The Oculus Rift isn’t expected to ship to consumers until Q1 2016, but the Facebook-backed company made a number of key announcements today that is sure to exit gamers. For starters, we’re finally getting a firmer understanding on why Linux and OS X development for the Rift was suspended last month. Oculus has teamed up with Microsoft to deliver a killer experience on Windows 10 and also will also work alongside the Xbox One gaming console.
Speaking of the Xbox One, the Rift will ship with an Xbox One wireless controller and the Microsoft wireless controller adapter that allows you to forgot dispense with hooking a USB cable to your computer. The wireless controller/wireless adapter combo is only certified for use in Windows 10, so those of you running Windows 7 or Windows 8 might want to take advantage of those free upgrades as soon as possible.
The Windows 10 lovin’ continues with the exciting news that Xbox One games can be streamed through a PC running Microsoft’s upcoming operating system to a Rift headset. But before you start jumping up and down with joy at this possibility, it’s not what you think. This won’t be a fully immersive virtual reality experience; instead, you’ll be presented with a “virtual cinema” in which you will be essentially playing the game on a large screen TV. I guess it’s better than nothing, but it’s not exactly an optimum experience.
But that’s not all, Oculus also gave everyone a taste of its brand new motion controller which is dubbed the Oculus Touch. Oculus Touch is actually two controllers that feature an integrated handgrip, trigger buttons, and analog sticks. The Rift is capable of tracking the controllers in real-time using its desk-mounted camera combined with the data streaming from the controllers’ inertial sensors.
As for the Rift headset itself, it features two separate displays (one for each eye) and integrated headphones which provide 360-degree spatialized audio (these can be thankfully swapped out if you wish). Unfortunately, we’re still not privy to the price of the Oculus Rift or the Oculus Touch control systems. Perhaps we’ll learn more as we approach the Q1 launch timeframe.