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Thursday, 20 March 2014 14:19

Oculus readies second Rift developers' kit

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The Oculus team is answering its rivals with the second Rift developers' kit available to the public from today.

Developers can shell out $350 for the next version of the Oculus Rift, available today from the Oculus Web site, with an expected ship date sometime in July.

Oculus announced the device at San Francisco's Game Developer's Conference, and said many of the headset's features are ready for the average gamer, including "key technical breakthroughs" such as "low-persistence, high-definition display and precise, low-latency positional head tracking."

The news comes as Sony unveiled its Oculus Rift rival, dubbed Project Morpheus, for Playstation 4.

Unlike its predecessor the DK2 boasts a low-persistence OLED in a bid to wipe out simulator sickness, and comes equipped with a high-definition 960x1,080 per-eye display for improved clarity, color, and contrast.

Oculus said the external camera's improved low-latency positional head tracking will allow players to peer around corners or lean in to more closely examine virtual objects, while improved positional tracking precision will allow better retention in-game of real world movement.

Other DK2 improvements include better orientation tracking, built-in latency testing, an on-headset USB port, better optics, a redesigned Software Development Kit, and optimization to integrate Oculus Rift with the Unity and Unreal Engine 4 game engines. Oculus also has eliminated the "infamous" control box.

Despite the improvements, Oculus said the "overall experience" is still lacking, and not yet ready for gamers.

"DK2 is not the Holodeck yet, but it's a major step in the right direction," the company said.

Check out the announcement video below, and look out for more announcements from the GDC, which runs until 21 March.


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