news\ Mar 19, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 announced for $350

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The Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 (DK2), the latest effort to bring virtual reality to the market, has been announced. It's similar to the Crystal Cove, Oculus says, but with "enhanced software."

Although it isn't identical to the Rift that consumers will get, but the "fundamental building blocks for great VR are there," including a low-persistence, high-definition display and precise, low-latency positional head tracking. Like the Crystal Cove prototype, DK2 uses a low persistence OLED display to eliminate motion blur and judder, two contributors to simulator sickness. Low persistence also makes the scene appear more visually stable. DK2 also reduces the screen-door effect and improves clarity, color and contrast with its hi-def 960x1080 per-eye display.

"DK2 also integrates precise, low-latency positional head tracking using an external camera that allows you to move with 6-degrees-of-freedom and opens up all sorts of new gameplay opportunities like peering around corners, leaning in to get a closer look at objects in the world, and kicking back on a virtual beach," Oculus explains.

"Precise positional tracking is another key requirement for comfortable virtual reality; without it, an enormous amount of your real world movement is lost. We’re looking forward to seeing the new experiences the community creates now that positional head tracking is a core element of the platform."

Oculus has also included updated orientation tracking, a built-in latency tester, an on-headset USB accessory port, new optics, elimination of the control box, a redesigned SDK and further optimized Unity and Unreal Engine 4 integrations. "All in, DK2 delivers a massive leap forward in terms of the quality of the VR experiences you’re able to create and enjoy," Oculus boasts. "The consumer Rift will be another major step beyond that, but in the meantime DK2 brings the world closer to great consumer virtual reality than ever before."

The Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 is available for pre-order for $350. Oculus is hoping to begin shipping the first batch of DK2s in July, with plans to ramp up production based on interest.

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