NEWS

How the Ocu­lus Rift is get­ting closer than ever to rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing games on PC

PC GAMER (US) - - CONTENTS - AndyKelly

The state of vir­tual re­al­ity

In Septem­ber, Ocu­lus is invit­ing cre­atives and en­gi­neers to Hol­ly­wood for Ocu­lus Con­nect, its first ever con­fer­ence. De­vel­op­ers will be able to re­ceive de­sign and engi­neer­ing feed­back di­rectly from the Ocu­lus team in hands-on labs. It’s an im­por­tant step for the com­pany, as col­lab­o­ra­tion with de­vel­op­ers will be cru­cial to the suc­cess of the tech­nol­ogy.

The hard­ware is begin­ning to catch the at­ten­tion of larger de­vel­op­ers. Creative Assem­bly’s Alien: Iso­la­tion has a VRen­abled pro­to­type that gen­er­ated a lot of buzz at E3. “It brings the game to life in ways we could not have imag­ined when we started the project,” Iso­la­tion’s pub­lisher, Sega, says. “It’s one of the most ter­ri­fy­ing demos you’ll ever play.”

Else­where, pi­o­neer­ing VR devs are do­ing things with Rift no one could have imag­ined, such as op­er­at­ing drones, and the bizarre gizmo that lets you see your­self in third person. There’s even a VR train­ing simulator for medics work­ing in war zones.

EVE de­vel­oper CCP is stak­ing a lot on VR, with an en­tire stu­dio in New­cas­tle, Eng­land, ded­i­cated to EVE Valkyrie, one of the first big bud­get games de­vel­oped en­tirely with vir­tual re­al­ity in mind. “We want to show that vir­tual re­al­ity is the next gen­er­a­tion of gam­ing,” says Chris Smith, Valkyrie’s lead de­signer, “and I think this is the game to do it.”

The next Rift devel­op­ment kit, the DK2, is on its way to de­vel­op­ers (and PC Gamer). Its mas­sively in­creased res­o­lu­tion and use of a cam­era to more ac­cu­rately track head move­ments makes it a gi­ant leap for­ward.

The road to VR is get­ting clearer, and the vast for­tune of Zucker­berg’s so­cial net­work can only help. Whether it takes off re­mains to be seen, but re­gard­less, it’s one of the most ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ments in PC gam­ing tech since the 3D card.

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