Missed out on all the week’s biggest VR news? Where have you been, Mars? Oh, actually I guess that’s quite possible. Well, either way, we’ve got you covered with our round up of the biggest stories in VR over the past five days.
Valve Has New VR Lenses
Oculus may have stolen most of the headlines this week, but Valve snuck in its own surprise by detailing new custom lenses for VR headsets that manufacturers making SteamVR headsets will be able to purchase. These lenses are designed “to be paired with several off-the-shelf VR displays to enable the highest quality VR visual experiences” and support a field of view between 85 to 120 degrees depending on the display. When we’ll actually see them implemented into a headset remains to be seen.
Meet Oculus Go
We went into Oculus Connect this week expecting a big update on its Santa Cruz prototype standalone headset. Little did we know Oculus also had an entirely new standalone device to show off, and it’s coming much sooner than expected. Oculus Go is intended to be an affordable, accessible VR headset shipping in early 2018 for $199. It’s only got three degrees of freedom (3DOF) head-tracking, but it promises Oculus’ best optics yet and the best content from Gear VR. Is this the first mainstream VR headset?
Our Verdict On The Invisible Hours
There have been a lot of big VR releases over the last few weeks, so it warms our heart to see our review of the little-known but highly excellent The Invisible Hours grab your attention. This VR debut from Rime developer Tequilla Works is a fascinating murder mystery in which you can freely explore a mansion setting and follow characters as the plot unfolds in real time. A brilliantly experimental work that’s not to be missed.
Hands-On With Oculus’ Santa Cruz Standalone
Last year at Oculus Connect we wend hands-on with a very primitive prototype for an Oculus-made standalone headset with full six degrees of freedom (6DOF) positional tracking. One year on, and we saw a much improved version of the device, complete with Touch-like motion controllers that again offer 6DOF tracking. Oculus Go might be coming in the short term, but Santa Cruz is the future of standalone VR, and it’s looking very promising.
Rift 2.0 Update Nears
Our last story of the week is another Oculus Connect 4 headline. Rift got a small platform update this month, but the 2.0 update arriving later this year promises to bring some significant changes to the device. For starters, that’s a new user interface that can be summoned from any experience and even allows for virtual desktop use. Home is also being rebuilt to allow for customization of its new spaces. We should see a beta for these new features in the near future.