New Ocu­lusRift SPushes VR Ex­pe­ri­ence Up a Notch

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TECHNEWS! -

Face­book on Wed­nes­day un­veiled its Ocu­lus Rift S vir­tual re­al­ity head­set at the Game De­vel­op­ers Con­fer­ence in San Fran­cisco.

It will be avail­able this spring for US$399.

The Rift 2 is "not a full re­design, but we are con­stantly it­er­at­ing on prod­ucts and pro­to­types," a Face­book spokesper­son said in com­ments pro­vided to TechNewsWorld by Ocu­lus VR Prod­uct Comms Lead An­drea Schu­bert.

With the Rift 2, Ocu­lus "is fol­low­ing some of the trends set by Vive - in­side-out track­ing, in­cre­men­tal im­prove­ment, and fo­cus on com­fort," ob­ser ved Davi d MacQueen, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Strat­egy An­a­lyt­ics' wire­less me­dia strate­gies ser­vice.

"I'm in­ter­ested to see the con­tin­ued fo­cus on the gam­ing mar­ket from the an­nounce­ment it­self -- plus, of course, the ac­tual launch is at GDC," he told TechNewsWorld.

As ex­pected, Ocu­lus has re­placed the Rift's ex­ter­nal sen­sor-track­ing sys­tem with the in­te­grated "in­side-out" Ocu­lus In­sight track­ing sys­tem, which is core to the Ocu­lus Quest stand­alone head­set .

Ocu­lus In­sight cap­tures, traces and nav­i­gates phys­i­cal spa­ces in real time. It trans­lates play­ers' move­ments into VR no mat­ter which way they face. The Rift S head­set has five sen­sors to max­i­mize track­ing vol­ume.

Ocu­lus Touch con­trollers have been re­designed for in­side-out track­ing. Rift S and Quest share the same con­troller de­sign, which is geared for Ocu­lus In­sight track­ing, ac­cord­ing to the Face­book spokesper­son.

Len­ovo's In­flu­ence Ocu­lus/ Face­book part­nered with Len­ovo on the Rift S. The Len­ovo de­sign team con­trib­uted in­creased com­fort, bet­ter weight dis­tri­bu­tion, and im­proved light block­ing -- which is es­sen­tial, be­cause in­sid­e­out track­ing sys­tems have more lim­i­ta­tions than ex­ter­nal sen­sors when it comes to am­bi­ent light­ing con­di­tions - and a sin­gle-cable sys­tem. The head strap cir­cles the user's head like a halo. It is ad­justed by turn­ing a dial on the back, which Ocu­lus calls the "fit wheel."

"Len­ovo typ­i­cally builds high-qual­ity prod­ucts for rel­a­tively low prices, which is why Dis­ney, which has very high-qual­ity re­quire­ments, has used them in the past for their head­sets," noted Rob En­derle, prin­ci­pal an­a­lyst at the En­derle Group.

"One of the big is­sues with the first-gen­er­a­tion VR head­sets from HTC and Ocu­lus was that the cost of en­try, which in­cluded a high-end gam­ing PC, was sim­ply too high, and peo­ple wouldn't buy the so­lu­tion," he told TechNew sWor l d .

"This move should help sell more head­sets and in­crease the user base, mak­ing the plat­form more at­trac­tive to de­vel­op­ers," En­derle said.

The Rift S fea­tures the same in­te­grated au­dio sys­tem as the Ocu­lus Quest and Ocu­lus Go. It also has a head­phone jack that ac­cepts var­i­ous man­u­fac­tur­ers' head­phones.

"Rift S is for PC gamers look­ing to make the jump to VR, and who want the best graph­ics per­for­mance and big­gest li­brary," the Face­book spokesper­son said.

PC Re­quire­ments for the Rift S

Min­i­mum PC con­fig­u­ra­tion re­quire­ments for the Rift S:

CPU -- In­tel i3-6100, AMD Ryzen 3 1200, or FX4350

Graph­ics Card -- Nvidia GTX 1050Ti or GTX 960, or AMD Radeon RX470 or AMD Radeon R9 290 8 GB+ of RAM

Video out­put -Dis­playPort 1.2 source, and Mini Dis­playPort to Dis­playPort Adapter, with mDP to DP adapter that is in­cluded in the box

One USB 3.0 port Win­dows 10 Rec­om­mended PC con­fig­u­ra­tion re­quire­ments:

CPU -- In­tel i5-4590 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater

Graph­ics card -- Nvidia GTX 1060 or GTX 970, or AMD Radeon RX 480 or R9 290 or greater 8GB+ of RAM

Video out­put -- Com­pat­i­ble HDMI 1.3 video out­put, Dis­playPort 1.2 source, Mini Dis­playPort Adapter, with mDP to DP adapter that is in­cluded in the box

1 USB 3.0 port Win­dows 10

Tack­ling the Real World The Rift S in­cor­po­rates Passthrough+ , a true stereo-cor­rect passthrough fea­ture that uses core Ocu­lus run­time ad­vance­ments, in­clud­ing ASW, to pro­vide a com­fort­able ex­pe­ri­ence with min­i­mal depth dis­par­ity or im­pact on per­for­mance.

"Passthrough+ was de­signed to al­low you to view the real world with­out tak­ing off your head­set," the Face­book spokesper­son said. En­abling Passthrough+ would let play­ers set down the Touch con­trollers to pull up a chair with­out hav­ing to re­move the head­set, for ex­ampl e.

Tack­ling the World of Rift Rift S users can play cur­rent VR ti­tles that run on the Rift plat­form.

"You'll have ac­cess to the ex­ist­ing Rift li­brary, and we have lots of great games -- from Epic Games' Robo Re­call to Beat Saber from Beat Games and Su­per Hot VR from SUPERHOT," the Face­book spokesper­son noted. As­gard's Wrath and Storm­land are "the key ti­tles we're talk­ing about now that are com­ing soon."

Rift S has a res­o­lu­tion of 1,280 x 1,440 per eye but the re­fresh rate is 80 Hz rather than the Rift's 90 Hz, to main­tain the same re­quired PC hard­ware specs.

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