Up Close With The New, Improved Oculus Rift

Over the last couple of weeks, Oculus has started sending out the new version of their much-vaunted Rift virtual reality headset. If you're curious what the next step in home VR immersion looks like, well, good news. It's here, and it's pretty cool.

The new headset, called the DevKit 2 or DK2 for short, is pretty neat. I've had one set up on my home PC for about the past week, and have been using it to play a bunch of different things. I'll have more in-depth thoughts on a few of the games up on Kotaku soon.

In the video above, Tested.com's Will Smith and Norman Chan put the DK2 through its paces to a degree that I could never hope to match with my paltry home video-capture setup. Their video gives a terrific sense of the hardware, how it differs from the DK1, and of the various games that you can use it to play. (To get straight to the games and demos, skip to around the 14:10 mark.)

Among the games they try is Elite: Dangerous, the beta of which I've been sinking a huge amount of time into over the last week. I'll have a lot more on that game soon, but: This video actually doesn't do it justice, because no video really could. Playing Elite on the Oculus DK2 is an astonishing experience, and easily the most convincing argument yet that a new VR era isn't just looming — it's already upon us.

To the general points Smith and Chan make at the start of the video: As cool as individual Rift experiences can be, I agree that the Rift DK2 is not something that the average consumer should rush out and buy. It's almost as expensive as a PS4 or an Xbox One, it's a headache to get working, the new software doesn't work with most DK1-compatible games, the resolution is still a bit too mushy, and the whole thing feels at least a year from where it needs to be to be easy to recommend. Which makes sense, given that it's a tool for developers and not the commercial version of the Rift, which is dubbed CV1 and expected to come out sometime in the next couple of years.

Anyway, I'll have more on the other Rift games, particularly Elite: Dangerous, soon. In the meantime, if you've got any questions about the new Oculus Rift, ask 'em in the comments and I'll do my best to answer.


Comments

    Elite on this would be a insta-buy for me. Give me a chair taken from a fighter jet and a flight suit and you could have near full immersion!!

      Even on DK1 it's awesome. Add a subwoofer to the mix and you feel like you'll never need anything else ever again.

        But "ever again" would be at most a few days since you didn't mention anything about food or water

    I have dk1 so i think il wait for final release... if i can resist.

    Kirk if you get a chance give this Quake 2 port a try, It runs flawlessly. In low persistence mode the headtracking is buttery smooth.

    https://developer.oculusvr.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=3795&p=160044#p160044

    You will need to slow your movement for a truly comfortable experience.

    You can create an autoexec.cfg file in the \baseq2 folder to include custom settings such as reduced forward motion speed. Create the file with contents like:

    set cl_forwardspeed 60

    set cl_sidespeed 60

    set cl_yawspeed 80

    I love how they say of Elite: Dangerous; "It's a Privateer, Wing Commander, Freelancer style open world, open universe space flight simulator...".

    I wonder what helped to inspire those games...

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now