Here's The Final Oculus Rift, Coming Q1 2016

Here's The Final Oculus Rift, Coming Q1 2016

This is it: the final consumer version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. It's coming Q1 2016, and it looks just like the version that leaked two days ago! We're live in San Francisco where Oculus is giving us all the details.

Here's The Final Oculus Rift, Coming Q1 2016

We're not getting any detailed specs or a price point today, but Oculus is letting us know just how much the headset has improved. It looks and feels like a consumer product now, with higher quality plastics and fabrics, and it's light enough to heft with a single hand. You'll finally be able to wear it with glasses (!) and it will come with a pair of detachable headphones that mount right on its adjustable side rails.

The headset still isn't wireless, unfortunately — you'll need to drape the cable over your shoulder, and Oculus still recommends you enjoy virtual reality while seated instead of walking around.

Here's The Final Oculus Rift, Coming Q1 2016

Since not everyone has eyes that are the same distance apart, the final Oculus Rift will let you adjust the IPD (interpupillary distance) of the optics. There's a little slider underneath the headset that lets you control the distance between the lenses.

Inside, there are a pair of low persistence OLED screens, one for each eye. "There's no motion blur, no judder, no pixels," says Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe. "It feels just like you've put on a pair of glasses." The entire optics display is removable, too — allowing you to install a pair of lesnes that better fit your face (I have an enormous nose, for instance) or have more room for a pair of spectacles. Neat!

Here's The Final Oculus Rift, Coming Q1 2016

So that's how Oculus will get your eyes and ears into virtual reality. There's a camera you'll mount on a surface to track your head, too. What about your hands? Well, there's no word on the leaked "Simple Input Device" we saw a couple of days ago — instead, every Oculus Rift will come with an Xbox One gamepad.

Here's The Final Oculus Rift, Coming Q1 2016

Yes, that's right, a normal game console controller, with standard analogue sticks and buttons, and a wireless adaptor to connect it to your PC. Microsoft's Phil Spencer came out on stage to announce that you'll even be able to stream Xbox One games like Halo, Forza and Sunset Overdrive to the Rift... but it's not what you'd think. You won't be playing those games in virtual reality — you won't feel like you're driving a Forza car — but rather just sitting in a VR room playing them on a big-screen TV. Fun, but lame.

Here's The Final Oculus Rift, Coming Q1 2016

Oh, but get this: Oculus is indeed working on its own motion controller too: Oculus Touch. It's a pair of controllers that wrap around each of your hands, wireless, each with their own analogue stick, two triggers (one for your finger and one to use a "grip" motion), and two face buttons.

Here's The Final Oculus Rift, Coming Q1 2016
Here's The Final Oculus Rift, Coming Q1 2016

The Oculus Rift can track them in a virtual environment with its camera and the controller's built-in inertial sensors, but that's not all they can do: Oculus founder Palmer Luckey says they can actually recognise gestures you make with your hands, like waving or giving a thumbs-up. They will be coming in the first half of 2016, probably after the Rift itself, though you'll be able to preorder them at the same time. No word on how much they will cost.

Here's The Final Oculus Rift, Coming Q1 2016

Here's a quick look at the interface you'll see inside the Oculus Rift: there's a store, of course, a friends list which shows you recent activities, and some status indicators up in the upper-left corner. Weirdly, these particular indicators include wifi and battery life... despite the fact that the headset isn't wireless. "Infer from that what you will," teased Palmer when we asked him. Oculus' Nate Mitchell says they could just indicate what you see if you're plugged into a laptop.

So what will you actually experience on the Oculus Rift? Oculus wants you to know that real, purpose-built VR games are coming.

There's EVE Valkyrie, of course, the incredible space dogfighting experience that's also coming to the Sony Morpheus VR headset as well:

And Insomniac Games, which makes the excellent Ratchet & Clank and Resistance games, announced a over-the-shoulder VR adventure game called Edge of Nowhere as well.

Here's The Final Oculus Rift, Coming Q1 2016
Here's The Final Oculus Rift, Coming Q1 2016

Gunfire Games is also contributing Chronos, another third-person adventure where you explore an ancient labyrinth.

Here's The Final Oculus Rift, Coming Q1 2016

If the name wasn't a hint, Chronos is a game about time: as your character ages, you have to approach the dungeon differently. As a young man you're nimble and brash. In middle age you're stronger and a bit more experienced. As an old man you're weak and frail, and must rely on magics and knowledge of the old tomb in order to survive.

Here's The Final Oculus Rift, Coming Q1 2016

Other games coming to the Rift include a game called Damaged Core, VR Sports Challenge (which will include VR football, basketball, and hockey), Esper (you get telekinetic powers), a VR version of AirMech, and the Mario-like platformer Lucky's Tale. All of these initial games will be available on the Rift next year, says Oculus.

There's more coming, too — including work from Square Enix, Harmonix, and more than a dozen other developers. Here's the full list:

Here's The Final Oculus Rift, Coming Q1 2016

Not a lot of big names there, but Oculus also just announced it will contribute $US10,000,000 to help indie developers create games for the Rift.

Sadly, we won't be able to try the new Rift or any of its games today — that will happen next week at E3!


Comments

    Considering the games that are coming, and the potential the Indie Scene has already shown for VR, if an Oculus + Touch bundle comes in at anything under $500, I doubt I'd be able to stop myself from buying one.

      I can't see the oculus plus touch coming in anywhere near $500, the included XB1 controller alone has to add $50-$80 to the price, the rift on its own *might* be USD$500 (Over AUD$700) , but no way they could include the touch at that price.

        I reckon there is some sort of deal with MS going on.
        MS: We'll give you controllers at cost, and you allow streaming from XBone.

