Ocu­lus Rift 2, Face­book’s vir­tual fu­ture

Australian T3 - - RADAR -

The Zucker­berg hand­shake was clearly in the off­ing when we de­moed the new Ocu­lus Rift DK2 de­vel­oper kit, a spit

and pol­ished take on the firm’s pre­vi­ous “Crys­tal Cove” head­set, just days be­fore the deal was fi­nalised. Gone were the EveValkyrie and Doom3 core thrills of last year’s E3; in their place, a “VR’s for ev­ery­one” mas­ter­class. CouchKnights recre­ates a fully scaleable liv­ing room for mul­ti­player ex­plo­ration, El­e­men­tal Tower De­fence sets a blue­print for how to cre­ate a fully im­mer­sive board game, and Tus­cany HD’s up­date on the YouTube

vir­tual-tourism fave saves money on a plane ticket. The

new po­si­tional track­ing cam­era, much like Sony’s, adds greatly to the sense

of place, Crys­tal Cove’s mo­tion-cap­ture track-ball dots now hid­den in a more pol­ished head­set. And the 1920x1080 OLED dis­play of the new Rift de­liv­ers clearer

im­ages than Sony, with no­tice­ably less mo­tion blur, al­though Mor­pheus is more comfy. With a con­sumer Rift re­lease orig­i­nally pro­posed for the end of the year but not yet slated, it’s any­one’s guess what the Face­book deal, not to men­tion the loom­ing spec­tre of a ri­val, does to Ocu­lus’s time­line. But if you know your way round a PC, and want VR now, Rift has the up­per hand: you can

pre-or­der a dev kit to­day. US$350, ocu­lus vr.com, out July

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