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Eyes-on: Oculus Rift's position-tracking Dev Kit 2 VR headset blows the first Dev Kit away

Hayden Dingman | April 4, 2014
You want to talk about bad timing? I was writing up this hands-on with the new Oculus Dev Kit 2 last week, but then somebody bought somebody and the entire world imploded and riots formed in the streets and angry Facebook-hating people started canceling their Dev Kit 2 preorders.

EVE: Valkyrie levels up

As I said after the D.I.C.E. Summit in February, EVE: Valkyrie has become an interesting baseline for all things Oculus. I've played Valkyrie on everything from the original Dev Kit to the 1080p HD Oculus, Crystal Cove, and now DK2. Like reference audio for headphones, the easiest way for me to sense Oculus changes is to sit down and play Valkyrie on the new hardware.

This time around? Nothing mind-blowing, since Crystal Cove and DK2 are fairly similar. The position-tracking was a bit tighter, but you'd be hard-pressed to notice the difference if you weren't looking for it.

Of greater note was what CCP showed me behind closed doors — new ships.

Since E3 last year, every build of EVE: Valkyrie has been functionally identical: Launch your ship, dogfight, explode, launch a new ship, dogfight, explode, and repeat ad nauseam until time expires. This time around it went launch your ship, dogfight, explode, choose what type of ship to launch next, launch again, and on until the round ended.

It's a small change — in addition to the baseline fighter, CCP has added bomber- and recon-type spacecrafts. The bomber is slow but powerful, the recon ship maneuverable but fragile. The new ships are nothing huge as far as multiplayer games go — different builds for different players? — but it's a welcome addition to the game considering that previous updates primarily enhanced the graphics or took advantage of new Oculus tech (like the positional tracking). It's nice to see EVE: Valkyrie becoming more of a game instead of a tech demo.

If that's not enough EVE: Valkyrie news for you, get ready for next month. No doubt CCP has some big announcements planned for its annual EVE Fanfest conference in May, which is where EVE: Valkyrie debuted last year (titled EVE: VR at the time).

 

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