Year of the Rift: Oculus Refines Crystal Cove, Dev Kit 2 Drops at GDC 2014


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Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 has just been announced at this year’s GDC (Game Developers Conference), one year after the original product was launched. Pre-orders for the DK2 are now open with a stated price of $350. This is the last development kit as the company prepares to release consumer versions of the virtual reality (VR) headset. The DK2 features a low persistence 1080p OLED panel which will be upgraded to a higher resolution in the consumer product. Its camera has lenses made of advanced resin producing high image quality not only on the centers of the wearer’s vision but also across the field of view.

The blog post announcing the new Rift states the different features available to customers:

The second development kit features many of the key technical breakthroughs and core elements of the consumer Rift including a low-persistence, high-definition display and precise, low-latency positional head tracking.

DK2 isn’t identical to the consumer Rift, but the fundamental building blocks for great VR are there. All the content developed using DK2 will work with the consumer Rift. And while the overall experience still needs to improve before it’s consumer-ready, we’re getting closer everyday — DK2 is not the Holodeck yet, but it’s a major step in the right direction.

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Sony has also taken to the Matrix with its VR prototype – Project Morpheus – which is expected to be integrated into the PS4. Compared to the Rift which offers a 110-degree field of view (FOV), Morpheus provides 90-degrees. The latter is still in prototype stage and will not be going into the consumer market this year. The Rift is however a revolutionary product offering an affordable VR gaming solution to the consumer market.

The Rift DK2 ships with a redesigned SDK, optimized Unity and Unreal Engine 4 integrations. Expect the dev kit to hit the market by July.