At last! I have some actual news from GDC (I was beginning to worry that it had all been a hoax), and it’s the news I anticipated the most: Oculus has finally debuted the second version of the Rift headset. The new set has 1080p per-eye, positional head-tracking and a low persistence OLED display, something the tech cried out for when I tried it with Elite. They charmingly still don’t consider it a consumer-grade product, so they’re hopeful the device will end up on the faces of developers and not fans and gamers looking to get a quick tech fix, but the new headset does seem to make a compelling case for removing a significant amount of money from my wallet.
The salient specs are 960 x 1080 pixels per eye at 75 Hz. It’s not quite at the level Valve’s Valve’s research suggests is optimal for the tech to flourish, but it’s only 20 Hz off. And it looks like Oculus is going down the route of using external camera to gauge where your head is, which tracks the position of infra-red LEDs that have been fitted to the inside of the unit. Magic!
RPS has three people down on the floor at GDC, so I hope one of them saunters over to the Rift and presses their face into whichever unit is free. The unit costs $350 and can be pre-ordered today, but Oculus would rather consumers waited.