The New Hatness: Rift VR Coming To TF2 This Week

By Nathan Grayson on March 19th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

Meet The Palmer Luckey.

In case you’re in need of a reminder, the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is really, really cool. But that won’t be here until the fuuuuuuture, right? You will play it atop your hoverboard, which you will rebelliously ride inside your hoverhouse, which will drift above the hoverground, which will perpetually bob above a void of infinite nothingness. Which will also be hovering. Or so you think. In non-virtual reality, however, the VR wonder device is right around the corner, with backer dev kits shipping this very month. And now, Oculus and Valve have teamed up to announce the first officially supported game for the eyeball-teleporting tomorrow glasses: the ever-experimental Team Fortress 2. Naturally, there will also be a hat involved. I hope it hovers.

Oculus confirmed the partnership in a brief Kickstarter update:

“Yes, it’s true: Valve announced today that Team Fortress 2 will have a new ‘VR Mode’ that supports the Oculus Rift, available this week!”

“Valve has done an incredible job bringing TF2 to virtual reality. That said, it’s a fast paced, intense experience. TF2 wasn’t originally designed for virtual reality and skirting around the map at super-speed in VR isn’t for everyone. You’re going to want to ease yourself in and acclimate over time.”

The new hat du jour, meanwhile, is a replica of the Rift’s dev kit, which looks like it could prove quite adept at defending combatants from such pesky dangers as shrapnel and being able to see.

If you want a better idea of how Rift will integrate with Team Fortress 2′s brand of colorful, exceedingly fleet-footed madness, Engadget got an early eyes-on with the update. The tech behemoth was, however, somewhat underwhelmed, rightly noting that TF2 is perhaps not the best showcase for a device whose strengths lie in immersion and detail – as opposed to speed and hyper-precise control.

Fortunately, there’ll be more where that came from in semi-short order, even if demo darling Doom 3 won’t be among the initial batch. And really, we’re not even poking eager forks into the meat of this movement yet. Between dev kits and proof-of-concept demos, we’ve still got a ways to go before a killer app leaves our eye stalks gyrating in ecstasy. That said, I do believe the future is bright for VR. Very bight. We just might have to, you know, wait a bit. That’s kind of the thing about the future, though: it’s always closer than you think, but why does it have to be so far awaaaaaaay?

__________________

« | »

, , .

52 Comments »

  1. MuscleHorse says:

    Who do I have to kill for one of these?

    • solidsquid says:

      Heavy apparently. You’ll get a sandwich too

      • iniudan says:

        But how to I quench my thirst from eating those sandvich ?

        Has it seem, I have no where near the skill needed to reliably extract blood punch, like the legendary Saxton Hale.

        Blood punch just tend to get spoil on the nearest surface instead of gracefully flowing into my mouth, like instructed in the book “Saxton Hale’s Blood Punch Recipes or How To Take It Up To Anything And Quench Your Thirst”.

        And my attempt to beat the crap out of my opponent with a canteen have also proven unsuccessful in filling it with the nectar of the most mannly hatted Australian gentlemen.

    • bstard says:

      Just preorder something, fast!

    • Apocalypse says:

      Just buy it? They are for sale after all. 300 Bugs iirc. Pre-Order! NOW! Seriously, do it!

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      The smell of an seriously overclocked CPU/GPU combination should lead you to the nearest Geek lair. Don’t think you’d need to kill ‘em mind, just watch out for the breath weapon, +3 those tonsil stones!!

    • Teovald says:

      It passed on kickstarting this several months ago since it was intended to devs. You could only get limited but expensive dev kits Occulus (Occuli ?).
      Also, the resolution of the dev kits is not very impressive : 640×800 per eye (how does a standard screen resolution compares to the resolution of 2 screens right in front of your eyes is also unanswered at the moment). There is some heavy computation behind these 2 screens, so it is hard to manage too many pixels. They are aiming at 1080p with the 2 screens combined in the consumer version though.

      This technology sounds awesome for many games though. Investigating Portal levels with real freedom of vision sounds awesome (not to mention the stroke from all these impossible moves).

      • caff says:

        I totally want one of these, but I think they should really be pushing 1920×1080 better screens at both devs and consumers.