          More likely has something to do with Windows 10 and MS's app store. The Xbone part is just an added bonus. I think MS wants to hedge its bets just in case VR takes off but without going in feet first like Sony.

          Streaming from the Bone requires a Windows 10 PC in the mix, so the deal seams better for MS than Oculus really.
          Even at cost, the controller isn't free.

        I tend to agree. I'm thinking somewhere around US$549 for the Oculus stand-alone, with the controller thrown in by MS.

        Morpheus will probably be around US$399 but you'll probably need to pay for the PS Camera and Move controllers if you don't already have them, meaning that Oculus can be competitive *if* you have a PC good enough to run it.

          Even that would make it about AUD$800 inc. GST but without the traditional 'Australia Tax'.

          And really, from playing with the DK2, if the new rift is significantly higher resolution, which it must be to have 'no pixels', then rendering two streams, each at 75Hz or better is going to require a monster of a graphics card if you want the game to have realistic worlds.
          I have a TitanX in an X99 rig and some of the current rift demos are stuttery at decent frame rates.

    Open up pre-orders already, dammit, I can't hold on to my excitement much longer!

    I really like the look of their controller

    Looks like 2016 is going to be the year of VR, with the HTC Vive coming out around Christmas and the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus due in 2016.

    Personally I'm going to be getting the HTC Vive (bit of a stupid name though). It's out first, it has the support of Steam and it's not owned by Facebook.

      If anything I'll be going for Morpheus, simply because my PC is ancient and I do most of my gaming on the PS4. I'm not sold on VR in general though. I will wait to see how the games review.

    It’ll be really interesting to see the extent to which this thing catches on.

    The only people who’ve really been paying attention to this point are gamers and they’re notorious for getting a little over enthused when it comes to the impact that things will have on the mainstream

    I’m still not convinced that your Average Joe will be happy/able to disconnect their eyes and ears from the real world for any extended period of time. I don’t know that I’d be able to do it that often and I don’t even have kids.

    I can tell you this right now though, we’re going to see a barrage of stories over the next few years of how some idiots kids died right in front of him while he had a headset on.
    Probably also lots of videos of guys whacking off while 10 of his mates stand around pointing and trying not to laugh.

      Even then I have doubts that many gamers will pick this up either. VR as a concept is interesting and something I'd try out, as long as it was someone else's. It's a peripheral, and one that doesn't seem necessary other than for the cool factor and to enhance certain experiences so until an absolutely killer app/game comes along I think this will be relegated to the "enthusiast" category alongside motion controls and stereoscopic 3D.

        I agree. I think the price point has to be low enough for an 'impulse' buy. That's why I think Sony might have an advantage, unless Oculus sells at a substantial loss just to get market penetration.

        I think it will be more like the market for Steering Wheels, HOTAS joysticks etc.
        Racers and Space/Flight sim guys will definitely buy this if the resolution is good enough, having played Eve Valkyrie in the existing DK2, it really is just the best way to play a flying/space sim.

        Outside of that market, I can't see it really taking off. No camera on the rift means you can't quickly flip to your room view without taking the damn thing off, and the immersion cuts both ways, you are completely disconnected from the world while wearing it, you can't even really take a drink or eat a biscuit.

        Last edited 12/06/15 10:00 am

      I can tell you this right now though, we’re going to see a barrage of stories over the next few years of how some idiots kids died right in front of him while he had a headset on.Though we get plenty of those stories as it is from people just using regular screens.

    But I don't want/need an Xbox controller. I'd really much prefer a cheaper Rift.

    I love that the Eve Valkyrie clip in the article says 'Coming 2014'

    Can I use an analogue controller with my left hand and a mouse with my right?
    I don't want the experience gimped by having to aim with an analogue controller.

    You won’t be playing those games in virtual reality — you won’t feel like you’re driving a Forza car — but rather just sitting in a VR room playing them on a big-screen TV. Fun, but lame

    Then what the hell is the point in that then? You might as well just play Forza in your living room.

    Bit disappointed that it comes bundled with the Xbone controller, it'll probably drive the cost of the package up another $100 and my Dualshock 3 controller works perfectly on my PC so i don't need another controller dirtying up my gaming space.

      Because I can play them on a big screen without buying another one - my wife can watch Netflix and I can stream Xbox to my Rift. I think it's a great idea that isn't costing me any extra.

        Yeap I'm with you on this one, not to mention it is like having a massive LCD or Projection screen without the price tag and probably with a better picture quality. Also it won't corrupt my children if I am playing something like GTA.

        Last edited 12/06/15 1:58 pm

    Any word if xbox one will be embracing the Occulus?
    Obviously I prefer PC gaming but the reality is that my rig is 2 years old and I'm tired of shelling out $400+ for a decent vid card every couple of years to play a handful of games. I'm hoping that it'll have xbox one support so I don't feel the itch of upgrading pc components (even if it will be slightly inferior).

    The controllers look cool although I would much prefer a built in leap or something similar. The rest of this announcement was very lack luster. The headset still looks the same just slightly more premium and the head strap still look very uncomfortable. The Morpheus design is still way ahead of this. And the Xbox controller... why was this ever needed?

    Last edited 12/06/15 10:34 am

    Time for me to buy a PC next year with this. Cannot wait! Tired of the new gen console not delivering much worthwhile.

    It's all about the experience.
    For those who see it as just a novelty peripheral, I think you'll be surprised when you try it out. After using DK2 (or even DK1), I get absolutely no kicks out of watching a fixed screen on my desk (or a TV) for games. The real value of VR headsets is the sense of being somewhere else. I've been playing Elite: Dangerous and the sense of scale is amazing. I'm happy to do traditionally boring stuff like take off and land in a space station - because you feel you're totally in that environment.

    There are plenty of games though that don't need immersion, although they're probably fine on a phone/tablet too.

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