While E3 may not have started quite yet, Oculus has jumped the gun and unleashed an amazing slew of new information about the Oculus Rift, including some very interesting partnerships.
During the Oculus event, we found out that Oculus (which, you may remember, is now owned by Facebook) has entered into a major partnership with Microsoft and multiple video game companies. It will be able to run on Windows computers and stream games from the Xbox One – outside of Sony’s in-house VR system Morpheus, this is one of the biggest pairings between VR goggles and game consoles.
The event also unveiled the final version of the Oculus Rift that will release in 2016, which is even sleeker than ever before, finally approaching something closer to “ski goggles” than “strapping a computer to your head.” It uses two OLED screens and a bunch of tech to create smooth, realistic images, as well as an option to adjust the width of the screen for your eyes.
Rather than create its own gaming control, Oculus will be using its partnership with Microsoft to great effect and providing an Xbox One gamepad with every Oculus Rift, right there in the box along with a wireless adapter to help connect it to Rift games. Even current games like Halo and Sunset Overdrive will be able to be streamed to the Rift for a more immersive experience – they just won’t have any true VR effects.
For those who want to stay away from an Xbox controller, Oculus has another solution, the Oculus Touch. This is a handy pair of controllers – a tiny bit like the Nintendo Wii used but with very different shapes – that you hold in both hands, each with a joystick and a couple trigger buttons. Using the built in camera, the Oculus Rift will be able to track those controllers as they move and even recognize certain gestures.
Among the games announced for Oculus Rift is EVE Valkyrie with its space battles, Edge of Nowhere from Insomniac Games, Chronos from Gunfire Games, and a handful of other exciting games from studios like Square Enix and Harmonix. Hopefully we’ll see more about these games at E3, as well as in the future: Oculus is creating a $10 million grant program (thanks, Facebook!) to encourage indie developers to create their own VR ideas.
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