Here’s everything you need to know from the Oculus pre-E3 press preview today.
No raw specs or prices were announced today but we are getting a very clean and polished consumer product. The headset is wrapped in fabric and is supposedly much lighter and much more comfortable then previous versions. The Rift will come with a small tabletop camera to track LED markers on the headset and provide full head tracking.
Since many people don’t often have the same distance between their eyes, the consumer Rift will let you adjust the IPD (interpupillary distance) of the optics. A small slider underneath the headset will let you adjust the distance to your individual face. In addition to eye distance adjustment, there is now enough space to let users keep normal eyeglasses on when the headset is worn.
The Rift features integrated but removable headphones specifically tuned for binaural 360-degree audio.
The Rift will ship with a wireless Xbox controller, yes the normal game console controller. The partnership with Microsoft also means Rift will work natively with Windows 10 plus the ability to stream Xbox One games like Halo to the headset. Gameplay streams will be just that though, not fully immersive experiences, but instead like sitting in a VR movie theater and playing games on the big screen.
Although Oculus lead with the Xbox controller inclusion, they also are working on their own motion controller, the Oculus Touch. The prototype Touch wireless controllers showed off wrap around each of your hands and have their own analog stick, two triggers, and two face buttons. The controllers are said to have integrated inertial and 360-degree movement tracking plus haptic feedback.
Oculus founder Palmer Luckey also added that the Oculus Touch controllers would actually recognize gestures you make with your hands, like waving or giving a thumbs-up. The controllers most likely will not be released with the Rift but instead at a later date sometime in the first half of 2016.
The Rift will also come with a revamped home screen that includes the store, a friends’ list with recent activity, and oddly a Wifi/battery/Bluetooth indicator. Although some were initially excited to see a potential for a wireless Rift, the indicators displayed are most likely for a plugged in laptop or Samsung Gear VR headset. One notable mention about the revamped Oculus store will be that consumers can preview purchases in VR mode before downloading or purchasing, no 2D preview trailers for us!
As Oculus continues to work with game developers around the world, they also announced a $10,000,000 fund to help indie developers create games for the Rift.
There was no word on experiences or video content, it indeed looks like today was a gaming day. We will be at E3 next week with scheduled demos of the consumer Rift. Stay tuned for future updates.
Image Credit: Oculus