This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo kicked off early with a special event held by Facebook-owned Oculus VR, the company behind the already famous Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. During the event, the California-based company has unveiled the final consumer model of the headset, together with a string of other reveals related to platform compatibility, special peripherals for the device and games that will launch alongside it. Here is a summary of the main announcements Oculus Rift E3 Conference:
- The official consumer model for the Oculus Rift was presented to the public, together with a Q1 release date for the hardware. The consumer model comes with removable headphones and adjustable lenses. However, developers have emphasized the fact that the headset’s release version will definitely be open to further improvement after its release. No official pricing has been announced.
- It was also announced that the Oculus Rift will be accompanied by a digital distribution platform for Rift-enabled games named “Oculus Home”. Apparently, its interface will be accessible while wearing the headset and the games listed will also have small interactive previews available before purchase.
- On the hardware aspect of things, Oculus VR has also unveiled a future controller for the Rift called the Oculus Touch. This is formed out a pair of two circular controllers, one for each hand, which have buttons, an analog stick and a trigger. The most important part about the controller is the fact it will supposedly translate some of the user’s hand movements into the projected reality, solving the issue of the Rift being a “look-only” affair. However, the devs have emphasized the fact that a traditional controller will still be the better options for near-future games, as they haven’t been designed with this technology in mind.
- Speaking of which, Oculus VR have also partnered with Microsoft to bundle an Xbox One controller with every Rift unit, with it acting as the initial default controller. The announcement was followed-up by one which stated that Xbox One owners will have the ability to play their games with the headset via streaming.
- Last but not least, there have also been a couple of game announcements within the conference. Insomniac Games, developers of the Ratchet & Clank series have presented Edge of Nowhere, an Oculus Rift exclusive apparently molded around the technology. Other announcements include an RPG named Chronos from a team of former Darksiders 2 developers and EVE: Valkyrie, a multiplayer space combat game set in the fictional universe of the popular EVE Online. All of these titles will be available at Oculus Rift’s launch.
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