        • Teovald says:

          The hard part for the devs will be to adapt their 3d engines to the 2 screens switcheroo. They don’t need the full final resolution to do so. At launch, it will be like any new & innovative product : early adopters will see a lot of bugs and unfinished features..

          • danielbln says:

            It’s actually only one screen. Yes, the image is rendered twice (offset for each eye), but it is one physical screen, so no “switcheroo” woes here.

  2. golem09 says:

    First?
    I thought Doom 3 BFG and Hawken were already supporting this.

    • wccrawford says:

      Doom 3′s support is delayed, at least.

      Hawken still plans to support it at launch, but it sounds like it’s not quite ready. Since the units are apparently shipping *really* soon, it doesn’t have much time left to get it right. Not that that’d stop me from playing with it, though. :)

  3. Hahaha says:

    mmmmmm torrents of green

  4. Rawns says:

    This in ARMA3. It would make me soooo happy.

  5. Njordsk says:

    You mean people still play TF2?

  6. Skhalt says:

    I see this being absolutely awesome on Star Citizen and Mechwarrior, and a major source of motion sickness on pretty much any other type of games.

    • derbefrier says:

      any racing game or flight\space sim would be excellent. I do believe its planned for Star citizen though. I swear I have read that somewhere.

  7. BTAxis says:

    I’m really interested in this, but the price tag involved…

  8. killmachine says:

    man. seriously, i don’t know how long it takes until my neck hurts when i play a fast paced shooter like tf2 with the oculus rift. don’t even want to imagine the pain when i try to do a 180° turn.

    less seriously… can’t wait to watch some porn with these.

  9. uh20 says:

    *hear spy uncloaking*
    *turn and bitch slap whoever is next to you*
    at least, that’s what i will accidentally do if you give me a headset for this game

  10. boe2 says:

    My biggest fear atm is that the OR won’t play along nicely with headsets. I got a 3D headset that would be great for VR immersion, but it’s relatively bulky. I just don’t see me wearing it along with VR goggles.

    • heker_88 says:

      I’m confused by what you mean here, the oculous rift already incorporates full steryoscopic 3D whithout the aid of any other kit. If you mean its a large headphones/mic ensemble I get what you mean.

  11. jimangi says:

    I hope it won’t be long till we can play Left 4 Dead like this too. It seems much better suited. Also I want to confuse my brain at all new levels by jumping through Portals with it.

  12. Koozer says:

    My god, the hats are leaking into the real world!

  13. Fyce says:

    This device absolutly needs big goggly eyes in front of it.

  14. Arcanon says:

    How can you play with Oculus Rift if you can’t see the keyboard???

    Mmhh….

  15. Simas says:

    This device is perfect for flight sims.

  16. sophof says:

    One of the ‘killer apps’ could be dear esther imo. It fits the bill: doesn’t require any other hardware, is meant to be explored slowly and doesn’t need to be adapted too much.

    Also any game where you sit in a cockpit. Not that you can’t make a good control scheme for a FPS, but it will probably require hardware an effort, so you need something else to get the ball rolling.

    • AlFitz says:

      Flight sims are the first thing I think of, but they require a myriad of keyboard of presses unless you can do everything from your stick.

  17. Jupiah says:

    Personally I’d think a slower paced puzzler like Portal 2 would be a much more appropriate game for demoing a VR headset than a fast-paced chaotic shooter like Team Fortress 2, but what do I know?

    • Armitage says:

      You are almost certainly correct. But, TF2 makes sense from Valve’s perspective because the game and its supporting Dev team has been designed as a test bed to learn about gameplay mechanics (modes), revenue models(F2P, hats) and general experimentation (Steam Workshop).

      The game is collecting Terrabytes of data per day about user’s behavior and the game’s performance. Because of this, TF2 gives Valve the greatest insight into what are the greatest challenges and opportunities for this technology.

  18. P.Funk says:

    Anybody who has trouble grappling with what this thing will be or mean to gaming should just realize that its the next evolution of TrackIR, except without the need to play in a dark room because the sunset playing on the backwall or the glare from your bedside light both send your virtual head jerking in alarming neck spasms.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>