounts of stock. Pre-orders and shipments have been suspended for all orders in China due to what Oculus VR are calling “extreme reseller purchases.”

China has been completely removed from the DK2 pre-order page and this has sparked buyers to take to Reddit to voice their complaints that existing pre-orders were cancelled. This is most likely due to the fact that it became impossible to differentiate legitimate and illegitimate orders, but it’s still a pretty drastic move from Oculus regardless.

“Yes, it is a bummer that we’ve had to suspend sales in China due to extreme reseller purchases,” said Kevin Crawford, Oculus Customer Service Lead. “We need to make sure that we are doing what we can to make sure that resellers that are looking to flip our product for a profit are not taking stock away from legitimate developer purchases globally. Our product, in its current form, is a developer kit, meant for developers that develop VR content. We are looking into alternative ways to make sure that our development kits are getting into legitimate developer hands in China.”

With DK2 set to ship later this month it’s no doubt a massive blow to developers who live and work in China, but hopefully Oculus can pull something together as soon as possible to help those who genuinely need the hardware for development.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information.

Oculus Rift Dev Kit Sales Pass 100,000 Devices

Oculus VR are going from strength to strength recently, not only have they sold 60,000 of their DK1 (Dev Kit 1) hardware, but they’ve also sold 40,000 pre-orders for their DK2 which is due for release later this month. Hitting that 100,000 benchmark is pretty impressive for a bit of technology that isn’t even available for retail release yet. The DK2 and DK1 hardware is designed for developers to get to grips with the concept and have their games ready for the Consumer Rift hardware, something the company hopes to have release by the end of next year.

I highly doubt that 100,000 developers are now in possession of the rift, as I already have a fair few friends who simply wanted to get in there early, despite the unfinished nature of the hardware . At $350 each (more like $460 if you’re ordering one to the UK like I did, ouch) before shipping and taxes it’s hardly expensive. For something that doesn’t feature audio, is still pretty bulky and that doesn’t have many games that natively support it without modification, it’s still proving massively popular.

Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus make have ruffled a few feathers in the technology industry, but it does look like Oculus VR are still on the right track for success, let’s hope they can keep pushing this hardware to the limit to make Consumer Rift as awesome as we all dream it will be.

Thank you VentureBeat for providing us with this information.

“It’s Official, We’re Building A Platform” Says Oculus VR

Oculus VR are still working hard on their consumer model of their upcoming Oculus VR headset, but as the hardware developers, so far progression through DK1 and the current progress with DK2, the company has also been working hard on other aspects of their VR technology.

With services like Steam, Origin and the much loathed UPlay already out there, it was tipped that Oculus may swing towards the common favourite, Steam, to deliver VR enabled games to the masses, but a recent statement from the often tight lipped Brendan Iribe has revealed that the company is now working on their own platform.

This doesn’t mean that Oculus VR supporting titles won’t still be on Steam, but it does mean that there will be a one stop shop for everything Oculus, that will no doubt bring extra features to ensure compatibility and customisation of your experience direct from the software hub, as well as a marketplace and no doubt the obligatory social features that we’ve come to see in just about everything these days.

“Jason Holtman recently joined to run platform. He’s going to be largely leading the overall platform strategy around building out the ecosystem and the developer relations with Aaron and publishing with DeMartini.” States Iribe in an interview with Venturebeat. “It’s official. We’re building a platform.”

“There’s a lot of engineering around that… Jason’s background comes from Valve, running Steam and evangelizing Steam to third-party developers over eight years or so. It’s great to get the person who built Steam to help build our platform [sic].”

With Jason now on board, brining with him the experience he has building and promoting the Steam platform, he’s certainly a strong member to bring to the Oculus team, and with the company hiring a few others to help get this platform off the ground, it certainly has a lot of promise. Unfortunately that’s all we know for now, but we’ll update you as soon as we know more.

Thank you VRFocus for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of VRFocus.