Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 now on sale for $350
It's not yet the "Star Trek" Holodeck, but Oculus' improved, second developer's kit is much closer to being ready for gamers and is expected to ship in July.
Oculus' vision of virtual-reality gaming took another step closer to reality on Wednesday with the public availability of its second Rift Developer's Kit (DK2).
Game makers can purchase the headset for $350 today from the Oculus Web site, with an expected ship date sometime in July.
Oculus said many of the headset's features are ready for the average gamer. These include "key technical breakthroughs" such as "low-persistence, high-definition display and precise, low-latency positional head tracking."
The DK2 takes cues from Oculus' Crystal Cove prototype, including a low-persistence OLED to tamp down on simulator sickness and improve the potential for presence. It has a high-definition 960x1,080 per-eye display for improved clarity, color, and contrast.
The external camera's improved low-latency positional head tracking will allow players to peer around corners or lean in to more closely examine virtual objects, Oculus said, while improved positional tracking precision will allow better retention in-game of real world movement.
Other DK2 improvements include better orientation tracking, built-in latency testing, an on-headset USB port, better optics, a redesigned Software Development Kit, and optimization to integrate Oculus Rift with the Unity and Unreal Engine 4 game engines. Oculus also has eliminated the "infamous" control box.
Despite the improvements, Oculus said the "overall experience" is still lacking, and not yet ready for gamers.
"DK2 is not the Holodeck yet, but it's a major step in the right direction," the company said.