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Oculus opens preorders for second-generation Rift dev kit
Oculus opens preorders for second-generation Rift dev kit
March 19, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

Newsbrief: Oculus announced today that developers can now pre-order the second version of the Oculus Rift development kit, titled simply Rift Development Kit 2.

The second-generation development hardware, which costs $350 and starts shipping in July, is a slicker version of the Crystal Cove prototype Oculus showcased at CES earlier this year.

It sports the same external camera, which allows the headset to track three more "degrees of freedom" -- forward/backward, left/right, and up/down -- than the first Oculus Rift development kit.

The 1080p screen in the unit has also been upgraded from LCD to OLED, which offers improved screen refresh times and thus less "image persistence," a trigger for simulation sickness.

The DK2 also sports an integrated latency tester and a built-in USB accessory port, as well as improved support for both Unreal Engine 4 and Unity. Plus, the clunky control box has been eliminated entirely.

If you're attending GDC 2014 in San Francisco this week, Oculus will be running demos of the Rift DK2 at their booth on the show floor.

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Alex Covic
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Very reasonable price for that sort of upgrade, imho. Now, I have to bite.

Tim Turcich
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Not just an upgrade, but probably pretty close to the standards of what goes public down the road!

Nooh Ha
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Apparently not. The OR guys say that the retail version will be as big a leap from DK2 as DK2 is from DK1. One example they gave was that their current prototypes have eliminated pixelation which is still evident in DK2. Apparently.

Tim Turcich
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Speaking from a programming and developer standpoint the standards in screen and sensors feel very solidified to me as realistic VR hardware specs for first public release down the road. I would love to see more huge upgrades like reduced pixelation here, but as an avid follower, I'm skeptical if we will see a higher resolution screen or vastly different combination of sensors in the first retail if it is to happen in a year or so.

If I am to upscale and multi sample my 3D scene output target larger than the 1920x1080 native screen resolution and then post process the resulting image to clean up effects of the lenses. This is getting increasingly expensive to imagine an even higher end product as it would require not so everyday powerful computation for the near future.

Although I'd suspect rarer high end user will make incredible versions of the product applicable.

I'm an outsider to know exactly what will happen, but I'm just speculating with experience as a user of the DK1 dev hardware and software on realistic gaming PC hardware.

Benjamin Quintero
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Dalton Rowe
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I'm always excited to hear news about Oculus, the addition of an external camera worries me. I feel that the leap to two separate devices will a deterrent when showing the product to the public at large.

I have mad respect for the progress they are making, and I think it is important work. But I am beginning the fear that the plug-and-play (within reason) VR headset many dream about may still be a little further off.

Michael Wenk
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Does this mean the actual retail device isn't as close as it seemed?